Amazon is paying $3.9 billion for the ‘membership-based’ healthcare service One Medical.

One Medical’s Netflix-for-primary-care is a $199 subscription to a modern doctor’s office.

Amazon’s two largest purchases in history have been Whole Foods ($13.7 billion) and the recently completed purchase of MGM ($8.45 billion), but if the transaction goes through, a $3.9 billion takeover of One Medical will be the third addition on that list. One Verge employee who is considering joining up for the firm’s $199 primary care provider subscription (in addition to insurance, just like any other doctor) referred to the company as “healthcare for millennials.”

One Medical’s presentation includes an app, 24/7 access to on-demand telehealth treatments by video, and guaranteed same- or next-day appointments available through more than 125 clinics. It is backed by Alphabet’s GV subsidiary (previously Google Ventures). Slick YouTube videos promise doctor’s offices that have been “reimagined” with more comfy furnishings.

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“We can’t make a trip to the doctor’s office seem like a vacation, but we can make the waiting area feel more like a hotel lobby,” says the video’s synopsis. Our design team excels in locating furniture and textiles that do not appear or feel clinical but nevertheless perform in a clinical atmosphere — think bleach-cleanable materials with soft textures, calming colours, or interesting patterns.”

The sheen is less visible in some of the stories concerning One Medical that surfaced after the coronavirus outbreak began. According to NPR, in early 2021, it allowed ineligible people to bypass the vaccine queue, and some patients told The Verge that they were paid for vaccine doses that should have been free.

This latest acquisition provides Amazon with even another entry point into the healthcare business, which has been a recent emphasis for the corporation. “We believe health care is high on the list of experiences that require innovation,” said Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services, in a statement. “We see lots of opportunity to both improve the quality of the experience and give people back valuable time in their days.” “Booking an appointment, waiting weeks or even months to be seen, taking time off work, driving to a clinic, finding a parking spot, waiting in the waiting room then the exam room for what is too often a rushed few minutes with a doctor, then making another trip to a pharmacy – we see lots of opportunity to both improve the quality of the experience and give people back valuable time in their days

Amazon has already established an infrastructure to compete with existing healthcare industry behemoths, launching Amazon Pharmacy in 2020 and recently expanding its Amazon Care telehealth program nationally. With the acquisition of One Medical, they have access to the primary care market as well.

“There is an enormous possibility to make the health care experience more accessible, cheap, and even pleasant for patients, providers, and payers,” said One Medical CEO Amir Dan Rubin in the transaction announcement. We look forward to working together to innovate and improve access to high-quality healthcare services.”

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