Amazon to Buy Medical for $3.9 Billion; The FTC is investigating

In July 2022, Amazon announced that it had entered into a “definitive merger” to acquire One Medical, a primary care organization. According to first press release When the company announced its acquisition plans, it described One Medical as a “national, human-centered, technology-driven primary care organization.” Also a doctor provided an update in August that it had signed a deal with Amazon, assuring its current customers that the deal wouldn’t change anything for them.

Other sites explained that One Medical operates like the “Netflix” of healthcare, offering a $199 annual subscription plan that gives members access to 125 in-person or virtual clinics across the country. Here’s more about the acquisition, what prompted it, and what could be next for Amazon-powered healthcare.

Amazon is getting into healthcare

Amazon has long sought a move into healthcare, and for good reason, as the healthcare market is valued at nearly $4 trillion. Amazon first attempted to enter the healthcare market by launching its own healthcare company, Amazon Care. Amazon officially announcement in August 2022 that it would drop plans to launch Amazon Care, which the company had planned to be a primary care model combining both telehealth and in-person services.

Despite the fact that Amazon Care had been in the works for three years and had already launched in all 50 states, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services, Neil Lindsay, declared that Amazon Care would not be a long-term solution for its customers. The official closing date for Amazon Health through Amazon Care is December 31, 2022.

Now, it looks like Amazon has set its sights on One Medical instead, which already has a base established of 188 offices, 29 markets, more than 767,000 members and a relationship with 8,000 companies that offer the services to their employees. The company, while growing since its creation in 2007, has reported significant losses each year and said it has yet to make a profit, Amazon will also acquire One Medical’s debt as part of the deal.

In Amazon’s official press release, Lindsay and Amir Dan Rubin, CEO of One Medical CEO (who will also remain CEO once the acquisition is complete) said the deal is one that will “transform” healthcare.

“We believe healthcare is high on the list of experiences that need to be reinvented. Make an appointment, wait weeks or even months to be seen, miss work, go to the clinic, find a parking space, wait in the waiting room and then in the examination room for minutes that are too often in a hurry with a doctor and then take another trip to a pharmacy – we see many opportunities to both improve the quality of the experience and give people back valuable time in their days,” said Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services.

“The opportunity to transform healthcare and improve outcomes by combining One Medical’s human-centered, technology-driven model and exceptional team with Amazon’s customer obsession, the story invention and the willingness to invest for the long term is so exciting”, added Amir Dan Rubin, CEO of One Medical.

Why the FTC is interested in Amazon

On September 5, reports distributed that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating Amazon’s plans to buy One Medical, as well as their plans to buy iRobot, also a billion-plus deal. (And, just to keep the facts straight, these two deals would also happen after Amazon also bought MGM for $8.5 billion in March 2022.)

Apparently, Amazon plans to collect more consumer data from both offerings, such as home mapping through things like the Roomba vacuum cleaner and FTC chairwoman Lina Khan. was critical from Amazon in the past. Reportedly, the FTC will review both business acquisitions to see if they violate antitrust laws and whether the data acquired from Amazon will give the company unfair advantages in their respective markets.

The FTC isn’t alone in being skeptical of Amazon’s reach into many different markets, including healthcare. For example, Kate Bahn, chief economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. asked why retailers are quickly becoming the source of healthcare in the United States, point out that so-called “one-stop shops” have in fact historically proven to increase costs and deny access to patients, especially those in rural areas. At the heart of these concerns is the fact that retailer-driven healthcare is primarily designed for profits, not patients, and will not actually improve many of the difficult challenges plaguing healthcare today. today.

And while healthcare certainly needs an overhaul in several areas, Bahn isn’t convinced that Amazon will be alone in doing so. “The acquisition of Amazon does not necessarily portend these negative effects of commodified and increasingly monopolized health care, but given general trends, there should be a much higher level of control,” he said. -she writes. “Policymakers and antitrust authorities need to pay close attention to the outcomes when a healthcare provider becomes a subsidiary of a business conglomerate already known for poor working conditions and dubious business tactics.”

Social media comments also expressed concerns about Amazon’s shift to healthcare. “This should not be allowed!!!” wrote Chet Morgan on Facebook. “It should be considered a monopoly, even if it’s not the same industry. That’s too much power for one man. This takes us away from our principles of freedom. The bigger these societies are, the less freedom we will have!!! We need to put an end to the hoarding of wealth like this. You have to set limits!!!”

What does this mean for nurses?

Amazon and OneMedical will have to provide more information to the FTC after its request, but if the agreement is formally reached, nurses could expect there to be many future opportunities to get involved with the company. owned by Amazon.

According to One Medical career, the company is looking to make big changes in healthcare: “Working to fix a broken healthcare system and changing people’s lives is incredibly rewarding work, and it’s made even better by the incredible culture of One Medical. There is no ego here. There are no stupid questions or stupid ideas. We learn from each other, we listen to each other and we collaborate to create a truly innovative and human-centered practice that people love. And on top of all that, we have fun doing it.

The page also states that One Medical benefits include:

  • Paid sabbatical leave for your 5th and 10th year
  • Health, vision and dental insurance paid
  • The PTO retirement program gives you cash for up to 40 accumulated PTO hours each year
  • Free One Medical memberships for you and three friends or family members
  • Pre-tax benefits for commuters
  • Maternity and paternity leave paid at 100% of your base salary
  • Child care credit

Of course, this official statement could change once Amazon takes over, but there are already plenty of open positions on the One Medical Career Clinicians page, specifically for Nurse Practitioners. So if you’re looking to get involved in Amazon’s first foray into healthcare, now might be the perfect time to do so.

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