Haven, accessed March 7, 2019
Haven was established by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase to bring together the resources and capabilities of the three companies to create better outcomes, greater satisfaction, and lower costs for their U.S. employees and families.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why was the name ‘Haven’ chosen?
It reflects our goal to be a partner to individuals and families and help them get the care they need, while also working with clinicians and others to make the overall system better for all.
How is Haven going to improve health care?
We are pursuing a number of common-sense fixes, as well as innovative approaches, to address issues like making primary care easier to access, insurance benefits simpler to understand and easier to use, and prescription drugs more affordable. We are also looking at new ways to use data and technology to make the overall health care system better.
Is Haven going to replace existing doctors or insurance companies?
We are interested in working with clinicians and insurance companies to improve the overall health care system. We will be an ally of anyone who is working to make health care better for patients.
Who is Haven going to help?
Our focus is the U.S.-based employees and families from Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase. In time, we intend to share our innovations and solutions to help others.
By Don McCanne, M.D.
When Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway), Jeff Bezos (Amazon) and Jamie Dimon (JPMorgan Chase) announced that they would join together to address the problems with our health care system, there was considerable hype that, along with their CEO Atul Gawande, these titans of the private sector would finally bring us the solutions that we needed for our overpriced and underperforming health care system.
Now that their health care venture is getting underway it is no surprise that their efforts initially will be confined to meeting the health care needs of their own employees with no involvement for the rest of the nation, except perhaps to serve an example.
Given the limits of our current dysfunctional health care system, at first glance their approach seems reasonable: improve access to primary care, improve employee understanding of the health insurance benefits, attack the high prices of pharmaceuticals, and investigate ways that data and technology might be used to improve the health care system. Although aren’t we already doing these things, albeit not equitably and not very effectively? And doesn’t this fall terribly short of the comprehensive reforms that we desperately need?
One of their proposals that stands out is the dependence on employer-sponsored private health insurance – the clarion call of the opponents of single payer Medicare for All. That implicitly supports profound administrative waste, fragmentation of health care financing, perpetuation of limited health care choices through the restrictions of provider networks, and the perpetuation of deductibles and other cost sharing that create financial barriers to care and potentially expose patients to financial hardship and even personal bankruptcy.
It would be much more beneficial for theses titans to abandon support of the current dysfunctional health care financing system, and instead advocate for a system that would solve their and everyone else’s health care problems – a single payer Medicare for All program. They would not have to do it alone, but it sure would help if they decided to participate in the orchestration of a movement culminating in a truly beneficial national health program for all of us. What an opportunity they seem to be missing. It’s shameful.
Stay informed! Visit www.pnhp.org/qotd to sign up for daily email updates.