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April 2018  Volume 16, Number 4        

A Partnership with an Eye to Better Health Care

Three successful American companies decided to see if the status quo of rising health care costs and decreasing patient satisfaction can be improved.

Chief Executive Officers Jeff Bezos of Amazon; Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway; and Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase announced earlier this year that they created a new company tasked to find ways to transform the health care system for their combined one million employees.

Employers are watching closely to see if the new partnership between the non-medical service companies can improve health care and reduce costs for their employees. If the plan is successful, the new ideas might be something other employers could adopt.

Key among the executives’ goals is increasing transparency. The Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement says that few consumers know the true cost of the services they pay for. Kevin Shulman, a professor at Duke University’s medical school, said nearly $1 of every $5 (18 percent) goes to health care expenses, and that health care costs have increased almost 60 percent the last 10 years.

Though the partners released no details, there have been hints that they will put at least some of their focus on these three areas:

Technology – Amazon boasts a strong technology platform and could spur new innovations, such as artificial intelligence or new information-sharing platforms to streamline health care delivery.

Customer Service – The three executives agreed that improving patient experience and customer service will be a high priority. Amazon in particular is known for its customer service and observers are anxious to see what changes they will influence.

Administrative Costs – Almost 30 percent of health care spending goes to administrative costs. Observers believe Berkshire Hathaway, an insurance industry leader, and JP Morgan, a banking leader, will probably tackle reducing administrative costs. It remains to be seen how this strategy would be applied to other companies

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In this issue:

This Just In ... Future Uncertain for Wellness Program Incentive Rules

Don’t Let a Flu Epidemic Take Your Business Down

Tuition Assistance for a Better Future

Making a 401(k) Plan a Reality for Your Employees

A Partnership with an Eye to Better Health Care



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