Why A Mid-Level Executive Sparked A Trade Secrets Lawsuit–And What That Says About Industry Views Of Gawande-Led Venture
The venture, launched by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, has been cloaked in secrecy from the start and it has the health care industry on edge.
Lawsuit Involving Gawande Venture Raises A Question: Who Counts As A Threat?
Before last month, David W. Smith was a midlevel executive at the sprawling health services company Optum. He’d never met the company’s CEO, according to a sworn affidavit, or cracked into a senior leadership team that includes about 200 people. He was basically a strategy consultant. But on Dec. 11, he became an existential threat. He took a job working for a nascent competitor, the health venture formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase & Co and helmed by Dr. Atul Gawande. (Ross and Sheridan, 1/25)
Optum Sues To Stop Ex-Executive From Taking Secrets To Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan Venture
UnitedHealth Group-owned Optum has sued to block a former executive from working at Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase's new healthcare cost-saving venture and potentially sharing trade secrets, in a sign of industry anxiety about the project's disruptive potential. Last week, Optum filed a non-compete and trade secrets lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts against David Smith, who started working this month as the yet-unnamed joint venture's director of strategy and research. Optum claims that Smith, who worked as vice president of product, was privy to and misappropriated trade secrets that will help the new venture compete against it, violating non-disclosure and non-compete covenants in his contract. (Meyer, 1/24)
In other health industry news —
Aetna, Other Health Insurers Team Up With IBM On Blockchain Project
A group of health insurers including CVS Health Corp's Aetna, have teamed up with IBM Corp to create a blockchain network aimed at cutting costs in the healthcare industry. The companies intend to use blockchain technology, which allows the sharing of databases across a network of computers, for processing claims and payments and to maintain directories, they said in a joint statement. (1/24)
The Associated Press:
Sundance: Documentary Dives Deep Into The Fraud Of Theranos
Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney has always been interested in the psychology of fraud and self-deception. So when HBO CEO Richard Plepler and Graydon Carter proposed that he look into the blood-testing startup Theranos and its charismatic young leader Elizabeth Holmes, saying yes was a "no-brainer." The film, "The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley," premiered Thursday on opening night of the Sundance Film Festival. (Bahr, 1/25)