Retail and Tech Giants Race to Provide Primary Care Services

The race by large retailers and tech giants to expand and strengthen their positions in the primary care market continues at a rapid pace. Recent activities included:

Amazon’s primary care provider One Medical, which it acquired earlier this year, is beginning to open new locations. One Medical just opened two locations in Connecticut, is planning to open a third office in the Castro neighborhood in San Francisco, and will open its first office in Milwaukee this fall. Three other locations have been announced in Connecticut, but One Medical said plans for opening won’t be announced until 2024.

CVS Health continues to make investments in the space after closing on its acquisitions of Oak Street Health and Signify Health. These include:

  • Strive Health – home and virtual care for patients with chronic kidney disease, including patients who need dialysis.
  • Monogram Health – a specialty provider of in-home and virtual care for polychronic conditions like chronic kidney and renal disease.
  • Carbon Health – piloting that company’s primary and urgent care clinic model in CVS stores. CVS Health Ventures also led a $100 million investment to speed Carbon Health’s expansion into new markets.

Walgreens and Pearl Health, a leading provider enablement company, announced a partnership to accelerate the expansion of value-based care in collaboration with community-based primary care physicians. Pearl Health offers technology and insight solutions that empower clinical teams to provide holistic, personalized treatment necessary for value-based, quality-focused care. Walgreens will provide complementary services, including prescription fulfillment, medication adherence, immunizations, care gap closure and diagnostic testing. Walgreens will also work with providers to help patients discharged from the hospital transition to home

Walmart is reportedly exploring buying a majority stake in ChenMed, a closely held operator of primary care clinics for seniors, according to a Bloomberg report, which cited people familiar with the matter. The report noted that according to people familiar with the matter, the companies are in the initial phase of discussions of talks for a deal that would value ChenMed at several billion dollars. ChenMed, which is a care provider to underserved aging patients, was founded by physician Jen-Ling James Chen and run by the Chen family.


Takeaway: The pace of expansion being set by the large retailers and tech giants will change the we all receive primary care whether we are ready or not