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Amazon pilots new health offering for employees

With little fanfare, Amazon is testing new health program for workers that combines virtual and in-person services.

The e-tail giant has quietly launched Amazon Care with a new publicly accessible website, although so far there has been no formal announcement. Currently available on pilot basis via dedicated mobile app, Amazon Care is offered to Seattle-area Amazon employees with eligible company health insurance plans and their families. The program includes virtual care, in-person nurse visits at home or office, and home prescription delivery.

According to the website, Amazon Care is designed to be a “first stop” healthcare provider for urgent issues such as colds, allergies, infections, and minor injuries. Amazon Care can also provide preventative heath consults, vaccines and lab work; sexual health services such as contraception and sexually transmitted infection testing; and answers to general family health questions.

Omnichannel care options include in-app text chat with a nurse on any health topic; in-app video visits with a doctor or nurse practitioner; a mobile care nurse who can provide in-person exams, testing or treatment; and courier delivery of prescribed medications to an employee’s home or office.

Currently, Amazon Care operates Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oasis Medical provides Amazon Care medical services, which do not include emergency medical services.

Amazon is piloting Amazon Care as chief retail rival Walmart is pushing into the health-and-wellness space with initiatives including adding seven bachelor’s degrees and two career diplomas in health-related fields to its educational benefits program, Live Better U; and the opening of a new freestanding Walmart Health Center in Dallas, Georgia.

While Amazon has not given any indication of possible next steps, if any, for its Amazon Care pilot, the e-tailer did initially launch its rapidly expanding Amazon Go cashierless store format as an internal pilot for employees at its Seattle headquarters.

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