CNBC just announced that HAVEN, the joint venture of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan, has decided to fold as healthcare is complicated:
Haven, the joint venture formed by three of America’s most powerful companies to lower costs and improve outcomes in health care, is disbanding after three years, CNBC has learned exclusively.
The company began informing employees Monday that it will shut down by the end of next month, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.
I was always perplexed at what Haven could do differently and better as I wrote in 2018:
My first professional thoughts though are the following:
- Healthcare is hard
- Big data is already being run hard in healthcare by incumbents (Optum), start-ups (Oscar, Clover) and tech companies (Google/Verily)
- What are they planning to do differently than previous private sector consortiums?
- What are they planning to do differently than CalPers and other large pension pools?
- What are they planning to do differently than large insurers with significant fully insured pools?
- What are the planning to do differently than large integrated delivery networks that also self-insure?
- 1+ million covered lives is a good pool for experimentation and beta testing but not a representative sample for the nation
- Healthcare is hard
We have good ideas on how to reduce costs. They mainly involve a variety of ways of saying “No” or at least saying “No, not at this price” as well as care design. I could see a strong play for reference pricing, centers of excellence and value based insurance design. Bringing that all in-house could make some sense on some level. But I am really scratching my head on the so-what unless they really think that they have a special sauce that can accurately and effectively intervene so far upstream of preventable costs at pennies on the dollars. If that is the case, great but so far no one has found that special sauce.
Healthcare is hard. Having cool technology is nice, but not sufficient nor always critical. Most attempts to storm the healthcare castle will fail. And this time, the castle was not stormed.