Will Amazon’s Acquisition of One Medical Force Health Systems to Reinvent Their Primary Care Delivery?

Primary care has been long overdue for a reset, and Amazon’s recent acquisition of One Medical is confirmation that innovative change can no longer be avoided.

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on ECG's website.

The $3.9 billion purchase of a technology-focused primary care company demonstrates Amazon’s desire to continue its foray into medical care delivery, with a committed focus on healthcare, wellness, and the customer experience.

While this is not Amazon’s first entry in the healthcare arena, it will be its most significant as it obtains a consumer-friendly model that can be rapidly scaled in communities across the country. One Medical is a membership-based service that offers patients both in person and virtual primary care physician visits, and its acquisition provides Amazon with a ready-built platform to immediately deliver care in many large markets across the country. One Medical’s significant growth over the past 15 years is attributed to its technology-focused care experience and low-cost footprint, achieved via strategic partnerships and investments. One Medical is built upon the premise of 24/7 primary care and mental health access based on a combination of on demand virtual care and same-/next-day appointments in busy locations.

While health systems often react to payer demands, it is consumers who drive primary care decisions, and Amazon is courting the wellness-focused millennials and Generation Z, who are the largest purchaser population. These consumers are increasing the demand for a technology-focused approach to wellness, which typically starts with primary care. This acquisition further reflects several trends that all suggest the traditional primary care delivery model will soon be forced to change.

  • Consumers increasingly value access and a seamless care experience. Most primary care networks are dependent upon personal provider relationships, but as Amazon has demonstrated with its disruptions to other markets, consumers are willing to shift loyalties for convenience, delivery speed, and ease of access. Health systems that want to stay competitive must reevaluate the unique needs of their patient population and offer tailored solutions.
  • Quality care at a reasonable cost is desired by consumers. One Medical’s annual membership fee of $199 not only grants access to concierge-like services, but it also captures patients who may be focused on wellness but are reluctant to engage with traditional health delivery systems. One in five millennials says they cannot afford basic healthcare services, whereas the average American spends $1,800 per year on supplemental health and fitness services. Click here to continue>>

 

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