Amazon Folding ‘Clinic’ Brand Telehealth Business Into One Medical

Amazon is folding its Amazon Clinic brand telehealth business into its One Medical doctor-staffed clinic and virtual care business to simplify its primary care offerings for customers and patients.

Amazon launched Amazon Clinic a year and a half ago as a “pay-per-visit” telehealth service available on and the Amazon app, allowing patients to access virtual care in all 50 U.S. states following an expansion of the service last year. During that time, Amazon spent nearly $4 billion last year to acquire One Medical, which operates doctor-staffed clinics and its own virtual care business.

The online retail giant said it is putting the “Amazon Clinic” brand virtual health business under the Amazon One Medical brand. The change, which will eliminate the “Amazon Clinic” name, is effective immediately, Amazon said.

“Today, we are changing the name of the service from Amazon Clinic to Amazon One Medical Pay-per-visit, and we are improving it by making per-visit pricing even more affordable and reducing the number of steps it takes for customers to start a visit on and in the Amazon app,” Amazon said in its announcement regarding Amazon Clinic, a service that links customers to physicians and othe clinicians who have contracts with Amazon to provide the virtual care.

“Customers now have two options when seeking care from Amazon One Medical—Pay-per-visit telehealth for 30+ common conditions (like pink eye, the flu, or a sinus infection), or membership where customers pay a monthly or annual fee for on-demand virtual care, easy booking of same and next-day appointments at One Medical offices, and a differentiated primary care experience at 150+ offices across the U.S.,” Amazon said.

In an interview earlier this year, Amazon executives said Amazon One Medical has added more than 15 new offices and will be expanding into two additional U.S. markets by the end of this year. Amazon One Medical, which has nearly 240 primary care offices in more than 20 U.S. markets, is expanding in existing markets in addition to adding new locations later this year in Milwaukee and Hackensack, New Jersey.

An Amazon spokeswoman said the “Amazon Clinic” telehealth business has grown, but wouldn’t disclose the number of virtual visits provided by the service. “Amazon Clinic’s telehealth services will continue and will now operate as the Amazon One Medical Pay-per-visit telehealth offering,” the company’s announcement said.

The announcement comes during a period of trials, errors and successes in the still relatively young retail health care business. While Amazon is expanding and rebranding its primary care and virtual care offerings, Walmart in April disclosed plans to close its Walmart Health centers and virtual care business, saying it doesn’t see a sustainable business model in primary care.

Meanwhile, Walgreens, which made a multibillion-dollar investment in doctor-staffed clinic operator VillageMD, has struggled somewhat by expanding too fast and being unable to fill patient panels in certain markets it is now exiting. Walgreens in March reported a loss of nearly $6 billion in its second quarter due largely to the loss in value of its VillageMD investment.

And CVS Health, which has for years operated more than 1,000 MinuteClinic brand clinics staffed by nurse practitioners, said earlier this year the healthcare giant is sticking with its expansion strategy for Oak Street Health to open 50 to 60 clinics for seniors next year. CVS last year acquired Oak Street for $10.6 billion in cash, adding a large network of doctor-staffed clinics primarily used by seniors. Oak Street has more than 200 medical centers across 25 states and CVS plans to open dozens more.

In Amazon’s case, the company said it remains committed to making healthcare more affordable, simpler and convenient via the per visit model or the Amazon One Medical membership fee.

“We’re focused on improving both the occasional and ongoing medical care experience,” said Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services said in a statement accompanying the announcement. “Amazon One Medical’s Pay-per-visit telehealth service makes it simpler for customers looking for care to see a provider, with fewer clicks and even lower per-visit pricing. With Amazon One Medical, customers can choose the medical care service that best meets their needs—a single visit for occasional, common conditions, or a membership that supports access to ongoing care with an app that makes things like getting on-demand virtual care, appointments and managing prescriptions fast and simple.”

Amazon One Medical’s Pay-per-visit telehealth service is $29 for a messaging visit and $49 for a video visit, the company said.

“Amazon One Medical’s Pay-per-visit telehealth service is a great option for customers who do not live near a One Medical office or for those who already have a care provider, but need fast, convenient access to address a one-off condition,” Amazon said. “One Medical Membership enables customers to pay a membership fee for on-demand virtual care, easy booking of same and next day appointments at One Medical offices, and a differentiated primary care experience. It is great for customers who live near a One Medical office and want a primary care physician and care team to help manage their overall health.”

Source: Forbes

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