Reinventing USA healthcare: Amazon’s next step

Amazon building where employees are now supported to pursue domestic medical travel

Amazon has bought USA-based concierge primary care company, One Medical, as part of its global plan to reinvent healthcare and improve the patient experience.

The deal expands Amazon’s reach into primary care as it also operates Amazon Care, which offers both virtual care services as well as in-home care to employees and other companies in several US states.

Neil Lindsay of Amazon Health Services explains, “Acquiring One Medical is part of Amazon’s goal to reinvent healthcare. Booking an appointment, waiting weeks or even months to be seen, taking time off work, driving to a clinic, finding a parking spot, waiting in the waiting room then the exam room for what is too often a rushed few minutes with a doctor, then making another trip to a pharmacy – we see lots of opportunity to both improve the quality of the experience and give people back valuable time in their days. We love inventing to make what should be easy easier and we want to be one of the companies that helps dramatically improve the healthcare experience over the next several years.”

Amazon has been getting into the healthcare industry, including health benefits for employers, in a bid to lower sharply rising costs. Two years ago, the e-commerce giant launched a hybrid care program for employers, which includes a virtual care element tied to in-person care in specific locations. Amazon expanded the virtual care programme nationwide in February, while its in-person benefit will be offered in 30 U.S. cities by the end of 2022.

One Medical operates an expansive network of  182 clinics and is the largest independent practice in the USA.  Amazon is not commenting on how One Medical will be folded into its existing healthcare operations.

Along with One Medical’s direct-to-consumer medical model, the primary care network has 8,000 employer clients and 750,000 individuals. The company takes insurance, offers online visits, and is based around a membership model that it sells directly to consumers and to employers.