The big news this week was the announcement that Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan were teaming up to form a completely new healthcare company.
As in Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and Jamie Dimon.
What does this mean for healthcare as we know it?
What can your business learn and gain from this incredibly big and bold undertaking?
Well, all of us – frustrated by always rising healthcare costs and its way too often uneven and mediocre quality – should applaud these innovators and root for their success.
What gets me really excited, much more so than I was for last month’s “in industry” disruption attempt of CVS buying Aetna, is that these are true industry outsiders and legendary business leaders of the highest rank.
Jeff Bezos will bring his hyper focus on the end customer experience, and then how to apply technology to make that experience as quick, delightful, and consistent as possible.
Warren Buffet will bring his incredibly prescient sense of the brand, franchise, leadership integrity, and cost drivers of any company, and from that sense serenely and precisely forecast its future cash flows.
And with Jamie Dimon, it is risk management, the ability to hedge against and optimize for vast and complex scenarios of potential economic results.
Combining these three sensibilities creates incredible potential for customer-centricity, quality improvement, and cost reduction in this gigantic domain of our society and economy that has frustrated so many for so long.
At the top of this “frustrated” list for sure are those business owners committed to offering quality healthcare benefits to their employees, but struggling mightily against the absurd costs of doing so.
But as any business owner knows, there is nothing like a hard and determined competitor to force prices down and services up.
Because it is one thing for healthcare industry incumbents like Aetna, Anthem, and Humana to “talk the talk” about reducing costs and improving value…
…but it is another thing entirely when they are forced to do so because of the existential threat of a “disintermediating” juggernaut like Amazon and friends represent here.
And oh yes, none of these companies should believe for a moment that Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan will for long be engaged in the healthcare business as they say are now – “on a non-profit basis and solely for the benefit of their own company’s employees.”
They will start that way, and create significant advantage as their baseline healthcare costs drop below their competitors, but just as Amazon does with its web services platform, they will soon start selling their healthcare platform as a service to the nation at large.
And then we will see the benefits of real competition for our healthcare dollar – lower prices, expanded services, and yes better health for all.
This will be awesome.
And for those thoughtful and “techno-optimistic” business executives among us, it might not even be the best part.
No, that would be that with this big and bold undertaking, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, and Jamie Dimon inspire us to believe that our most vexing societal and economic problems can be solved through…
…that so simple combination of applied technology and sound business principles and ethics.
Shouldn’t we act on this inspiration?
Through a re-examining and re-engineering of how our businesses utilize technology to deliver more value to our customers at a lower cost?
And then with our better engineered business, shouldn’t we then attack, like Bezos and Buffet and Dimon, really big new markets and opportunities?
Yes, why can’t we too can be the makers of business history and reap the rewards for so doing?
To heck with the status quo!
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