Oregon Health Authority approves Amazon’s plan to acquire One Medical, despite public opposition

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has approved Amazon’s request to purchase One Medical, a primary care organization that operates more than 180 medical offices across the country, including five primary care clinics in Oregon.

 

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The OHA’s Health Care Market Oversight programwhich reviews proposed healthcare business deals to make sure they support the state’s goals related to cost, equity, access, and quality—completed a review of the transaction, and OHA released a report about its findings on Dec. 28th. Amazon announced plans to acquire One Medical for $3.9 billion in July 2022.

The report includes findings from OHA’s 30-day preliminary review of the proposed transaction, assessing the deal’s likely impacts on healthcare cost, access, quality, and equity. OHA held a 14-day public comment period on the proposal, receiving 36 comments.

“Most public comments opposed the transaction, with many citing concerns about for-profit healthcare companies prioritizing profits over patients,” the report states.

However, the transaction is unlikely to substantially reduce access to affordable healthcare in Oregon, according to the report. In the Oregon areas where One Medical operates, patients have many other options to access similar types of services, the report states. 

“OHA does not anticipate that this transaction will result in increased prices,” the report states. “Combining with Amazon, with its advanced supply chain and purchasing power, may generate efficiencies and savings for One Medical, though any savings would not necessarily be passed to consumers.”

In Oregon, One Medical partners with Providence Health & Services to support clinical care and administrative services. 

OHA does not have concerns about price increases resulting from consolidation, as the transaction will not meaningfully change Amazon and One Medical’s market share for primary care services in Oregon, according to the report.

“Commercial insurance payment rates for One Medical are negotiated through the partnership with Providence,” the report states. “OHA has no reason to believe that One Medical will be able to negotiate higher rates because of this transaction.”

OHA approved the proposed transaction on the condition that Amazon and One Medical report information about the services they provide, the patients they serve, quality of care, and any governance or organizational changes. The reports will need to be submitted every six months for five years following the transaction. 

The tech giant has now cleared one hurdle in its plan to expand its healthcare footprint. The companies will need federal approval to complete the transaction as well, as the Federal Trade Commission is also reviewing the proposed deal.