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News

Medica to float as teleradiology booms

Investec is to handle the IPO of Medica Group, a UK-based teleradiology company with sales of £30m in 2016 and a network of around 250 radiologists, say reliable sources.

Healthcare largest segment for Air Liquide in Europe

Global industrial gas company Air Liquide saw its healthcare segment grow by 11.2% to €3.1bn globally in 2016. Healthcare is now its largest business in Europe surpassing industrial gas for the first time.

MD Medical Group expands across Russia

MD Medical Group, the Russian hospital chain rooted in Moscow with the treatment of women and children at its core, is planning to expand substantially. Healthcare Europa caught up with CEO Dr Mark Kurtser at the London Stock Exchange during part of his charm offensive, ahead of an early morning briefing to investors. Shares in MD Medical have doubled in value since June 2016, to £10.65 - so what is Kurtser doing right, and what is he planning next?

Attendo steady but outsourcing drops

With nearly 10% operating margin, Sweden’s largest elderly care services provider Attendo reports a good 2016 performance and sees its shareholders’ dividends more than double. But the results also highlight challenges in the outsourcing market and the group reports poor organic growth.

Orpea rises and Korian falls on sales figures

Combining over 145,000 beds across Europe, France’s two largest elderly care providers Korian and Orpea have released their 2016 revenue ahead of their full results later in March. But investors’ and analysts’ reactions couldn’t be more different, as Orpea’s share price soars and Korian’s tumbles.

Half of UK patients unaware of eligibility for private treatment

English GPs are failing to alert their patients of their right to choose who provides them with NHS treatment shows performance figures released by NHS England yesterday. The number of patients waiting more than a year for planned surgery has grown by 63% in one year, demonstrates the same research, though the private sector now provides one-third of hip and knee replacements.

Unilabs drives east

Unilabs has reached agreement to buy Alpha Medical, a big lab services group in the Czech and Slovak republics from Mid Europa.
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Insight & Interviews

Interview: Dr Chai Patel, chairman and CEO, HC-One

Chai Patel, former Ugandan refugee, medical doctor, adviser to the Blair government and, after selling his stake in British-based nursing home group HC-One two years ago, serial entrepreneur is one of the more colourful characters in the normally staid world of British adult social care. With 25 years of experience in the market, he's also well-placed to comment on its current plight. In this wide-ranging interview, he gives Healthcare Europa his assessment of the industry's health and reveals details of HC-One's future strategy.

Interview: Aarne Aktan, CEO, Pihlajalinna

The health and social care group, Pihlajalinna, is the biggest (and arguably hardest to pronounce) name in Finnish outsourcing. It opened its first joint venture with Jämsä in 2010 and now receives 55% of its sales through this model. But the Finnish Sote reform, which will totally reshape the market, is fast approaching. Still, Aktan claims that Pihlajalinna, a weak consumer brand, will adapt to freedom of choice and the end of outsourcing as he knows it.

Interview: Circle’s chief medical officer, Dr Massoud Fouladi

Circle Rehabilitation Services, a joint venture between the UK private hospital group, Circle Health, and Vamed, an international hospital construction and management operator, is confident there is a mix of payors willing to fund inpatient rehab. The service should cost roughly two-thirds the price of an NHS acute bed per night, Circle’s chief medical officer, Dr Massoud Fouladi, told Healthcare Europa.

Interview: Nick Hernandez, CEO of US healthcare consultancy ABISA

Boutique US advisory firm ABISA says it is working with Swiss clients for a healthcare deal in Eastern Europe. The expansion is likely to focus on medical tourism, telehealth and oncology - ABISA’s three main areas of expertise. We talk to founder Nick Hernandez.

Interview: Attila Vegh, CEO, Penta Hospitals Group

By 2025 Penta Hospitals Group (PHG) owned by private equity house Penta Investments, plans to more than triple sales to over €1bn. But growth could be even faster, says its new CEO, Attila Vegh, a former boss of three large English NHS hospital trusts. The real ambition of the group, a merger of Svet Zdravia in Slovakia, the Polish chain EMC and Penta’s hospitals in Czech Republic, is even greater than the sales forecasts suggest. Much of the growth he says will come from working with the public sector. Vegh says that Penta wants to be “a disrupter, a company which introduces best practice and innovation,” thus persuading public payors to rethink their attitude to the private sector. So how do you do that in a region which is becoming increasingly statist and hostile to international capitalism?

