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By Christina Farr for CNBC
Apple is launching a group of health clinics called AC Wellness for its employees and their families this spring, according to several sources familiar with the company’s plans.
The company quietly published a website, acwellness.com, with more details about its initiative and a careers page listing jobs including primary care doctor, exercise coach and care navigator, as well as a phlebotomist to administer lab tests on-site.
This new primary care group — a group of clinical staff that is run independently from Apple but is dedicated to Apple employees — will initially only serve Apple’s employees in Santa Clara County, where its headquarters are located. Initially, it has two clinics in the county.
Development appears to be well underway
A job listing for the “network” posted on Indeed.com details “multiple, stunning state-of-the-art medical centers,” in Santa Clara, a few miles north of its headquarters in Cupertino. One of the centers is at the new Apple Park campus, another job listing states.
And a LinkedIn search reveals that former Stanford Health Care employees have been affiliated with AC Wellness for at least five months, although there’s no mention of Apple on the people’s profiles. Several of the job listings on Apple’s site as of Tuesday, however, describe AC Wellness as a “subsidiary of Apple, Inc.” A medical group can contract out to nonmedical administrators through a subsidiary.
An Apple spokesperson declined to be quoted for this story.
The news comes as Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan announced ajoint effort to improve health care for their employees.
Delivering better primary care is key to the success of all of these employee-led efforts because it’s far cheaper to prevent disease than treat people who are already sick.
Health problems result in 69 million workers reporting missed days each year, reducing economic output by $260 billion per year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Aside from the typical roles involved with a primary care clinic, Apple is also looking to hire “designers” who will help implement a program focused on preventing disease and promoting healthy behavior. It’s looking for a population health designer and clinical program design lead, listings show.
These designers will work with operations and technology teams.
Sources said the company will leverage its medical clinics as a way to test its growing range of health services and products, which it is starting to roll out to consumers at large.
It is currently working with Stanford to study whether its Apple Watch can detect irregularities with the heart’s rhythm, an effort that would benefit from a huge population of healthy and sick patients.
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently told shareholders that it could make a “significant contribution” in health care.
Apple recently scaled back its contract with its current in-house clinic via a start-up called Crossover Health, which CNBC reported that it had considered buying.
Sources said that it started notifying third-party vendors about the shift to its own network of health clinics this week.
Additional AC Wellness jobs are also listed on Glassdoor and Indeed.com.