The news coming down this week that Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan are forming a new healthcare company to drive innovation and control costs has the potential to shake up the healthcare industry in a groundbreaking way.
While companies forming healthcare partnerships with insurance companies and health systems—or even creating their own care network—is nothing new, this story is news because it involves three of the biggest companies in the world. Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan are coming together to try to improve healthcare for their employees and families.
This is an ambitious feat, and even they understand that they don’t have all the answers. But if they each bring their strengths to the table to solve logistical and financial impediments standing in the way of providing quality healthcare to thousands of lives, then they may be able to show how this process can be replicated for mass consumption. And if they can be at the forefront of that kind of evolution in an industry as ripe for change as healthcare is, then they stand to benefit a great deal.
The key will be figuring out how to provide great care and make sure everyone gets their share – insurance companies, physicians, pharmaceutical companies, and other stakeholders.
Hopefully this will drive other similar companies to consider collaboration, maybe on a smaller scale, in an effort to get a piece of the pie. The blend of finance, insurance and technology is one way to approach this challenge, but the addition and innovation of other sectors will only bolster the odds of improving the current state of healthcare in the U.S.
Again, this is already happening on a daily basis. But when you have the likes of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan coming to the table, it adds a whole new dimension and will hopefully push others to step up their game or risk being left behind.
As providers battle to keep up with the myriad of changes to the way they used to do business, they must learn to become more versatile in dealing with new and different payment models and payors apart from traditional insurance. As employers take on a more active role in controlling costs in order to compete on a global scale, providers will need to develop new practices and partnerships in order to take more control over their own future.
Time will tell what fruits the Amazon/Berkshire Hathaway/JP Morgan partnership will bear and the impact it could have on every corner of healthcare. But if the past success of these brands is any indication, we’ll all be better off because they tried.