This week we had Eyes On Amazon & One Medical – as did many of you, I am sure. We saw the news and, of course, had a variety of thoughts from “Yep – seems like a great way to expand their healthcare offerings” to “hmmm – not sure I want Amazon to know even more about me…” So we did a little digging to better understand the acquisition and what others are thinking about this new alliance.
One Medical is a US membership-based primary care platform that includes in-office care combined with digital medicine. Membership is a combination of individual customers and employer-sponsored patients – with over 8,000 employer clients offering One Medical to their staff. Benefits include same-day appointments, specialist referrals, virtual chats, and a mobile app for tracking vitals, accessing records, and managing prescriptions. The fee is about $200 a year, and there are over 125 locations across ~25 large metro areas. It is positioned as an alternative to concierge medicine and urgent care.
Amazon has been pushing into the US healthcare sector for many years in an effort to manage its huge employee base across numerous locations. They purchased the online pharmacy PillPack in 2018 and then introduced the tele-health service Amazon Care in 2019. Next came the announcement of Haven – the Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan venture hoping to disrupt healthcare and provide better access to care, improve health & wellness, and lower overall costs. Haven has since disbanded after each partner implemented their own projects with their own employees – not one project across the three companies. The companies admitted that the US healthcare system is complicated and entrenched. Additionally, it involves more than just patients and providers but also a convoluted network of insurers, drug & device makers, and middlemen. While the partners still collaborate informally – each is pursuing programs designed for their specific needs. Amazon’s One Medical acquisition is another part of its long-term healthcare strategy.
TMI – some folks took to Twitter and other outlets to express their concern about Amazon owning their healthcare data. Amazon already has experience with HIPAA regulations, as does One Medical, but folks still wonder what type of ads might pop up on their phones or Kindles and just how separate will the data be.
Analysts note that Amazon broadening its healthcare portfolio to include in-person care and home drug delivery will provide them with a strong competitive advantage in the sector. Their most likely direct competitors will be Teladoc Health and GoodRx. They also note that One Medical has a unique digital interface that seamlessly merges in-office visits with virtual offerings such as chats, Rx renewals, and lab results. Some postulate that with Amazon’s backing, this will continue to evolve and grow to remain a best-in-class offering for consumers.
Overall, it seems many in the sector were a bit surprised at this particular acquisition. While they had been expecting Amazon to make a move to broaden its portfolio in some manner, many seemed to favor Teladoc as a likely choice.
Most are taking a wait-and-see attitude and have Eyes On the HIPAA Data Issues as well as how it all could roll into Prime. For me, I have Eyes On the expansion possibilities. I’d love to see Amazon add One Medical Clinics to some of the more seasonal and rural areas in the US where healthcare access is dwindling while the demand is growing. With the remote work option still in play, these areas could be an opportunity for growth for the company.
Below are links to some of the info we found interesting:
Tip of the Week
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