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Geisinger CEO Will Not Join Amazon/Berkshire/JP Morgan Chase Healthcare Initiative

June 12, 2018
by Mark Hagland
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On Jan. 30, David Feinberg, M.D. announced definitively that he will remain CEO of Geisinger Health System

Despite some initial discussions around his joining the Amazon/Berkshire Hathaway/JP Morgan Chase  healthcare initiative, David Feinberg, M.D., CEO of the Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Health System, last week confirmed to Christina Farr of CNBC, that he will remain in his position at Geisinger.

In a story published on Thursday, June 7, Farr wrote, “David Feinberg, the CEO of Pennsylvania-based health system Geisinger Health System, has told CNBC that he will remain with the firm. Feinberg was at one point in discussions to lead the Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan joint venture to fix health care in the United States, according to people close to the selection process.” And she quoted a statement provided to her by the Geisinger organization, in which Dr. Feinberg said that "I appreciate being part of the conversation, which I believe reflects the accomplishments of the entire Geisinger team. I personally remain 100-percent committed to Geisinger and remain excited about the work we are doing and the opportunities ahead as we continue to deliver exceptional care to our patients, our members and our communities."

David Feinberg, M.D.

As Farr noted, “On Thursday morning, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett and JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon announced on CNBC that they had found a final candidate and would publicly name a leader of the venture within two weeks. According to people close to the situation, they did not announce the name on Thursday because Feinberg had not accepted the job.

As Healthcare Informatics noted in a news report published on January 30, “With an ambitious-sounding, if vaguely worded, announcement, three corporate giants—Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced Jan. 30 that they were launching an initiative to improve satisfaction and reduce costs for their companies’ employees. The three companies’ announcement Wednesday morning opened thus: ‘Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) announced today that they are partnering on ways to address healthcare for their U.S. employees, with the aim of improving employee satisfaction and reducing costs. The three companies, which bring their scale and complementary expertise to this long-term effort, will pursue this objective through an independent company that is free from profit-making incentives and constraints. The initial focus of the new company will be on technology solutions that will provide U.S. employees and their families with simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost.’”

With regard to the involvement of Feinberg in discussions, CNBC’s Farr noted that,  “According to two people familiar with the selection process, the top ten candidates were asked to write a white paper on how they would fix the health care system,” Farr wrote. “From those white papers, three people were chosen to go through a harrowing interview loop. First, all three talked to Dimon, who referred his two favorite picks to Buffett. Buffett's top choice then interviewed with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who could have vetoed the pick. Feinberg,” she noted, “has been advising the group since the announcement was made in January of this year but ultimately emerged as a top pick to lead the initiative himself, said a person familiar.”

Feinberg, she noted, has been Geisinger's CEO since 2015, after serving as the CEO of the UCLA Hospital System. At Geisinger, he oversees a complex integrated health system that serves more than 500,000 patients in Pennsylvania, which includes 13 hospitals, two research centers and more than 1,600 doctors, as well as a provided-sponsored health plan.



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