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The JPMorgan Chase, Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon Deal and the Future of U.S. Healthcare

The JPMorgan Chase, Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon Deal and the Future of U.S. Healthcare

By: Dave Skibinski, CEO of SnapMD

The healthcare industry is abuzz with the news of JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway partnering with Amazon to form a new healthcare company for all U.S. employees. This industry wakeup call has everyone exploring more accessible and affordable ways to deliver care and drive down the ever-growing costs that are split between employers and employees.

Highlighting employer health benefits and how health insurance premiums are rising faster than wages is the Kaiser Family Foundation’s survey “2017 Employer Health Benefits Chart Pack”. Between 2012 and 2017, workers’ earnings grew by 12 percent with premiums rising by 19 percent. Between 2007 and 2012, premiums increased twice as fast as workers’ earnings.

With employer-sponsored health insurance providing coverage to an estimated 160 million Americans, there is a need for more scalable healthcare options.  Digital care, enabled via telemedicine technologies, offers the opportunity to lower overall costs for patients and health systems, prevent overcrowded emergency departments, improve accessibility to care, and ensure physicians time is well spent.

With today’s telemedicine solutions, hospitals and health systems can now securely leverage information technology to realize a competitive advantage amongst other providers, reach more patients, and produce increased value for the organization and employers. This allows healthcare services operators to leverage resources, drive down costs and increase care access.

From inception, SnapMD saw video chat as a commodity and built a telehealth hub for digital care. This cloud-based digital clinic offering is a cohesive and complete suite of services required to launch and manage virtual services that can be scaled across a health enterprise and the care continuum. The all-encompassing Virtual Care Management (VCM) telehealth platform includes a full suite of features including patient registration and intake, appointment scheduling and staff management, a robust digital exam room, patient messaging systems, and analytics to oversee performance. All of these features are configured to support multiple service lines with their unique operations requirements. With all these functionalities needed to deliver virtual care, VCM architecture can be integrated to work seamlessly with existing—and future—systems.

As digital health strategies evolve, an enterprise approach is required because multiple virtual care platforms become confusing for medical staff, redundant, and expensive to operate. The modern virtual care platform must have the capability to support the full enterprise, and the capacity to scale while being deployed across hospital and health system service lines. With a comprehensive and turnkey enterprise-level telehealth platform, organizations can innovate with a market-leading approach to virtual care technology. By securely integrating and extending care remotely, scalable telehealth can meet the demand of today’s healthcare consumer for greater access to timely, high quality care at an affordable cost.

SnapMD welcomes the strategic partnership between JPMorgan Chase, Berkshire Hathaway and Amazon as they move into healthcare as it will undoubtedly challenge the status quo and accelerate innovation. Scalable virtual care services will certainly be part of this new approach to healthcare delivery for employees, and SnapMD welcomes the challenge to bring its capabilities as a digital hub for virtual care  into the newly evolving models for care delivery.