Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase just named a Chief Executive Officer for their new healthcare company initiative.
In January, the three major companies announced their plans to form an independent health company, “free from profit-making incentives and constraints,” which would provide their employees with more affordable care and better options.
Now, the giants brought their plans one step closer to fruition. On Wednesday, they named Dr. Atul Gawande the new healthcare company CEO.
Qualifications of New Healthcare Company CEO
Dr. Gawande has an impressive curriculum vitae. He is a practicing surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Additionally, he is a professor at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. He is also the founding executive director of Ariadne Labs, a health systems innovation center.
Under another hat, Dr. Gawande writes for The New Yorker and has written four books, each making the New York Times Bestsellers’ list.
Dr. Gawande’s most recent book, Being Mortal, may be of particular interest to seniors at Elmwood Hills Healthcare Center. It speaks about end-of-life care, but from a position showing “the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life – all the way to the very end.”
Dr. Gawande is scheduled to start his new role on July 9 in Boston – the headquarters of the new healthcare company.
The initiative doesn’t seek to limit itself to internal healthcare but to expand to outside companies and its focus is on the system of healthcare as a whole, rather than just lowering drug costs.1
It doesn’t, however, mean it will be an easy journey. Others, including Walmart, have tried to change the system only to come up short.2
The partners aren’t oblivious to the challenges, though. In fact, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO, Warren Buffett expects lots of resistance ahead. But he is optimistic in Gawande as the new healthcare company CEO to deliver: “Jamie, Jeff and I are confident that we have found in Atul the leader who will get this important job done.”
Areas to Tackle
In addition to targeting costs and providing better options, Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, sees other areas of concern, waiting to be tackled, including:
- Costs of chronic care
- Administrative costs
- Expensive end-of-life costs – ‘This is an area of expertise for Gawande. In his 2014 book “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End,” Gawande argued against prolonging a poor quality of life for the elderly and terminally ill.’
To sum it up in the words of Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos: “We said at the outset that the degree of difficulty is high and success is going to require an expert’s knowledge, a beginner’s mind, and a long-term orientation. Atul embodies all three, and we’re starting strong as we move forward in this challenging and worthwhile endeavor.”3
How would you like to see the healthcare system changed?
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Disclaimer, or Use At Your Own Risk
Elmwood Hills Healthcare Center does not take any responsibility for the content of this post and any action you take based on its information is strictly at your own risk. You should always speak to your doctor regarding medical information and your health.