Haven is ending about three years after Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway set out to improve outcomes and lower costs for their employees, the companies announced Monday.
The independent company “free from profit-making incentives and constraints” aimed to improve employee satisfaction and reduce healthcare costs for Amazon, JPMorgan and Berkshire’s around 1 million U.S. employees, but executives shared little detail about the joint venture. Haven will cease operations at the end of February, according to its website.
“In the past three years, Haven explored a wide range of healthcare solutions, as well as piloted new ways to make primary care easier to access, insurance benefits simpler to understand and easier to use, and prescription drugs more affordable. Moving forward, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. will leverage these insights and continue to collaborate informally to design programs tailored to address the specific needs of their own employee populations.”
Even after Dr. Atul Gawande—known for his work as a surgeon, academic, policy adviser and professional communicator—stepped down from his role as CEO of Haven in May, industry observers were still cautiously optimistic that it would help the industry make progress.
Historically, employers have been hesitant to restrict their employees’ choice of providers. But that sentiment is changing as healthcare continues to consume a greater portion of income, industry stakeholders said.
Per capita health spending for the 160 million Americans in employer-sponsored health plans grew 4.4% in 2018, the third consecutive year of increases above 4%, according to the latest annual spending report by the Health Care Cost Institute. Higher medical prices accounted for nearly three-quarters of spending growth between 2014 and 2018.