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Atul Gawande Announces Name For New Health Care Venture

Dr. Atul Gawande in 2017 (Courtesy Bret Hartman/TED Conference via Flickr)
Dr. Atul Gawande in 2017 (Courtesy Bret Hartman/TED Conference via Flickr)

The much-anticipated health care venture helmed by Dr. Atul Gawande, a prominent Boston surgeon and author, and formed by the companies Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, will be known as Haven, the company announced Wednesday.

The organization has launched a website, which articulates its vision for "simplified, high-quality and transparent health care at a reasonable cost."

Details on how Haven will achieve that goal remain scant, but the website provides a few hints. Some areas of focus will include access to primary care, prescription drug prices and making insurance simpler and easier to use.

"We will be relentless," says a message from the CEO, Gawande. "We will insure [sic] our work has high impact and is sustainable. And we are committed to doing this work for the long-term."

Haven, with headquarters in Boston and an office in New York, has been the subject of much speculation and some anxiety, including among health insurers. The venture was first announced last January with the goal of improving health care for employees and the families of employees at the three founding companies.

Information about Haven's approach has slowly started to leak out, including in a legal dispute over the company's plan to hire a former executive from Optum, a unit of UnitedHealth Group. In his online message, Gawande pledges to "create new solutions and work to change systems, technologies, contracts, policy, and whatever else is in the way of better health care."

While the focus remains on U.S.-based employees at Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway, the hope is that this venture will have a broader impact.

"Our work may take many forms, and solutions may take time to develop, but Haven is invested in making health care much better for all of us," the company's website states.  "In time, we intend to share our innovations and solutions to help others."

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Elisabeth Harrison Twitter Managing Editor For News Content
Elisabeth Harrison is WBUR’s managing editor for news content with a focus on business, health and science coverage.

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