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Taking on the ‘tapeworm’: 3 huge firms forming healthcare company to lower costs and improve care

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News that Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase are forming an independent healthcare company to serve their  U.S. employees is probably very good news for those seeking cheaper and better healthcare in what is now among the Developed World’s worst healthcare systems, albeit very profitable for many physicians, hospital executives and insurers. The three companies are so big and powerful that many institutions will feel compelled to follow their lead.

The new enterprise would initially focus on technology to develop simplified, high-quality  care for their employees and their families at a reasonable cost.  The American healthcare system is by far the world’s most expensive on a per-capita basis as well as its most complicated, confused and inefficient.  And medical outcomes are worse than in most of the Developed World.

The companies said the initiative would be a long-term effort “free from profit-making incentives and constraints.” That’s bad news for our currently heavily profit-driven system of providers and insurers.

As The New York Times noted, the announcement “illustrates the rapid changes affecting the healthcare industry in the United States, where lines that have separated traditionally distinct sectors, like care provision and insurance, are increasingly blurred. CVS Health’s deal last month to buy the health insurer Aetna for about $69 billion is just one example of the shifts underway.” The project by the three huge companies could be very bad competitive  news for the likes of CVS.

It could also be very bad news for some providers now making big profits.

“The ballooning costs of health care 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. 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.”

To read the article, please hit this link.

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