It’s ‘black and white’ but not GE blue all over! During an investor conference Wednesday, GE Healthcare’s CEO John Flannery insisted that “Bottom line is we have been black and white that all aspects of healthcare are part of our portfolio,” reported in Reuters. Investors have questioned the flatlining of both revenue and profit and the fact that GEHC doesn’t seem to fit well in the engineering/manufacturing bent of the Immelt-ized GE.
The speculation by investors and we in the healthcare press is rational. Earlier this year, GEHC announced the phaseout of the Centricity Enterprise (hospital) EHR. [TTA 15 April] Healthcare Financial Services and the services it would provide were also up in the air. Currently it lends to healthcare entities including hospitals and other health facilities to purchase equipment (made by GE) and real estate/facilities (not made by GE). Initial indicators was that GE would continue to finance what it sells. The real estate financing then is questionable, and undoubtedly an issue for healthcare facilities, as GE Capital has been sold. GE also sources funding for healthcare innovation through the Healthymagination Fund and GE Ventures, and of course has an interest in the Intel-GE JV, Care Innovations. What shape this financial arrangements will take in the future is not clear from the available information.
Also announced, according to Biospace, is $1 billion funding over the next five years for education to reach more than two million healthcare professionals worldwide–physicians, radiologists, technologists, midwives, nurses, biomedical engineers–geared to local needs. It will include new clinical, product application, technical and leadership training and education. A forward commitment of this magnitude does seem to confirm that GEHC is in the healthcare game.