After many rumors, Amazon finally confirmed on Wednesday that the free telehealth services currently provided for Seattle-area and Washington-based employees will be expanded to employees in all 50 states starting this summer. The company also plans to offer its health program to other employers nationwide. The company’s telehealth operation is called Amazon Care, launched in 2019 as an app that provides chat and video services to consult medical professionals. Users can also book in-person visits where a health professional visits the patient’s home for additional care, such as blood draws or listening to a patient’s lungs, and offers pharmacy delivery right to the patient’s door.
Amazon Care Expansion
The in-person services are expected to expand to Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and other cities in the coming months. The company claims to provide their employers high-quality medical care around the clock with the option of messaging and video. Amazon Care also recently joined the efforts to expand telehealth with a nationwide group of home health care providers known as Moving Health Home to make home a clinical service site.
The benefits of the Amazon care app as described in the release include:
- The app provides HIPAA Compliant services;
- Easy tools within the app help patients with scheduling follow-up visits, receive care summaries and follow-up reminders;
- It saves traveling time.
“Amazon Care gives instant access to a range of urgent and primary care services, including COVID-19 and flu testing, vaccinations, treatment of illnesses and injuries, preventive care, sexual health, prescription requests, refills, and delivery, and much more,” the release says.
The group that runs Amazon Care’s doctors’ visits, Care Medical, has been quickly laying the groundwork to operate throughout the US. It is not yet clear how Amazon Care will work in conjunction with health insurance if other companies provide it. Currently, the services are not billed to health insurance or count toward a user’s deductible. Amazon funds the costs of video, chat, and mobile care services for employees and their dependents, and there is no fee to enroll in Amazon Care. There will reportedly be additional charges for in-home visits.
Amazon’s winning record in almost all businesses such as retail, web services, and entertainment, healthcare investors and its competitors will be watching its moves closely.