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Amazon Care no more: Tech giant shutters primary care service

Illustration of an empty doctor's outfit with the Amazon smile logo as the face.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Just weeks after agreeing to buy hybrid primary care company One Medical, Amazon announced yesterday afternoon that it is shuttering Amazon Care — its in-house hybrid primary care offering — at the end of the year.

Why it matters: Amazon, which has for years been laying the foundation for a massive health care footprint, is closing shop on one of its cornerstone in-house efforts in primary care.

Yes, but: The tech giant isn't backing away from the sector anytime soon.

Catch up quick: Amazon launched Care as a pilot for its Seattle office workers and their families in 2019, and has steadily expanded the program since.

  • Last February, the company announced the service would be available nationwide.
  • A month later, Amazon said it would start selling Care to employers.

Details: In an email to his division's employees, SVP of Amazon Health Services Neil Lindsay said Care wasn't a sustainable, comprehensive tool for its customers. (Amazon shared a copy of the email with Axios.)

  • "Although our enrolled members have loved many aspects of Amazon Care, it is not a complete enough offering for the large enterprise customers we have been targeting, and wasn’t going to work long-term," Lindsay said.
  • He added that the company would end Amazon Care operations after December 31, and that only teams belonging to Amazon Care and Care Medical (the tech giant's clinical partner) would be impacted.

What they're saying: With its pending health care acquisitions (let's not forget the rumors around Signify Health, Amazon is on the verge of becoming a health care "powerhouse," BTIG analyst David Larsen wrote in Wednesday note.

  • "Our view is that it makes more sense to buy these platforms than it does to build new ones," Larsen said.

💭 Our thought bubble: Amazon risks duplicative efforts running both Care and One Medical, and with the tech giant's history of shuttering bold health care projects, we can't say we're surprised.

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