February 26, 2024

Amazon expands its virtual health clinic nationwide


New York
CNN
 — 

Amazon’s virtual clinic is now available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., the company announced on Tuesday.

Amazon Clinic launched last November and offers customers 24/7 access to third-party health-care providers directly on Amazon’s website and mobile app. With the service, Amazon customers can receive telehealth treatment for dozens of common conditions, such as pink eye, urinary tract infections and hair loss.

The company said on Tuesday that in addition to message-based consultations being available in 34 states, Amazon Clinic now supports video visits nationwide. Amazon Clinic currently does not accept insurance, but medication prescribed by clinicians may be covered by insurance.

“At Amazon, we want to make it dramatically easier for people to get and stay healthy, and we’re doing that by helping customers get the care and medications they need in the way that is most convenient for them,” Dr. Nworah Ayogu, the chief medical officer and general manager at Amazon Clinic, said in a blog post Tuesday.

The virtual service will allow customers to see the cost before they start the visit, Ayogu said.

Amazon’s foray into the health care space comes as other retailers have made similar moves, from CVS to Walgreens to Walmart. The service will also face competition from urgent-care clinics that are popping up across the country as health care costs spiral and doctors visits for routine matters become impossible to book.

A huge number of telehealth startups grew out of the pandemic, although the market growth has begun to subside.

In recent years, Amazon has gradually been growing its footprint in the health care sector. In 2020, the company launched its own digital drugstore, Amazon Pharmacy. Earlier this year, Amazon also closed its acquisition of health care provider One Medical in a $3.9 billion deal.

Amazon had also partnered with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway to provide better health care services and insurance at a lower cost to workers and families at the three companies, and possibly other businesses, too. That effort, however, never got off the ground and ultimately shut down in 2021.

The latest expansion of Amazon Clinic comes as the company continues to broaden its reach into every corner of its customers’ lives. The company now oversees grocery stores, produces films and TV shows for its streaming service, and sells a vast array of home devices.

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