Amazon, Buffett, JP Morgan Health Care Company To Be Based In Boston

Dr. Atul Gawande

"I have devoted my public health career to building scalable solutions for better healthcare delivery that are saving lives, reducing suffering, and eliminating wasteful spending both in the USA and across the world", Gawande said in a statement.

Executives from the three companies were interested in Dr. Gawande based on his experience at Ariadne Labs, a person familiar with the matter said.

Gawande's best-selling books, like his most recent one, "Being Mortal", have boosted his global profile. The three business leaders have said Americans could make more use of technology to improve care and Dimon, in a letter to shareholders in April mentioned telemedicine, wellness programs and end-of-life care.

While we don't know the name of the entity that Gawande will lead, one thing we know is that it will function as "an independent entity that is free from profit-making incentives and constraints", according to a press release.

"I have devoted my public health career to building scalable solutions for better healthcare delivery that are saving lives, reducing suffering, and eliminating wasteful spending both in the United States and across the world", Gawande said in a statement put out by the companies. Insurance premiums have soared 55% over the past decade, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, contributing to the growing dissatisfaction voiced by employers.

One of the big influences the prominent US corporate giants could have in the health care market is pricing leverage. Gawande, who now practices general and endocrine surgery at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital and is a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, will assume the position on July 9. Any ideas developed by the three companies could be used widely. Many patients, especially the sickest, struggle with that.

Amazon, Berkshire and JPMorgan announced the joint venture in January, saying US healthcare costs were rising too fast and holding back economic growth. Employers have reacted in part to rising expenses by raising deductibles and other costs, asking their workers to pay more of the bill and to shop around for better deals. And they're going with a Renaissance man. If, for instance, you are a runner considering knee surgery, Amazon could lay out the best or common practices for your condition and maybe show that surgery isn't your only option.

Gawande starts his new role July 9.

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