1 min read

Editor's blog Wednesday 2 March 2011: More on Integrated Health Partners MD Oliver Bernath

I'm grateful to a private healthcare market analyst reader who, having read our coverage of the Integrated Health Partners back-story, emailed in the following information about IHP MD Oliver Bernath:

"IHP have not proven that successful in their work building relations with GPs. They have, as your story notes, been hawking their model around for over three years; yet have only a small group of GP partners across the country.

"By way of comparison, Assura (now part of Virgin) signed up 31 practices over a similar period.

"IHP's stronghold is the home-est of the Home Counties - Surrey. They're basically in the Guilford and Epsom environs. They were understood to be working with Dr Tim Richardson (founder of Epsomedical), but I'm not sure if that's still going.

"When I spoke to Oliver a couple of years ago, he wanted to take NHS population commissioning risk and spread this risk across lots of pockets of money across the country. His thesis was that savings in diabetic care for 3,000 patients in Surrey would be offset against 'losses' on orthopaedic care for 8,000 patients in Leeds.

"Profits were to be shared with the GP partners.

"That business model was clearly unviable - both economically and politically.

"IHP's current business model appears to have become locality-specific.

"What I guess this background information does is to illustrate a) the scale of ambition, and b) the importance of profit and commerciality to his model".