HCF takes a stake in GP2U

Health insurer HCF has bought a 15 per cent stake in Tasmanian telehealth service GP2U, joining Sonic Healthcare as a major investor in the company.

HCF plans to run a pilot program to scale the service to its membership, the company said, with an emphasis on servicing people living in regional and rural areas.

The investment follows a similar-sized stake taken by Sonic Clinical Services, the primary care division of diagnostics giant Sonic Healthcare, in September last year. SCS owns the Independent Practitioner Network (IPN) group of general practices, and plans to investigate offering GP2U to its GPs.

SCS also recently bought Precedence Health Care, which markets the cdmNet chronic disease management software.

Medical entrepreneur Andrew Pascoe, who co-founded the Medical One chain of medical centres as well as GP software firm Zedmed, is also an investor in GP2U.

GP2U founder James Freeman (pictured) remains the majority shareholder of the company. Last year, he appointed former Anywhere Healthcare director Sam Holt as CEO of GP2U. Anywhere Healthcare was a division of Medibank Health Solutions but is now owned by Telstra Health.

Dr Freeman has also kept himself busy helping his father John run a hepatitis C “buyers' club”, which arranged for testing and the importation of generic forms of the three drugs recently listed on the PBS that are showing outstanding results in clearing the virus.

Dr Freeman said he plans to launch a decision support tool for doctors to guide treatment options for hep C medications.

“Approximately 250,000 people in Australia have hep C and these tools will help enable doctors to deal with the huge increase in people seeking treatment,” he said.

Posted in Australian eHealth

Tags: Telehealth, GP2U

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