Misys benefits from US healthcare reform

The passage of the US healthcare reform bill last month, combined with the Obama administration’s $19bn (£12.5bn) stimulus package, is boosting revenue at Misys, which is gearing up to sell software for electronic patient records to US doctors’ surgeries.

“We’ve seen a big uptick in the last quarter,” Mike Lawrie, chief executive, said on Thursday. “The passage of the bill has lifted the uncertainty in the market. The US healthcare business is the best industry to be in right now.”

Misys owns 57 per cent of Allscripts, the US healthcare software company, and is expected to be a big beneficiary of the stimulus package, part of which is earmarked for helping doctors to modernise their patient record systems. Stimulus payments are due to start being made in 2011, and this is encouraging physicians to start adopting new software now, Mr Lawrie said.

In January, for example, Catholic Health Initiatives, a US nationwide healthcare provider, selected the company’s electronic health record for the 1,000 doctors it employs, contributing an estimated $5m to revenue.

The growth of the healthcare business is helping to offset declines in Misys’s banking division, which has been struggling to upgrade its software and win clients.

Revenue at the Allscripts healthcare business was up 16 per cent in the third quarter to the end of February, helping lift overall turnover at the company 7 per cent on a constant currencies basis to £192m.

Revenue in the banking business slipped 12 per cent in the quarter as the company continued to lose ground to aggressive competitors such as Oracle, Temenos and Infosys. However, Mr Lawrie is hopeful the company will win customers with BankFusion, its new banking software platform.

Mr Lawrie aims to have 250 banks using BankFusion within five years, adding £250m to banking revenue. However, the technology has had a slow start. Nine banks have signed up to buy BankFusion, of which just two are live.

“This is something that will start slowly but quickly ramp up,” Mr Lawrie said.

In spite of the disparity in performance between the healthcare and banking businesses, Mr Lawrie declined to comment on speculation the two divisions could be separated. Many analysts have suggested this would be a way to unlock more value for shareholders.

The shares rose 1.4p to 243.5p.

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