Amazon to soon launch telehealth offering in all 50 states, report says

Sources told Insider that the company plans to make its app-based Amazon Care services available to employees throughout the country.
By Kat Jercich
12:38 PM
A building with Amazon's logo on it

Amazon's app-based healthcare service for employees, Amazon Care, will soon launch throughout the country, Insider reported this past Friday.

Although it is currently only available to the tech giant's Washington-based employees, sources told the outlet that Amazon Care is gearing up to offer the service for the rest of its U.S. workers.  

It will also invite employers to use the service as well, said Insider. Amazon Care declined Healthcare IT News' requests for comment. 

WHY IT MATTERS  

Currently, the Amazon Care app connects Washington-based employees to providers for a wide range of primary and urgent care services. Those in the greater Seattle area can also have a nurse dispatched to them for follow-up treatment such as blood draws.  

As part of the reported expansion, Amazon Care plans to provide telehealth to its employees in all 50 states. It may also announce that it's working with one or two more companies to provide Amazon Care to their employees, although it is not clear whether home services will be a part of this package.

This isn't the only foray into healthcare delivery Amazon has made recently. Crossover Health announced this past week that it would collaborate with the company to serve Amazon employees and their families in the metropolitan regions of five major cities: Dallas; Phoenix; Louisville, Ky.; Detroit; and San Bernardino, Calif.   

That initiative also includes the launch of 17 health centers to provide in-person care. It is not clear how this might overlap with any Amazon Care expansions.  

THE LARGER TREND

Rumors around the expansion of Amazon Care have flown for months, with Insider reporting in December that it planned to provide health services to workers at other companies.    

Then, STAT reported that Care Medical, which contracts with Amazon Care to provide those services, had filed to do business in more than a dozen other states.

Amazon has remained mum in response to these dispatches. However, it will likely have to contend with changing regulations regarding licensing and telehealth as lawmakers look toward the horizon of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Meanwhile, the company's highly publicized Haven initiative – cofounded with J.P. Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway – announced in January that it would  shutter its operations.  

"In the past three years, Haven explored a wide range of healthcare solutions, as well as piloted new ways to make primary care easier to access, insurance benefits simpler to understand and easier to use, and prescription drugs more affordable," Haven said in a statement.  

ON THE RECORD

"Launching Amazon Care nationally will be the first time that Amazon puts a stake in the ground in healthcare delivery, not just pills and devices. It will also be the first time that the company makes clear the purpose behind Amazon Care, which is to not just serve Amazon's own employees but also stand up a lucrative healthcare business in the $3.8 trillion healthcare industry, while solving for other employers their shared cost headaches," reported Insider's Blake Dodge.

 

Kat Jercich is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Twitter: @kjercich
Email: kjercich@himss.org
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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