Amazon’s New Health Project Will Focus On Preventing ‘The Wrong Care At The Wrong Time’

Julia Cohen | Reporter

The biggest target of Amazon’s new health venture will be addressing “the wrong care at the wrong time,” the project’s CEO, Atul Gawande, said at the Aspen Ideas Festival on Saturday.

“There are three sources of waste,” Gawande said at the festival in Colorado, “a lot of middlemen,” “pricing,” and “the wrong care at the wrong time in the wrong way,” which Gawande said is the largest source of waste.

Gawande said that one of the main obstacles to achieving increased health care coverage is waste. “You can’t achieve coverage if you aren’t also addressing the waste in the system … being able to address how we get more value out of what we put in and make it a better experience of care and coverage for people as well,” he said.

Amazon’s health care venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan was announced on Jan. 30 with the goal of “address[ing] the healthcare of their U.S. employees, with the aim of improving employee satisfaction and reducing cost,” according to a press release announcing the venture. (RELATED: These Are The Services That Are Wasting Medicare Dollars)

Gawande was announced as CEO of the initiative on June 20, according to a joint press release from the three partnering firms. Gawande is an endocrine surgeon and a professor at Harvard.

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