Amazon has launched its latest venture in healthcare with Amazon Clinic. This virtual care platform will provide services and support for nonurgent health and lifestyle needs. This was created with the goal of providing users with easy access to care that allows them to “skip the waiting room.”
This virtual healthcare service will provide care for approximately 20 common conditions that include acne, dandruff, seasonal allergies, heartburn, smoking cessation, and more. Additionally, prescription refill options are available. These will be fulfilled through Amazon Pharmacy or any pharmacy of the patient’s choosing. Amazon currently does not accept health insurance, but it can be used to pay for prescriptions that are prescribed by the platform’s licensed physicians.
Availability & Process
At the time of launch, Amazon Clinic will be available in 32 states. Communication is done via a secure portal. The patient, or customer, will select the condition that they are seeking treatment for. After choosing a preferred provider, they will answer questions and then be connected with a clinician at their convenience. They will also have the option to upload photos for reference. If the customer is there for a condition that isn’t treated, they will be notified before going any further with a provider. Pricing is set by each online clinic. However, you can compare prices before choosing which one you want to proceed with. Medication costs are separate from the appointment fees. Funds from flexible spending accounts (FSA) and healthcare spending accounts (HSA) can be used to pay for the service. Also included in the cost of a session is two weeks of follow-up messaging.
The Amazon Clinic site outlines its guidelines regarding HIPAA. It assures customers that their health data is protected under HIPAA guidelines.
At HIPAA Secure Now we’ll be watching how this progresses, along with other developments in the healthcare landscape. Of course, telehealth is definitely part of the way that healthcare will continue to grow. And we’ll be watching to make sure patient security is always part of the discussion!