Telehealth store doesn’t accept insurance yet, but Amazon Pharmacy will deliver prescriptions.
Online giant Amazon will make primary care services available online with its new Amazon Clinic virtual health service.
Amazon announced the venture will operate in 32 states with “virtual care for more than 20 common health conditions, such as allergies, acne, and hair loss.” The company does not yet accept health insurance for services, but process medicines through patients’ prescription drug coverage.
In the company’s announcement, Amazon Clinic Chief Medical Officer and General Manager Nworah Ayogu, MD, MBA, refered to the company’s pending acquisition of One Medical, “a human-centered and technology-powered provider of primary care.”
“But we also know that sometimes you just need a quick interaction with a clinician for a common health concern that can be easily addressed virtually,” Ayogu said. “We’ve thought hard about how to improve this part of the experience as well.”
Amazon Clinic is “a message-based virtual care service that connects customers with affordable virtual care options when and how they need it – at home, after dinner, at the grocery story, or on the go,” the announcement said.
The service will be a “health care store” that lets customers choose among telehealth providers based on their preferences. The telehealth providers have undergone clinical quality and customer service evaluations by Amazon’s clinical leadership team.
Customers will use a website to select their medical conditions and preferred providers. They complete an intake questionnaire and connect to clinicians through a secure message-based portal, according to Amazon.
Costs will vary by provider and do not include prescriptions for medicines. Patients may fill prescriptions through any pharmacy, including Amazon Pharmacy, the company’s online prescription drug ordering and delivery service.
Amazon Clinic will start by treating acne, asthma refills, birth control, cold sores, conjunctivitis, dandruff, eczema, erectile dysfunction, eyelash growth, genital herpes, gastroesophageal reflux disease, hyperlipidemia refills, hypertension refills, hypothyroidism refills, men's hair loss, migraines, motion sickness, rosacea, seasonal allergies, sinusitis, smoking cessation, urinary tract infections, and yeast infections, according to the company.
The announcement was the latest step in this year’s flurry of business activity aiming squarely at primary care.
In March, Amazon announced the company would partner with Teladoc Health for telehealth services offered through Amazon’s Echo devices. In July, the company announced its $3.8 billion deal with One Medical, which prompted requests for information by the Federal Trade Commission. The next month, Amazon announced its Amazon Care primary care service would close by the end of 2022.
Along with Amazon, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Humana, and Walmart all have pledged to supply primary care via clinics, telehealth services, or both, over the last few years. Just this month, VillageMD announced it would acquire Summit Health-CityMD in an $8.9 billion deal, working with investments from Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and a subsidiary of Cigna Corp. health insurance company.
This article originally appeared on Medical Economics®.