NHS For Sale? Sold!

Our intrepid NHS privatisation watcher Barrie French reports on the latest sell-out to the USA!

“370K London GP patients sold to company owned by US subprime health insurance profiteer”.  London’s biggest GP ‘provider’ AT Medics Ltd,

has just been sold to the UK subsidiary of a US subprime health insurance profiteer with a long record of fraud, financial dishonesty, health care mismanagement and lack of compliance with Medicare/Medicaid contracts.

16 Clinical Commissioning Groups are involved. They’re supposed to carry out due diligence on takeovers. Where is it?

Operose Health Ltd,

owned by Centene Corporation,

is run by the former NHS England Director of New Care Models, Samantha Jones and the Senior Clinical Advisor for the NHS England Accountable Care Systems’ Primary Care Development Programme, Nicholas Harding.

The London takeover makes Operose Health Ltd one of the biggest companies providing NHS GP services in England, more than tripling its size to 69 GP Practices. Its patient list now approaches the size of that of the super partnership Modality – which was set up in 2009 by Nicholas Harding, now Operose Health Ltd’s Chief Medical Officer. Modality was one of the Vanguard schemes overseen by the Operose Health CEO, Samantha Jones, when she was NHS England’s Director of New Care Models.

AT Medics has 48 practices in 19 London Boroughs with 370,000 patients on its lists. 34 AT Medics Ltd practices are commissioned with Alternative Provider of Medical Services contracts. This type of contract, introduced in 2006, has opened up GP practices to commercial companies.

Unlike regular GP contracts which don’t allow sale of the ‘goodwill’ of the Practice if its partners retire or decide to wind it up, an Alternative Provider of Medical Services contract holder can ‘dispose of its rights and duties under the contract…’ – but first they have to get the Commissioners’ written authorisation. (54.1, APMS Contract).

Only two records of Commissioners’ decisions to approve the transfer of control are readily accessible: North Central London Primary Care Commissioning Committee was presented with a Change of Control Request Report in December 2020. On 9 February, Central London Clinical Commissioning Group was presented with the same Change of Control Request for 1 APMS Practice. What about the other 14 Clinical Commissioning Groups? There seems to be no record of them authorising this change of control.

North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group is meeting on 18th Feb and it needs to answer some questions about its Primary Care Commissioning Committee’s hasty decision in December to approve the Change of Control Request.

In the due diligence work,  solicitors “carried out searches on financial stability and Good Standing to provide further assurance to commissioners in respect of OperoseHealth Ltd, Operose Health Group; MH Services International and MH Services International Holdings.”

Again no mention of the fact that Operose Health is a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation. Why?

Could it be because of Centene Corporation’s dire record of profiteering; inadequate provision of doctors, specialists, hospitals; massive healthcare fraud; failure to release accurate financial information related to the acquisition of a healthcare insurance provider;  serious mismanagement and non-compliance with federal or state Medicaid contracts or rules; and so on?

There is much more to this story. It will be told.

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