Amazon, Berkshire and JPMorgan Pick CEO for New Health-Care Company

Atul Gawande

Atul Gawande

Atul is a surgeon and writer. It will be independent from the three firms, whose leaders formed the group as a way of contending with what Berkshire chief executive officer Warren Buffett called a "tapeworm" eating the United States economy. He said in a statement Wednesday that he has devoted his career in public health to building solutions for better care delivery.

Gawande, who is also a bestselling author, practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital and is a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School.

Gawande is a prominent name in healthcare policy circles, though hasn't run a major business.

The new company, which has not been publicly named, will be based in Boston.

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Health care researchers have said any possible solutions produced by this new venture will be felt well beyond the estimated 1 million workers the three companies employ in the United States.

While there is no guarantee the venture will succeed in lowering costs, Buffett said it was well-positioned to try.

Employer-sponsored insurance covers about 157 million people, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The three corporate titans said Wednesday that Gawande will lead an independent company focused on a mission they announced earlier this year: Find ways to improve a broken and often inefficient system for delivering care. Many patients, especially the sickest, struggle with that.

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Gawande, through a spokesman, declined a request for an interview, saying "he is taking time to listen and learn before discussing any future direction".

"You have these enormous variances around the country". And they're going with a Renaissance man. Gawande donated the money to an worldwide project to improve surgical equipment in developing countries, according to the Huffington Post.

Amazon, Berkshire and JPMorgan announced the joint venture in January, saying USA healthcare costs were rising too fast and holding back economic growth.

Meanwhile, healthcare companies are embarking on a wave of unconventional deals to broaden the services they offer. The move rattled shares of the healthcare supply chain, including CVS Health and Express Scripts, among others.

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The Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan venture could put pressure on those middlemen. Last month, he said the goal is to challenge the entire healthcare industry, not individual segments.

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