Buffett, Bezos and Dimon Join Forces to Transform Healthcare

Conor Clarke
  • New alliance to be named Haven
  • Initially aiding employees, Haven could shake up American healthcare system
  • Amazon’s expansion into pharmacy business?

 

In January of 2018, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway and Jamie Dimon, C.E.O of JP Morgan announced their intentions to join forces and transform healthcare services for their employees. The new alliance is to be called Haven, with a new website launched in recent weeks, shortly after the three firms released their venture’s name. Initially serving about 1m workers from across the three firms, Haven hopes to apply the knowledge and experience they accrues to transform the wider healthcare industry.
Atul Gawande, surgeon and writer was revealed as chief-executive of the non-for-profit organisation. Gawande believes that “all people deserve quality health care that is both affordable and accessible” according to Haven’s webpage. Gawande faces a mammoth task tackling the status-quo but his success could spell a revolution for healthcare across the US.

Turning Frustration into Innovation
Haven was born out of the frustration experiences by Bezos, Buffett and Dimon regarding the extortionate cost, poor quality and service their employees experience engaging with the US health system.
Unlike universally accessible systems, the US system is much harder to navigate. The Federal Government provides only two kinds of health plan, predominantly assisting the elderly, disabled, poor and young. Many Americans rely on their employers to provide health benefits as part of their renumeration to access any sort of healthcare affordably. President Obama attempted to reform the system in the States during his presidency to much controversy and furore with Obamacare. Current president, Donald Trump called the plan “an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster” in a December 2018 tweet, pushing for reforms to the plan.
With much still to be done, Haven is leading the way in revolutionizing the American system and could be the key to deciding a future model for healthcare in the US.

Amazon’s Next Step into Pharmacy Business?
Retail, entertainment and logistics; just some of the sectors Amazon has reinvented and revolutionized since it began in Bezos’s Washington garage in the 1990s. While Haven was started to aid the employees of Amazon, JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway, it could further signal Amazon’s intentions to shake up yet another industry.
In June 2018, Amazon acquired start-up PillPack, a mail-order prescription drug firm, sending share prices of major pharmacy chains like CVS and Walgreens tumbling. It appeared Amazon was adding drugs to list of millions of products it offers in the US.
But, while Bezos’s interest in Haven may be a sign that Amazon plans on expanding into healthcare even further in the near future, the PillPack acquisition may aid Haven’s operations. Having the ability to deliver medication directly to employees removes middlemen from the supply chain; pharmacies and drug stores.

Good Things Come in Threes
While an overhaul of a disorganized, costly health system may seem to some like an insurmountable task, the three founders of Haven definitely have the expertise, knowledge and resources to try.
As mentioned, the acquisition of PillPack along with Amazon’s resources and ability to innovate will surely aid Haven’s pursuits. Buffett’s operations include Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance which includes healthcare professional liability and medical stop loss insurance, according to their website, and banking giant JP Morgan already service a number of clients from all levels of the health industry, giving them in-depth understanding in the industry.
Henry Ford famously said “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Bezos, Buffett and Dimon may have come together but only time will tell if their alliance is a success.

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