September 30, 2022

Amazon Care is closing

Amazon Care is closing

Suspension

Amazon Care, the virtual and home health service it initially built for its employees, will close by the end of this year.

People who work for Amazon Care learned the news at a meeting on Wednesday, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they had signed nondisclosure agreements.

Amazon Care is available to employees of six corporate clients including Hilton, Silicon Labs, Precor and Amazon-owned Whole Foods, as well as its workforce. One of them said that workers were told that the service would be closed because these customers did not see the value of the service. And dozens of employees will lose their jobs at the end of the year, according to parents.

Amazon spokeswoman Christina Smith confirmed the decision and published a note announcing it with the Washington Post.

“This decision was not taken lightly and only became clear after several months of careful consideration,” Neil Lindsay, Amazon’s senior vice president of health, said in an email to employees. “Although our registered members liked many aspects of Amazon Care, it is not a complete enough offering for the large enterprise customers we were targeting, and it won’t work in the long run.”

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Post. Amazon first submitted the letter announcing the closure of GeekWire and Fierce Healthcare.

Sometimes Amazon’s health ambitions conflict with health best practices

The decision to close Amazon Care comes as a surprise given Amazon CEO Andy Jassy’s commitment to expanding healthcare investments in Amazon. It comes on the heels of Amazon’s $3.9 billion acquisition of healthcare startup One Medical last month, a deal that could still face antitrust scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission.

In his 2021 letter to shareholders, Jassy named Amazon Care as an example of the “type of iterative innovation” that is “pervasive across every team at Amazon.”

Amazon Care is currently available in nearly all of the country, and was supposed to expand to 20 cities for home care provided by mobile health nurses by the end of this year.

Last week, The Post reported on tensions between Amazon Care and the medical staff the company had brought in to treat patients. These medical professionals work for an independent company called Care Medical that is also closed. Six former employees told The Post that the two sides disagreed over Amazon’s quick and frugal approach to expanding AmazonCare, which some former employees felt prioritized business over medical best practices.

Amazon will see you now: tech giant buys healthcare chain for $3.9 billion

A former AmazonCare executive told The Post at the time that Amazon would try to do what it does in every other area of ​​business: They’ll try to make it better than everyone else, make it less expensive and get crazy credit because of the convenience. But health care is different. Difficult.”

In response, Amazon’s Smith told The Post in an email that Amazon has prioritized patient and employee safety and that “AmazonCare has evolved and improved for both patients and clinicians since the days of our pilot program.”

In his email, Lindsey said that Amazon Care employees could be assigned to other jobs within Amazon, and that the company would “support employees looking for jobs outside the company.”

Lindsay – Amazon Veteran took over The company’s new health services division in December 2021 – Emphasizes in his letter that Amazon remains committed to the healthcare business.

Our vision is to make it easier for people to access the healthcare products and services they need to get and stay healthy. We know achieving this won’t be easy or quick, but we think it’s important.”

This is the second major healthcare investment that Amazon has gone downhill. A health insurance venture called Haven, which I co-created with fund companies Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, closed last year.

A high-profile healthcare project supported by Amazon, JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway shutters

The company continues to operate Amazon Pharmacy, the prescription-ordering and delivery service that grew out of its 2018 acquisition of Pillpack. The cloud computing division, Amazon Web Services, has a significant presence in the healthcare space, using machine learning to analyze healthcare data for large healthcare organizations, among others.

In the year since taking over as CEO, Jassy has tried to focus on Amazon’s business, shutting down some retail operations and slowing growth in the logistics division.