Tuesday November 20, 2018

Amazon, JP Morgan Chase And Berkshire To Lead The Health Care Firm

Amazon's participation and customer-first focus will be crucial

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This combination of file photos from left shows Warren Buffett on Sept. 19, 2017, in New York, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, on Sept. 24, 2013, in Seattle and JP Morgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon on July 12, 2013, in New York. logo LANGUAGES SEARCH search text ... Amazon, Buffett, JPMorgan Pick Gawande to Lead Health Firm Share SILICON VALLEY & TECHNOLOGY Amazon, Buffett, JPMorgan Pick Gawande to Lead Health Firm June 20, 2018 12:17 PM Associated Press FILE- This combination of file photos from left shows Warren Buffett on Sept. 19, 2017, in New York, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, on Sept. 24, 2013, in Seattle and JP Morgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon on July 12, 2013, in New York. FILE- This combination of file photos from left shows Warren Buffett on Sept. 19, 2017, in New York, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, on Sept. 24, 2013, in Seattle and JP Morgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon on July 12, 2013, in New York.
This combination of file photos from left shows Warren Buffett on Sept. 19, 2017, in New York, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, on Sept. 24, 2013, in Seattle and JP Morgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon on July 12, 2013, in New York. logo LANGUAGES SEARCH search text ... Amazon, Buffett, JPMorgan Pick Gawande to Lead Health Firm Share SILICON VALLEY & TECHNOLOGY Amazon, Buffett, JPMorgan Pick Gawande to Lead Health Firm June 20, 2018 12:17 PM Associated Press FILE- This combination of file photos from left shows Warren Buffett on Sept. 19, 2017, in New York, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, on Sept. 24, 2013, in Seattle and JP Morgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon on July 12, 2013, in New York. FILE- This combination of file photos from left shows Warren Buffett on Sept. 19, 2017, in New York, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, on Sept. 24, 2013, in Seattle and JP Morgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon on July 12, 2013, in New York. Flickr
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Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway have picked well-known author and Harvard professor Dr. Atul Gawande to transform the health care they give their employees.

The three corporate titans said Wednesday that Gawande will lead an independent company focused on a mission they announced earlier this year: figure out ways to improve a broken and often inefficient system for delivering care.

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. Other businesses that provide employee health coverage are eager to find solutions for health care costs that often rise faster than inflation and squeeze their budgets in the process.

Berkshire Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett has described health costs as a “hungry tapeworm on the American economy.”

Leaders of the three companies have said little about how their Boston-based venture plans to tackle this problem, but they have noted that it will take time to figure out solutions, a point they emphasized again on Wednesday.

Dr. Atul Gawande
Dr. Atul Gawande, flickr

“We said at the outset that the degree of difficulty is high and success is going to require an expert’s knowledge, a beginner’s mind, and a long-term orientation,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a prepared statement. “[Gawande] embodies all three, and we’re starting strong as we move forward in this challenging and worthwhile endeavor.”

Employer-sponsored insurance covers about 157 million people, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. That’s nearly half the total U.S. population and the biggest slice of the country’s patchwork health insurance market.

Neither companies nor many of their employees are happy with how the system currently works. Employers have reacted in part to rising expenses by raising deductibles and other costs, asking their workers to pay more of the bill and to shop around for better deals. Many patients, especially the sickest, struggle with that.

Gawande is surgeon and professor at both Harvard’s Medical School and its T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He said in a statement Wednesday that he has devoted his career in public health to building solutions for better care delivery, and that while the current system is broken, “better is possible.”

The consortium’s leaders have said they aren’t looking for a quick fix. JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon said during an appearance on CNBC earlier this month that fraud in the system, high administrative costs and the overuse and underuse of some drugs are among the many complications that must be improved.

The three companies said in late January that their new venture will focus on technology that provides simplified, high-quality and transparent care.

Amazon’s participation and customer-first focus will be crucial, according to Brian Marcotte, CEO of the National Business Group on Health, a nonprofit that represents large employers.

He noted that employers already offer ways to help patients shop for care or see a doctor remotely through telemedicine. But people don’t use this technology unless they need it, so they haven’t grown comfortable with it.

That could change if they go through a well-known platform like Amazon, which could then reach into its vast trove of customer data to personalize the shopping, Marcotte said. If, for instance, you are a runner considering knee surgery, Amazon could lay out the best or common practices for your condition and maybe show that surgery isn’t your only option.

JP Morgan Chase 2008
JP Morgan Chase 2008, flickr

Also read: Tips That Can Help in Boost Healthy Living

“It’s not only reaching people in the moment, it’s the possibility to reach people with relevant personalized messaging that will engage them,” Marcotte said. (VOA)

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Apple Makes a Deal with Amazon, Which is Win-Win Game For Both

Amazon's volume sweet spot is in the much lower price tiers

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The logo of Amazon, online retailer is seen at the company logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, France. VOA

Aiming to boost sales in the wake of weaker-than-expected demand for new iPhone models, Apple has sealed a deal with retail giant Amazon to sell its range of products which is a win-win game for both the tech titans, market research firm Counterpoint Research has said.

According to Counterpoint, the move would allow the Cupertino-based giant to better manage pricing, warranties and the overall customer experience.

Third party vendors who are selling on Amazon’s platform will be phased out by January 2019, Maurice Klaehne, Research Analyst, Counterpoint Research, wrote in a post on Sunday.

“Apple is attempting to regain control over its iPhone sales on one of the biggest online channels. Third party vendors were selling on Amazon and it was near impossible for Apple to control the supply chain, assure quality control, price,” Klaehne added.

The move is likely to affect the third party vendors who sell new and refurbished Apple products on the e-commerce platform.

“Not only will this affect many smaller businesses in terms of iPhone sales, their service offerings will also be affected. The refurbished and repair market will also take a hit as companies will either have to move off the Amazon platform or go through the authorisation process,” noted Klaehne.

Apple
Amazon, Apple deal win-win game for both: Counterpoint.

The retail major would gain with the agreement.

Amazon does not compete with its own hardware or bundling opportunities directly with phones, wearables or even directly with tablets; Amazon’s Kindle Fire range is aimed at a different segment than the iPad.

The agreement gives Amazon sales and analytics on a segment of the phone market it has hitherto had limited information on-the premium/flagship market, according to Counterpoint.

Also Read- Samsung Plans To Launch its First Foldable Smartphone in 2019

Amazon’s volume sweet spot is in the much lower price tiers.

Counterpoint estimated the weighted average selling price (ASP) of phones selling on Amazon to be under $250. (IANS)