Amazon is now a healthcare provider thanks to a $3.9 billion acquisition of One Medical!
If you’ve been sick recently – and who hasn’t?! – you know that accessing good health care can be really difficult. You have to make an appointment, wait for the appointment, get yourself to the doctor’s office, wait in the reception area, and then wait some more in the exam room.
That’s a lot of effort (and waiting) just so that you can eventually spend a few minutes with a healthcare provider who might prescribe you a medication. Then, you have to make a separate trip to a pharmacy, which will involve even more waiting while they fill your prescription. It’s not a great system, especially when you’re not feeling well.
Amazon hopes to make this process more convenient for everyone involved with its recent takeover of One Medical. According to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, Amazon’s ownership of One Medical will make it easier and more affordable for folks to get healthy and stay healthy.
One Medical works with most insurance providers to offer primary care and clinical services like in-office and 24/7 virtual care, on-site labs, programs for preventive care, chronic care management, treatment of common illnesses, and mental health services, too. They can help to expedite the process of getting in to see a specialist, as well.
With One Medical, you can connect with clinicians 24/7 via video chat or messaging if you’d prefer. You can also choose to make an appointment to visit any of One Medical’s offices in select cities. When you need a prescription, you can choose to have it delivered to your door by Amazon Pharmacy or get filled in person anywhere that’s convenient for you.
For a limited time, Amazon Prime members can join One Medical with a discounted annual membership of just $99 for the first year (regularly $199). That’s only $12 per month! This offer is available for new One Medical customers in the US. (Non-Prime Members can purchase an annual plan for $199.)
Amazon’s partnership with One Medical isn’t its first entry into the healthcare arena.
Amazon has been gaining momentum in the healthcare industry for a while now. It started with Amazon Pharmacy, which is a prescription delivery service. Then they added RxPass, which (for $5/month) lets Prime members get as many medications as they need from a list of 60 commonly prescribed medications.
Amazon also recently launched Amazon Clinic, which offers a convenient way to get remote medical advice and treatment for over 20 common conditions by messaging with a clinician.
Now, Amazon owns and operates a chain of 200+ medical offices in 20+ cities across the US. It’s also worth mentioning that they will now have access to the health information of One Medical’s patients. When combined with everything else Amazon knows about them (like their shopping and streaming habits), that could be very powerful information.
With the current state of healthcare in the US, some would argue that any disruption to the industry could bring about real change and may end up being a blessing. Especially if it truly makes healthcare more accessible and affordable for everyone who needs it.
If you’re curious about Amazon’s new role as a healthcare provider, you can read more about One Medical here and see if a program like this would be a good fit for your own personal healthcare needs.