Like Apple, Amazon to open health clinics for Seattle employees

Amazon is considering opening primary care clinics for employees at its headquarters in Seattle, two sources familiar with the matter told CNBC's Christina Farr.

The sources, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said the tentative plan is to hire a small number of physicians to start a pilot clinic later this year for a select group of employees, and to expand access in early 2019.

Amazon was previously looking to outsource the clinics and brought in vendors to pitch their services. However, one source told CNBC that after numerous discussions, the company decided to develop the clinics internally and began hiring for its health initiatives last year.

It is unclear if Amazon will make the health clinics available to its thousands of warehouse employees, who have separate health needs from its engineering and sales staff, Ms. Farr reports.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment to the publication about the reported decision.

The move echoes those taken by some of Amazon's biggest competitors. Apple declared plans earlier this year to develop clinics for its employees and their families. An Apple subsidiary, AC Wellness Network, has reportedly hired 40-plus individuals to staff those clinics.

Amazon has announced a number of moves into the healthcare space during the last year or so. In January, the company teamed up with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to start a venture aimed at lowering health costs for their collective employees. The nonprofit company hired prominent Boston-based Brigham and Women's surgeon Atul Gawande, MD, to lead the venture in June.

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