Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Hope for heath care from Amazon

Amazon Disrupt: Has Jeff Bezos only just begun?

Can one of the world’s most innovative companies actually do good? Amazon’s announcement that it was turning its attention to healthcare caused panic in the bloated, inefficient, and vicously greedy market that is American health care. In other words, a market ripe for total disruption.

Books, clothes, household items, groceries, films, TV, music and cloud services - the logistics and IT geniuses at Amazon have nothing more to prove.  They could just sit back and let the profits roll in. Perhaps even pay out dividends to shareholders.

But what if, what if, all this innovation was just prelude? What if the real, ground-breaking innovation is only begining now, in 2018, with Amazon’s foray into the debacle that is American health care?

As a multinational with offices in all kinds of countries, Amazon management has experienced first hand the nearly unbelievable disparity in health care access, quality and cost throughout DEVELOPPED countries.

Presumably its employees in France can give birth and navigate accidents with excellent care and no cost, like everyone else in France. Multinationals like Amazon know that their French employees do not worry about losing their homes because of a health crisis. They are not innondated with dozens if not hundreds of separate, terrifying bills from an inexplicable array of doctors, labs, suppliers, catering services, and God knows what else itemizing blood tests, cotton swabs and pots of yoghurt consumed, all at prices that defy commmon sense. They do not stress because some life-saving procedure turns out to have been performed by an expert « out of network » and so will cost the equivalent of three years salary....

Amazon, like other global firms, knows well how perfectly awful the American health care system is, combining the unjustifiable administration cost of the most bloated bureaucracy with monopoly-style price gauging and airline level abuse of customers.

How can a system in which vultures like Shkreli make fortunes jacking up drug prices out of pure, unbridled greed not be ripe for disruption?An industry so exaggeratedly evil that Pixar studios created a superhero whose first act of defiance was to whisper to an elderly lady the secret for getting an insurance company to pay out on a justified claim?

Charles Dickens would find a worthly subject in the American health care system, so filled with corruption, greed and cruelty it is.

Enter Amazon.

Amazon knows a thing or two about innovation. About customer care. About logistics. About value for money.
Amazon knows how to streamline a process. Meetings to coordinate, Bezos knows, are a sign that the process is flawed. In a truly well designed process, coordination should not be necessary; communication should flow naturally.

We at Mature Women welcome Amazon to the health care industry. Disrupt has never been more needed.

Let Amazon succeed, not with gadgetry and picking just a few obviously low hanging fruit, but by a complete revolution. Why not, for that matter, a French revolution?

France does a pretty good job of delivering on the promise of free universal health care. Let that be a starting point. The French system, though not perfect, serves 60 million people, and has the merit of existing.