Changing Face of Primary Care? Amazon to Acquire One Medical

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Big retailers like Amazon are getting into the health care business. Will this be good or bad for health care providers?

Amazon announced plans to acquire One Medical, a primary care company, for a cash deal valued at $3.9 billion. One Medical, which went public in January 2020, is described by Amazon as a technology-powered primary care organization.  

“One Medical combines in-person care in inviting offices across the country with digital health and virtual care services, making it easier for patients to schedule appointments, renew prescriptions, access up-to-date health records, and advance health outcomes,” as noted by Amazon.1 One Medical has brick-and-mortar offices in 19 locations across the country.

This acquisition expands the reach of Amazon.Care, which was launched in September 2019 as a virtual health service benefit for employees and their families in the Seattle area. In February 2022, Amazon announced it would open brick-and-mortar health clinics in 20 cities and the acquisition of One Medical helped reach that goal.  

“Amazon Care’s virtual health services are now available nationwide,” the company noted in a press release. “The expansion comes as we continue to invest in growing our clinical care team and our in-person care services to bring convenient, quality care to more customers across the US.”

Amazon will join other retail heavyweights like Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens, all of whom have recently expanded into the primary health care market. According to Forbes, Walmart is poised to become the largest primary care provider in the country. The company’s Care Clinic concept offers primary care, counseling, laboratory examinations, radiographs, and health screening. According to Walmart, its health care mission is “affordable and transparent pricing — with or without insurance; the highest level of care from our qualified physicians, nurse practitioners,” and more.

Health Care Reinvented?

“We think health care is high on the list of experiences that need reinvention. 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,” said Neil Lindsay, SVP of Amazon Health Services.

“The opportunity to transform health care and improve outcomes by combining One Medical’s human-centered and technology-powered model and exceptional team with Amazon’s customer obsession, history of invention, and willingness to invest in the long-term is so exciting,” said Amir Dan Rubin, One Medical CEO. “There is an immense opportunity to make the health care experience more accessible, affordable, and even enjoyable for patients, providers, and payers. We look forward to innovating and expanding access to quality healthcare services, together.”

Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by One Medical’s shareholders and regulatory approval. On completion, Amir Dan Rubin will remain as CEO of One Medical.

Source

Amazon and One Medical sign an agreement for Amazon to acquire One Medical. News release.  Amazon. https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/company-news/amazon-and-one-medical-sign-an-agreement-for-amazon-to-acquire-one-medical

This article originally appeared on Clinical Advisor