Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Dimon, Bezos, Buffett tap Atul Gawande for new healthcare firm

Dimon, Bezos, Buffett tap Atul Gawande for new healthcare firm

The new health care company being formed by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, billionaire investor Warren Buffett and JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon will be based in Boston.

Public health researcher and writer of four New York Times bestsellers Atul Gawande, M.D., will begin serving as chief executive officer of the new company starting July 9, officials announced Wednesday morning.

His expertise in such areas could prove useful as he leads this new venture, which will initially focus on tech solutions that will help the three companies' USA employees and their families with healthcare. "And, you know, if you had some really smart people running it that knew a lot about medicine, they're going to-they could do a lot about it", Buffett said in the appearance. He said in a statement Wednesday that he has devoted his career in public health to building solutions for better care delivery, and that while the current system is broken, "better is possible". Insurance premiums have soared 55% over the past decade, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, contributing to the growing dissatisfaction voiced by employers. Many patients, especially the sickest, struggle with that.

Gawande may come as an unexpected choice to lead this new health care company, whose aim is to decrease health care costs and improve outcomes for the approximately one million employees in the triumvirate's workforce.

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Munger thought the article was so socially useful that he blindly mailed Gawande a $20,000 check, Buffett told CNBC at the time.

"All felt that better care can be delivered and that rising costs can be checked".

Fed up with the status quo, some major firms like Walmart Inc. have separately experimented with bypassing insurers entirely, instead buying health care for their workers directly from doctors and hospitals. The move rattled shares of the healthcare supply chain, including CVS Health and Express Scripts, among others.

Amazon, JPMorgan and Berkshire said in late January that the initial focus of their new company will be on technology that provides simplified, high-quality and transparent care "at a reasonable cost". The new organization is meant to come up with ways to address the health care costs for the companies' employees, though its founders have indicated they hope that it comes up with solutions that could be spread across the entire USA health system. Last month, he said the goal is to challenge the entire healthcare industry, not individual segments.

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