Strategy The Business of Healthcare

Amazon Turns its Inventory of Healthcare Ventures – What it Means for You

August 29, 2022

With millions and millions of square feet of warehouse space, Amazon turns its inventory faster than Superman flies, which we all know is faster than a speeding bullet.

And that applies to its healthcare ventures as well.

Just last week, Amazon announced that it’s in the process of shutting down Amazon Care, a venture launched in 2019 for their own employees, later expanded to those of other employers, that provides hybrid in-home/virtual 24-hour medical care. The service was designed to be delivered remotely and in-person, but not in bricks and mortar locations.

That was Amazon’s second strike in the healthcare ballgame, the first being the doomed to fail, smoke and mirrors, rainbows and unicorns joint venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan to do something or other, apparently not even they were sure, to change (so the writers gushed!) healthcare for the rest of us, which hired a photogenic author with an M.D. and a best-selling book to run it into nowhere in particular.

But just because Amazon is losing in the 7th inning doesn’t mean you should leave now to beat the traffic.

In 2018, Amazon acquired PillPack, the online pharmacy. And, just last month, Amazon announced that it’s entered into an agreement to acquire One Medical, a publicly traded primary healthcare company. One Medical sells its services to thousands of employers across the U.S., providing 24/7 virtual care to, it reports, 767,000 members.

Unlike most medical groups and even most hospital systems, Amazon is bursting with dollars and with the energy to aim for the fences and to keep swinging away. So what if they strike out or even lose the game, the season’s young.

Do you have a clear view of your possible futures? What new ventures, what new ways of structuring deals and relationships are you trying? Are you willing to allow for failure on your road to success?

Of course, you’re free to just keep on doing what you’ve been doing, as long as you understand that you might not be doing it for very much longer. Take to heart what Jeff Bezos meant when he famously said, “Your margin in my opportunity.”

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