Amazon on Tuesday officially launched Amazon Clinic, a "message-based virtual care service" that will be available in 32 states to treat 20 common health conditions, including allergies, acne, and hair loss.
In a blog post, Nworah Ayogu, CMO and general manager of Amazon Clinic, said the new virtual offering will "connec[t] customers with affordable virtual care options when and how they need it—at home, after dinner, at the grocery story, or on the go."
According to Ayogu, customers using Amazon Clinic will select their condition, then choose a preferred provider from a list of telehealth providers. Then, the customer will complete an intake questionnaire and be connected to a clinician through a message-based portal. If a customer's condition isn't suitable to be treated through Amazon Clinic, Amazon will let the customer know before connecting them to a provider.
After a consultation, the clinician will send the customer a personalized treatment plan via the message portal, including any potential prescriptions to the customer's preferred pharmacy, which can include Amazon Pharmacy.
Two weeks of follow-up messages will be included in the cost of initial consultation, and Amazon said that in "many cases" that cost would be equal to or less than the cost of an average copay. Customers are also able to use money from flexible spending accounts or health care spending accounts, as Amazon Clinic does not currently accept any insurance.
Ayogu noted Amazon Clinic "lets customers choose from a network of leading telehealth providers based on their preferences" and that every provider on Amazon Clinic "has gone through rigorous clinical quality and customer experience evaluations by Amazon's clinical leadership team."
The new program comes months after the company announced it was acquiring primary care provider One Medical for around $3.9 billion, and months after Amazon announced it would shut down Amazon Care, its primary care service sold to employer health plans.
At the time, Neil Lindsay, SVP of Amazon Health Services, said the company "determined that Amazon Care isn't the right long-term solution for our enterprise customers and have decided that we will no longer offer Amazon Care after December 31, 2022."
However, Lindsay added that Amazon was still committed to its health care businesses. "Our vision is to make it easier for people to access the health care products and services they need to get and stay healthy," he said. "We know accomplishing that won't be easy or fast, but we believe it matters." (Ayogu, Amazon blog, 11/15; Turner, Modern Healthcare, 11/15; Feiner, CNBC, 11/15)
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