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Centene flogs off Operose with 60 GP practices

The giant American health corporation Centene has now completed a divestment of all its health care investments in England by selling off its subsidiary Operose, which had controversially acquired 60 GP practices, mainly in London.

This marks the end of what the Financial Times saw as an attempt by Centene to open up a ‘seamless pathway’ potentially enabling Operose-run GPs to refer to its own chain of hospitals. When Operose was put up for sale The London Press, quoting Victor Chua of Mansfield Advisors, a healthcare consultancy, explained why the strategy had failed to deliver:

“Centene has found it difficult to make Operose profitable because many Operose sites are in generally less affluent areas where recruiting GPs has been difficult. There was no natural cross-sell between the Operose GPs and the Circle Hospitals, which serve a different demographic, and the geographic overlaps are limited.”

So Centene decided to pull out, and this latest sale follows Centene’s sale in August of Circle Health Group, and with it Britain’s largest chain of small private hospitals, which they had only purchased in 2021, to Emirates-based Pure Health.

Full story in The Lowdown, 8 December 2023

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