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January 5, 2021
Three years ago, Berkshire Hathaway Chief Executive Warren Buffett and two other companies entered the healthcare realm.
“The ballooning costs of health care act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy,” Buffett said in prepared remarks. “Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But we also do not accept it as inevitable.”
Haven Healthcare’s goal
Buffett’s remarks signaled the creation of Haven Healthcare – a joint venture of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase.
At the core of its mission as a non-profit organization, the team planned to reduce healthcare costs for all three entities by providing:
- Technological solutions
- Primary care access
- Affordability in prescription drugs
The organization’s three-year stint included a number of high-profile talent acquisitions, oversight and advisory by executives within the founding companies, and controversy around intellectual property developed by outside organizations being utilized by Haven.
The three entities launched the product for their own employees to utilize. Haven had always operated quietly, never claiming bold success or indicating future intentions. Limited press releases and minimal fanfare created significant mystery around the organization’s intentions for healthcare and benefits.
There was speculation that Haven would eventually launch a product portfolio to the broader marketplace. With Amazon’s recent acquisition of PillPack and Berkshire’s insurance operations, the pieces appeared to be in place to support a product launch.
Was Haven successful?
An official announcement was made today that Haven’s operations would cease at the end of February 2021 – just three years after formation of the organization. On Haven Healthcare’s website – www.havenhealthcare.com – is the three-paragraph conclusion of the organization’s existence.
Applause to those who tried to undertake this initiative. The challenge of the initiative from the beginning was the idea that there could be an “easy fix” to the problem.
However, the variables of provider pricing, care quality, new therapies and technology and patient engagement canceled out Haven’s talent pool of data scientists and analysts.
A better solution
Ultimately healthcare is a local activity in the acquisition of services and must be addressed in this manner.
Without the analysis of local unit costing, plan design, and most importantly clinical staff to engage patients, sustainable cost savings and reductions cannot be achieved.
Through Apex’s analytics and clinical staff, we can assist employers with creating this cost savings and reduction activity. We provide guidance in the areas of health/medical, stop loss/reinsurance, wellness, dental, vision, life, disability and voluntary benefits.
Does that interest you? Give us a call.