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Amazon Has Big Plans for the Future of Health Care

E-tailer shares intentions following acquisition of provider One Medical
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
Amazon One Medical
One Medical offers in-office and 24/7 virtual primary care services.

Amazon is poised to broaden its health care reach as it finalizes its acquisition of technology-forward national primary care organization One Medical. The two companies believe they can make the health care experience easier, faster, more personal and more convenient for everyone, said Amazon CEO Andy Jassy.

One Medical has been in business for 15 years and offers in-office and 24/7 virtual care services and on-site labs, as well as programs for preventive care, chronic care management, common illnesses and mental health concerns. Its clinicians focus on thinking about health care comprehensively and offer more time during appointments to engage with patients, and its proactive app reminders help facilitate better prevention and coordination of care.

[Read more: "Amazon Launches $5 Prescription Subscription for Prime Members"]

“We’re on a mission to make it dramatically easier for people to find, choose, afford, and engage with the services, products, and professionals they need to get and stay healthy, and coming together with One Medical is a big step on that journey,” said Neil Lindsay, SVP of Amazon Health Services. “One Medical has set the bar for what a quality, convenient, and affordable primary care experience should be like. We’re inspired by their human-centered, technology-forward approach and excited to help them continue to grow and serve more patients.”

Explained Amir Dan Rubin, CEO of One Medical: “We now set our sights on delivering even further positive impacts for consumers, employers, care teams, and health networks, as we join Amazon with its long-term orientation, history of invention, and passion for reimagining a better future.”

The acquisition was initially announced in July of last year, with Amazon paying $18 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at about $3.9 billion, including One Medical’s net debt. Jassy envisions a whole new world of primary care as a result of the tie-up.

“If you fast forward 10 years from now, people are not going to believe how primary care was administered,” Jassy said. “For decades, you called your doctor, made an appointment three or four weeks out, drove 15-20 minutes to the doctor, parked your car, signed in and waited several minutes in reception, eventually were placed in an exam room, where you waited another 10-15 minutes before the doctor came in, saw you for five to 10 minutes and prescribed medicine, and then you drove 20 minutes to the pharmacy to pick it up — and that’s if you didn’t have to then go see a specialist for additional evaluation, where the process repeated and could take even longer for an appointment.”

Continued Jassy: “Customers want and deserve better, and that’s what One Medical has been working and innovating on for more than a decade. Together, we believe we can make the health care experience easier, faster, more personal, and more convenient for everyone.”

One Medical membership is separate from Amazon Prime membership, and for a limited time, One Medical is offering annual memberships to new customers at the discounted price of $144 for the first year. Service for current One Medical members will not change following the acquisition.

Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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