JPMorgan CEO: The health venture will 'start very small,' take years to rollout - 6 things to know


Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase hinted at the timeline and ambitions of his company's joint venture with Berkshire Hathaway and Amazon in his annual letter to stakeholders April 5, noting it will be a while until the effort takes effect.

The trio — which collectively employ hundreds of thousands of individuals — set off in January to build a company that would lower healthcare costs for their U.S. employees. However, they've been pretty quiet about the initiative so far.

However, Mr. Dimon,dropped a few clues about the venture's goals and strategies the trio may use to deliver this lower cost of care.  

Here are six things to know.

1. Mr. Dimon said that the companies would be updating  investors on their progress in "coming years." This suggests the three are envisioning a long road ahead.

2. He added they will be hiring a strong management team to address critical problems and issues. "The effort will start very small, but there is much to do, and we are optimistic," Mr. Dimon wrote.

3. Some of its goals include:

  • Aligning incentives among physicians, insurers and patients;
  • Reducing the amount spent on fraud and waste costs;
  • Affording employees more access to telemedicine and better wellness programs;
  • Determining why costly medications are both over- and under-utilized;
  • and examining why so much money is spent on end-of-life care.

4. But how will they achieve success? "We will be using top management, big data, virtual technology, better customer engagement and the improved creation of customer choice," Mr. Dimon wrote.

5. Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett didn't discuss the health venture in his February letter to shareholders, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has yet to publish his annual letter, which he typically does in April, according to Bloomberg.

6. Mr. Buffett did, however, discuss the initiative in an interview with CNBC in February, where he called healthcare spending in the U.S. a "tapeworm on the economic system," and that the venture would try to find ways of delivering better care at lower costs.

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