by Thomas Dworetzky
, Contributing Reporter | March 11, 2019
The new Amazon, JP Morgan, Berkshire Hathaway healthcare partnership will be named Haven.
The potential market disrupter is now headed by Dr. Atul Gawande
, who was tapped to head the joint venture 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. “We’ll start small, learn from the experience of patients, and continue to expand to meet their needs.”
While Gawande is a well-known and respected doctor, author and innovator, he lacked a big-time big-healthcare management background compared with other contenders for the top spot, The New York Times noted
when he was chosen.
“He’s such a well-known health care luminary and keen observer, but this is a big leap,” Dr. Lisa Bielamowicz, a co-founder of consultancy Gist Healthcare, told the paper at the time, adding that, “he hasn’t led a huge team or company.”
The Haven name was picked to reflect its stated goal of partnering with providers in the market to address healthcare needs of the trio's 1.2 million employees, according to CNBC
Haven, said Gawande on the venture's website, 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.”
In his statement Gawande explained, “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.”
The move by the trio was spurred, in part, because of frustration with meeting the healthcare needs of its own employees.
A new website was launched to accompany the naming announcement. Newly revealed details from that site highlight Haven's main focus areas, which include easing the complexity of maneuvering through the present healthcare system and making affordable treatments and prescription drugs more available.
Gawande stressed that the venture will be “relentless” in its efforts to “create new solutions and work to change systems, technologies, contracts, policy, and whatever else is in the way of better health care.”
When the trio established the joint venture in January 2018, the companies compared the ballooning costs of healthcare to “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. 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,” Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO, Warren Buffett said at the time.
Amazon's founder and CEO Jeff Bezos also added at the time, that “the health care system is complex, and we enter into this challenge open-eyed about the degree of difficulty.”