Amazon purchased One Medical, the boutique primary care clinic for $3.9 billion in 2022. In a revolutionary move, the conglomerate is making the One Medical membership available for Amazon Prime subscribers at a much-considerate price. The move intertwines healthcare offerings with Amazon’s core business.
The Exciting Benefit of One Medical Membership
Before it was acquired by Amazon, its membership was duly available as employer benefits and incurred an annual cost of $199. From mid-November, the healthcare membership can be bought at a cost of $99 a year by Amazon Prime subscribers. The decrease in the price signals Amazon’s intent to march into mainstream health care. Taking a big step towards their ambitious health goals, Amazon has been tying a permanent health discount to Prime by providing top billing of One Medical on its homepage and by offering smaller and temporary sales to Prime members.
ON THE RECORD with an Employee of One Medical
Since One Medical has brick-and-mortar clinics in only 19 cities across the United States of America, thousands of Prime members would only be able to access One Medical’s services virtually. An employee of One Medical gave a statement that the telehealth business of One Medical has consistently been picking up. Furthermore, the employee stated that the increase in virtual appointments is crucial for maximizing the productivity of in-person One Medical clinics, resulting in various job openings being available for virtual clinical roles.
Efforts to Foray into Mainstream Health Care Industry
Unlimited access to 24/7 on-demand virtual care, including video chats with licensed providers within minutes are some of the benefits covered by the new Prime One Medical membership, as announced by Amazon. It also stated that virtual care is available nationally, that members are not charged with additional costs for on-demand virtual care services, and that the membership covers everything.
Amazon Clinic is another telehealth offering that is being operated by Amazon. The business model of the clinic is quite different than that of One Medical. The way that the Amazon Clinic works is that it utilizes third-party health providers rather than directly employed primary care providers. The primary aim of the Amazon Clinic is to treat patients with the most common and easily treatable conditions such as pinkeye, acne, and dandruff. A similar One Medical service called “Treat Me Now” is being offered by the Amazon Clinic, with the exception that the clinic does not accept health insurance, albeit it is accepted by One Medical.
Although Amazon stated that it takes its customers’ privacy “extremely seriously”, concerns have been raised by experts on privacy about the Amazon Clinic as it primarily requires patients to relinquish certain health data protection rights to avail themselves of the services. One Medical’s requirements for its influx of new digital patients are yet to be determined.
In a blog post, Amazon stated that their customers’ privacy is highly protected, not due to the laws laid down by the government, but because it’s the right thing to do. Customers are cleared with the information that Amazon collects and the means of collecting it. The blog post also stated that Amazon has never sold, or intended to sell any customer’s health information and that the information is only used to provide extensive care and improve the quality of care along with the patient’s safety.
Successful Health Care Ventures of Amazon
It is to be noted that Amazon is widely known for its efforts to experiment until the right model is discovered. Previously, the e-commerce giant partnered and withdrew from two other expensive health care gambits; Haven, a corporate healthcare-focused collaboration with Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan, and Amazon Care, a mobile, in-house primary care service that closed its shutters last year.
One Medical, Amazon Clinic, and Amazon Pharmacy, which grew out of Pillpack, when acquired by Amazon in 2018, are the healthcare services that have successfully emerged from an enormous trial-and-error process. While the clinic and pharmacy had a slow success rate, the linkage of One Medical with Prime has delivered health care to approximately 200 million Prime members, spread across the country. Some users are already enjoying discounts on prescriptions through RxPass, Amazon’s pharmacy