New Amazon-led health care company names surgeon Atul Gawande as CEO

Atul Gawande the doctor and writer named CEO of Amazon’s employee healthcare JV		
		
	Ingrid Lunden

       @	   
   	7 hours

Atul Gawande the doctor and writer named CEO of Amazon’s employee healthcare JV Ingrid Lunden @ 7 hours

Gawande, 52, rose to prominence among health-care policy experts with a 2009 New Yorker article, "The Cost Conundrum", that examined why health care was vastly more expensive in some parts of the United States than others, despite little difference in the sickness or health of people getting it. "A very expensive pile of junk that does not go anywhere".

Buffett has described USA healthcare costs as a "tapeworm" on American businesses, hurting their ability to compete with rivals in other countries.

Atul Gawande is particularly famous for a 2009 New Yorker story, "The Cost Conundrum", that examined why some parts of the country spend far more on health care than others - without better results, sicker populations, or higher labor costs.

Bezos, of Amazon; Dimon, of JP Morgan Chase; and Buffett, of Bershire Hathaway; announced in January they would team up with the ambitious goal of disrupting the health care industry and tackling its most vexing problem: The increasing cost of care. The drug-store chain and pharmacy benefits firm CVS Health Corp.is acquiring insurer Aetna Inc., while insurer Cigna Corp. agreed to buy the drug benefits firm Express Scripts Holding Corp.

Gawande, 52, rose to prominence among healthcare policy experts with a 2009 New Yorker article, The Cost Conundrum, that examined why health care was vastly more expensive in some parts of the U.S. than others, despite little difference in the sickness or health of people getting it. In his 2014 book "Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End", Gawande argued against prolonging a poor quality of life for the elderly and terminally ill.

Gawande was announced Wednesday to head the new venture after being picked by Buffett, Amazon's Jeff Bezos and JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon. He will, however, step away from his role as executive director of Ariadne Labs-a company he founded that focuses on health care delivery with a global health-focused bent-to become its chairman.

Employers are the largest providers of health insurance in the USA, giving more than 150 million people access to coverage.

Gawande is surgeon and professor at both Harvard's Medical School and its T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The article, which won a National Magazine Award, examined why the federal Medicare program spent $15,000 in 2006 for patients in McAllen, Texas - nearly twice the national average. The three companies said they would use big-data analysis and other high-tech tools to improve care and cut waste.

The consortium's leaders have said they aren't looking for a quick fix.

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