By Rajeev Singh – Chief Executive Officer
Three of the great brands in American business have announced they are creating a new independent business to attack the challenge of healthcare in our country. JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (talk about an all-star team) each issued announcements that equal parts lament the rising costs of healthcare in our country, long for better health outcomes for their employees and families, and acknowledge the degree of difficulty this problem presents. When three brilliant leaders with the resources that these gentlemen have at their disposal approach a problem so humbly – even noting that delivering profits will not be a concern – you know they are up against something very challenging.
In fact, we are all up against the challenge presented by the US healthcare system. As Mr. Buffett correctly points out, healthcare is the “hungry tapeworm on the American economy.” Healthcare as a percentage of gross domestic product has grown from 13% in 1995 to more than 18% today. We spend more in this country on healthcare per capita than anywhere in the world, and yet our clinical outcomes are often not best in class. The double whammy – higher costs and worse results.
I write this blog post entering my third year as the CEO of Accolade, a healthcare technology company serving self-insured employers that are wrestling with healthcare costs. By personalizing healthcare and benefits support, we help their people make better healthcare decisions and take advantage of their benefits – and when we do, outcomes improve, people are much happier, and costs come down. Yet, we know we could do more if a few things in our industry were better aligned. A triumvirate like the one these companies are creating could make that happen – and that would be good for everyone. There are three core areas where I hope they focus.