Amazon Clinic Makes Its Debut: What Seniors and Caregivers Need to Know

Amazon is already a ubiquitous enterprise. The company is expanding its healthcare presence even further with the launch of Amazon Clinic. Amazon Clinic is an online portal that will allow individuals, including seniors, to access personalized treatments and prescriptions for various medical issues and conditions, including urinary tract infections, migraines, and other ailments. Amazon Clinic formally launched on November 15, 2022, in 32 states.

Six Key Facts to Know About Amazon Clinic

There are six key facts that you need to know about Amazon Clinic:

  1. Amazon Clinic does not yet accept insurance. However, customers can use insurance to help pay for medications prescribed by a licensed clinician through the platform.
  2. Amazon Clinic said patients could fill prescriptions using Amazon Pharmacy and any other pharmacy.
  3. To use the service, customers select the condition they’re interested in speaking about and then choose a preferred provider.
  4. After completing a questionnaire, they’ll connect with a clinician in a secure messaging portal to respond at the customer’s convenience.
  5. Amazon said if a condition is not suitable to be treated through the service, it will let customers know before they connect with a provider.
  6. Two weeks of follow-up messages are included with the initial consultation cost. In “many cases,” Amazon said it would be equal to or less than the average copay in a brick-and-mortar world doctor’s office.

How Does Amazon Clinic Work?

Amazon clinic provides very simple instructions as to how its new program works.

According to Amazon Clinic, a prospective customer selects an online clinic. The customer then fills out an intake questionnaire. Unlike telemedicine services, Amazon Clinic advises that there is a need to pick up the phone or have a video call with a healthcare provider. Sometimes, you may need to upload pictures of the affected area.

Once this preliminary process is completed, a licensed clinician in the United States will review your information. The clinician will send you a treatment plan with prescriptions and behavioral recommendations. After your treatment plan, you can message your clinician with follow-up questions for up to 14 more days at no additional cost.

Amazon Clinic notes:

At Amazon, we want to make it dramatically easier for people to get and stay healthy. We’ve begun that journey with Amazon Pharmacy—where customers can get their medication delivered to their door conveniently—in just two days for Prime Members. We’ve also agreed to acquire One Medical, a human-centered and technology-powered primary care provider. One Medical member benefits from a dedicated relationship with their provider, a friendly and convenient in-office experience, and ongoing engagement via a dedicated app.

Your Health Data Is Secure

Amazon Clinic makes it a point to note that all healthcare data is secure. This includes information that may be communicated back and forth between a customer and a clinician. A secure communications portal is always used for this purpose.

According to Amazon Clinic:

We care deeply about customer privacy and data security. We have extensive experience protecting data of all kinds appropriately across various businesses and remain focused on protecting customers’ health information. We have stringent customer privacy policies and comply with HIPAA and all other applicable laws and regulations.

Amazon Clinic Follows Announcement That Amazon Care Was Closing

The launch of Amazon Clinic follows the announcement this summer that Amazon Care is closing. Amazon Care will cease operations on December 31, 2022. Amazon Care differed significantly from Amazon Clinic. While Amazon Clinic is open to the public generally, Amazon care is a telehealth service offered to corporate customers.

Amazon Care launched in 2019 as a pilot for employees. Amazon Care provides virtual urgent care. It also offered in-home visits from nurses for a fee to perform testing and vaccinations.

Benefits of Services Like Amazon Clinic for Seniors

Seniors who take advantage of programs like Amazon Clinic can enjoy several material benefits. Five of the more significant benefits seniors can realize by using programs like Amazon Clinic as needed include:

  • Reduce the number of unnecessary hospital visits, including trips to the emergency room or urgent care, by allowing a senior to be seen by a provider in his or her residence.
  • Reduce the burden and cost of travel expenses associated with trips for medical care.
  • Reduce the stress put on caregivers for seniors. For example, adults caring for senior parents often have competing responsibilities. Programs like Amazon Clinic can help provide balance by eliminating travel time and time spent in a brick-and-mortar world doctor’s office, urgent care center, or emergency department.
  • Improve overall patient satisfaction. Seniors generally have had a great response to services like those offered through Amazon Clinic, including a sense of better control over their healthcare.
  • Finally, programs like Amazon Clinic generally decrease the amount of money expended on healthcare by a senior.

Amazon Clinic Maintains Senior-Friendly Interface

Finally, it is important to point out that Amazon Clinic maintains a particularly senior-friendly interface for its customers. A senior need not even experience working with face-to-face audio and visual communication systems to obtain services from Amazon Clinic.

A senior need only goes to the Amazon Clinic website. Once on the website, a senior selects the condition or ailment for which he or she is seeking medical assistance. After making that selection, a senior selects a particular clinician to provide assistance. When that selection is completed, a senior completes an easy-to-follow questionnaire.

The questionnaire is then submitted to the clinician for review. A clinician then follows up by written communication with the senior seeking assistance. This follow-up will include recommendations for care and treatment. In addition, it will include a prescription as needed.