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Reuters reports that Amazon "has reached a deal to sell virtual medical services to Hilton in the United States, landing a marquee customer for its nascent healthcare business."

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

According to the story, Amazon Care is described as an "on-demand health offering that lets users message or video-chat clinicians and receive home visits in some cities  … Amazon piloted the service for its employees around Seattle in 2019, and this summer it started marketing Care nationwide to other companies.

"The deal with Hilton Worldwide Holdings … marks Amazon Care’s first hospitality customer and only its second disclosed client after fitness equipment maker Precor. It shows how the company is seeking to disrupt the healthcare industry with a tried-and-true playbook  Just as Amazon built data centers to satisfy its e-commerce needs and later sold access to this infrastructure in what became its cloud-computing business, so is Amazon looking to market a healthcare service it built first for its workers’ benefit."

Here's how it will work, Reuters writes:  "Hilton employed about 141,000 people globally as of Dec. 31, 2020. All its U.S. staff enrolled in a corporate health plan will have Amazon Care as a benefit next year.

"That means virtual meetings with clinicians from Care Medical, a company focused on serving Amazon Care users. Amazon also offers house calls in greater Seattle and the Washington-Baltimore metro area, with plans to expand to Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia and Boston … Hilton pays for workers’ access to care and for a portion of the visit expenses. Text chats via Amazon Care will be free to the hotel chain’s employees, while provider video or home visits carry a small fee."

KC's View:

The question, is this radical surgery on the US healthcare system?  Or just a band-aid that ends up being better for Amazon's bottom line than for the national interest?