Amazon plans primary care clinics for Seattle employees

Amazon’s ambitious plan to bring down the costs of health care is actually getting an early test in a familiar place: its Seattle headquarters.

The company is actually in internal discussions to open primary care clinics at its main office, according to two people familiar with the matter. The early plan is actually to hire a smaller number of doctors to start a pilot clinic later This specific year for a select group of employees as well as also then expand the item to more workers in early 2019, said the people, who asked not to be named because the plans are confidential.

Amazon is actually taking a leading role among American companies in pushing for ways to bring down health costs, which are skyrocketing as insurers pass on the expenses associated with emergency room visits as well as also providers that will overcharge. By steering workers to urgent care as well as also preventative care as well as also by offering guidance on diet as well as also exercise, companies are hoping to keep their employees healthier as well as also out of the hospital.

In January, Amazon announced a partnership with J.P. Morgan Chase as well as also Berkshire Hathaway to improve the quality of care as well as also bring down costs. To run the joint venture, the group recently appointed Atul Gawande, who has spoken out about the importance of “regular, ongoing care,” calling the item “the greatest source of value in modern medicine,” in a 2017 report.

Amazon was previously looking to outsource its clinics as well as also brought vendors in to pitch their services. After numerous rounds of discussions, Amazon ultimately decided to develop clinics internally, one of the people said. Providers including Crossover Health as well as also One Medical offer on-site or nearby services for various other companies, including those from the technology sector.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment.

The move would certainly echo Apple, which is actually developing clinics for its employees as well as also their dependents. An Apple subsidiary called AC Wellness Network has already hired more than 40 people for those clinics.

Amazon started out its effort by hiring primary care experts, beginning last year with Christine Henningsgaard, who was previously vice president of operations at One Medical. In January, the company brought in Martin Levine coming from Iora Health, a primary care group with clinics in Seattle.

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