Please support Telehealth.org’s ability to deliver helpful news, opinions, and analyses by turning off your ad blocker.
Amazon Care’s virtual care services are now available to employers nationwide. As the e-commerce mega-giant Amazon’s telehealth platform, the service dominates healthcare just as Amazon is dominating many other areas. Amazon started incubating its virtual care and on-demand services for its employees in Seattle in 2019.
Amazon Care’s Behavioral Services
Behavioral services offered to Amazon employees include:
- Free one-on-one counseling sessions—three sessions per person, per topic.
- Flexible modality options including in-person, phone, video, or text conversations
- Interactive self-care programs, including self-assessments and a stress resource center.
- Crisis and suicide prevention support and access to a licensed mental health clinician any time of day.
- Access to a self-paced app that offers computerized Cognitive Behavior Therapy, mindfulness resources, and personalized support for a broad range of mental health and wellness issues.
Expansion of Amazon Care to Nationwide Employers
In March 2021, Amazon healthcare expanded its services to include US-based employees of other corporations. Whole Foods and Silicon Labs are two notable employers using it for their employees. Since then, Amazon healthcare has steadily grown its footprint nationwide. Through strategic collaborations with technology giants such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple, Amazon Care’s services have become increasingly more appealing to employers nationwide. With more states and insurers expanding telehealth reimbursement and the industry increasing investor patronage, Amazon Care has gone national with its telemedicine services.
Today, Amazon CareAmazon Care provides both virtual care and on-demand home services. Users can consult healthcare providers quickly and conveniently through video or chat. They can also book in-person care at home or office. Amazon telehealth projects the telemedicine initiative as the “first stop” for urgent and primary care that a patient seeks from a general practitioner. Services range from infections, injuries, and illness treatment to birth control, pregnancy care, fertility, prescription requests, as well as many of the behavioral services described above.
Amazon Care offers to send a nurse practitioner for in-person treatment when virtual care fails to meet the required level of care. Users have the option to book follow-up visits and order online medicine deliveries. They can also view summaries of diagnosis, care, and treatment plans along with invoices on Amazon Care.
Prospects & Potential Market Disruption
In 20 major US cities, Amazon Care services are additionally available in-person. It has started an online pharmacy, Halo fitness trackers, and Alexa Together voice assistant to reinforce the Amazon telehealth venture. See Telehealth.org’s article Alexa Together: Remote Patient Monitoring is Available for Older Adults for more information. The parent Amazon company continues to invest heavily in Amazon Care to expand the platform and is adding more tech-based solutions focused on its “customer first” pitch. Although Amazon Care may seem to be enjoying a meteoric rise to the top of telehealth, the company has experienced setbacks.“Haven”, the name of the joint healthcare venture between Berkshire Hathaway, JP Morgan Chase, and Amazon ended prematurely after Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase backed out of it in 2021 despite a surge in telemedicine services due to COVID.
Amazon Care & Behavioral Practitioners
By expanding nationwide, Amazon is proving that it has the potential to successfully navigate often complex and conflicting healthcare requirements imposed by state and federal healthcare requirements. How that impacts behavioral clinicians delivering care is yet to be seen. Practicing professionals can expect that the mega-giant will bring innovation to automate services and increase access to the millions of people who either don’t get enough care or don’t get care at all – but will that be enough? Time will tell.
Telehealth.org encourages clinicians to be fully aware that Amazon Care services have entered the field. If Amazon introduces innovation to better serve those in need while allowing practitioners to adhere to legal and ethical requirements, it indeed will be revolutionary. Many companies have made similar promises but have seriously fallen short. Telehealth.org will continue to post updates, as we have with other significant contenders in the past.
Accepting Telehealth Jobs: 5 Big Legal & Ethical Mistakes to Avoid
Do you have questions about being employed or looking for employment from a digital health company? Online employment can pose dilemmas that leave clinicians at a loss for how to proceed. This program will answer your questions about how or reasonably uphold your legal and ethical mandates.
Great idea, I am a licensed psychologist and would like to know about this platform for telehealth services.
Firstly, I agree with everything that my colleagues have said. It is disgraceful honestly. Does any of this seem like a bad plot for another James Cameron movie? Honestly, beyond millennials, who would actually trust Amazon affiliated MH services. It seems like another way to data source. I wouldn’t feel comfortable.
I am leaving the mental health field rather than keep dealing with less and less pay for more and more work. I decided to offer a few spiritual life coaching sessions a week and retire to write instead. The complexities being added right and left such as the “surprise billing” and the fake “therapy” offered by text with betterhelp is driving this decision. Coupled with the fact that I have been licensed for over thirty years and because I have a master’s degree in Psychology instead of Social Work, I can’t get on panels and I have to pay for lifetime supervision. I can charge the same per hour as a life coach without all of this. (But of course, this means I can’t work with people who need mental health services.)
ABSOLUTELLY IN AGREEMENT!
Well, here we go again. The bar for practice just gets lower and lower. Don’t do it. Don’t participate in your killing your profession and your dignity. These corporate bully/vampires have NO UNDERSTANDING of what therapy is truly about and therapists don’t have to collude. I’d rather scrub floors than do this garbage. Three sessions per topic. Topic? Ok, your date raped you. Get over it. CogB is perfect for that, right? Not quite there? There’s an app for that. More like Telehell than telehealth
Thank you, Kai.
Seriously? Bezos is going to attempt to turn us all into gig workers? Every practitioner that I have spoken to (yes people that have master degrees and spent a ton of time and money) is unhappy with having to overwork to make quotas-which amazon loves-and they can’t pay their bills. I’ve dropped Amazon altogether and I hope others will too and ask for more from our healthcare and not allow everything to come under one company. I hope that telehealth.org will stop and consider the quality of care and advocate for the providers.