Online retailer takes its next step into health care by integrating One Medical's primary care offerings into Prime membership
Amazon is offering it primary care service to Prime members at a discounted rate of $9 per month in its latest expansion into health care.
Prime members who pay the extra fee will have access to One Medical, the primary care service Amazon purchased for $3.9 billion. Previously, One Medical memberships were $199 annually and mainly available through employer benefits.
Many patients will have to rely on virtual care offerings from One Medical, as they only have physical medical offices in 19 cities.
“The new Prime One Medical membership benefit covers unlimited access to 24/7 on-demand virtual care, including video chats with licensed providers within minutes,” Amazon said in a blog post. “Virtual care is available nationally, and members don’t incur any additional costs for on-demand virtual care services — it’s all covered by the membership.”
In addition to One Medical, Amazon also has a telehealth offering called Amazon Clinic, which uses third-party providers and is focused on commonly – and easily -- treated conditions. Amazon Clinic does not accept health insurance, but One Medical does. Amazon Clinic also requires patient to waive some of their health data protection rights, but it is unknown what One Medical might require to use the service.
“We’re committed to protecting our customers’ privacy like we would our own — not only because it’s required by law, but because it’s the right thing to do,” according to the blog post. “We are clear with customers about the information we collect and how we collect it. We do not sell customers’ protected health information, and we use this information to provide care, make getting care easier, and to ensure patient safety.”
Even with the backing of Amazon, there is no guarantee the service will be successful. Two prior health care ventures, Haven and Amazon Care, failed to achieve the results the company hoped for. However, Prime has more than 100 million members, some of whom are already having prescriptions filled through the company’s RxPass service, so adding One Medical’s services could increase the chance of success.