Amazon is ramping up its interest in health care by its latest hiring of a leading Seattle doctor, according to sources who are not authorized to speak on internal matters.
The new hire, Martin Levine, has been plucked from Iora Health, a company that is spread across six markets in the U.S. and is confined to Medicare patients.
Levine is a renowned geriatrician who has specialized in managing elderly patients with intricate conditions. He is likely to join a group within Amazon called 1492 which has been tasked with implementing several confidential projects. This is after Amazon last year poached another health specialist from Box, Missy Krasner, who is working on special projects. Her background is in health technology.
Amazon’s inclination towards healthcare has been in the offing for quite a while now. Last year the company brought together people from several companies that specialize in innovative patient care for consultations in Seattle. They included Kaiser Permanente, Qliance and Iora.
Iora in particular stands out as a leader in extended primary care with its exceptional customer care services. With over $124 million pumped into the company from investors, Iora has positioned itself as the go-to partner for employers looking to reduce their spending on healthcare or those on private Medicare plans seeking better services at affordable costs.
With Levine’s experience, which includes four years designing health plans and supervising a group of clinics at Iora, Amazon may be considering its own primary care plan for employees. Such an onsite clinic would serve to reduce healthcare costs for Amazon and Whole Foods employees. Whole Foods has previously mulled over the idea of venturing into healthcare. Being a grocery retailer, the company considers healthy food as the solution to many health related problems. The company was acquired by Amazon last year.