Amazon launches virtual health clinic for its Seattle employees

A new benefit for Amazon’s employees in the Seattle area is a virtual medical clinic that also offers in-person healthcare services.

The pilot program, called Amazon Care, provides a mobile app that enables employees to access virtual and in-person healthcare services from Oasis Medical Group, which is licensed in Washington state.

The services offered by Oasis Medical include an in-app video visit with a clinician for advice, answers, diagnoses, treatment or referrals, as well as an in-app text chat with a clinician for health advice and answers.

In addition, if recommended by a video provider, a mobile care nurse may conduct an in-person assessment, testing or treatment at an employee’s home, a designated room on the Amazon campus, or another location in the Seattle service area.

“Oasis Medical's clinicians are all trained in primary and urgent care,” according to the Amazon Care website. “You will see the name and license of the Oasis Medical clinician at the start of every interaction. Mobile care nurses and care couriers who come to your home or office will wear Amazon Care uniforms and will present an Oasis Medical badge for identification when they arrive.”

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An Amazon.com Inc. package sits in a bin before being placed on a delivery vehicle at the United States Postal Service (USPS) Joseph Curseen Jr. and Thomas Morris Jr. processing and distribution center in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. The USPS said it expects to deliver over 15 billion total pieces of mail this holiday season with expanded Sunday delivery operations in certain areas, delivering over six million packages each Sunday in December. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

While Oasis Medical will handle acute urgent care needs, general health questions, preventive care consultations, sexual health and travel health issues, they do not provide emergency medical services.

“During a video care visit, you may be prescribed medications consistent with our current scope of services,” states the Amazon website. “Many prescriptions can be delivered to you (by a care Courier) within two hours. Others can be sent to your preferred pharmacy for pick up.”

To be eligible for the Seattle-based program, adult employees and their dependents must be enrolled in an Amazon-sponsored health plan—other than Kaiser Permanente—and have a mobile device with a minimum of Android 6.0 or iOS 12.0 operating system.

“We use location-aware technology when you are using the Amazon Care mobile application to determine whether you are located in our available service area,” advises the website. “You can turn off location access through your mobile device’s settings, but this will prevent you from being able to use Amazon Care.”

The Amazon Care services are currently available Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. “We are working to expand our service hours,” notes the website.

Last year, Amazon formed a new venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase—called Haven—to tackle the problem of rising healthcare costs. The mission of Haven is to focus on the health needs of the 1.2 million Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and J.P Morgan employees.

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