Everything we know about Haven, the Amazon joint venture to revamp health care

In January of 2018, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and J.P. Morgan announced that they wanted to address the issues of rising health care costs for their employees and a lack of improvement in care. Now, after rampant speculation about what this partnership could mean for the healthcare industry, the project is finally hiring its executive team.

The project, now called Haven, has a CEO and a team of about 12 people. But speculation still remains about what the company will do to renovate the U.S. healthcare system.

Haven’s most recent hire, Sandhya Rao, will be in charge of running clinical strategy. She was formerly the senior medical director for Partners Population Health. She will join such luminaries as:

  • CEO Atul Gawande, a surgeon and writer on healthcare;
  • Chief Operating Officer Jack Stoddard, a seasoned health-tech executive;
  • CTO Serkan, formerly CTO of doctor-booking app ZocDoc;
  • Dana Gelb Safran from Blue Cross BlueShield in Massachusetts, who will run analytics projects; and
  • David Smith, an executive Haven hired from UnitedHealth’s Optum unit.

Trevon Price, founder and CEO of health-tech recruiting firm Oxeon Partners, thinks Haven will build a “risk-based clinically integrated network.” In other words, the team will build a curated network of doctors by analyzing doctors on performance, cost, and other factors. After that, it would build trust with employees and send them to the appropriate type of care for their condition.

Price also said that Stoddard, formerly the chief strategy officer at Accolade, a proactive and on-demand healthcare concierge for employers, health plans, health systems, and employees, is a particularly interesting hire. His Accolade career suggests that he will bring the same specialty in building relationships with employees and then directing them to the most affordable care.

This is where the idea that Haven might also contract directly with hospitals and clinics, and pay them on the basis of quality of care they provide rather than the quantity of patients they see.

Questions remain about the level of threat Haven will pose to incumbents in the healthcare industry. But even if Haven doesn’t do much, “that might still light a fire under the healthcare industry,” CNN said.

Matthew Holt, a managing director for private equity firm New Mountain Capital, said that simply the fact that three of the biggest companies in America have come together to say the status quo isn’t working is a big deal.

“These execs have influence in the market by standing up and talking about inefficiency and cost,” Holt said.

“There are folks out there cheering them on, which in and of itself can drive influence,” he added.

Read the full story on CNBC.