Posts Tagged ‘money’

How Amazon Could Disrupt Health Care

Amazon has been described has the “everything store, ” but it’s missing one major category – prescription medicines. That might soon change, in the wake of Amazon’s roughly $1 billion acquisition of PillPack, an internet pharmacy.

Health experts told CNBC that it’s only a mater of time before Amazon starts selling prescription drugs on its online marketplace, and that it’s assembling a team to do just that. For Amazon, pharmacy represents a multibillion market opportunity, but it’s also highly complicated and will involve battling with some entrenched competition that has a vested interest in keeping drug prices high.

But Amazon, with its scale, leverage, and supply chain expertise, could be the company to do it, the experts said.

People buying medical supplies on Amazon, such as glucometers and cold medicine, can now use their flexible savings accounts or health savings accounts to get discounts.

These programs, often referred to as an HSA or FSA, allow people with health insurance to set aside a portion of their salary before taxes to cover medical expenses that would have been paid for out-of-pocket, such as prescription medicines and medical supplies.

In a statement to CNBC, Amazon said it’s “excited to announce” the feature, which allows buyers to use their HSA or FSA debit cards towards eligible purchases.

“Customers now have the flexibility to use FSA/HSA cards on a wide range of eligible over-the-counter purchases, eliminating the need to pay out-of-pocket or submit receipts for reimbursement,” the Amazon spokesperson said.

Amazon started rolling out the offering to customers earlier this month, which was spotted by a few outlets and blogs.

In recent years, Amazon has started adding more health and wellness products, including medical devices and over-the-counter medicines.

Amazon’s rival Walmart, which currently offers pharmacy services, also has a storefront for HSA and FSA products.

The company also acquired an internet pharmacy company, PillPack, in the summer of 2018, signaling an interest in adding prescription medicines to its marketplace. It now has a leader for that pharmacy business, a veteran who helped build Amazon’s Kindle self-publishing platform. But PillPack, which primarily serves older customers who take multiple medications, hasn’t been fully integrated into Amazon and still operates independently.

Prescription drugs is a notoriously challenging product to offer, given the complex web of intermediaries that sit between the drug manufacturer and the pharmacy. To sell prescription medicines, Amazon will need to work with middlemen, known as pharmacy benefits managers, in order to take a customer’s insurance.

Some health experts suggest that the move into adding HSA and FSA cards is a smart method for Amazon to learn more about people’s spending on health.

“It’s a back end way for Amazon to learn about consumer purchasing behavior of health care products and services, as it moves more deeply into the space,” said Michael Yang, a health-tech investor with Omers Ventures.

Others believe that Amazon’s new storefront could be a starting point for the company to extend into pharmacy and employer benefits.

If Amazon had a pharmacy offering, “consumers with high deductible plans and health savings accounts may be more than willing to pay cash for prescriptions using these accounts,” said Stephen Buck, a health entrepreneur who previously worked at McKesson, a major drug distributor.

Some in the pharmacy world have speculated that Amazon will get into the space by initially focusing this segment of consumers that typically pays cash for their prescription medicine. That’s about 6 percent of the U.S. population, which is a chunk of the $450 billion pharmacy market. If it did that, those people might choose to use their health and flexible savings accounts.
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How Amazon Could Disrupt The Pharmacy Business

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 13, 2019 at 3:22 am

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Americans Had To Borrow $88 BILLION To Pay For Healthcare Last Year

“Americans borrowed a staggering $88 billion in the past year to pay for health care, a new survey finds.
About 1 in 8 had to resort to borrowing to afford care in the previous year, according to a West Health-Gallup survey released Tuesday. Also, 65 million adults say they had a health issue but didn’t seek treatment due to cost. Nearly a quarter had to cut back on spending to pay for health care or medicine.”

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 6, 2019 at 3:21 am

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Warren Buffett talks fixing health care, Jamie Dimon and Jeff Bezos

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett discusses his new health care venture named “Haven” and why he thinks it will be a success.

Industry titans Amazon (AMZN), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) teamed up a year ago to address rising health care costs in the U.S. for their employees.

Their new venture is a nonprofit called Haven, and led by Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon, professor, author, and public health leader. The goal of Haven isn’t just about making or saving money, but instead solving some of the most critical issues surrounding health care, Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett told Yahoo Finance’s Andy Serwer in a wide-ranging interview.

