Amazon plans to discontinue its Care telehealth service by the end of the year, reports The Washington Post. The company reportedly told employees of the decision during a meeting on Wednesday. It’s expected “dozens” of employees will lose their jobs as a result.
Amazon did not immediately respond to Engadget’s request for comment. “This decision wasn’t made lightly and only became clear after many months of careful consideration,” Amazon senior vice president of health Neil Lindsay told employees in a memo the company shared with The Post. “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.”
Amazon’s decision to shutter the service is surprising given that the company only last year announced it was expanding its availability to more workers and companies across the US. What’s more, Amazon CEO Adam Jassy highlighted Amazon Care in his 2021 letter to shareholders, citing the platform as an example of the “type of iterative innovation” that was driving the next chapter of the company. More recently, the company struck a deal to buy healthcare provider One Medical for $3.9 billion.
Update – 08/25/22 at 3:02am: Amazon has provided the email sent by Neil Lindsay, SVP of Amazon Health Services, to the affected employees:
Health Services team,
We are working on an important, missionary opportunity. Our vision is to make it easier for people to access the health care products and services they need to get and stay healthy. We know accomplishing this won’t be easy or fast, but we believe it matters.
One of the ways we’ve worked towards this vision for the past several years has been with our urgent and primary care service offering, Amazon Care. During that time, we’ve gathered and listened to extensive feedback from our enterprise customers and their employees, and evolved the service to continuously improve the experience for customers. However, despite these efforts, we’ve determined that Amazon Care isn’t the right long-term solution for our enterprise customers, and have decided that we will no longer offer Amazon Care after December 31, 2022.
This decision wasn’t made lightly and only became clear after many months of careful consideration. 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.
Our work building Amazon Care has deepened our understanding of what’s needed long-term to deliver meaningful health care solutions for enterprise and individual customers. You’ve heard me say it before, but I believe the health care space is ripe for reinvention, and our efforts to help improve the health care experience can have an immensely positive impact on our quality of life and health outcomes. However, none of these reasons make this decision any easier for the teams that have helped to build Amazon Care, or for the customers our Care team serves.
Our priority right now is to support you, regardless of the path you take. Many Care employees will have an opportunity to join other parts of the Health Services organization or other teams at Amazon – which we’ll be discussing with many of you shortly – and we’ll also support employees looking for roles outside of the company.
To the Amazon Care and Care Medical teams, thank you for all of your hard work over these last several years. You should be very proud of what this team has been able to accomplish in a short period of time. I am also thankful to our members and business customers for entrusting us with their care; this is not a responsibility we take lightly. As we take our learnings from Amazon Care, we will continue to invent, learn from our customers and industry partners, and hold ourselves to the highest standards as we further help reimagine the future of health care.