Amazon is openly DISRUPTING health care as well as quietly under-the-radar

“Three corporate behemoths — Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase — announced…that they would form an independent health care company for their employees in the United States.
The alliance was a sign of just how frustrated American businesses are with the state of the nation’s health care system and the rapidly spiraling cost of medical treatment. It also caused further turmoil in an industry reeling from attempts by new players to attack a notoriously inefficient, intractable web of doctors, hospitals, insurers and pharmaceutical companies.
It was unclear how extensively the three partners would overhaul their employees’ existing health coverage — whether they would simply help workers find a local doctor, steer employees to online medical advice or use their muscle to negotiate lower prices for drugs and procedures. While the alliance will apply only to their employees, these corporations are so closely watched that whatever successes they have could become models for other businesses.” (A)

“The companies said their project will focus on technology that provides simplified and transparent care. Based on the executives who have been named to top roles at the new company, Jefferies & Co. analyst Brian Tanquilut said there is a good chance it will eventually try to negotiate prices directly with health care providers like hospitals, bypassing companies that act as middlemen. That could reduce costs in the medical and pharmaceutical supply chains.
“The initial plan for the new entity will be on partnering with and/or acquiring various consumer-orientated health care technology capabilities (i.e. a venture capital strategy) and eventually using them to influence and incentivize health care cost-reducing behavior,” he said, basing his speculation on the executives picked to shepherd the new company along.” (B)

“Techno-utopian visions of algorithm-driven health-care apps and artificial medical intelligence robots aside, the most important components of the still-theoretical project are actually deeply rooted in the history of health care, both in the United States and around the world. This history illustrates the potential promise of the new initiative: It might provide cheaper, better care for all Americans while facing fewer political hurdles and requiring fewer jarring changes to the system.
Notably light on details, the announcement offered two specific components beyond its emphasis on technology. (Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos also owns The Washington Post.) First, the new company would be “free from profit-making incentives and constraints.” Second, the overall goal would be “improving employee satisfaction and reducing costs.”
This first component is the more newsworthy one, as well as the one most likely to revolutionize American health care. Abandoning the profit motive in health insurance would be a notable break — by three of America’s leading companies no less — from nearly a half-century of corporate and conservative ideology that has maintained that free-market profit incentives are the best means of achieving efficiency and cost reductions in health care (and most other economic spheres).” (C)

“Clearly the cost of care has produced a tipping point. It might be just becoming too much—costs are so onerous and unsustainable that they can’t look the other way,” Gartner analyst Barry Runyon said. “We can’t afford healthcare. Normal middle-class people go into bankruptcy with one bad illness.”
Experts agree that the accelerated attempts to disrupt the industry by slashing costs are noble and innovative. But they disagree as to whether the companies—be it Amazon and friends or CVS and Aetna—can succeed in influencing healthcare pricing.
While acknowledging that costs need to be reined in, healthcare leaders point to larger societal problems that often end up on their front doors and have a ripple effect across the system.
“It’s important to keep in mind that the bulk of healthcare problems—and costs—stem from lifestyle behaviors and social circumstances,” Michael Dowling, CEO of Northwell Health, said in an email responding to questions about the Amazon-JPMorgan-Berkshire venture. “I would like to see some of these companies go into poor neighborhoods and try to figure out how to address health issues stemming from poverty, lack of jobs and all the negative social circumstances that contribute to chronic illness, substance abuse and health disparities in this country. That’s the biggest challenge. ” “ (D)

“Those who’ve been engaged in the struggle to find the true cost of healthcare have been working for years with limited success. Oftentimes, they have difficulty getting data from health plans or medical care providers.
“Resistance to transparency in healthcare remains high,” says Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement CEO Elizabeth Mitchell, who welcomes Amazon, Berkshire and JPMorgan’s new company. “Employers who pay for this care still don’t have insight into the relative value of what they are buying. They are looking for a way to have assurance that they are paying a fair price for a high-quality service.”
The Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement has long said any health reform effort needs to look closely at transparency because data that reveals the total and true cost of care is difficult to find. In a report last year, NRHI said health spending by U.S. commercial insurers can vary by $1,000 or more per year per patient, depending on where enrollees live.
The potential for the Amazon-Berkshire healthcare company to disrupt the way health plans do business is one reason shares of many healthcare companies tumbled Tuesday after the partnership was announced.” (E)

“The U.S. health care industry might be seeing the early signs of major shifts such as employers exerting pricing power to rein in costs; the aggressive use of technology such as drones and databases to predict, diagnose and treat diseases; and, consequently, an upending of the bargaining power of providers such as hospitals, physicians and pharmaceutical companies. All those and more are expected to come from a health care alliance announced last week by three heavyweights – Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, led by their respective CEOs, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon.
“They are acting as customers of health care on behalf of their employees and they are saying, ‘We finally have to get our act together and do something serious,’” said Robert Field, Wharton lecturer in health care management who is also professor of health management and policy at Drexel University. “[However,] the big question is: Will they develop something that’s scalable and transportable? If not, they will undoubtedly accomplish great things for their employees. But it will pretty much stop at that.”
Field predicted the alliance will use technology to dramatically change the way health care is delivered. “This is going to move us closer to more technologically focused health care, from drones dropping our prescriptions at our door to artificial intelligence algorithms spotting disease trends and large databases helping to diagnose you and treat you,” he said. “We’re going to lose the personal touch in health care, but perhaps we need to be going in this direction. We don’t have the corner bookshop the way we used to, and we don’t have a corner pharmacy the way we used to. Health care is going to go there one way or another.”
Wharton management professor John R. Kimberly said he wasn’t sure if the new company the trio plans to set up would be successful in lowering health care costs. “In theory, it could potentially [lower costs and improve access] for their employees,” he said. “[But] in practice, [those effects are] not so clear, even for their employees.” The three companies have a combined workforce of a million employees.
According to Kimberly, the big question is the likely impact on the larger health care industry. He identified at least two avenues of potential impact. “First is the impact of whatever models/arrangements the troika is able to develop, implement and spread to the larger market. Second is the kinds of second- and third- order effects the troika might have on the industry as a whole.” (F)

“This latest move has engendered robust debate. Proponents liberally term it “disruptive,” seeing a natural diversification opportunity for the company that has aspired to be “earth’s most customer-centric company.” Meanwhile, skeptics highlight Amazon’s lack of expertise in health care, a sector that many deem curiously resistant to the competitive forces that characterize the retail and web services markets in which Amazon has thrived. Given this state of affairs, it is worth thinking about Amazon’s efforts in a conditional manner: If Amazon succeeds in changing health care, how might it do so? (Disclosure: I own a very small number of Amazon shares.)
While Amazon’s collaboration with Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase would obviously leverage the purchasing power of three massive employers and could lead to innovative insurance models, it seems that the bigger opportunity would be in improving how care is delivered to patients. At its root, health care is a service that needs to be delivered to a customer. For existing health care companies, the operative words in that mandate have been “health care”; for Amazon, the operative words likely are “service that needs to be delivered to a customer.” To the extent that Amazon’s perspective is correct, it is worth considering the types of experience the company could apply to health care.” (G)

“One viewpoint, published yesterday by Harvard Business School professor Robert Huckman, explored ways Amazon’s strengths might help it become a health care power. You can read Huckman’s essay in full on the Harvard Business Review’s site; here’s a summary of some of his points:
• The company that brought you one-click ordering could streamline health care processes too, bringing its reach and focus on convenience to the marketplace: Its “expertise could be used to improve health care delivery by addressing the administrative hassle and scheduling challenges faced by patients seeking routine services in a one-stop setting,” he wrote.
• Its work on frictionless commerce could greatly reduce overhead in an industry known for massive and complex data entry requirements. Some hospitals, Huckman noted, are already investing real-time patient tracking that could give them useful information about patients.
“These pieces of information, all of which are collected by the simple movement of people and equipment through established workflows, can be helpful in improving operational execution for the complex services provided in many health care settings,” wrote Huckman.
• Amazon already knows a ton about consumer purchasing decisions. Could it turn its analytical expertise to patient information? It might, for example, plumb a “wealth of integrated data that links an individual’s medical record with their overall purchasing patterns, genetic information (particularly if Amazon eventually does blood draws in convenient settings), and activity patterns,” he wrote.” (H)