“The plan is to support a very, very, very good thinker on this subject, who’s a practicing physician, and who commands the respect of the medical community too,” Buffett said. “In effect, figure out some way so that we can deliver even better care, and have people feel better about their care, too. They have to perceive that they’re receiving better care, over time. And stop the march upward of costs, relative to the country’s output.”

The 88-year-old investor went on to explain that the U.S. is spending far too much on health care.

“We’ve got this incredible economic machine, but we shouldn’t be spending 18%, when other countries are doing something pretty comparable, in terms of doctors per capita, hospital beds per capita, and all that,” he said. “The very top stuff in medicine, I think, is very much concentrated in this country. And that’s great. I want us to be the leader, but I think we’re paying a price. If we’re paying seven extra points of GDP, that’s $1.4 trillion a year.”

One of the more high-profile challenges in health care is soaring drug prices.

Buffett acknowledged that D.C. is trying to figure it out and said this is something Haven will take on, too.

“[You] talk to the average congressman, they regard it as a problem, and they see specific instances of drug prices or something like that, but it’s a big problem to change,” Buffett said. “The trouble is it intersects in so many ways. And that’s why we’ve got Gawande heading it. We’ve got three pretty good sized organizations backing him.”
Collectively, Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon, and JPMorgan employ more than 1.2 million people — giving Gawande an opportunity to problem solve for better efficiency and outcomes.

“His game plan, it’s not something we’re going to try to lay out, because it’s in his head, to some degree. Obviously, we selected him by hearing and reading, and so on, what he’s done. But he’ll learn, as we go. We will conduct certain experiments, or he will, and try out a community where one of us has a lot of employees. There are various ways to experiment.”
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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 20, 2019 at 3:21 am

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Warren Buffett on healthcare: It’s a big problem to change

Warren Buffett sat down with Andy Serwer of Yahoo Finance to discuss his plan to improve healthcare through his venture “Haven” with Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan and Jeff Bezos of Amazon.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 19, 2019 at 3:21 am

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Is This Where Health Care Problems Start in this Country?

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Dr. Matthew Christenson discusses the differences between going to a ‘typical’ doctor for medical care versus someone who specializes in prevention and treating underlying causes. He gets to the root of the real issues with health care in this country

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - February 22, 2019 at 3:20 am

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Here’s what to expect from the health care sector in 2019

Ana Gupte, senior analyst and managing director of health care services at Leerink Partners, joins “Squawk Box” to discuss what to expect from the health care sector in 2019.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 1, 2019 at 3:21 am

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Healthcare: is it a right or a luxury? | Tarik Sammour | TEDxAdelaide

Is healthcare a right or a luxury? The answer each individual gives to that question depends largely on their previous experiences with medical care, and on their geographical background and personal philosophy. It is not as simple as it sounds. But the world is getting smaller, and it is imperative that we develop a shared understanding of what kind of healthcare system works best for society in general, and how to fund this effectively. In this talk, Tarik Sammour challenges the audience to think about these questions and engages them in a passionate debate, while putting his own personal spin on things as all good speakers do! Tarik Sammour is a surgeon at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and an Associate Professor at the University of Adelaide, specialising in advanced bowel cancer surgery, patient outcome centred research and robotics. Throughout his training, Tarik has been privileged to work in a wide variety of healthcare systems, from the smallest general hospital in rural New Zealand to one of the largest medical centres in the United States, giving him a unique first-hand insight into what works well for patients and what doesn’t. One of the reasons he eventually chose to settle in Adelaide was because he saw the city’s potential as a leader in healthcare delivery and innovation. With an ageing population and spiralling healthcare costs, he has some ideas to solve problems that are relevant to us all. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - November 12, 2018 at 3:20 am

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How Healthcare Has Become A Key Midterm Message For Democrats | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

With 21 days left before the 2018 midterm elections, Stephanie Ruhle is joined by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and Associate Editor for Real Clear Politics, A.B. Stoddard to discuss how healthcare has become a key message for Democrats in some of the most contentious races this election cycle.
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How Healthcare Has Become A Key Midterm Message For Democrats | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - October 16, 2018 at 10:37 pm

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The Timeshare Lure – How the Timeshare Marketplace Performs

The Timeshare Lure – How the Timeshare Marketplace Performs

Photo by: Clark Young / Unsplash

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Resource by Kris Roadruck

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - November 30, 2017 at 3:52 am

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Making Revenue On line By means of a Worthwhile Internet site

Making Revenue On line By means of a Worthwhile Internet site

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - October 12, 2017 at 9:50 pm

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