×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan Chase Partner to Shake Up Health Care Industry

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have teamed to form a new company designed to bring innovations to the health care industry.

The three business giants unveiled the plan on Tuesday with few details other than to say the focus of the venture is on “improving employee satisfaction and reducing costs” for each company’s U.S. employees. By CNBC’s estimate, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase have more than 1.1 million domestic employees.

“The healthcare system is complex, and we enter into this challenge open-eyed about the degree of difficulty,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “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. Success is going to require talented experts, a beginner’s mind, and a long-term orientation.”

Amazon’s participation in the venture is yet another example of Bezos’ outsized ambition to leverage the enormous clout of the e-commerce giant well beyond the retail sector of the economy. Last year, Amazon expanded into the brick-and-mortar supermarket business with its purchase of Whole Foods. Amazon in the past few years has poured billions of dollars into building up its Amazon Prime streaming platform and Amazon Studios film and TV production unit. The company is in the midst of a search for a new leader for Amazon Studios, a recruiting process that has been closely watched in Hollywood.

The partners in the health care effort emphasized that the unnamed venture is still in the early planning stages. Berkshire Hathaway investment officer Todd Combs is spearheading the launch with Marvelle Sullivan Berchtold, a managing director of JPMorgan Chase, and Beth Galetti, a senior VP at Amazon.

The three CEOs made clear in announcing the plan that they view the U.S. health care system as deeply flawed in ways that are a danger to the national interest. The goal is to leverage the considerable resources of the three private companies into a drive for technology-driven innovations at a company that will be “free from profit-making incentives and constraints,” according to the news release.

“The ballooning costs of healthcare act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy. Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But we also do not accept it as inevitable,” said Berkshire Hathaway chairman-CEO Warren Buffett. “Rather, we share the belief that putting our collective resources behind the country’s best talent can, in time, check the rise in health costs while concurrently enhancing patient satisfaction and outcomes.”

The effort comes at a time of turmoil in the health care biz as the Trump administration’s efforts to repeal Obama-era health care reforms have stalled but federal funding and other support for existing Obamacare programs are still in jeopardy. The venture is a clear signal that business leaders are fed up with the partisan gridlock on health care policy. Although the new company will focus on initiatives to benefit the employees of the partners, there’s no doubt the goal is to develop innovations that can have a wider application beyond the halls of the three companies.

“Our people want transparency, knowledge and control when it comes to managing their healthcare,” said Jamie Dimon, chairman-CEO of JPMorgan Chase. “The three of our companies have extraordinary resources, and our goal is to create solutions that benefit our U.S. employees, their families and, potentially, all Americans.”

(Pictured: Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett)

More Biz

  • Delta Air Lines celebrates Grammy Weekend

    Halsey, Jonas Brothers, Zedd to Headline iHeartMedia Wango Tango Concert

    Jonas Brothers, Halsey, 5 Seconds of Summer, Zedd, Ally Brooke (with special guest Tyga), Ava Max, Fletcher and Tomorrow X Together will perform at iHeartMedia’s annual Wango Tango concert at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles (formerly StubHub Center) on June 1. Freeform will broadcast a 90-minute television special on Friday, June 7 [...]

  • Prince Memoir, ‘The Beautiful Ones,’ to

    Prince Memoir, ‘The Beautiful Ones,’ to Be Released in October

    The memoir Prince was working on at the time of his death is coming out Oct. 29, according to the Associated Press. Publisher Random House confirmed Monday that “The Beautiful Ones” will combine Prince’s unfinished manuscript with rare photos, scrapbooks and lyrics. Announced just weeks before his 2016 death, the 288-page book, issued in partnership [...]

  • Abigail Disney on Bob Iger

    Abigail Disney Calls Bob Iger's $65 Million Compensation 'Insane'

    Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger’s total compensation for Disney’s fiscal 2018 was a whopping $65.6 million. Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Disney co-founder Roy Disney, calls that sum “insane.”  While speaking at the Fast Company Impact Council, the filmmaker and philanthropist insisted that this level of corporate payout has a “corrosive effect on society.” Disney took [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Signs of Solidarity and Strain Emerge as Week 2 of WGA-Talent Agency Standoff Begins

    Hundreds of WGA members rallied solidly behind their union last week as the industry grappled with uncertainties spurred by the sudden break between writers and their talent agency representatives. But as the standoff heads into its second week, signs of strain among some WGA members are beginning to emerge. Shalom Auslander, author and creator of [...]

  • Woodstock 50 Festival Postpones Ticket On-Sale

    Woodstock 50 Festival Postpones Ticket On-Sale Date

    UPDATED: The troubled Woodstock 50 festival has run into more difficulties, as multiple sources told Variety late Friday that the April 22 on-sale date for the event has been postponed. Agents for artists scheduled to perform at the festival — which include Jay-Z, Dead & Company, Chance the Rapper, Miley Cyrus, Imagine Dragons and Halsey [...]

  • National Enquirer - Jeff Bezos

    Hudson Media CEO James Cohen Purchases the National Enquirer

    Hudson Media’s CEO James Cohen announced Thursday that he will purchase the National Enquirer as well as American Media’s other tabloids, the Globe and the National Examiner. With the purchase of the National Enquirer, which Cohen reportedly bought for $100 million, he plans to strengthen their collaborative efforts, documentary shows, weekly podcasts, and theme parks. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content