“With all of its technology and unique advancements, the United States sucks at healthcare. The real problem with Obamacare is that it does not fix the “suck” part or the cost part — it just shifts where the bill goes.
So, a whole bunch of U.S. citizens, myself included, now are paying more and getting less coverage. That is neither any way to get re-elected nor any way to run a country. Typically screwing your constituents does not work well for elections, and that played a much bigger role in the last election than most realize (or want to admit).
I think Jeff Bezos gets this — it’s not rocket science. He likely understands that if the government really is not going to step up (it still is arguing over who pays, not the amount on the bill) then a heavy-hitting corporation must.
Amazon has the reach and capability to reduce healthcare costs massively through better records management; implementation of aggressive artificial intelligence-based diagnoses or diagnosis validation; ability to negotiate better drug prices; scalable AI-based patent monitoring; and policies that could address abuses, such as the overuse of painkillers, more effectively.
Individual benefits would include better and more comprehensive access to medical records; programmatic analysis of those records, triggering proactive medical procedures; more aggressive health monitoring; and far broader access to emerging medical technology and drugs.
Amazon has the capability both to lower healthcare costs and raise performance, so that Americans no longer would be paying the most for healthcare while being outranked in performance by 72 countries whose citizens pay less, often far less.” (I)

“A new report from the financial research firm Leerink, which has been closely covering Amazon’s moves in health care, says Amazon is expanding the team that’s exploring a move into the pharmacy business.
Researchers at Leerink interviewed an anonymous former senior Amazon employee, who described an exploratory team at Amazon that was once 7 to 8 people, and is now 30 to 40.
The goal appears to be to ensure its customers stay loyal and that all their needs, including health and medical, are serviced on
Amazon’s entry into the pharmaceutical business seems inevitable to many in the health sector, particularly in light of the $3 billion market opportunity, and Leerink thinks it’s a matter of “when,” not “if.”
“Ultimately, Amazon is looking to bolster its Prime membership program, which by signing up for a subscription provides customers with benefits including free shipping, expedited delivery, and other perks,” the report states.
“Amazon saw the inclusion of pharmaceutical drugs as a natural add-on to its existing product offerings.”
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has eyed the pharmacy business for years, dating back to an investment in the startup in the 1990s. That business was eventually acquired by Walgreens, and later shuttered.
“The specialist indicated that Amazon’s decision to enter pharmacy has been in the works for some time,” the report reads.
As CNBC has reported, Amazon has been busy in the last year meeting with folks across the industry, including generic drug makers, to figure out how it can break into the space.
The consumables team, led by Eric French, initially kicked off the research process. That team also includes the company’s groceries product. In May, the company started interviewing for a pharmacy general manager to lead the team, and it has been looking to recruit health experts for months — most recently, a health privacy lead. Amazon held exploratory talks in November with generic-drug makers like Sandoz and Mylan.” (J)

