Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Why JP Morgan, Berkshire Hathaway, and Amazon’s plan to shake up healthcare collapsed

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When JP Morgan, Berkshire Hathaway, and Amazon announced a joint venture to raise healthcare costs in 2018, investors immediately had high expectations.

Insurance the company’s shares have sunk en masse on the news, reflecting the shockwave of Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods through grocery stocks.

But the markets are not always good predictors of how things will go. On Monday, the joint venture known as Haven announced plans to shut down after falling short of its ambitions.

It was an ambitious goal and, therefore, terribly difficult. Part of the reason for Haven’s closure appears to be that each of the companies, with their geographically disparate workforce, struggled to pool their resources. different areas required different solutions, by the Wall Street Journal.

And while JP Morgan, Amazon, and Berkshire Hathaway all have significant financial firepower and manpower (with a total of 1.5 million employees), it might not have been the kind of pressure to put pressure on hospitals.

Few seemed surprised that this attempt to revolutionize the healthcare system and cut heavy truck costs fell apart for Haven. Venrock’s partner Bob Kocher and Bryan Roberts explained it over the phone Monday night as follows: There are a few levers you can pull to reduce the cost of healthcare from an employer’s perspective. The first is to negotiate lower costs directly through hospitals and health care providers. But a problem for JP Morgan, Amazon, and Berkshire Hathaway is that the majority of their employees are likely healthy and young – individuals who aren’t very lucrative for most healthcare providers. “Hospitals will not change for the minority and the unprofitable ones,” says Roberts.

In any case, each of the companies seems to be pursuing their intention to “collaborate informally” in the future, according to a Haven spokesperson at CNBC, the three companies seeking to divide Haven’s remaining staff.

And Amazon is still moving forward with separate plans to become a pharmaceutical juggernaut, with its foray into the sale of prescription drugs. It also acquired PillPack for over $ 750 million in 2019.

CHINA: There’s a lot going on in China right now. Alibaba Founder Jack Ma, which recently came into the crosshairs of Chinese regulators after criticizing the government for stifling innovation, has not been seen by the public for some time – sparking a spiral of speculation that its act of disappearance is voluntary or not.

Meanwhile, in an interesting about-face, the New York Stock Exchange said it no longer plans to deregister three Chinese telecommunications companies. Following an executive order by President Trump banning US investments in Chinese military-related companies, the stock exchange announced at the end of 2020 its intention to withdraw China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom. But in a vague announcement citing “consultation with relevant regulatory authorities,” the exchange said the delisting was no longer necessary Monday evening. In short: confusion still reigns over how to comply with the decree. (The NYSE is led by CEO Jeffrey Sprecher, who is married to Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.).)

Lucinda Shen
Twitter: @shenlucinda
E-mail: lucinda.shen@fortune.com



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