By Kat Jercich
Amazon is reportedly looking to launch its app-based home visits in 20 major U.S. cities through 2022.
According to Insider‘s Blake Dodge, Amazon Care will bring the “full package” of telehealth and in-person services to Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas and Boston in 2021, with 16 more to follow the next year.
Amazon representatives told Healthcare IT News after publication that the company does not comment on rumors or speculation.
WHY IT MATTERS
Amazon Care has grown rapidly since it was first offered exclusively to the tech giant’s Seattle-based employees in 2019.
This past September, Amazon announced it would allow employees to access the app-based care throughout Washington state. It then made services available to other employers in the state before officially expanding its telehealth option to employers in all 50 states this summer.
But its in-person services, which include follow-up blood draws and exams, have been limited so far to users in D.C. and Baltimore, as well as in Washington state.
Now, reports Dodge, Amazon plans to offer in-person options in Atlanta, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, New York, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, San Jose and St. Louis in 2022.
That would bring the total number of cities up to 22, in addition to the entirety of Washington state.
Dodge also notes that Amazon has been attempting to make inroads at health plans, which would open up the service to insured people in addition to employer clients.
THE LARGER TREND
In June, an Amazon exec said it had signed several companies to the company’s telehealth service.
At the time, VP Babak Parviz said the company is planning to make the “hybrid” virtual/in-person service available in additional regions “as fast as we can.”
Amazon also made waves in July with news of its at-home COVID-19 testing kit, which can be purchased for $39.99.
ON THE RECORD
“Healthcare is in the very early stages of a transformation to an entirely new model of care,” wrote healthcare digital strategist Paddy Padmanabhan in a column for Healthcare IT News this spring. “If Amazon is the one to deliver the big breakthrough we have been waiting for, so be it. Someone has to do something.”
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