JP Morgan is a cornerstone financial institution, with investments and interests in all sectors across the globe. With regards to healthcare, the company made headlines just a few years ago for its innovative partnership with Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway in launching Haven, a joint venture to optimize healthcare costs and the care experience for patients. Famous surgeon and author Dr. Atul Gawande was tasked to lead the initiative, based on his years of experience in healthcare and public health. However, just a few years later, Gawande stepped down and eventually, Haven was shut down.
More recently, in 2021, JP Morgan launched Morgan Health as a separate business unit. The organization’s goal is to improve “health care for 285,000 employees and dependents covered by JPMorgan’s health insurance plan, as well as the millions of people in the US with employer-sponsored insurance. [The unit’s] mission is to accelerate the adoption of new approaches to care delivery that improve health outcomes as well as the quality, affordability and equity of care.”
Morgan Health is aggressively investing in “promising healthcare companies” that are meaningfully creating positive disruption in multiple spaces, ranging from home healthcare, virtual care delivery, to healthcare analytics. In its latest move, Morgan Health has brought on Dr. Cheryl Pegus to help support the organization. Dr. Pegus was previously Executive Vice President for Health and Wellness at Walmart, where she grew Walmart’s healthcare vision, strategy, and offerings nationally. Per the press release, Dr. Pegus will be tasked with helping “inform the team’s renewed focus on population-based health initiatives, including investing in and scaling promising new care delivery models designed to improve health outcomes, particularly among diverse populations, [in addition to advancing Morgan Health’s] work and strategic investments dedicated to addressing gaps in mental and behavioral health, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions among enrollees.”
Indeed, Morgan Health is attempting to take its healthcare vision to the next level.
Financial institutions have increasingly been interested in the healthcare sector. Healthcare organizations have had a tough few years, with razor thin margins and countless compounding challenges including staffing shortages, increased costs, fluctuating demand, and burdensome capital expenses.
The presence of private equity in healthcare has skyrocketed over the last decade, now accounting for nearly $120 billion dollars in deal flow. Financial institutions are hungry to enter the healthcare space given the significant opportunity for improving care delivery, meaningful disruption, and promising returns on investment, accordingly. In an ideal world, private equity based healthcare should increase access to tools, funding, and opportunities to improve healthcare services, while also balancing an enterprise that ultimately prioritizes patient value and care.
Nonetheless, initiatives like Morgan Health are crucial in the current healthcare landscape, as they may help provide funding and resources to companies that are meaningfully attempting to truly create value. Take for example Vera Whole Health, which is backed by Morgan Health; the company is attempting to revolutionize the traditional primary care and care coordination model. If done correctly, Morgan Health may be able to apply lessons learned from this investment to ultimately improve healthcare access to millions of other patients. Dan Mendelson, CEO of Morgan Health, explained that “Our goal with this first investment is to build a strong coordinated healthcare model – with outstanding primary care and new ways to help employees navigate a healthcare system that is often very disconnected […] Vera is proactively helping patients achieve ideal physical, mental and social health. And because they actively coordinate with other high-value health providers, they’re able to create a much better overall patient experience.”
Indeed, this is just one example of a high-value investment that may stand to significantly improve healthcare in the coming generation. Though there are many more such opportunities yet to come, only time will tell how JP Morgan will truly utilize its talent, resources, and capital to ultimately improve care delivery.