Daily Briefing

Around the nation: Amazon's new plan for healthcare services


Amazon has consolidated its virtual and primary care services under one healthcare brand, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, Texas, and Washington. 

  • California: Los Angeles County supervisors last month unanimously voted to buy and forgive millions of dollars of medical debt as part of a larger county initiative to address medical debt in the community. Currently, around 800,000 county residents have $2.9 billion in medical debt. Under the measure, the county will enter a pilot program with Undue Medical Debt, a national organization that purchases medical debt for pennies on the dollar before retiring it. "Medical debt is largely out of people's control, but it is devastating families across L.A. County, especially for people living on the brink of poverty," said county supervisor Janice Hahn, who co-authored the measure. "Luckily for us, this is low-hanging fruit. I think we have a moral obligation to seize this opportunity." According to Hahn's office, L.A. County's $5 million public health investment will be able to eliminate $500 million in debt for 150,000 residents. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said it hopes to launch the pilot program in the coming months. The county is also working on other initiatives to prevent medical debt in the first place, including boosting hospital financial assistance programs and tracking hospital debt collection practices. (Work, KFF Health News, 6/25)
  • Texas: Vizient last month announced plans to acquire full ownership of healthcare consulting and analytics firm Kaufman Hall, Modern Healthcare reports. In 2021, Vizient made a minority investment in Kaufman Hall. Now, the company is exercising its option to acquire the remaining interest in Kaufman Hall from Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity firm and the company's current majority owner. Over the last few years, Vizient has expanded its data analytics and consulting services. In 2023, the company formed a strategic partnership with Tiller-Hewitt HealthCare Strategies and ShareMD Connect. According to Vizient and Kaufman Hall, the proposed transaction is expected to close in the second half of the year after it goes through regulatory review. (Kacik, Modern Healthcare, 6/25)
  • Washington: Amazon recently announced plans to consolidate its virtual care and primary care services under one brand. Going forward, Amazon Clinic, the company's virtual care service launched in 2022, will be rebranded as Amazon One Medical's pay-per-visit telehealth service. According to Amazon, the decision to move its virtual care service under the One Medical umbrella will give consumers more care options. The company also said that it plans to improve the service by making the per-visit pricing more affordable and reducing the number of steps needed to start a visit on its website or app. "It's simply too hard to get the medical care you need, when you need it, and affordably—long waits, high costs, and impersonal care make it unnecessarily difficult for many patients today. We're focused on improving both the occasional and ongoing medical care experience," said Neil Lindsay, SVP of Amazon Health Services. "Amazon One Medical's Pay-per-visit telehealth service makes it simpler for customers looking for care to see a provider, with fewer clicks and even lower per-visit pricing. With Amazon One Medical, customers can choose the medical care service that best meets their needs—a single visit for occasional, common conditions, or a membership that supports access to ongoing care with an app that makes things like getting on-demand virtual care, appointments and managing prescriptions fast and simple." (Wicklund, HealthLeaders, 6/27; Landi, Fierce Healthcare, 6/27)

Why Amazon's One Medical and health systems need each other

Amazon's acquisition of One Medical has the potential to reshape the healthcare industry, but it needs the help of incumbent health systems to succeed. Take a closer look at the relationship between One Medical and health systems, including the benefits of these partnerships for both parties and the potential impact on the healthcare industry.


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