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November 18, 2021

Amazon Care lands a major deal with Hilton

Daily Briefing

    Amazon on Monday announced it will provide Amazon Care, its medical care service, to Hilton. With this move, Amazon continues to try to disrupt the health care industry through expanded virtual and in-home services.

    Amazon Care is coming to all 50 states

    Background

    Amazon Care, initially created for Amazon employees in Seattle and now marketed to other companies across the country, offers both virtual and in-person care. Users can access virtual care through the Amazon Care app, which allows them to communicate with providers through text chat or video. For its in-person service, a medical professional is dispatched to a patient's home or office to perform exams, tests, or vaccinations.

    While its virtual care service is available to patients in all 50 states, Amazon Care's in-person service is limited to patients in Washington state and the Washington, D.C.–Baltimore area. In September, Amazon announced plans to expand its in-person care service to 20 major cities in the United States, including Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, and Boston.

    In addition, Amazon Care is in talks with insurers, such as Aetna and Premera Blue Cross, to become a covered benefit under their plans. This would open up Amazon Care to more people and potentially make it more attractive to employers.

    Amazon Care reaches major deal with Hilton

    Amazon on Monday announced a deal to provide its Amazon Care service to Hilton, Reuters reports. Hilton is the service's first hospitality customer and its second disclosed client after Precor, a fitness equipment manufacturer.

    According to Kristen Helton, director of Amazon Care, employers' pandemic safety concerns and recruitment needs amid labor shortages contributed to demand for Amazon Care. "Attracting and retaining talent is so critical for businesses right now," she said.

    Helton added that the deal with Hilton is "a great step forward for the business to show we can provide care nationwide to their team members."

    All of Hilton’s U.S. employees enrolled in the company’s corporate health plans will be able to use Amazon Care as a benefit in 2022.

    According to Reuters, Hilton will pay for workers' access to Amazon Care and a portion of visit expenses. Hilton employees will be able to use the service's text chat for free, while video or home visits will have a small fee.

    Helton also noted that Amazon Care plans to leverage artificial intelligence in its service to reduce providers' post-care work and lower costs. "We will have clinicians in the loop for a period of time until we can actually trust that AI and those technology solutions are taking care of the patient in the way that is best," she said.

    Overall, Helton said Amazon Care plans to stand apart from its competitors, such as Teladoc, by offering both hybrid virtual and in-person care, as well as an easy user experience and clearer costs.

    "An area where we're very focused is bringing that transparency back to the patient," she said. (Dastin, Reuters, 11/16; Jercich, Healthcare IT News, 11/16; Reuters/CNBC, 11/15)

    Learn more

    Amazon Care is coming to all 50 states

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    Amazon just announced it’s expanding its Amazon Care virtual services to Amazon employees and other employers nationwide. Here's what you need to know about the tech giant's "most directly competitive move into the health care space yet"—and what it could mean for the industry's future, according to Advisory Board's Yulan Egan, John League, and Sarah Hostetter.

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