Already at the beginning of 2018 Amazon announced a partnership with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway to cut health costs and improve services for employees. The project, planned initially for 1.1 million workers of the free companies, was intended to be free from profit-making incentives.
The focus of the new organization was on technology solutions that should provide U.S. employees and their families with simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost. U.S. healthcare consumes already 18% GDP and ranks as one of the most expensive globally. At the same time – the least effective. In 2018, the number of Americans without health insurance increased by about 3.2 million.
Now Amazon – according to CNBC – is starting a pilot clinic later this year for a selected number of employees. The expansion should follow up in 2019. It’s not the first time Amazon tests some new ideas with its own workers before an expansion into new markets. One of the examples is Amazon Go, a small grocery in downtown Seattle. The shop doesn’t have any registers, you simply walk in, pick up what you want to buy and walk out.
Not only Amazon, but also Apple is developing clinics for its own employees.
Why do international giants, operating in e-commerce or tech sector, want to enter healthcare? The reason is simply – health is one of the most attractive economic sectors! Due to Deloitte report, global health care spending is projected to increase at an annual rate of 4.1% in 2017-2021. Both Amazon and Apple have an enormous experience in the service delivery. Digital technologies open new possibilities which are not yet adapted by a conservative healthcare system. Big global players could change it.
To understand the Amazon, JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway partnership’s goals, read what the CEOs of the three companies say:
Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO: “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. 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.”
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO: “The healthcare system is complex, and we enter into this challenge open-eyed about the degree of difficulty. 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.”
Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase: “Our people want transparency, knowledge and control when it comes to managing their healthcare. 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.”