The recently closed Amazon-One Medical acquisition focuses on a “longitudinal relationship” with individual members and has nothing to do with patient data, said One Medical’s CEO Amir Dan Rubin, amidst data privacy concerns surrounding the deal, at a recent panel.
On 6 March, at the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Health Forum, Rubin said the deal should not invite any data privacy concerns given its structure. “Many healthcare companies, One Medical included, have been hosted on Amazon Web Services for close to 15 years. I think that information is way more private and secure here than decentralised in the cloud,” he said.
On February 22, Amazon completed a $3.9 billion acquisition of One Medical, an online membership-based primary care practice. One Medical currently offers new subscribers a discounted membership of $144 for the first year, compared to the usual $199 per year. During a panel on the “Evolution of Primary care” at the WSJ Health Forum, Rubin said he hopes the company’s healthcare subscription model will improve access to primary care.
Rubin explained the subscription models of One Medical and Amazon would mesh well and in combination could provide an “outstanding consumer experience”. He described One Medical’s main goal saying, “the general approach is how do we make healthcare really easy and accessible for people? Lower the friction to access and lower the cost”.
The CEO said that One Medical currently has 220 offices across 28 markets in the US and is hoping for further growth through collaboration with Amazon. The business handles drug prescription exclusively through online requests on a mobile app, and healthcare providers send prescriptions to pharmacies electronically. Any follow up prescription information or updates on drug prescriptions are sent online as well. Patients can also schedule appoints for vaccinations and other preventive medicines online in this way.
After the deal was first announced, the FTC began investigating possible risks to customers, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The Commission has said that they won’t sue to block the deal but will continue to investigate possible harms to customers resulting from Amazon’s control of One Medical and access to sensitive consumer health information.
The Amazon-One Medical deal fits into a recent trend of large organisations integrating primary care practices into their business models. “I think there is an appreciation from companies [about] the work of companies such as ours, and some other upstarts out there, that there are ways that you can engage and develop relationships and improve the experience and deliver higher value-based care,” said Rubin.
Note: The article was updated with the correct subscription fee for One Medical in paragraph 3.