Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan partner to address healthcare of 1.1M employees

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announced Tuesday morning an initiative aimed at improving healthcare for their combined 1.1 million U.S.-based employees. The three corporate giants want to improve employee satisfaction while reducing costs.

The new company will be “free from profit-making incentives and constraints,” according to a news release, and will look for technological solutions to the “enormous challenges of healthcare.”

"The ballooning costs of healthcare act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy. Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But we also do not accept it as inevitable. Rather, we share the belief that putting our collective resources behind the country's best talent can, in time, check the rise in health costs while concurrently enhancing patient satisfaction and outcomes," said Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO.

The release did not spell out specific details or of the partnership, noting that the effort is in its “early planning stages.” It will be led by one representative from each of the three companies, with a management team, headquarters and operational details to be determined.

“The healthcare system is complex, and we enter into this challenge open-eyed about the degree of difficulty,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “Hard as it might be, reducing healthcare’s burden on the economy while improving outcomes for employees and their families would be worth the effort. Success is going to require talented experts, a beginner’s mind, and a long-term orientation.”

Todd Combs, an investment officer of Berkshire Hathaway; Marvelle Sullivan Berchtold, a managing director of JPMorgan Chase; and Beth Galetti, a senior vice president at Amazon, will spearhead the initiative.

The announcement had an immediate impact on the stock prices of other healthcare industry leaders. In premarket trading, CVS, UnitedHealth and Express Scripts saw shares plummet by at least 7 percent, according to CNBC. Aetna saw shares drop by 3 percent.