Josh Hawley asks FTC to probe Amazon One Medical deal

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In a letter despatched to the Federal Commerce Fee this previous week, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo., requested the regulatory company to look extra carefully on the proposed $3.9 billion merger between Amazon and One Medical.

“I understand that the FTC is at the moment engaged in quite a few efforts to fight America’s accelerating financial focus and the facility of tech behemoths,” Hawley wrote. “Nonetheless, I urge you to prioritize a looking assessment of this specific transaction.”

The acquisition would “present Amazon with entry to monumental tranches of affected person knowledge,” stated the senator.

Whereas he acknowledged that HIPAA and different privateness legal guidelines may “thwart the worst potential abuses,” Hawley additionally identified that “loopholes exist in each authorized framework.”

Some eventualities, “as soon as written off as scaremongering fictions, at the moment are a really actual risk,” he stated. “For example, if a person is identified with hypertension by a One Medical physician, will he later be marketed over-the-counter blood stress medicines at any time when he retailers at Complete Meals Market?”

There are at the moment no FDA-approved OTC medicines for hypertension.

Hawley additionally stated the deal would additional reinforce Amazon’s market dominance, doubtlessly reshaping the facility dynamic of the first care house.

“It doesn’t matter if the first care market as such is presently aggressive: by having its hand in dozens of smaller markets, Amazon positions itself to finally emerge because the dominant participant in every, as cross-subsidization permits Amazon to supply companies at a loss and data-driven community results enable Amazon to market at a degree its rivals can not match.”

He closed his letter by asking the FTC to search out solutions to a number of questions, together with:

  • What, if any, firewalls does Amazon intend to determine between affected person knowledge and retail buyer knowledge?

  • What merchandise does Amazon intend to develop within the wake of this acquisition?

“People’ privateness and security at the moment are on the road in a completely new manner,” Hawley wrote. “Amazon shouldn’t be allowed to purchase its manner into this business.”

Mike Miliard is government editor of Healthcare IT Information.
Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Electronic mail: mmiliard@himss.org

Healthcare IT Information is a HIMSS publication.





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