Amazon Launches Amazon Clinic Venture Amid 10,000 Employee Layoff Reports

The news of the telehealth service comes one day after media sources reported the company could start major layoffs this week.

Katie Hobbins, Managing Editor

November 15, 2022

2 Min Read
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Image courtesy of Cum Okolo / Alamy Stock Photo

On the heels of reports that Amazon is set to start layoffs potentially totaling 10,000 employees this week, the company surprised customers today with the announcement of its new venture, Amazon Clinic.

Amazon Clinic, according to its parent company, will operate as a virtual health storefront and bring together clinical offerings from national, award-winning telehealth providers. Customers of the service can select the third-party telehealth provider best for individual availability and budget and connect directly with a licensed clinician who can provide a message-based consultation and prescribe treatment.

Unlike what many have become used to since the beginning of the pandemic, this virtual clinic is not video-based, but instead uses a secure messaging portal. Additionally, the service will focus on common conditions that can be effectively treated through virtual care.

To get started, customers select their condition, choose a preferred provider from a list of licensed and qualified telehealth professionals, and then complete a short intake questionnaire. After this, customers and providers are connected through the messaging portal where a consultation takes place. Post-message-based consultation, the clinician sends a personalized treatment plan through the portal, which would include any necessary prescriptions.

Prices for consultations are set by the third-party providers, not Amazon Clinic. Customers will be able to see how much a consultation will cost and when they can connect with the provider, according to the company. Of note, Amazon Clinic does not currently accept insurance but is FSA and HSA eligible. The company also stated that “in many cases, the cost of care is equivalent or less than the average copay.” Insurance may be able to be used for prescription medication costs from result from an Amazon Clinic visit.

The service will initially launch in 32 states, with the hope of expanding over the coming months.

The announcement of the service is happening amid many companies preparing to layoff hundreds, maybe thousands, of employees, including Meta — Facebook’s parent company, Twitter, and, significantly, Amazon. Just yesterday, multiple news agencies reported that Amazon would most likely start these layoffs this week, focusing on employees in corporate and technology roles. Additionally, the company saw shares sink 2% following the reports.

The company has already announced plans to freeze hiring for corporate roles in its retail business and, in previous months, shuttered its telehealth service, closed all but one of its US call centers, is closing, canceling, or delaying some new warehouse locations, among other moneysaving techniques.

Q322 saw disappointing earnings for Amazon, which spooked investors and saw shares plummet by more than 13%, marking the first time the company’s market cap fell below $1 trillion since April 2020 and the second time in 2022 that financial results sparked a double-digit percentage stock sell-off.

About the Author(s)

Katie Hobbins

Managing Editor, MD+DI

Katie Hobbins is managing editor for MD+DI and joined the team in July 2022. She boasts multiple previous editorial roles in print and multimedia medical journalism, including dermatology, medical aesthetics, and pediatric medicine. She graduated from Cleveland State University in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and promotional communications. She enjoys yoga, hand embroidery, and anything DIY. You can reach her at [email protected].

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