Amazon tiers healthcare prices

Amazon's most recent healthcare initiative is focused on price transparency and tiers pricing for healthcare services based on convenience and quality, according to Forbes.

Since launching late last year, Amazon Clinic has contracted with four digital health startups to provide video visits and virtual messaging services across the U.S. The company offers cash-pay telehealth for around 30 medical conditions at multiple price points based on location, wait times and quality.

Nworah Ayogu, MD, chief medical officer and general management of Amazon Clinic, told Forbes customers have the option to choose a low-cost provider or prioritize speed for a few dollars extra. For example, a person with COVID-19 in Wyoming could pay $35 to message a physician and receive a response in 45 minutes, or pay $40 for a guaranteed response in 30 minutes, according to the report.

"We think really being able to surface different options for different customers lets them choose what's important to them," Dr. Ayogu told Forbes. He also said pricing and wait times can change over time, even over a 24-hour period.

Amazon Clinic is contracted with Hello Alpha and Curai Health for asynchronous care and SteadyMD for asynchronous and real-time care. Dr. Ayogu said the companies were selected for delivering virtual care in a "very consumer-obsessed way," according to Forbes.

Amazon also acquired One Medical last year, which is a virtual and in-person care network. One Medical offers subscriptions for $199 per year. Nick Rogers, vice president, head of revenue cycle at One Medical, told Becker's he is excited to continue developing AI-assisted solutions for revenue cycle operations.

"Between clinical documentation and coding, there is a burgeoning opportunity to transform the mid-cycle in healthcare providers of all sizes. Together with Amazon, One Medical aims to make the healthcare experience easier, faster, more personal, and more convenient for everyone," he said.

Dr. Ayogu also noted that accepting insurance in the future would make Amazon Clinic's care more affordable, and the company has its sights set on Medicare and Medicaid patients, if it can "unravel" the regulatory complexity of serving them.

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