The news: Amazon Care is planning to launch in-person home care visits in 20 more major cities (in addition to its existing operations in the state of Washington; Washington DC; and Baltimore). The combination of telehealth and in-person care rounds out Amazon Care’s hybrid care ambitions.
How Amazon Care works: First launched around two years ago, Amazon Care piloted its virtual care service to its employees only—but in March, it launched its nationwide expansion to employer customers.
- Users get access to a mobile app that connects them with virtual doctor’s visits, house visits, and prescriptions.
- It sources its clinical staff through the clinical provider network Care Medical.
Where Amazon Care is headed: Amazon Care is currently available to over 40,000 users, largely Amazon employees.
- In an ancillary healthcare move, Amazon is also scaling its on-site health clinics via its partnership with primary care company Crossover Health—which offers Amazon employees in-person primary care, behavioral health services, physical therapy, and health coaching in 17 locations across the US.
- Considering its most recent move into in-person care, Amazon could potentially build synergies with its Crossover Health partnership and Amazon Care business to push deeper into the primary care space.
The bigger picture: Even though telehealth usage is dropping off now from the height it reached during the pandemic, healthcare stakeholders like Amazon are still doubling down on their telehealth plays.
Consumers’ telehealth adoption rates still indicate that telehealth is here to stay. Telehealth adoption rates are still higher than pre-pandemic levels: For several months now, telehealth visits have made up around 5% of US healthcare claims, per Fair Health, which means telehealth has cemented itself as a commodity in healthcare and it isn’t going anywhere. Moreover, telemedicine users in the US are expected to make up 38.9% of the US population by 2025—up from 29.3% in 2021, according to our forecast.
Hospitals and health systems are still marching forward with their telehealth expansion plans, per a recent survey by the Center for Connected Medicine and KLAS Research. Eighty percent of hospitals and health systems said telehealth visits made up 20% or less of their total appointments from May to June 2021, yet most are still planning to expand telehealth to improve patient access and quality of care—particularly in the areas of chronic care management, behavioral health, and urgent care.