The move is just a blip in the tech giant’s general push into the US healthcare market.
Amazon will stop offering its Amazon Care primary health-care services at the end of this year, according to an internal memo published by GeekWire. The company made the decision after determining that it wasn’t “the right long-term solution for our enterprise customers”.
The surprising move is “a major course correction” in Amazon’s broader foray into healthcare, says GeekWire. Amazon says the decision impacts only Amazon Care, and not its other healthcare initiatives.
“This decision wasn’t made lightly and only became clear after many months of careful consideration”, said Neil Lindsay, Amazon Health Services senior vice president, in an email to Amazon Health Services employees. “Although our enrolled members have loved many aspects of Amazon Care, it is not a complete enough offering for the large enterprise customers we have been targeting, and wasn’t going to work long-term.”
Amazon says company leaders determined that the Amazon Care business model wasn’t working prior to and independent from its agreement to acquire primary care company One Medical for $3.9 billion, which was announced July 21. That acquisition is still expected to move ahead, pending regulatory approval.
The company did not disclose the number of employees who will be impacted by its decision to shut down Amazon Care.
Amazon promises smooth transition
“Many Care employees will have an opportunity to join other parts of the Health Services organization or other teams at Amazon – which we’ll be discussing with many of you shortly – and we’ll also support employees looking for roles outside of the company”, Lindsay wrote in the memo to employees.
Amazon Care was launched in 2019 as a pilot program for employees in the Seattle area, where Amazon is headquartered. Last year it expanded to non-Amazon employees across the nation.
It’s a hybrid of virtual, in-home primary care and urgent care services, without brick-and-mortar clinics or physical locations. Amazon says Amazon Care patients can request copies of their medical records upon request. Amazon says it complies with all applicable laws for patient medical records. The company says it will also work with enterprise customers to support their needs through the end of the year.