Amazon to shutter virtual health care service Amazon Care

Aug 24, 2022, 5:00 PM | Updated: Aug 25, 2022, 5:00 pm
FILE - An Amazon logo appears on a delivery van, Oct. 1, 2020, in Boston. Amazon is shutting down t...

FILE - An Amazon logo appears on a delivery van, Oct. 1, 2020, in Boston. Amazon is shutting down the hybrid virtual, in-home care service it’s spent years developing. The service, called Amazon Care, will end by Dec. 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

(AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is shutting down the hybrid virtual, in-home care service it’s spent years developing, a surprising move that underscores the challenges it faces as it moves into health care.

The service, called Amazon Care, will end by Dec. 31, according to an email sent to staff by Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services.

Amazon Care was launched in 2019 for Seattle-based Amazon’s Washington state employees, who served as trial users before the company made it available last year to its workers in all 50 states.

The service connects patients virtually with doctors and nurses who can provide treatment 24 hours a day. It does not have physical locations, but offers in-person services for things like vaccinations and flu testing in several cities, including Seattle and Washington, D.C.

Amazon’s decision to pull the plug on Amazon Care is even more surprising given the company said in February it was planning to expand the in-person care service to include 20 additional cities. Last summer, Amazon also began offering the service to private employers nationwide.

In the email sent to staff, Lindsay wrote that Amazon listened to feedback from employers and worked to improve Amazon Care.

“However, despite these efforts, we’ve determined that Amazon Care isn’t the right long-term solution for our enterprise customers,” Lindsay wrote.

He added that Amazon Care “is not a complete enough offering for the large enterprise customers we have been targeting, and wasn’t going to work long-term.”

An Amazon spokesperson declined to say how many people will lose their jobs because of the shutdown of Amazon Care.

Amazon Care isn’t the company’s first failed health effort. The tech and retail giant was also part of a short-lived collaboration with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway to improve health care costs. The three corporate giants formed an independent company called Haven to focus on improving care and manage expenses, but it dissolved last year.

Despite the setbacks, Amazon hasn’t relented on its focus on healthcare. Last month, it announced plans to spend $3.9 billion to buy the primary care organization One Medical, a membership-based service that offers virtual care as well as in-person visits. As of March, One Medical had about 767,000 members and 188 medical offices in 25 markets.

Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail, said given that Amazon is now investing in other areas of health, it is taking a more aggressive stance on exiting things that are not delivering results.

“The closure underlines how hard making inroads into the health market is,” Saunders said. “It serves as a warning that even with acquisitions, Amazon’s bid to shake up the sector will be incredibly difficult and possibly expensive.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Anti-Japan protesters on disputed islands march near the Japanese Consulate General in Shang...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: What’s behind strained China-Japan relations

TOKYO (AP) — Japan and China on Thursday mark the 50th anniversary of the 1972 normalization of their ties, but there isn’t much of a celebratory mood. Improved ties between Asia’s two biggest economies are considered vital to the region’s stability and prosperity, but they remain at odds over disputed East China Sea islands and […]
23 hours ago
Associated Press

Pollution from Florida mining a concern with Hurricane Ian

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The polluted leftovers of Florida’s phosphate fertilizer mining industry, more than 1 billion tons in “stacks” that resemble enormous ponds, are at risk for leaks or other contamination when Hurricane Ian comes ashore in the state, environmental groups say. Florida has 24 such phosphogypsum stacks, most of them concentrated in […]
23 hours ago
This GOES-East GeoCcolor satellite image taken at 10:10 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, and pr...
Associated Press

Hurricane Ian nears Florida coast, threatening floods, winds

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Florida residents rushed to board up their homes, stash precious belongings on upper floors and flee from oncoming Hurricane Ian, fearing the monstrous storm that knocked out power to all of Cuba and left 11 million people without power would slam into their state’s west coast with catastrophic winds and […]
23 hours ago
FILE - The angel Moroni statue atop the Salt Lake Temple is silhouetted against a cloud-covered sky...
Associated Press

Churches defend clergy loophole in child sex abuse reporting

It was a frigid Sunday evening at the Catholic Newman Center in Salt Lake City when the priest warned parishioners who had gathered after Mass that their right to private confessions was in jeopardy. A new law would break that sacred bond, the priest said, and directed the parishioners to sign a one-page form letter […]
23 hours ago
This photo released by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Sirhan Sir...
Associated Press

RFK assassin Sirhan Sirhan challenges his parole denial

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Sirhan Sirhan, who assassinated presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, is asking a judge on Wednesday to free him from prison by reversing California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s denial of his parole earlier this year. Sirhan shot Kennedy moments after the U.S. senator from New York claimed victory in California’s pivotal […]
23 hours ago
Follow @ktar923...
Sponsored Content by Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.

Sponsored Articles

...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Amazon to shutter virtual health care service Amazon Care