Amazon to end Amazon Care services for employers

Amazon said it plans to cease operations of its Amazon Care service after Dec. 31. 

In an email sent to Amazon Health Services employees Aug. 24, Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services, said, "we've determined that Amazon Care isn't the right long-term solution for our enterprise customers, and have decided that we will no longer offer Amazon Care." 

Amazon provided a copy of the internal email to Becker's

Amazon Care, which launched in 2019, has half a dozen corporate customers, including Hilton, Silicon Labs, Precor and Amazon-owned Whole Foods. According to the email, those who work for Amazon Care will have the chance to join other parts of the health services organization or other teams at Amazon.  

In addition, Mr. Lindsay said employees looking for roles outside of Amazon will also be supported by the company. 

"This decision wasn't made lightly and only became clear after many months of careful consideration," wrote Mr. Lindsay in the email. "Although our enrolled members have loved many aspects of Amazon Care, it is not a complete enough offering for the large enterprise customers we have been targeting, and wasn't going to work long-term."

The decision comes shortly after Kristen Helton, PhD, general manager and director of Amazon Care, said she was taking a break from the company to spend time with her family and after six former employees and managers of Amazon Care expressed concerns about the company. 

The employees told The Washington Post that Amazon's efforts to rapidly build Amazon Care caused conflicts with some medical professionals who felt the company occasionally ignored their concerns about its approach to healthcare delivery. 

A former telehealth nurse said Amazon Care asked Seattle-based clinical staff to get licensed in multiple states, resulting in clinicians practicing in so many places that they had difficulty keeping track of various state regulations.

Former staff also said Amazon decided not to wait for a "widely used medical software company" to create a custom EHR and chose to go with what one called a "bargain basement program" that complicated care delivery. 

Amazon spokesperson Christina Smith said Amazon Care has a "care coordination team and dedicated licensing team that keeps track of local regulations and supports clinicians providing care across states" in line with "common practice for providers who work in telehealth settings." 

Ms. Smith also said Amazon "uses a leading national vendor" and "follows all applicable requirements" for patients' medical records.

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