3 takeaways from Andy Slavitt on Dr. Atul Gawande's new gig at Amazon-JPMorgan Chase-Berkshire Hathaway venture

Nearly six months after their initial announcement of a new healthcare venture, Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway have chosen a CEO to lead the company.

Atul Gawande, MD, a renowned public health expert and surgeon at Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital, will take helm as CEO July 9.

In the same announcement, the trio made clear their intentions to run the company as a nonprofit organization and dedicated Boston as its headquarters.

Becker's Hospital Review caught up with former CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt, who was not only a potential CEO candidate for the venture, but has been a long-time friend and colleague of Dr. Gawande. Here are three insights Mr. Slavitt shared with Becker's on the Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway decision:

1. They chose the right person. Slavitt said he believes the trio chose Dr. Gawande to build confidence and establish a lack of adherence to commercial interests. Many other organizations have attempted to disrupt healthcare, and without a trusted leader with a proven track record of health expertise, they've struggled and failed. As an experienced surgeon, writer and public health researcher, Mr. Slavitt said Dr. Gawande brings an important missing ingredient to the venture: public trust.

2. Opting for nonprofit business model is a good idea. Deciding to operate as a nonprofit means the company can focus on its mission without being distracted by driving a profit. To Mr. Slavitt, Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway's choice to operate independently and free from profit-making incentives "signals [it is] not fixated on quick wins … [and] views [healthcare] as a national problem," he said.

3. It's too soon to predict where the venture is heading. Mr. Slavitt declined to offer any predictions as to what aspects of healthcare the trio could tackle first. However, he noted it's unlikely much will happen soon, emphasizing the venture is off to a good start and the trio has made good decisions. "Atul will take time to listen … and hire good people," Mr. Slavitt said.

More articles on leadership:
5 Carolinas Hospital System employees lose jobs in shakeup at 2 campuses
Employees rank top healthcare CEOs
Five quick ideas for CEOs planning a board retreat

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2019. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

 

Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months