Healthcare pros speak out against Amazon Care

Some healthcare professionals who worked for Amazon Care say the retail and tech giant's healthcare arm prioritized convenience before the best standard of care, according to an Aug. 19 report in The Washington Post

Six former employees and managers said Amazon's efforts to rapidly build Amazon Care led to conflicts with some medical professionals, who felt the company occasionally ignored their concerns about its approach to healthcare delivery. All spoke with The Post on the condition of anonymity due to nondisclosure agreements or current business relationships with Amazon. 

One 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. In the middle of patient appointments, providers sometimes sent messages to support staff to determine whether they were allowed to provide certain services, such as prescribing antibiotics, according to The Post

In a written statement to The Post, 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." 

Former staff also said the tech giant 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. 

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

Clinicians who treat Amazon Care patients work for Care Medical, which Amazon distinguishes as an independent company. In practice, former employees said Care Medical existed to execute Amazon's vision.

To read more about the above complaints and others, read The Post's report in full here

 

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