“While it appears Amazon’s plans to create a healthcare company aren’t fully formed, the use of data and digital tools are two likely priorities moving forward, according a Wall Street Journal report.
The news outlet obtained a document from December that outlined an initial proposal for a joint venture between Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway that was officially announced by the three companies on Tuesday. Although industry experts speculate the new business would take over health insurance and pharmacy benefits for employees of those companies, one source told the Wall Street Journal that idea is no longer on the table.
But the document does spell out a clear interest in data and new digital health gadgets. Part of the plan includes an initiative to create a healthcare data warehouse. The companies also want to partner with healthcare systems to use technology to care for patients outside of the hospital, along with digital tools that facilitate data sharing.
Those aren’t particularly innovative concepts in the healthcare world. Telemedicine adoption is on the rise and health systems are already investing in digital tools to streamline patient care. But Amazon’s market power, combined with its tech prowess, could be a driving force for more widespread adoption—similar to the way Apple’s foray into medical records is viewed by some as a sea change for better patient access to health data.
Greg Caressi, transformational health senior vice president at Frost & Sullivan, sees this as an initial step that could lead to broader participation in the healthcare market.
“Companies who are financially responsible for their employee’s healthcare and need a healthy and productive workforce to remain competitive, are searching for answers and looking to innovate beyond the current health system approaches,” he said in an email to FierceHealthcare. “This is an example of innovative companies combining to create new models to address health care and health system issues that impact their business. They are disrupting the system to meet broader goals, which will advance change in a slow moving ecosystem.” (K)

“Large employers have the resources to hire human resources professionals and benefits consultants to shop for their health plans. At least theoretically, those people should know more about how to pick a good health insurance plan that will serve the needs of the company’s workers. And the bigger the companies, the more they can pay to hire people really good to do that work, since their salary gets split many times over.
Have employers used these advantages to find huge savings? Not over all. Employer health insurance tends to be more expensive than public insurance, and its growth has traditionally followed the trajectory of other parts of the health industry. Some employers simply select from standard offerings, essentially outsourcing any innovation potential to notoriously risk-averse insurance companies.
But there is also a robust history of employer experimentation. Some employer ideas have paid off — and spread. Others have flopped. Amazon and friends would be building on this tradition.
Arnold Milstein, a professor at Stanford Medical School, spent several years with the benefits consulting firm Mercer developing unconventional benefit products with companies.
There is a segment of them that is willing to take the same risk tolerance that characterizes their core business and move it into the health benefit space,” he said, noting that many employers “are pretty wary, but there is a subset that has been more bold.”
There have been less successful innovations. Workplace “wellness” programs, which provide financial incentives for lifestyle changes, were initially built and bought by employers. But a growing body of evidence suggests they haven’t delivered much in the way of results.
Amazon, Chase and Berkshire Hathaway have said they’re experimenting with new health care models for their workers. If they crack the notoriously hard nut of high health care costs, we can thank the country’s weird and unloved employer health system for their discovery.” (L)

“Last week’s announcement that Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase will collaborate on a new venture to provide simplified, low-cost, high-quality health and wellness care for their more than 1 million employees caused a sell-off for many healthcare stocks and captured the imagination of pundits.
However, this new company is just the latest in a series of mergers and collaborations that many believe could disrupt healthcare in the United States. And the industry has for years seemed ripe for disruption. In 2017, $2.7 billion was invested in healthcare equity deals to develop tools to remake health and wellness for consumers, providers, hospitals, insurers, post-acute care settings and medical researchers, according to the New York Times.
These new alignments have included organizations like the Cleveland Clinic and Oscar, Humana and Kindred Healthcare, and a consortium of health systems that are forming their own nonprofit drug manufacturer.
Proponents of such initiatives believe that blurring the lines between what traditionally have been distinct sectors (providers, health plans, retail pharmacy and employers) will allow innovative approaches to emerge that will ease the transition from fee-for-service to value-based healthcare.
However, other healthcare leaders caution that many well-known companies have attempted to disrupt the American clinical delivery system and failed, according to another Times article. They also point out that most disruption in other industries occurs with lower-value, lower-cost products, and note that consumers don’t want to settle for low-value healthcare.
Still, that doesn’t mean healthcare organizations should ignore the winds of change. Consider the fact that since 2000, 52% of the companies listed on the Fortune 500 have gone bankrupt, been acquired, or ceased to exist, according to Constellation Research.
Indeed, the same forces that have affected other industries in the United States also apply to hospitals, and yet many hospital executives continue to lead as though nothing has changed. At a time when the core inpatient business for hospitals is declining and technology offers the ability to migrate care away from centralized hospitals, hospital executives must make sure that there is a place for their organization in the new world order of clinical care delivery.
The proposed vertical merger of CVS and Aetna represents a major challenge for all hospitals located in cities where CVS has its 9,700 retail pharmacies and 1,100 walk-in clinics. By combining organizations from different parts of the healthcare industry, the new company can realign incentives to benefit the consumer. If the new CVS can use its pharmacy benefit manager to lower prescription prices and encourage the use of less expensive drugs, the health insurance division could lower premiums so that enrollees could afford to visit their walk-in clinics to access care.
This development poses a challenge to competing hospitals because they have been making up for declines in inpatient reimbursements by raising prices in the outpatient clinic. It is hard to see how community hospitals will be able to compete with the likes of CVS and Amazon when Medicare, Medicaid and commercial health plans are cutting rates for outpatient care…
Hospital leaders must seriously consider how they will respond to competition from the innovative organizations that will emerge from mergers and collaborations. Following the same old playbook will not suffice. Executives must make hard decisions about what services they will no longer offer and how they will convince their communities that they offer value that can be measured in a rapidly changing health and wellness environment.” (M)

