Amazon’s Haven Healthcare Venture To Shut Down
The Haven healthcare venture created by Amazon, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase is shutting down.
The end of the venture, which launched with great fanfare three years ago in a press release from the three business titans, never really got off the ground with steady leadership and included several executives who came and left after short stints. One key hire, Dr. Atul Gawande, stepped down as CEO after a short time but remained on the board.
A year ago, one Haven executive departed after less than a year in a key operations role, further adding to the often rocky rollout and execution of a healthcare company that many touted as a watershed moment in employer efforts to reign in healthcare costs and improve quality.
But Haven said it did launch some pilot programs and those efforts would now be continued at Amazon, Berkshire and JPMorgan. Haven didn’t mention those efforts in a website announcement that it “will end its independent operations” at the end of February, the company’s website says.
“In the past three years, Haven explored a wide range of healthcare solutions, as well as piloted new ways to make primary care easier to access, insurance benefits simpler to understand and easier to use, and prescription drugs more affordable,” Haven said on its website. “Moving forward, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. will leverage these insights and continue to collaborate informally to design programs tailored to address the specific needs of their own employee populations.”
CNBC reported Haven began “informing employees Monday that it will shut down” and “many of the Boston-based firm’s 57 workers are expected to be placed at Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway or JPMorgan Chase as the firms each individually push forward in their efforts,” the network said, citing “people with direct knowledge of the matter.”
Little has been disclosed by Haven or its owner companies since the highly-publicized January of 2018 announcement of the partnership to fix healthcare for their employees.
Meanwhile, rival retail giant Walmart has been forming partnerships with medical care providers for years now. And drugstore chains CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance have announced several pilots, tests and programs with health insurers and providers for their customers and workers.
"Haven’s decision to cease operations proves just how hard it is to disrupt the health care system in America,” said Robert Andrews, chief executive of Health Transformation Alliance, a cooperative that includes some of the nation’s largest employers that spend nearly $30 billion annually on healthcare. “Even three of the largest and most influential employers in the country found the challenge a very steep one. We share with Haven’s founders the conviction that employer sponsorship is key.”