Three large companies want to disrupt healthcare. Don’t hold your breath.

I’ve been waiting to write about this until I could consider all sides of the story. Now that I’ve had a few days to mull it over, here are my thoughts about the Jeff Bezos/Warren Buffett/Jamie Dimon healthcare whoziwhatsis.

Let me preface my remarks by saying that this is NOT financial advice. I don’t know squat about what you should do with your money.

Now, some basic facts: The companies that are run by the three business titans noted above are partnering to explore ways to reduce the cost of healthcare, first for their own employees, then, potentially other companies’ employees. After the announcement, the Dow Industrial Average lost over 300 points. Since then, over 1500 more points have been shaved off the Dow.

The initial selloff last Tuesday affected insurance company stock as much as anything, and that’s understandable to a degree. But to this observer, the panic seems to be a little premature. Right now, to borrow a little political vernacular, this announcement is a big nothing burger.

I mean, sure… Amazon has made a mountain of money changing the way people shop. Berkshire Hathaway has made investors rich for over 40 years. And JPMorgan Chase is America’s biggest bank. However, healthcare in these United States is full of layer upon layer upon layer of complexity, and getting through all that complexity will take time. Maybe a lot of time.

At the federal level, there is government regulation and government regulators. Healthcare is regulated in the individual states too, and sometimes, even at the local level.

How about doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals? Some of them charge so much for their services only because the cost of their education was so high they have to charge extra just to break even after paying on their student loans.

And since we’re in the 21st century, we have to consider technology. Not the kind that helps us deliver insulin or tells us our glucose levels. I mean the kind of technology that intersects patients all over the country, and for now at least, allows providers to get paid based on medical codes entered through software designed to help them figure out what each treatment is worth.

Hey, guess what? I haven’t mentioned a thing yet about insurance companies or drug prices. Like I said, layer upon layer upon layer of complexity.

If Bezos, Buffett, and Dimon are going to revolutionize healthcare in the USA, they have their work cut out for them. It’s going to take a while.

Insurance premiums are three times more expensive than they were 18 years ago. Out of pocket deductibles for these plans are three times more expensive than they were 12 years ago. There’s a sea of red tape to wade through to help companies and patients get affordable, accessible, compassionate healthcare.

But… we won’t really know whether the cycle of escalating costs can be broken unless someone actually tries. Whoever tries will need deep pockets to succeed. And a fair amount of patience. This triumvirate of business tycoons has the money. Let’s hope they have the intestinal fortitude to see it all the way through.

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Comments

  • Ivan  On February 6, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Lots of people make money from diabetes.

    Like

  • Rick Phillips  On February 6, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    This makes sense to me Michael, but especially with regard to mail order prescription opportunities.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Rick Phillips  On February 6, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    This makes sense to me Stephen, but especially with regard to mail order prescription opportunities( oops sorry )

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: