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Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan Chase partner to build healthcare company with focus on reducing costs

The new nonprofit plans to give people more control and greater transparency into their healthcare to improve satisfaction and drive down costs.

Bernie Monegain, Editor, Healthcare IT News

Amazon, the world's ubiquitous online store, revealed today it is collaborating with Warren Buffet, who heads Berkshire Hathaway, and the bank JPMorgan Chase to build an independent, nonprofit healthcare company with the goal of increasing user satisfaction and reducing costs. 

The first order of business, the partners announced, is focusing on technology solutions that will provide U.S. employees and their families simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost. They plan to draw on their combined capabilities and resources to take a fresh approach.

[Also: Amazon's missed deadline sparks pharma speculation]

"The ballooning costs of healthcare act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy," Buffett said in a statement. "Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But we also do not accept it as inevitable."

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos added that the partners are entering into the challenge aware that it will be difficult. 

[Also: Aetna's shares drop, earnings report eclipsed by news of Amazon's venture into healthcare IT]

"Hard as it might be, reducing healthcare's burden on the economy while improving outcomes for employees and their families would be worth the effort," Bezos said. "Success is going to require talented experts, a beginner's mind, and a long-term orientation."

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon added that people want transparency and more control over their own healthcare and the partners intend to work toward that for their own employees initially and potentially for all Americans.

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