Is Amazon on the verge of reinventing American healthcare?
Amazon.com yesterday said that it has reached a deal to acquire One Medical, a “technology-powered national primary care organization” that combines in-person, digital and telehealth services to care for patients.
The $3.9 billion all-cash deal, if approved by One Medical’s shareholders and federal regulators, makes clear that Amazon is serious about being a major disruptive force in the consumer healthcare market. One Medical CEO Amir Dan Rubin will remain in that position should Amazon take control.
“We think health care is high on the list of experiences that need reinvention,” said Neil Lindsay, SVP of Amazon Health Services. “Booking an appointment, waiting weeks or even months to be seen, taking time off work, driving to a clinic, finding a parking spot, waiting in the waiting room then the exam room for what is too often a rushed few minutes with a doctor, then making another trip to a pharmacy — we see lots of opportunity to both improve the quality of the experience and give people back valuable time in their days.”
Amazon has been inexorably pushing into healthcare going back to 2018 with its acquisition of Pillpack, an online pharmacy that delivers pre-sorted doses of prescribed medicines in envelopes to customers.
Two years later brought the launch of Amazon Pharmacy, which offers free unlimited two-day deliveries of prescriptions to Prime members and discounts on medications not covered by member’s insurance.
The planned acquisition of One Medical will not be the first time that Amazon has engaged in primary care that makes use of both telehealth and in-person services. Its Amazon Care service, which was first tested on employees in 2019, has expanded nationwide this year with plans to have physical clinics operating in over 20 cities.
Amazon is not the only retailer pursuing the primary care market.
Walgreens, under CEO Roz Brewer, has focused on the primary care opportunity and is aggressively opening Village Medical clinics, staffed by doctors, inside its stores. It expects to have 1,000 clinics in operation across the U.S. by 2027.
CVS, which has offered basic care with nurse practitioners in more than 1,100 in-store clinics, is also looking to create doctor-staffed practices at its stores.
Walmart last year acquired MeMD, a company offering nationwide virtual medical and mental healthcare services. The move was seen as complementary to in-person Walmart Health centers operated by the company.
- Amazon and One Medical Sign an Agreement for Amazon to Acquire One Medical – Amazon.com
- Will Amazon’s PillPack acquisition disrupt the retail pharmacy business? – RetailWire
- Will Amazon’s new online pharmacy disrupt the U.S. drugstore business? – RetailWire
- Amazon Care reaches across the country – RetailWire
- Walgreens does its own pivot toward healthcare – RetailWire
- Will a trip to the doctor soon mean a trip to CVS? – RetailWire
- Walmart is going all in on 24/7/365 telehealth – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of the retailer-led pushes into primary healthcare? What will be the impact of Amazon’s acquisition of One Medical?