Schmick: Health care and the three musketeers

Schmick: Health care and the three musketeers

First and most basically because this is far, far from the first time big companies have promised to finally bring some sense to America's insane healthcare situation. "Hard as it might be, reducing health care's burden on the economy while improving outcomes for employees and their families would be worth the effort".

Details of the collaboration have been vague, but center around leveraging technology to drive down healthcare costs for their US employees. As Andrew Hart of Wallace Hart Capital Management pointed out, "These three companies employ over 1.1 million and health-care coverage would extend to their families, so this endeavor could cover 1 million to 3 million people". The independent firm would be "free from profit-making incentives and constraints", the firms said. The group has grown to nearly 40 members. The alliance will apply only to their employees.

The ACA also required all individuals to have some form of insurance - through their employer, privately purchased, or through Medicaid - or pay a tax penalty, but that dictate was repealed with the passage of the new tax reforms in December.

"When large and successful companies come together in this way, it's potentially disruptive", says Frank Easley, senior vice president of Aon's health and benefits group, about the Amazon, Berkshire and JPMorgan partnership.

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan haven't said much about what their new joint venture will do to "provide USA employees and their families with simplified, high quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost".

According to the press release, the focus of this new venture is to reduce healthcare costs and find ways to deliver more efficient medical services via new technology solutions in order to "provide simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost to over half a million US employees and their families". My best guess is that the new entity will deliberately bear no resemblance to the current group purchasing organization (GPO) supplier-paid fee model.

"My first suggestion is to look at what other employers have done (some unsuccessfully) and consider how to adapt those ideas for the three companies and more broadly". If employers can explain to employees how and where their healthcare dollars are going, it will not only give workers a better understanding of their own money, but it has the potential to build a better relationship between employer and employee.

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The tradition grew in popularity in Punxsutawney following the release of the comedy " Groundhog Day ", starring Bill Murray . The tradition came to North America when German immigrants arrived in what is now the eastern state of Pennsylvania.

Providing patients easy access to medical records or allowing for more transparent medical costs may be convenient, but those changes will not be transformative. Many people advocate for single-payer systems, which is government-run universal healthcare.

The goal will be to boost their worker satisfaction while lowering costs related to illness and care. Now they could add healthcare procedures or medication usage to determine what's most effective and efficient.

Though employer-sponsored insurance is still the "backbone" of the American healthcare system, 'it has been eroding because it has been a hassle to try to manage this as a human resource program'.

Some benefits insiders, however, express doubts that the three behemoths will spur a widespread industry disruption. This is set to really light a fire under the local industry, if you'll pardon the pun, and it's odds on that it will be FHIR that proves the game-changer in digital health more than any other factor, including the Amazon juggernaut. "So if this initiative is just about how health costs are paid for, and does not promote ways to improve health itself, the impact will be minimal".

The partners formed this new initiative in response to the constantly-rising healthcare costs in the United States.

Redirect Health, a pioneer in health plan redesign and cost redirection, offers small and midsized businesses across the country a similar healthcare model focused on eliminating waste, administration and unnecessary costs rampant in today's healthcare system.

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