“The unanswered questions: There are a lot.
Will this involve new experiments, or rely on ideas — like direct contracting with hospital systems, or reference pricing — that already exist?
Are they just trying to cut out the middlemen? Most companies this large already are self-insured — meaning the companies pay for their employees’ medical costs on their own and hire health insurers to carry out the back-end work.
How will this company be different from the numerous other employer coalitions that try to band together for better deals? Amazon and JPMorgan are already part of the National Business Group on Health, and one of Buffett’s companies, BNSF Railway, is part of the Health Transformation Alliance — which so far hasn’t done a whole lot.
“We’ve seen so many employer coalitions trying to leverage their purchasing power,” Levitt said. “Those tend to go nowhere in really addressing the fundamental health care cost growth.”
What technology is actually involved? Amazon reportedly has interest in distributing prescription drugs. Will JPMorgan want to get in on the fees from managing health savings accounts? How do Buffett’s companies fit in?
Health care is literally a matter of life and death, and therefore is heavily regulated. Any new company looking to make a dent in health care costs will have to navigate a thicket of state and federal rules.
Will this end up like another Kaiser Permanente, a health insurer that uses its own closed system of hospitals and doctors? This is doubtful for now, but Kaiser Permanente started out as a workers’ comp program for shipyard and construction workers.” (N)

“Cigna CEO David Cordani said he’s confident the insurer will get a piece of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan’s new health initiative to tackle health costs, but investors aren’t convinced.
Cigna shares fell as much as 4 percent in trading Thursday and were recently down more than 2.5 percent for the day and about 10 percent for the week.
On Tuesday, J.P. Morgan and its partners announced plans to form a venture aimed at lowering its employee health costs. Since then, investors have been concerned that Cigna will be squeezed on pricing for its services or lose business. The company currently insures about 20 percent of J.P. Morgan’s employees.
“We’re one of J.P. Morgan’s service partners, so we have ongoing dialogue with J.P. Morgan on a regular basis,” including this week, said Cordani in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
“We do see this as an opportunity, and we’re in the middle of that conversation, as you would expect,” he said.
The three large employers said this week that they are hoping to form a separate entity to handle benefits “free from profitmaking incentives,” in order to lower health costs and improve service for their workers. Cordani pushed back on the profit implications on the company’s earnings conference call.
“We should not view that an industry with medical cost trend (growth) of 5-6-7 percent as sustainable,” said Cordani, while pushing back on the notion that insurer profits drive those increases.
“Our industry is capital intensive … This is not going to get solved with extracting a couple of points out of the (profit) margin,” he said.” (O)

