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Updated: April 17, 2023

Hartford HealthCare, Amazon-owned One Medical partner to open five new CT offices

HBJ PHOTO | STEVE LASCHEVER Jeffrey A. Flaks, president and CEO of Hartford HealthCare, sits next to One Medical CEO and President Amir Dan Rubin, at HHC’s downtown Hartford headquarters to discuss the organizations’ new partnership.

Imagine being able to ask a healthcare physician, who is familiar with your medical history, a question without having to wait.

Imagine traveling to another state, your child gets sick, so you message your doctor on the fly — and receive a response within minutes.

Instead of a copay for these services, you pay a monthly subscription fee. The fee is less than your phone bill at $12 per month (for a limited time) — and signing up is as easy as visiting

That’s the vision behind San Francisco-based One Medical’s approach to primary care: modern, convenient and integrated health care that uses a combination of virtual and on-site services.

One Medical, which made national headlines after being acquired in February by e-commerce giant Amazon for $3.9 billion, is entering the Connecticut market through an exclusive partnership with Hartford HealthCare, the second-largest healthcare system in Connecticut, after Yale New Haven Health.

“Through this partnership, we’re going to further clinically and digitally coordinate care for communities and patients, leveraging the most well-known healthcare system in the state with a modern upstart, and blending the two to create more access and more coordination,” Amir Dan Rubin, president and CEO of One Medical, told the Hartford Business Journal during a recent visit to HHC’s downtown headquarters on Pearl Street.

Initially, One Medical plans to build five new primary care offices in Connecticut. Work on the first two facilities, in Darien and New Canaan, is already underway. The company is also exploring locations in Stamford, Westport and Fairfield.

More locations will be announced soon. One Medical will employ doctors at the facilities, in addition to providing access to its national network of virtual providers.

One Medical’s systems will be integrated with Hartford HealthCare, which operates seven acute-care hospitals and owns surgical centers, urgent care facilities and physician groups across the state. That means One Medical patients referred to specialists can use HHC’s network of outpatient, diagnostic and speciality settings, knowing their medical information travels with them.

The One Medical platform.

“You can talk to a provider with no copay, no deductible, no claim, 24/7,” Rubin said. “Within minutes, you can do that with a message virtually, you can have an appointment the same or next day. And if you need specialty care, that information is all coordinated with Hartford HealthCare specialists.”

The system fosters a team-approach to health care, where a primary care physician oversees a person’s overall health while delegating specialized care to doctors with the right expertise.

One Medical is growing quickly, following its acquisition by Amazon.

Jeffrey A. Flaks, president and CEO of Hartford HealthCare, said he’s interested to see how Amazon’s resources can be leveraged to improve medical technology.

“There’s a tremendous opportunity for machine-learning,” Flaks said. “There’s a tremendous opportunity with artificial intelligence to improve patient experience, to improve access, to improve responsiveness, and to improve the physician and the provider experience.”

Flaks noted that HHC was recently named one of the top 300 most innovative companies in the U.S. by Forbes magazine, making it a fitting match for One Medical.

“The essence of the partnership with One Medical is about expanding access to care,” Flaks said. “And it’s about innovating new models of care that can allow us to ultimately drive more affordability.”

Employer benefit

Rubin said One Medical reaches consumers two ways: directly through a subscription purchased via,, or through their employer as a healthcare benefit.

“For consumers, we have a subscription model,” Rubin said. “Now on Amazon, for a special promotional price of $12 a month, all you can eat on-demand primary care, no copay, no deductible, no bill. And then when people come into our offices, we accept their insurance, we’re in-network.”

In addition, employers are offering One Medical as part of their healthcare benefits package. More than 8,500 companies have signed up so far, he said.

“These employers offer us because we’re a great way to help recruit and attract and retain employees, but also to help keep them productive and lower the cost of care,” Rubin said.

A recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that employees of an aerospace manufacturing technology company who used One Medical for their primary care had lower overall health spending, largely due to lower utilization of services, despite services costing more for each use.

The employer saw 45% lower total medical and prescription claims costs, according to the peer-reviewed study.

“If we can get people into this really frictionless primary care, we don’t necessarily need to go to the emergency room, or go to the hospital,” Rubin said. “Because we can take care of things upfront, we can also help keep people healthy.”

Fragmented healthcare system

Connecticut is known for having a fragmented healthcare system, which leads to patients seeing specialists more often than lower-cost primary care physicians, who should be their first point of contact for most ailments, said Jeff Hogan, president of Farmington-based Upside Health Advisors.

“Traditionally, Connecticut ranks dead last in commercial investment and primary care, which means that consumers go to very expensive specialty care immediately, skipping the really important role of what we call base advanced primary care,” Hogan said. “... So there’s no one really coordinating their care.”

Hogan said he believes the partnership between One Medical and HHC will help fill that void.

One Medical has hatched similar deals with large hospital systems in other states and has 200-plus offices in more than two dozen markets.

A reception area of an existing One Medical primary care practice. The Amazon-owned company will be opening five locations in Connecticut.

Financial terms of its Hartford HealthCare partnership weren’t disclosed. According to online news website Axios, hospitals pay fixed sums to One Medical, which, in return, refers patients in need of more intensive care to its health system partners.

Despite Amazon’s reputation as a consumer-friendly company, critics have raised privacy concerns about the e-commerce giant’s entry into the healthcare market.

“People worry about Amazon knowing everything about your life,” Hogan said. “And clearly that extends into your health status as well.”

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act limits how the company can use protected health information, including all personally identifiable information as well as medical history, lab test results and other health data.

However, according to an article published by CNBC, advocates at groups such as Fight for the Future say consumers should be wary of Amazon having their sensitive health data.

During a March 6 forum hosted by the Wall Street Journal, Rubin responded to that criticism, saying the deal between Amazon and One Medical should not raise data privacy concerns.

“Many healthcare companies, One Medical included, have been hosted on Amazon Web Services for close to 15 years,” Rubin said. “I think that information is way more private and secure here than decentralized in the cloud.”

One Medical’s entry into Connecticut is part of a trend of national healthcare company expansions into the state.

VillageMD announced in March that it acquired Rocky Hill-based Starling Physicians, which offers primary, specialty and urgent care services at 30 Greater Hartford locations. VillageMD is backed by pharmacy giant Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Another advanced primary care provider, Privia Health, announced in February that it had formed a partnership with Community Medical Group, an independent physician network, to launch Privia Quality Network of Connecticut. The network includes about 1,100 multi-specialty providers, including more than 430 primary care providers, with more than 450 practice locations.

In addition to partnering with One Medical, Flaks said HHC is continuing to advance its traditional primary care offerings in other settings.

“Different models appeal to different people,” Flaks said. “And we need to meet people where they want to be met, and meet them where they are. So, there are many people who find this particular model extremely attractive. … There are many people who look for traditional primary care — we can do that. There are also many people who look for urgent care, which is an extension of primary care capabilities. We meet them there.”

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