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In a recent press release announcing its capabilities for treating cold and flu symptoms, Amazon Clinic—the telehealth channel of the Amazon enterprise—took a dig at urgent care. Its chief medical officer said in the release, “When many people feel sick, they end up at urgent care without knowing what they’ll be charged.” The retailer provides upfront pricing on its telehealth services and considers it an advantage for consumers. Those with high deductibles are especially sensitive to price, and they may prefer a retailer with upfront pricing for low-acuity services, such as treatment for minor coughs and sniffles.

Not even close: While still less than a year old, Amazon Clinic has a short list of care services it can provide. In truth, many believe the telehealth service is designed to be as much of an entry point to Amazon Pharmacy as it is a source of care. Urgent care, on the other hand, can treat a much longer list of health concerns with greater referral connections in the patient’s local community. 

What Amazon is Saying About Urgent Care