It took a year, but it’s approved. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the UK agency tasked with approving acquisitions, approved the acquisition of UK healthcare tech systems developer EMIS by UnitedHealth Group (UHG)’s Optum. The actual acquisition will be made by Bordeaux UK Holdings II, a UK Optum unit.
The £1.2 billion bid for the private company was made in June 2022. In March 2023, CMA moved its review to an independent group for a Phase 2 review due to EMIS’ engagement with the NHS. The Phase 2 review determined that the acquisition by Optum did not raise competitive concerns. Optum is currently a supplier to NHS and GP practices in pharmacy prescription, advisory services, and data analytics. The acquisition of the EMIS system was found to not effectively restrict other entities’ access to data or population health services, and that any restriction could be regulated by the NHS to prevent its use by Optum as a business strategy. Further discussion is presented in the CMA release.
EMIS is the leading EHR system used by NHS GPs throughout the UK. EMIS also has systems for business intelligence, pharmacy, EDs and urgent care, and to identify patients for clinical trials.