Amazon’s on-going pursuit to make and sell everything has now seen the company set its sights on the healthcare sector. In a collaboration with two of America’s largest private employers – JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway – Amazon announcing that they will establish a new company and tackle an industry that covers around one-sixth of the US economy. The sole objective of the company will be to cut costs for its US employees by providing ‘simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost.’ With Amazon having already reshaped the retail sector, the announcement has the potential to drive change in the healthcare sector. So, what can we take away from this initial announcement and will it shake up the healthcare sector?
It is well known that the healthcare sector is complex, bureaucratic, and inefficient. This is highlighted by a minefield of regulations, along with a blurred distinction between a multiplicity of insurance and government plans. The fact that three of America’s largest employers are now willing to take healthcare into their own hands shows that they have little confidence in the industry’s big players, and that they are not satisfied with the rising costs and poor service that is prevalent in the industry. The healthcare industry is especially stubborn to change. However, at the very least a corporate conglomerate of over 500,000 employees should provide more options and cheaper coverage for the employees of these three companies.
Whilst still very much in its early stages it remains to be seen if and how this has the potential to change the healthcare industry. Yet it does signify a huge change in momentum if two of the world’s richest men – Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett – are willing to try and reform the industry. The initial focus of the new company is technology solutions to reach their objectives. As a technology company, we are excited to see what new solutions this can drive and how it can impact our customers and the industry as a whole.