In what could be a transformational moment for primary care in the state, Hackensack Meridian Health announced it is signing a partnership agreement with One Medical, the primary care service acquired by Amazon for $3.9 billion earlier this year.
For those not familiar, One Medical uses a membership model that offers virtual and in-person annual visits for just $199 per year.
One Medical also works with employers across all sizes and industries throughout the U.S., which cover the membership fees as a benefit for their workforce. So far, more than 8,500 employers have participated in One Medical’s services throughout the country.
The potential impact is great, as the Amazon acquisition opens the doors to more potential patients for both One Medical and, now, Hackensack.
That’s because 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. and half of people under age 30 do not have a primary care doctor.
It is not required for patients to follow a One Medical recommendation, but the partnership could mean that any primary care patients that are served by One Medical likely would be filtered to HMH for any additional needs (specialty, ER, surgery, imaging, etc.).
For HMH, the partnership means a stake in the battle in what many see as the coming retail health revolution. It would give HMH an edge compared to the CVS/CityMD/Optum/Walmarts of the world.
HMH also would get a leg up in the battle of health systems — while getting the benefit of having a co-branded product with Amazon.
The model isn’t perfect. It could mean more patients go to One Medical first, purely for the convenience of it. But that may leave hospital systems with patients that do not bring as much reimbursement.