What is Amazon Care – How does it Work?

Amazon has plans to disrupt the $3.8 trillion healthcare industry with Amazon Care – its telemedicine service. Part of the motivation is to reduce health care costs for its own workforce. Given Amazon’s history of disrupting established industries, this Amazon Healthcare service will be followed closely by many in the healthcare industry and beyond. In this post, we will explain what you need to know about Amazon Care, including answering the first question that comes to mind – What is Amazon Care and how does it work?

"How Amazon Care Works"

What is Amazon Care?

Amazon care is an on-demand health care service. It combines the best parts of virtual care with a new approach to in-person care that brings clinicians directly to the patient at their home or office location.

It is currently designed to coordinate care for Amazon employees and their family members.

However, Amazon has plans to offer its telemedicine service to other employers and has announced that it will expand the service to all 50 states in 2021.

How Does Amazon Care Work?

Amazon Care gives users access to a mix of in-person and virtual medical care in the home

The Service incorporates a telehealth app, prescription delivery, and the option to schedule a visit with a physician at patients’ homes and offices.

Users pay for consultations and medications via Amazon.com.

Services are coordinated using the Amazon Care app, with Amazon sending a medical professional into a patient’s home when needed.

Through the mobile app, you can message, talk, or video chat with doctors and nurses.

In some locations, the healthcare workers can visit employees at work or in their homes for exams and labs.

Additionally, Amazon’s telemedicine service also arranges prescription deliveries where necessary.

Seatle Area Pilot

Amazon telehealth started as a pilot service for Seattle-area Amazon employees and their families.

Currently, Amazon employees in the greater Seattle area have access to Amazon Telehealth services.

Additionally, they have access to in-home care for follow-up needs such as blood draws or perform a physical examination. 

Washington State Expansion

In September 2020, Amazon announced that it would be expanding its Amazon Care app-based services to the rest of its employees in the state of Washington.

What Services Can you Get with Amazon Care?

Currently, Amazon’s telemedicine services give instant access to a range of urgent and primary care services.

This includes:

  • COVID-19 and flu testing
  • Vaccinations
  • Treatment of illnesses and injuries
  • Preventive care
  • Sexual health
  • Prescription requests,  refills, and delivery

When did Amazon Care Launch?

Amazon Care pilots launched in Seattle in 2019 and rolled out to the rest of Washington in September 2020.

Amazon has plans to operate its telemedicine services in multiple states.

In March 2021, Amazon announced it is expanding its telemedicine services across the U.S.

First, the company is planning a state-wide rollout of Amazon Care in Washington.

This will include In-person services like home visits by nurses.

Additionally, Amazon is planning to add in-person services to cities including Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.

Furthermore, a nationwide expansion of the platform’s virtual care offering will begin later in 2021.

Why did Amazon Launch Amazon Care?

According to Business Insider, Amazon Care grew out of Jeff Bezos’ frustration with healthcare costs.

In the United States, employers insure about half of Americans and spend more than $880 billion on healthcare each year.

For example at Walmart, healthcare costs are the second-highest expenditure behind wages in 2018.

Also, since 2009, average family healthcare premiums have risen 54% and workers’ contributions have increased 71%.

However, wages have only increased 26% and inflation 20%, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

As a result, Amazon’s human resources department and Grand Challenge, its secretive lab for long-term ideas, came up with Amazon Care.

The service has now become the company’s priority in healthcare, alongside Amazon Pharmacy, its Prime-friendly service for delivering people’s medications.

Three Components of Amazon Care

There are three critical aspects of Amazon Care:

Faster Access to Care

Amazon Care enables employers to provide access to high-quality medical care within 60 seconds for employees, including options for care around the clock through messaging or video.

Here again, Amazon has identified a critical gap in telehealth experiences today: access to a medical professional in 60 seconds or less.

As a result, Amazon’s telemedicine service eliminates lengthy wait times and travel times to see a doctor and provides care quickly in the comfort of patients’ homes, 24/7 and 365 days a year.

Healthcare Services Targeting Employers

Furthermore, Amazon has started selling its telemedicine services to other employers as a workplace benefit.

Amazon has recognized a pain point in employers struggling with rising healthcare costs.

The idea is that with Amazon Care, employers will be investing in the health and well-being of their employees.

Telehealth and Home-based care

Amazon has plans to operate its telemedicine services in multiple states.

In addition, Amazon has announced its participation in a home healthcare advocacy group – Moving Health at Home.

The group aims to promote home-based care, with remote patient monitoring models for chronic care and post-acute care management.

By joining this group, Amazon is aiming to promote the use of telemedicine services as a tool for chronic disease management.

Questions?

If you have further questions about Amazon Care, Telehealth, Virtual Care, or At-Home-HealthCare, please let us know in the comments section below.

Be sure to check out our other articles about TeleHealth, including:
Which States have Amazon Care?

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