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In Blitz of Media Appearances, Professor Rob Field Discusses Breaking News in Health Law

Professor Robert Field

February 08, 2018

Professor Robert Field weighed in on dramatic news in health law, speaking with an array of media outlets concerning the announcements that Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase plan to launch an independent health alliance for their workers and that Philadelphia has endorsed the opening of a supervised drug injection facility for addicts.

Plans by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to create a health care alliance for employees marks a potentially exciting development, especially if it creates a transferrable model, Field said during a Feb. 6 interview with Knowledge at Wharton.

“You’ve got three 800-pound gorillas in the business world now joined together, that’s quite a force,” Field said, adding that the combined companies have tremendous expertise in disruptive technology, insurance and finance. “Will Amazon’s innovation and Warren Buffett’s vision and Jamie Dimon’s resources create something that other companies can pick up on? Can they create models that are transferrable throughout the system? If not, they will undoubtedly create great things for their employees, but it will pretty much stop at that.”

The CEOs’ announcement reflects deep frustration with the high cost of health care, Field said in a Feb. 3 interview with KYW Newsradio.

“To bring that disrupting ethos and the resources behind it to this project holds a lot of potential to make changes that we haven’t been able to do so far,” Field said, adding that the health care industry could be poised for the same shift that book stores experienced 20 years ago.

In a Feb. 6 interview with Fox News, Field said that Philadelphia, by supporting the nation’s first supervised facility where addicts can inject illegal drugs, is wading into “a legal no man’s land.” Field said.

“It’s still illegal under city, state and federal law – what it is, is a decision about what to prosecute,” Field said.

City officials contend a supervised injection facility in Vancouver, Canada has experienced no overdose-related deaths in 15 years, but Field observed that the ethics and culture in the U.S. are different.  

An internationally recognized authority on health policy and health law who holds a joint appointment at the Dornisife School of Public Health and lectures on health care management at Penn's Wharton School, Field directs the joint JD-MPH program.