“Given all this, surely the combined efforts of these three behemoths should yield some interesting innovations, right? Actually, don’t hold your breath, responds Harvard health care policy expert Bob Laszewski on his blog.
Why is longtime industry insider Laszewski so skeptical of the companies’ efforts? First and most basically, because this is far, far from the first time big companies have promised to finally bring some sense to America’s crazy health care situation.
“I have seen this movie before. Dozens of times over the last 25 years,” Laszewski writes. “The first time was when the leading employers in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market began the same effort in the early 1990s. That, and any other such initiative I have seen over the decades, went essentially nowhere.”
But it’s not simply that Laszewski is a jaded, been-there-done-that industry veteran. He’s also got specific reasons to be skeptical of Amazon and friends’ efforts. Their approach, he explains, is to use data to give patients and providers more information and reduce the amount of medical care people consume, or, in the lingo of the industry, “utilization.”
It’s an approach experts have been pursuing for years, Laszewski explains in his jargon-heavy post, but it’s yet to yield significant returns.
Why? Because despite the hype (and my father’s endless grumbling about unnecessary tests and scans every time he sees a doctor), the main trouble with American health care isn’t how much we consume. That’s not significantly different from other wealthy countries. The problem is how much we pay for that health care.” (P)

“The moves by these new entrants signal the continuing desire of large companies — many from outside health care — to transform the U.S. health industry, which most view as rife with inefficiencies, unsustainable costs and unhappy customers…
The U.S. health industry is in the midst of a slow but seismic shift fueled by consumerism, a move toward paying for value instead of volume, technological advances, care decentralization and growing interest in wellness…
Employers, consumers and the market in general appear to be losing patience with traditional players, which have largely continued to tread their well-worn paths.
And the more significant question may be: Will any of this result in a less expensive health system? Put another way, when you invest to create a new health model, will the model have less expensive inputs and components or just re-create the existing system and costs?…
Challenges surely lie ahead for these companies’ ambitious projects, whether they are new entrants or legacy healthcare companies building new partnerships. But the industry seems to have reached a tipping point. We are likely to continue to see powerful players taking serious actions to try to fix a system that has so far failed to do much more than tinker around the edges.” (Q)

“Jeff Bezos’ Amazon delivers stuff to your door. Jamie Dimon’s JPMorgan Chase makes money by investing. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway sells everything from Dairy Queen dip cones to Helzberg diamonds. They’ve also rattled Washington and the country’s health care industry by declaring they would form an independent health care company for their employees.
But what makes these three titans of American industry and ingenuity think they can do better than the current players to deliver health care efficiently and affordably to more Americans? Don’t we have government to engineer health care? Oh, wait, Obamacare, with its soaring costs, shrinking networks and unkept promises.
The three business leaders have no experience in the complex health care sector. So what? We’ve learned from a decade of wrangling over Obamacare that Washington isn’t proficient at making health care accessible and affordable.
We hope the three executives and their companies deliver something that government doesn’t: innovation that works on time and within budget. Nimble strategy tailored to individual needs. Efficient execution.
Bezos and Friends join an increasingly crowded field of entrepreneurs and execs trying to figure out ways to deliver what government hasn’t or can’t”…. (R)

“The announcement on Tuesday that Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway would be joining forces to create a health care company moved stock markets and prompted optimistic predictions of major reform in a notoriously complex industry.
But while the three companies bring successful management, technological expertise and substantial capital to the venture, many health industry experts expressed doubts about whether their results would match their ambition.
Here are a few reasons that experts suggest we temper expectations.
It has been tried before
None of these players have expertise in health care
These are really different companies, with different priorities
There is not a clear strategic incentive to sell whatever they learn.” (S)

