Dr. Atul Gawande, the well respected and well known author of Being Mortal, a bestseller which pushed for a more patient centered approach to health care has been appointed as CEO to lead the new insurance company announced by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase. The company is a new effort to reform health care and the hiring of Dr. Gawande is a sign of the direction they want to take.
Dr. Gawande does not have business experience but has been in the trenches on health care especially for those with serious illnesses. In his book, Being Mortal, which was at the top of the bestsellers list, Dr. Gawande has supported providing more person-centered care, with a better quality of life especially at the end of life. He supports hospice and palliative care at the end of life rather than expensive over treatment which does not extend life by much and could provide less than comfort. He write
The three large companies wanted to establish an insurance company to “operate as an independent entity that is free from profit-making incentives and constraints.” The companies have 1.2 million workers so as large employers they may be able to steer health care coverage for those employees in a new way.