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Amazon’s early impact on health care | Cobb Business Journal

As a classic example on the transparency front, I have a friend who had three MRIs over the course of the past three months. The first, which occurred at a hospital, cost $4,550. The second, which occurred at an outpatient MRI facility, cost $1,200. The third, which occurred in a doctor’s office, cost $550. These three, largely similar, diagnostic procedures had three vastly different costs and, perhaps more concerning, no front-end cost transparency. That said, one can only imagine the degree to which a focus by Amazon on health care pricing and quality transparency could create efficiencies in the market.

Admittedly, the announcement from Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan was short on specifics and the lack of clarity regarding their intentions has fueled wild speculation regarding the approaches they will explore.

While it is easy to imagine that the harnessing of technology to drive down costs will be a key focus, one perhaps less obvious benefit of their collaboration may include improvements in the ways employers engage with their employees to improve underlying health and wellness activities.

For context, one thing explicitly confirmed in the Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan announcement is that they intend to use their own collective employee pool of one million plus workers as a laboratory for their experimentation.

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Amazon’s early impact on health care | Cobb Business Journal | mdjonline.com.