AmazonCare will offer Hilton Health Services as its second publicly announced customer.
As I mentioned ReutersStarting next year, all US Hilton employee members enrolled in the company’s health plan will be able to access Amazon’s app-based medical options.
“It’s a great step forward for business to show that we can provide nationwide care for their team members,” Kristen Hilton, Amazon’s director of sponsorship, told Reuters at the Total Health conference.
why does it matter
Amazon Care announced earlier this year that it would make its services available to employers in all 50 states.
But so far, few people have been bitten, with Washington-based Precor the only organization publicly contracting to provide Amazon Care to workers.
This makes the Hilton deal noteworthy in several ways, as Reuters noted.
For one thing, Precor has a total of 800 employees and was initially serving only 385 employees in Washington.
By contrast, Hilton employs about 141,000 people worldwide, and all US employees involved in corporate health plans can use the program.
Hilton will pay a portion of the expense: text conversations with providers will be free for patients while video visits will require a fee.
Home calls, which are available in Seattle, Washington and Baltimore (with plans to expand to other cities), will also incur an undisclosed cost.
Interestingly, Hilton also pointed out that artificial intelligence plays a potential role.
“We’re going to have doctors in the loop for a while so we can really trust that AI and those tech solutions are taking care of the patient in the best way,” she said.
This news came along with an announcement from the California Attorney General that Amazon had entered into a settlement agreement regarding its COVID-19 notification practices.
According to the Associated Press, the tech giant will be paid $500,000 and be monitored by California officials to make sure it properly informs them of new cases.
Other major retailers have also taken steps toward providing healthcare, buoyed in part by new consumer convenience through the use of telemedicine.
Walmart, for example, has signaled its own expansion plans, recently appointing Ochsner CEO Dr. David Karmush to lead its multichannel healthcare push.
For their part, legacy telehealth providers say they aren’t concerned about other companies’ eagerness to participate in the so-called virtual care gold rush.
Claus Jensen, Chief Information Officer at Teladoc . said: Healthcare IT news in the last month. “You don’t need to be the best at every bit. We need to be the best at putting the pieces together.”
“Healthcare is in the very early stages of shifting to an entirely new paradigm of care. If Amazon is the company to deliver the big breakthrough we’ve been waiting for, so be it. Someone has to do something,” writes the healthcare IT expert. The company earlier this year.
Kat Jersish is a senior editor at Healthcare IT News.
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