Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan Chase are joining forces to form an independent health-care company for their employees. This alliance of the three business titans, which boast a combined 1 million workers, reflects corporate America’s increasing frustration with “the state of the nation’s health-care system and the rapidly spiraling cost of medical treatment.” The partnership will be technology-focused and free from profit incentives, but is still in the early planning stages. Still the announcement “landed like a thunderclap” in the health-care industry, given that these companies “could become models for other businesses.”
The partnership could be “one of the most ambitious employer efforts to date to control health expenses. The firms “combined clout and expertise in technology and finance could be used to bring drastic changes to the way prescription drugs are paid for.” The companies could also save vast sums of money by cutting out pharmacy-benefit managers altogether. Amazon has been eyeing an entrance into the pharmacy market, and given the e-commerce giant’s reputation for upending whatever industry it enters, the week’s news was what “prescription-drug middlemen had long feared.”
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