Amazon-led healthcare firm will dissolve as Walgreens, Walmart grows

porta joint venture established in 2018 by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, which was supposed to revolutionize the American healthcare system, is shutting down, CNBC reports.

The JV partners formed Haven with the aim to find ways to reduce costs and improve outcomes in the US healthcare system, which consistently costs more but performs worse than dozens of other nations.

A report comparing 11 high-income nations prepared by the Commonwealth Fund found that the United States spends the most on health care as a percentage of its economy (16.2% in 2018). This is nearly double the average for other high-income countries (8.8%), but America still has the lowest life expectancy and the highest suicide rates among the 11 countries.

Apparently, tackling an ingrained problem of this magnitude has proved too much even for companies as big as Haven’s partners. In 2019, in a hint that Haven may not be up to the task, Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett said that there was no guarantee that Haven would be successful in his goals.

One difficulty for the JV was that the three partners tended to pursue their projects separately, according to CNBC, citing an anonymous source who knew Haven.

Other corporate giants, particularly retailers, are also looking to change the face of health care delivery in the United States. In 2020, Walgreens Boots Alliancein collaboration with VillageMD, announced plans to open 500 to 700 clinics at Walgreens sites in 30 US markets over the next five years, with around 40 openings this year.

Walgreens tested five in-store clinics in the Houston market and said they were successful. The clinics will offer a variety of on-site medical services as well as telemedicine care and home visits.

Another retail giant, Walmart, has expanded into retail healthcare, opening 15 clinics in 2020, with foresees further expansionwith seven more by the end of 2021. Overall, Walmart has more than 4,700 stores in the United States, meaning its health centers still represent a small fraction of the total so far.

The opportunity for further retail healthcare has increased as the coronavirus pandemic stimulated greater consumer use of retail health clinics, as of the end of 2020 survey of the digital signage company UPshow. This is because people have consolidated errands more than before, and a pharmacy visit can also be a visit to a retail health clinic in the same location.

The survey found that 32% of consumers said COVID-19 has increased their use of retail health clinics, with nearly half (49%) saying they will be more likely to use these clinics even after the pandemic. . Additionally, the majority of healthcare executives (74%) reported that the pandemic increased the volume or revenue or both of their healthcare offerings.

UPshow also found that 77% of consumers have at least one prescription that requires a regular visit to the pharmacy for refills, and more than half (56%) would consider visiting on-site retail healthcare for other services. . The company surveyed 500 consumers and 250 healthcare retail executives nationwide.

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