Amazon Care is a pilot medical clinic for employees.
Amazon has now launched its Amazon Care app in major app stores as part of its strategy to help Seattle area employees get more convenient and affordable health care.  Amazon Care, as CNBC revealed this fall, has been in the works for a few years. One website – Amazon.care – is live, and the company has recently released apps that offer health advice, virtual medical visits and personal support through a health professional who shows up at an employee's home or office.
Some giants companies such as Amazon are moving into primary care to reduce rising health care costs, hoping that it can help avoid costly emergency visits by catching health complaints earlier. The program can also help Amazon recruit and retain talent, since many companies will offer telemedicine apps, but few ̵
A spokesman for the company did not have additional information to share about the Amazon Care apps, but an insider told us what it is like to use them.
What is it like to use Amazon Care  To get started with Amazon Care, users need an Amazon company alias and must be based in the Seattle area. The program is not currently available to employees working in Amazon's fulfillment centers, but may expand over time.
Employees download the Care app and register with Amazon login information. They are then asked to agree to allow Amazon's health and welfare plan "for the use and disclosure of protected health information." It can include their employee's email, name, date of birth and so on.
Amazon then indicates that it is entering into an agreement with a third party medical group called Oasis Medical, which is a separate legal entity from the parent company. "Neither the plan nor Oasis will receive financial or in-kind compensation or reimbursement in exchange for using or disclosing PHI (personal health information) as described above," the disclosure form states.
This is intended to reassure Amazon employees that their health information will not be sold.
One step to sign up for the Amazon Care app
Amazon then guides the user to indicate whether they are the primary insurance holder or rely on an invitation code and informs them that anyone over the age of 18 must have an Amazon account , indicating that Amazon Care may be connected to Amazon's other services.
Next, the app lets them know about all the ways they can use Amazon Care instead of a person clinic. Just like the site, Amazon Care bills its service as "health care built around you," with "no more waiting rooms." It is also being marketed as a "first stop for health care" for employees, who can use it for services ranging from minor colds to sexual health services, such as birth control.
Amazon employees are told they can get health care on call
According to screenshots shared with CNBC, Amazon employees trying out the service get a welcome kit including a mobile phone holder and digital thermometer.
From there, they are asked whether they prefer a free chat with a nurse via messenger ("CareChat") or a video chat ("VideoCare") with a medical provider. An employee can share that they are feeling unwell, and a provider will follow up within minutes to ask a set of questions and find out if the patient needs to be seen personally.
In that case, a practitioner will be sent out and a map in the app shows their location and estimated time of arrival.
Amazon employees can also set up a profile with their payment methods, care history, and their relatives. Their care summary will include a potential diagnosis, with notes from the doctor and the treatment plan.
So far, the company has received dozens of positive ratings and reviews, suggesting that employees are pleased with the quality of care and convenience. There are also some questions about the quality of the experience, suggesting that Amazon is actively collecting feedback.
Amazon Care is billed as a first stop for health care
Despite its focus on employees, Amazon Care is seen by analysts and other health experts as a threat to established telemedicine companies offering similar services to consumers . Many of these companies have struggled to market and stand out in a competitive area. If Amazon Care succeeds among its employees, the company could one day sell it to millions of people who already rely on Amazon for groceries, entertainment and more.
A possible indication of bigger plans: In October, Amazon bought a small company called Health Navigator, which is known for its expertise in triage – that is, directing patients to the optimal place to be treated, whether at home and at home. waiting for a doctor or going straight to the emergency room.
The Amazon Care team is also growing rapidly, according to employee profiles on LinkedIn. Some well-known people include Kristi Henderson, a clinical operations manager who was previously a professor of population health at Dell Medical School and vice president of virtual care at Ascension; Bill Lead, a security manager from AWS; Nicole Coddington, a lead designer for the apps; Christine Henningsgaard, product and operations specialist from One Medical; and Ram Bhakta, a machine learning expert who previously worked at Microsoft.
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