Amazon has decided to shut down its virtual and in-home health care service Amazon Care by the end of 2022. The reason for this has been the program’s inability to create partnerships with other larger companies. The limited clientele has also played a role in this decision.
Neil Lindsay, Amazon Health Services senior vice president, said in an email sent to Amazon Care employees that this decision was reached after many months of deliberations.
She noted that those who are enrolled in the service have loved their experience with Amazon Care, but ultimately this was not enough to sustain the program in the long term.
Amazon Care, which was initially a pilot program for Seattle, Wash. Employees in 2019, was designed to provide telehealth and on-demand services from professional clinicians. The nurses and providers on staff did not have a physical office in which they were working.
Amazon has made many moves towards growing its presence in the health care sector. In 2020 it acquired the company PillPack and rebranded its Amazon Pharmaceuticals.
Last month, Amazon acquired One Medical, a move that cost nearly $4 billion. One Medical has 188 medical offices.
Amazon Care remains the focus though. In February, Amazon had said they would expand this service to 20 more cities in the country. In April, a letter to shareholders spoke about the innovations brought forth by Amazon Care.
However, Amazon Care was not alone in this field as it competed with Aetna, Cigna, Humana, and Kaiser Permanente. All of these companies offered virtual medical services.
There have always been internal conflicts in the company according to some employees that have complained that the company does not prioritize health care services.
In a report in the Washington Post, nurses noted that they have limited resources to carry out the necessary services under Amazon Care.