Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan Chase alliance reveals name for healthcare company
The joint healthcare venture between Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway finally has a name — Haven — and a new mission: to simplify health benefits for their employees.
The three companies revealed more information about their venture in a new website launched Wednesday, more than a year after announcing they would form an independent healthcare company for their U.S. employees.
Since announcing their intent to start their own healthcare venture last January, the three companies have remained fairly tight-lipped on details. But on Wednesday, Haven said it will be tasked with improving healthcare for the three companies’ 1.2 million employees and family members by creating “better outcomes and overall experience, as well as lower costs” for employees and their families, Haven’s CEO Atul Gawande wrote in a letter posted on the website.
Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway tapped Gawande — a surgeon and journalist who has written extensively about America’s failure to grapple with an inefficient healthcare system — as the company’s leader last summer.
Gawande wrote on the new website, havenhealthcare.com, that the three companies founded Haven because “they have been frustrated by the quality, service, and high costs that their employees and families have experienced in the U.S. health system. They believe that we can do better, and in taking this step to form this new organization, they have committed to being a part of the solution.”
He also says Haven will later “share our innovations and solutions to help others.”
The venture has caught the eyes of employers and other benefit leaders, who say that the alliance between Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway is the result of growing frustration with high healthcare costs and the lack of quality that goes along with them.
“When large and successful companies come together in this way, it’s potentially disruptive,” Frank Easley, senior vice president of Aon’s health and benefits group, told EBN last year. “The healthcare system is ripe for positive disruption and is in need of new solutions that improve employee satisfaction and reduce costs.”
If Amazon, Berkshire and JPMorgan are successful in lowering costs, the weight of the big three might kick the transformation engine into high gear, leading to a dramatic shift in the benefits delivery as more employers look to use combined leverage to lower their health costs.
“Any time organizations of this caliber — these are world class organizations — say they are going to tackle healthcare, you have to pay attention,” Mike Thompson, president and CEO of the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions told EBN last year. The organization advises around 12,000 organizations that buy health plans for millions of employees.
Thompson said that given Amazon and Berkshire’s records, it’s clear “that they have the potential to truly change the consumer experience for their employees, and frankly, that could become a model that could be used by other employers.”