JPMorgan bets big on healthcare

While JPMorgan is a cornerstone of the global financial system, most observers don't associate the 151-year-old firm with healthcare. 

In 2018, JPMorgan teamed up with Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway to launch Haven, a healthcare joint venture designed to lower costs for the three companies' employees and make primary care easier to access. They tapped Atul Gawande, MD, to lead the company as CEO. However, the company dissolved less than three years after forming. 

Despite this recent failure, JPMorgan is retooling and primed to disrupt the healthcare sector. At the beginning of this year, Morgan Health, the company's healthcare venture, partnered with Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente to focus on health equity and disparities. 

The firm has recently created a healthcare venture capital team focusing on life sciences. The team, Life Sciences Private Capital, will invest in early- to later-stage healthcare companies. Areas of focus for the venture capital group include genetic medicine, autoimmune diseases, cardiometabolic diseases and rare genetic disease. 

The company has added some top-level healthcare talent to its team. Cheryl Pegus, MD, the former executive vice president of health and wellness at Walmart, left the retail giant after two years to join Morgan Health as a managing director. 

As part of its mission to deliver care to its employees, Morgan Health is opening three advanced primary care centers on the site of its offices in the Columbus, Ohio, area.

In addition to providing care to its employees, Morgan Health is disrupting primary care through its investment. After launching in May 2021 as a continuation of Haven, the company said it was looking at data analytics and virtual care as areas of healthcare disruption. 

So far, the company has followed those guiding principles in its investments. For its first investment, Morgan Health backed primary care startup Vera Whole Health with $50 million. In September, the company invested $20 million into home healthcare and testing company LetsGetChecked. 

The flurry of recent moves and investments seem to indicate that JPMorgan has learned lessons from the Haven experiment and is poised to be a major player in healthcare.

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