You can now start an Amazon Clinic video doctor visit in all 50 states as Amazon expands its virtual care service, which lets patients connect with “multiple telehealth provider groups” who each set their own rates for service. The company says those visits will cost an average of $75. Amazon will not accept insurance for the visits, however.
Previously, Amazon only offered a message-based version of this in 32 states that would allow you to get in touch with clinicians on its platform using a secure portal for chatting with them about your medical issues and work out a treatment plan. Message-based care is lower in cost, averaging $35 a session, according to Amazon, but it’s only been able to add messaging in another two states; the Amazon Clinic FAQ page says this is due to regulatory issues.
Amazon Clinic can be accessed in the Amazon Prime mobile app or via the company’s website. Patients can choose what they’d like to get care for, pick a telehealth provider based on price and wait time estimates, and then fill out an intake form (which includes a HIPAA agreement) to get started.
Amazon doesn’t say you need Amazon Prime to access any aspect of Amazon Clinic. That said, a membership does come with benefits like access to the company’s RxPass subscription.
The company says it can be used for the diagnosis of common conditions like cold sores or hair loss, and since the original service launched, it has added access to anti-aging skin care as well as the ability to diagnose bacterial vaginosis, renew EpiPen prescriptions, and more. Teladoc, a popular telehealth service, goes further with access to mental health practitioners and other specialists.
When I checked, there tended to be one or two third-party telehealth providers in most states, with wait times of an hour or less in most cases.
Amazon asks patients using the service to sign an optional HIPAA authorization but says that if you choose not to do so, you can still seek care through Amazon Clinic. The company says it asks for permission to store personal health data “so customers won’t have to fill out the same forms over and over again—even if their health care provider were to leave Amazon Clinic” and that it will not sell customer health data.