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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett last January announced they were teaming up to tackle rising health-care costs. They formed a nonprofit company and named renowned surgeon, author and speaker Dr. Atul Gawande as CEO in June.
“We want to change the way people experience health care so that it is simpler, better, and lower cost,” Gawande said in a statement on Wednesday. “We’ll start small, learn from the experience of patients, and continue to expand to meet their needs.”
Prior to the big reveal, many industry insiders referred to the venture as “ABC” or “ABJ.” The company said the name choice of “Haven” lines up with its mission to be a “partner” to care providers and to focus on the health-care needs of the 1.2 million Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and J.P Morgan workers. Since his appointment, Gawande has been meeting with employees at these three companies to understand their health-care experiences.
In addition to its new brand, the company also unveiled a website with more details about the venture, including a number of areas of focus. These include: Improving the process of navigating the complex health-care system, and accessing affordable treatments and prescription drugs.
Haven also said on its website that it’s interested in working with clinicians and insurance companies to improve the overall health-care system, suggesting the venture wants to work with existing players such as insurers, providers and pharmacy benefit managers rather than uprooting them.
The website also includes a letter where Gawande describes Haven’s role as being “an advocate for the patient and an ally to anyone — clinicians, industry leaders, innovators, policymakers, and others — who makes patient care and costs better.”
That follows a statement from Haven Chief Operating Officer Jack Stoddard, who recently said the group wants to make health care easier to understand, less expensive and ideally produce better outcomes for employees, according to court testimony in a hiring dispute between the new venture and a unit of insurer UnitedHealth Group.
And at a dinner during J.P. Morgan’s annual health-care conference in January, Dimon told a room of industry leaders that he and his partners “are not happy with health-care costs and want to help,” according to two people with knowledge of the event who asked not to be named because it was private.
Here’s the full copy of the memo from Gawande:
As a surgeon, I’ve devoted my career to caring for my patients and working to make the health care system better. I believe all people deserve quality health care that is both affordable and accessible.
Haven was formed by the leaders of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase 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.
We know that this work will take time, and we’ll need the help of others, but we will tackle problems step-by-step and make sure that patients remain our top priority. These are our guiding principles:
- We will be an advocate for the patient and an ally to anyone — clinicians, industry leaders, innovators, policymakers, and others — who makes patient care and costs better.
- We will create new solutions and work to change systems, technologies, contracts, policy, and whatever else is in the way of better health care.
- We will be relentless. We will insure our work has high impact and is sustainable. And we are committed to doing this work for the long-term.