Jenny Cheng/Business Insider
- JPMorgan, Berkshire Hathaway, and Amazon officially have a name for their joint health venture: Haven.
- The venture is led by Dr. Atul Gawande, who was hired in June 2018.
- “We want to change the way people experience health care so that it is simpler, better, and lower cost,” Gawande said in a statement. “We’ll start small, learn from the experience of patients, and continue to expand to meet their needs.”
The joint health venture between Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan officially has a name.
The venture will be called Haven, and it’ll be in charge of finding ways to lower the cost of healthcare for the three companies’ employees, while improving the quality.
“We want to change the way people experience health care so that it is simpler, better, and lower cost,” Haven CEO Dr. Atul Gawande said in a statement Wednesday. “We’ll start small, learn from the experience of patients, and continue to expand to meet their needs.”
In January 2018, the three companies said they would create a healthcare joint venture that’s aimed at lowering healthcare costs for the companies’ employees. At the time, news of the partnership sent healthcare stocks plummeting, especially health insurers and members of the pharmaceutical supply chain that might be impacted by the three business giants getting into their lines of work.
In a letter posted to Haven’s website, Gawande outlined the venture’s guiding principles, including being an advocate, creating new solutions to get to better care, and being "relentless."
While Haven hasn’t been too specific about how it plans to upend the healthcare system, new details have come out through a a lawsuit filed in Massachusetts against a former Optum employee who joined the venture. Testimony in the case from Haven’s chief operating officer Jack Stoddard, who joined the venture in September, provides new information about the venture’s plans. The testimony was unsealed after a motion brought by the parent companies of Stat News and The Wall Street Journal.
The three employers oversee healthcare for about 1 million people, and spend $4 billion a year on it. When they joined forces, they said that the venture would be aimed at lowering healthcare costs and improving care for their workers. Stoddard said the plan is to partner with existing companies when possible rather than build new products to improve the companies’ healthcare.
"We’ve been asked to look at the full spectrum of what are the options, how can we crack the code, who can we have partner with, and how can we derive better outcomes, in the order of better experience, better quality and then lower costs," Stoddard said.
Haven’s commitment, he said, is to employees over anyone else.
"We are not trying to create value for shareholders," Stoddard said. "We’re trying to create value for families who are trying to use the health care system."
Stoddard said this year will be focused on building the team, doing research, and deploying tests of programs through partnerships with other companies. For example, one of the first tests the venture might run is to simplify health benefits for a select group of workers. The test could knock out some of the complexity that exists in a traditional health plan, offer easier ways to get care, or make drugs prescribed to treat chronic conditions less expensive, he said.
If the tests are successful, JPMorgan, Berkshire Hathaway, and Amazon could expand them to more of their workers.
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