This Week Health

Today: Amazon Announces Primary Care for Prime Members: For $9 Per Month

Will this make an impact? Is it more of a long term play? Today we take a look.

Transcript

Today in health, it Amazon announces primary care for prime members for $9 a month. Today, we're going to talk about it. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system. And creator this week health center channels and events dedicated to transform healthcare. One connection at a time. We want to thank our show sponsors who are investing in developing the next generation of health leaders.

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All right, let's take a look at this story. It's interesting. It's an interesting story. We've been talking about this in many different ways. Over the last couple of years, everybody's keeping an eye not only on Amazon, because it's important to keep an eye on Amazon. But also, we're trying to keep an eye on the other players as well.

We're trying to keep an eye on CVS and Walgreens. On Walmart. They have identified the primary care shortage as an opportunity for them. There is a number floating around out there that by 2033, we're going to have a massive shortage. Primary care doctors and therefore we're going to need. To have different ways of providing primary care to the population. So they are moving into this space pretty heavily and they are trying to figure out. How to establish a beachhead so that they can take advantage of that longterm.

So this article, I'm going to give you a little, a couple excerpts from Forbes. Over the years, Amazon has slowly continued to add exclusive offerings for its prime members ranging from rapid delivery to access to curated services today, the company announced latest edition prime access to primary care services through one medical platform for $9 a month.

One medical provides access to 24 by seven virtual care expedited care for common concerns, such as cold symptoms, skin issues. And the same or next day remote or in person appointments at one medical primary care offices, notably virtual care users will not have any additional costs as the entire services included. In the membership fee, alternatively patients that prefer office visits. I can use insurance or pay out of pocket. The one medical is normally available to a wider public for 199. Dollars prime members can now get it for $99 annually. With the option to include additional members for $66.

Each Amazon acquired one medical for 4 billion illustrated, a significant interest by the retail giant. It goes on study publicized by JAMA. Found that greater primary care physician supply was associated with improved mortality outcomes. Specifically the results of this study illustrated that every 10 additional primary care physicians per a hundred thousand people was associated with a 51.5 day increase in life expectancy. And improvement in mortality.

And then of course, there's other studies that go along with that. However, the research, unfortunately does not necessarily correlate with feasibility. The association of American medical colleges has indicated that the demand for primary care is far outpacing the supply. In fact, the organization expects that there will be primary care physician shortage. Between twenty one thousand four hundred and fifty five thousand two hundred, by the end of 2033. Meaning that certain communities and populations will have critically low access to primary care physicians. There are many potential reasons for the shortage.

It goes on to talk about that while these problems have been well documented, increasing access to care in meaningful way is challenging. Retail giants have recognized this problem and therefore eager to enter the industry. And they talk about the different ways that they are entering undoubtedly, this race to provide primary care services across the retail landscape can significantly improve access to care, especially with virtual care offerings. Becoming easier to access patients can now receive this care as long as they have high speed internet services, meaning. That rural communities and populations can also benefit. Through though time will tell how this industry and overall state of primary care continues to evolve.

One thing is certain with innovative new markets disruptors, there are significant opportunities to make a difference in the lives of millions of patients. All right. So that's the article. As I try to end all of these with, so what if I were sitting in the CIO chair? How would I view this? One, I think it's important to start to be creative. We have primary care physicians.

We have a suite of services, perhaps. There is an offering that is a hundred dollars a year for virtual visits or something to that effect that we could. As a leadership team, sit down, come up with, and then pilot amongst the community. Maybe we could do that for a specific employer. So if that's the model that they're going with, potentially, it's a model that we can implement. Around our community and with certain employers in our community, that's one. Way of thinking about it.

The second is that a lot of this is going to be dependent on technology and specifically virtual care. I would button up our virtual care offering any used to be really rock solid. The user experience needs to be great. The clinician experience needs to be great. One of the advantages that we have is the integration of the primary care and the acute care. Medical records and then the ability to overlay the new large language models and other things to provide summaries and easier explanation of billing and those kinds of things.

So remove the friction, make it easier, provide greater value for those patients that are going to be coming in through that mechanism. And rec just recognize that there is a whole host of people that are going to access. Care differently. So your. Your chronic patients are going to continue to access the way they are.

Your older community is probably going to continue to access care the way they are, but you have a younger community that's coming up that, this price that is the exact population that Amazon's trying to change their behavior. Long-term. And you could actually step in, in the middle of that and make sure that behavior has not changed, that they are coming through the local healthcare provider.

That's going to be a technology challenge that technology play. I would continue to iterate on top of the, your platforms and make them easier and simpler. And that's how I would focus in on it. How do you make it easier and simpler? And then how do you create more value from the services that you do offer and the information that you are collecting? And perhaps we finally are getting to the point where we can take some of the consumer based. Tools that are providing information. Around health, like my continuous glucose monitor that I'm wearing right now, which no doctor at all is looking at. But it is running through AI algorithms and it's giving me coaching and that kind of stuff.

Perhaps health systems can start to leverage and take advantage of that. The apple watch and other types of things that are out there scales. You name it there's tons of devices. Perhaps we can bring that in and not see it as clutter, but see it as valuable data and that we could provide a valuable service around it.

So those are just some of the thoughts. That I have in my head right now around this and how I'm viewing this. Is this going to change things overnight? No, I don't think I would be shocked if they get a lot of traction on this. I think the play for Amazon long-term is to get into the health insurance market. And it may change their business model too much.

They may be staying away from it, but they have to get that first dollar of care. And then they have to essentially stand in the middle of the consumer of healthcare and the acute care facility and provide additional value and services on top of that. If they can do that. Or CVS or Walgreens or Walmart health.

I think they will have solidified a place in the healthcare market. Long-term so we'll see what happens. All right. That's all for today. Don't forget to share this podcast with a friend or colleague. We want to thank our sponsors who are invested in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders.

Short test artist, site parlance, certified health. Notable and 📍 service now. Great companies. Check them out this week out.com/today. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.

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