CMA decides GP practices fall within merger control rules

Circle’s recent acquisition of BMI Healthcare has been cleared by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) subject to hospitals being divested in Bath and Birmingham. While most of the CMA’s decision is about competition between private hospitals, its most interesting implications are for GP practice mergers. Centene, a part owner of Circle, owns 18 NHS GP…

Competition risks for GP practice mergers

Large-scale GP organisations, including corporations that own multiple GP practices and super-partnerships between GP practices, are growing rapidly. The development of Primary Care Networks by NHS England seems likely to further encourage this growth. However, many large-scale GP organisations have a significant number of practices in local areas, and further expansion could lead to scrutiny…

Competition from app-based GP services poses challenge for CMA

NHS England has announced the piloting of an app that allows patients to access a GP through their smartphone. GP services offered through the app will compete with existing bricks and mortar services, and represents a massive injection of competition into primary care services. Patient migration to the app-based service will leave existing GP practices…

Competition risks for GP federations and super practices

The trend towards delivering GP services at increased scale seems to have gathered pace over the past few months. In January 2016, HSJ tracked how GP federations and other large scale GP practices have been forming across England. It identified 268 ‘at scale’ GP organisations operating across 171 CCGs, with a further 20 in the process…

What Does the OFT Think About Competition Between GPs?

Some interesting insights into how the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) appears to view competition between GPs are contained in its decision last week on the acquisition by SSP Health Limited of contracts to run 22 GP practices in Merseyside. (Further analysis of merger control issues in relation to GP practices is also set out in these blog posts on GP…

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Buy-and-Build Strategies: Managing the risk of UK Competition and Markets Authority intervention

This paper draws on our experience as former competition regulators, and our research on buy-and-builds, to identify opportunities that can mitigate the risk of CMA intervention for these platforms.

It contains practical advice around:

  • The likelihood of deals being called-in by the CMA
  • Influencing the CMA’s view of a market
  • How to best engage with the CMA
  • Drivers of CMA review costs

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