Haven Healthcare, the joint venture formed by Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway, has officially closed its doors. But its demise only strengthens the resolve of U.S. employers to fundamentally change healthcare and deliver the excellent, affordable care that every family deserves.
As leaders of organizations that exist to help employers fix the broken U.S. healthcare system, we share the conviction of Haven's founders that employers who work together can serve as a disruptive force for positive change. We have seen how employers play a pivotal role in solving seemingly insurmountable problems, especially when they are fired up. And trust us, they are fired up about the U.S. healthcare system and its delivery of too-often substandard care at sky-high prices.
The Haven experience revealed that even three of the largest and most successful companies could not change healthcare alone. For that, we need more employers working together and aligned with a common vision that is informed by data, which is aggregated from millions of people, about commercial claims, safety and quality. Armed with this data, employers can negotiate and enforce payment strategies and contracts that reward providers for the best outcomes for patients. Not only does this help save lives; it saves billions of dollars in healthcare costs.
According to 2019 Kaiser Family Foundation data, approximately 49% of the U.S. population is covered by employer-sponsored health insurance. Understandably, the business community wants that substantial investment to protect and improve the health and well-being of their employees. Working together, with powerful data about what patients need most and a laser-like focus on healthcare excellence, employers can and will succeed in transforming the U.S. healthcare system at scale.
Of course, there is no silver bullet for transforming the entire U.S. healthcare system. Instead, employers are focusing first on solutions for the most broken parts. For example, with safety and quality data from organizations, such as the Leapfrog Group, employees can choose the safest hospital or surgery center for their needs—whether for maternity care, cancer treatment or hip replacement surgery. In turn, making quality data available to healthcare consumers allows them to make the best choices for their families, which ultimately incentivizes providers to make improvements.
Insights gleaned from data can also be used to save money. For example, the Health Transformation Alliance uses aggregated claims data to provide insights that enable employers to make healthcare decisions that achieve desired outcomes while saving millions of dollars. HTA data helps patients and providers to identify the right drug for chronically ill patients, the right oncology care, the right care protocol for diabetic patients, and countless other efforts.
We work every day to pursue our common conviction with Haven—that American business can no longer abide a system in which people pay too much for outcomes that often fall far short of what is possible or even needed. To change the system and give the American public the excellence they expect, employers need better data and more transparency. Most of all, they need each other.