Interview: Jaakko Olkkonen, Wellmo: The future of insurance – Preventative health services and wearables

Savvy insurers - big players like Generali, Germany's second largest primary insurance group, and Vitality in the UK, are moving into preventative health services – suggesting there's money to be saved here. Experts seem to agree within five years, wearable devices feeding information back to health insurance companies may become the norm rather than the exception – and insurers who don't change they way they operate could soon be left behind. One such expert is Jaakko Olkkonen, managing director of Finland-based mobile platform software company Wellmo. Olkkonen admits he has a vested interest in promoting wearable devices and apps which record key health information – like user activity, sleep patterns and heart rate – and feeding it back to insurers. He runs a digital platform designed to facilitate it, after all. But he says his predictions are accurate nonetheless.

Interview: Daniel Öhman, CEO, GHP

With 18 facilities across Sweden, Finland and the UAE, GHP has pioneered “holistic” centres, each focused on specific conditions. So someone with a back problem can get physiotherapy, surgery, osteopathy and even psychiatry from one centre. GHP is also now managing four hospitals with 700 staff in the UAE. We talk to Öhman about GHP’s work with Swedish insurer Skandia which now pays the company on a per capita/quality basis for patients with orthopaedic and spine problems, conditions which make up nearly half of all pay-outs for insurers. We think this move to per capita payments for such conditions from some form of DRG payment is unique in Europe.
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Reports

MBAs and executive training courses – are they worth the time and money?

You can’t become an expert in healthcare services overnight - but there are courses, MBAs or much shorter executive training courses - which say they can help to transform you or your staff into the next generation of healthcare managers, leaders and entrepreneurs. But can they really do this - and are they good value for money? Where should you send yourself, or your staff, to fill any gaps in knowledge that might be putting the brakes on a career? And does it matter if the management course isn’t focussed on healthcare at all?

Reading the future of the European labs sector

The European diagnostic lab sector in 2016 presents opportunities, but also substantial threats. Apart from seizing market share from competitors, there are four ways that labs can grow sales – consolidation/rationalisation, diversification into new test groups, outsourcing and finally moving into other areas - be that imaging or outpatient specialty care.

The rise and rise of digital primary care

A battle is being fought over England’s 340 million annual GP consultations. As waiting lists rise in the NHS, patients are flowing to a host of digital upstarts. Competition is fierce, prices are low and no one seems to like each other very much! We uncover the story of their race to get ahead.

The changing face of cosmetic surgery in Europe

Cosmetic surgery is en vogue in Europe. France and Germany alone saw over 1m procedures conducted for the first time in 2015. But a growth in popularity doesn't necessarily mean the arrival of a consolidation trend. While private equity groups like Aurelius and Polaris have invested in national chains, the market remains extremely fragmented. In this feature, we take a look at the emergence of new players, find out which treatments are growing and ask several executives in the sector about their plans.

Greek private hospitals: between Scylla and Charybdis

During the peak of the tensions on Greece’s potential exit of the euro in the summer of 2015, private operators told Healthcare Europa of their difficulties to stay afloat in light of a 40% claw-back. Meanwhile, there were reports people could not afford to pay upfront costs and that hospitals were running dangerously low on the supply of basic medical equipment. So has anything changed?

eHealth – changing the role of the insurer – and nudging the insured to get healthy

The health insurance industry faces revolutionary change. eHealth is moving healthcare down the acuity curve, personalising treatment and bringing a new generation of wellness treatments online through mHealth apps. This, in turn, creates data, data that insurers are eager to get their hands on. They increasingly are, by creating their own bespoke apps or partnering with aggregators or popular wellness apps. But, adapting their business models to the data-driven economy, is moving insurers from a passive to an active role in people’s health, and raising tensions with consumer interests.

eHealth: towards paperless healthcare systems

“eHealth is like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it,” was how one attendee at eHealth in Amsterdam used Dan Ariely’s famous take on big data, summing up where the sector is today. There is more than a grain of truth in the jibe. But there is real progress. By 2018, 18 EU member countries are set to go live with the exchange of patient records and e-prescriptions. Estonia, the only country in the world to have a nation-wide Electronic Health Record (EHR) system built its eHealth system for only €10m –the equivalent of €7.50 per head. And Mhealth, remote monitoring and artificial intelligence all promise to transform the sector over the next decade. We investigate progress to date.

NHS evolution presents a new challenge for private sector

The NHS in England is experiencing an unprecedented crisis as funding deficits and waiting times rise. Pressures on the social care industry, where tariffs and costs are tracking divergent paths, are adding to the strain. The solution in the form of a compromise between the Treasury and NHS England guarantees £8bn of extra funding by 2020 in return for efficiency gains of 2-3% a year, leading to new care models that should join services together, improve care and save costs across the system. But what is the role of the private sector in this changing landscape?

Southern Dental for sale despite English NHS uncertainty

Third largest dental operator Southern Dental is likely to be put up for sale shortly. And there are strong rumours that the number one, MyDentist (previously IDH), and the number two, Oasis may also be sold. But there are uncertainties around Brexit and the NHS dental reform. We talk to industry insiders about the sector's prospects.
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