Amazon buys US healthcare chain One Medical for $3.9bn

It now owns your store, your doctor, and your shopping history. What's next?

Amazon is acquiring One Medical, a company operating a chain of primary care clinics, for $3.9 billion in an all-cash deal, as it ramps up efforts to expand its consumer healthcare offerings.

Amazon announced it was gobbling up the biz and all its data for $18 a share on Thursday; the final cost includes paying off One Medical's debts.

"We think health care is high on the list of experiences that need reinvention," Neil Lindsay, SVP of Amazon Health Services, said in a canned statement.

"Booking an appointment, waiting weeks or even months to be seen, taking time off work, driving to a clinic, finding a parking spot, waiting in the waiting room then the exam room for what is too often a rushed few minutes with a doctor, then making another trip to a pharmacy – we see lots of opportunity to both improve the quality of the experience and give people back valuable time in their days.

"We love inventing to make what should be easy easier and we want to be one of the companies that helps dramatically improve the healthcare experience over the next several years. Together with One Medical's human-centered and technology-powered approach to health care, we believe we can and will help more people get better care, when and how they need it. We look forward to delivering on that long-term mission."

One Medical offers members in-person and virtual care with physicians. Patients stay connected via an app, where they can book appointments, chat with their doctors, and store their healthcare records. The company, which trades as 1Life Healthcare, was founded in 2007. It opened its first clinic in San Francisco, California, and now operates over a hundred primary care centers in 12 states.

Amazon, best-known for its e-commerce platform and delivery services, sees healthcare as another sector to conquer for its consumer-focused empire. In 2018, it snapped up PillPack, an online pharmacy biz, and launched Amazon Pharmacy two years later to deliver prescription medicines. In 2019, it acquired Health Navigator, a software startup to support Amazon Care, a healthcare service for employees.

Now, it wants to expand its platform to consumers with the help of One Medical. "The opportunity to transform health care and improve outcomes by combining One Medical's human-centered and technology-powered model and exceptional team with Amazon's customer obsession, history of invention, and willingness to invest in the long-term is so exciting," One Medical's CEO Amir Rubin, said.

Rubin is expected to remain in his role as CEO when the deal closes. "There is an immense opportunity to make the health care experience more accessible, affordable, and even enjoyable for patients, providers, and payers. We look forward to innovating and expanding access to quality healthcare services, together," he added.

On the flip side, you might agree with tech world watcher, and venture capital person, Benedict Evans, who reacted bluntly: "I do not see any strategic logic to Amazon getting into healthcare clinics." ®

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