THE past decade has seen the smartphone become a portal for managing daily life. Consumers use their pocket computers to bank, buy and befriend. Now this array of activities is expanding into an even more vital sphere. Apple has spent three years preparing its devices and software to process medical data, offering products to researchers and clinical-care teams. On January 24th it announced the result. The next big software update for its iPhone will include a feature, Health Records, to allow users to view, manage and share their medical records. Embedded in Apple’s Health app, the new feature will bring together medical data from participating hospitals and clinics, as well as from the iPhone itself, giving millions of Americans direct digital control of their own health information for the first time.
Alphabet, Google’s parent, has just launched a third health-care firm, Cityblock Health, to operate alongside Verily, a subsidiary based in San Francisco, and DeepMind Health, an arm of its London-based artificial-intelligence (AI) firm (a fourth company, Calico, is working to extend human lifespans, but does not provide health-care services). Alphabet already claims to be able to use AI to predict possible deaths of hospitalised patients two days earlier than current methods, for instance, allowing more time for doctors to intervene. Facebook and Microsoft are preparing to add health care to their core businesses of social networking and software.
Until now the tech giants’ foray into health care has not gone much beyond wearable devices to track fitness or the provision of cloud-computing services to incumbent providers. In future they aim to deliver real medical services that directly affect individual patients. All five firms have secretive health-care skunk works, are hiring medical talent and are buying or backing external health-care startups. Undeterred by recent claims that their own products may be harmful to mental health, they want not only to be indispensable in customers’ lives but to prolong them, too….
It is worth remembering that the prospect of technology firms transforming health care has been heralded in the past, only to disappoint. Google started a health-records initiative in 2008, but shut it down by 2011, citing poor adoption. Microsoft made similar efforts with similarly low take-up. Yet ten years on, the centrality of the smartphone, with its potential to give patients access to their data whenever they want and wherever they are, changes the game.
So too does the inexorable logic of the data economy. Data sets that contain information about human health are hugely valuable. At a time when health-care budgets around the world are stretched, payers are desperate for insights that might enable them to cut costs while maintaining quality. The more data the tech firms can handle, the more they will learn about human health, and the better the services they can offer will become.” (T)

(A) Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Team Up to Try to Disrupt Health Care by By NICK WINGFIELD, KATIE THOMAS and REED ABELSON,
(B) Can 3 business titans cure the US health care system?, by MARLEY JAY,
(C) Have they stumbled upon the solution to America’s health-care woes?, by Guian McKee,
(D) Disrupted: American healthcare has reached its tipping point, by Alex Kacik and Shelby Livingston,
(E) If Amazon And Buffett Lift Veil On Health Prices, Insurers Are In Trouble, by Bruce Japsen,
(F) Will Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Reinvent Health Care?, by Robert Field and Guian McKee,
(G) What Could Amazon’s Approach to Health Care Look Like?, by Robert S. Huckman,
(H) Amazon: How Its Strengths Could Help It in Health Care, by David Marino-Nachison,
(I) Amazon’s Soaring Healthcare Ambition: The Promise and the Problem, by Rob Enderle,
(J) Amazon’s exploratory pharmacy team has ballooned to more than 30 people, says research firm, by Christina Farr and Meg Tirrell,
(K) Report: Amazon’s healthcare plans could include a data warehouse, emphasis on digital tools, by Evan Sweeney,
(L) Employer Health Insurance: Often-Hated, Sometimes Pioneering, and Now on Amazon’s Radar, by Margot Sanger-Katz,
(M) Hospital Impact—Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan venture a wake-up call for healthcare leaders, by Kent Bottles,
(N) The fog around the new health care mega-venture, by Bob Herman,
(O) Cigna CEO sees Amazon-led employee health initiative as an ‘opportunity’, by Bertha Coombs,
(P) Excited Amazon Will Fix Health Care? Don’t Hold Your Breath, Says Harvard Expert, by Jessica Stillman,
(Q) Is the Amazon health-care venture enough to make a big enough splash?, by KELLY BARNES,
(R) Editorial: Can Bezos, Buffett and Dimon revolutionize American health care?,
(S) Can Amazon and Friends Handle Health Care? There’s Reason for Doubt, by MARGOT SANGER-KATZ and REED ABELSON,
(T) Apple and Amazon’s moves in health signal a coming transformation,

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