- The Amazon, J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway nonprofit venture aimed at lowering healthcare costs has a name after over a year of ambiguity: Haven. The new company unveiled a website that includes a letter from CEO Atul Gawande but adds little concrete detail to the high-profile company's plans.
- "We are focused on leveraging the power of data and technology to drive better incentives, a better patient experience, and a better system," the website reads under 'Vision', though it cautioned against quick fixes.
- The three powerhouses announced in January 2018 formation of the independent entity to take on the healthcare needs of their combined 1.2 million U.S. employees, free from any "profit-making incentives and constraints." The new website reiterates Haven will "reinvest any surplus back into our work."
For healthcare players hungry for any tidbits on the partnership, there's little additional concrete detail on Haven's plans moving forward. The new website does note tech will play a significant role, and it previewed "common-sense fixes" to issues like care access and prescription drug affordability.
But the venture tamped down expectations for big results or moves in the near term. "Our work may take many forms, and solutions may take time to develop," the site reads.
The name Haven reflects the nonprofit company's goal to "be a partner" to Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan employees and their families, while assisting clinicians to improve a flawed system, according to the site. About half of Americans receive healthcare coverage through their employer, making it fertile ground for far-reaching change.
Gawande has been meeting with employees across the three companies over the past few months to talk about their healthcare experiences.
The new branding mirrors the employee demographics of the three giants, Pete Killian, a partner at brand consultancy Vivaldi told Healthcare Dive.
"Haven is telling people that there's somewhere to go," he said. "If you think about the business model and the employees of the three companies, they're wealthier employees by and large — that's who they're trying to optimize this model for."
In a statement, Gawande highlighted lofty goals for the newly-named unit, including patient advocacy, removing barriers to disruption in a manner that is high impact and sustainable.
So far the news has been centered on personnel, with Haven recruiting a spate of high-profile players. After naming New Yorker author and Harvard Medical professor Gawande as CEO, it brought on former UnitedHealth and Comcast exec Jack Stoddard as COO, ex-SVP of enterprise analytics at BCBS Massachusetts Dana Gelb Safran and former Optum exec David Smith as Director of Product Strategy and Research.
That last hire spawned a lawsuit from Smith's previous employer. Optum alleged Smith was hired specifically to steal confidential information. A federal judge sided with Haven, ruling Smith could continue working at the healthcare startup.
Haven is headquartered in Boston and has an office in New York. It is hiring across 15 different fields, including data science, HR, strategy and research and tech.