Most Popular Stories
- Sentara uses dashboard to drive improvement with EHR data
- CDC awards grant to build online connections between hospital labs, public health agencies
- New app will give docs access to records 'anytime, anywhere'
- Best EMRs named by Black Book Rankings
- First responders get a hand with new EMS smartphone app
- New FDA rule tackles segment of mobile health, leaves others untouched
- Study: Pay-for-performance doesn't work
- Hospitals take online reservations for ER appointments
- VA hospital cancels surgeries after discovery of dirty tools
- Medical records for 1.7 million people stolen from van
- Patient advocates often connect in ways doctors can't
- Venture capitalists see a potential bonanza in health IT
- 2nd Annual Medical Devices Summit 2011
March 7-8, 2011 — Omni Parker House, Boston, Massachusetts
- 3rd Int'l mHealth Networking Conference
Mar 30-31, 2011 — Chicago, IL
- AHIP's Exchange Conference Series - Part I, Winter Program
March 9-10, 2011 — Washington D.C.
- 3rd Health Plan Innovation Congress
March 16-18, 2011 — Orlando, FL
FierceHealthPayer provides the latest news about the fast-changing and heavily regulated area of healthcare reimbursement. Join thousands of healthcare plan executives who get FierceHealthPayer via weekly email. Sign up today!
Decreased use improves Q3 profits for top insurers
Several of the nation's largest health insurers--WellPoint, Aetna, and Humana--reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings, largely because of a decrease in healthcare services, according to the Washington Post.
The utilization slowdown could ultimately be a good thing as the nation grapples with bringing runaway medical spending under control. But experts could grow concerned if it leads, for instance, to Americans cutting back on preventive visits and immunizations, which carry an upfront cost but wind up decreasing spending in the long run, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Aetna CFO Joe Zubretsky said use fell compared with last year in several categories, including inpatient and ambulatory care, possibly because the economy has forced people to put off discretionary or non-urgent care to save money. "We are assuming that utilization comes back to some normal level in the future," he told the Post.
Cigna said growth in outpatient and professional healthcare services was slower than it expected. But people sought out preventive care and maintained their prescriptions during the quarter, so CEO David Cordani told the Post he didn't see signs of "inappropriate" care rationing.
Humana CFO Jim Bloem said the insurer is seeing slightly shorter hospital stays and less intensive or shorter procedures that he attributes in part to better care management, Bloomberg Business Week reports.
"In general, utilization is not in and of itself falling off the charts," said Wayne DeVeydt, WellPoint's CFO. "It's more a function of what you saw last year being abnormally high and this year being normal."
Third quarter results for the insurers are:
- WellPoint (NYSE: WLP) earned $739.1 million, or $1.84 a share compared with $730.2 million, or $1.53, for the same period the previous year--a 1.2 percent increase in net income.
- Aetna (NYSE: AET) earned $497.6 million in profit, or $1.19 a share, up from $326.2 million, or 73 cents, last year. Net income rose 53 percent.
- Humana (NYSE: HUM) earned $393.2 million, or $2.32 per share, up from $301.5 million, or $1.78 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 9 percent to $8.42 billion.
Check out more news by topic
Affordable Care | AHA | AHIMA | AMA | American Hospital Association | American Medical Association | American Recovery and Reinvestment Act | ARRA | Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services | Cerner | Charity Care | Cigna | Computerized Physician Order Entry | CPOE | David Blumenthal | Department of Health and Human Services | Electronic Health Records | Electronic Medical Records | EMR Adoption | Epic Systems | e-Prescribing | GE Healthcare | HCA | Health 2.0 | Health Information Exchange | Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act | Health Plans | Health Reform | Healthcare Costs | Healthcare Financial Management Association | Healthcare Reform | HFMA | HHS | HIMSS | HIPAA | Home Monitoring | Hospital Construction | Hospital Corporation of America | Hospital Finance | Hospital Layoffs | Hospital Strikes | Humana | Ingenix | Interoperability | Kaiser Permanente | Kathleen Sebelius | Mayo Clinic | McKesson | Meaningful Use | Medicaid | Medical Group Management Association | Medical Malpractice | Medicare | Medicare Fraud | Medicare Part D | Medicare Reimbursement | MGMA | mHealth Initiative | Moody's Investors Service | Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology | Patient Collections | Patient Privacy | Patient Safety | Pay for Performance | Personal Health Records | Physician Compensation | RAC | Recovery Audit Contractor | Remote Monitoring | Remote Patient Monitoring | Siemens | Telehealth | Telemedicine | UnitedHealth Group | Wellpoint | Wireless Health |
Home | Subscribe | Advertise | Mobile Edition | RSS | Privacy | Site Map
THE FIERCEMARKETS NETWORKFierceFinance | FierceFinanceIT | FierceComplianceIT | FierceHealthcare | FierceHealthFinance | FierceHealthIT | Hospital Impact | FierceMobileHealthcare | FierceHealthPayer | FiercePracticeManagement | FierceEMR | FierceCIO | FierceCIO:TechWatch | FierceContentManagement | FierceMobileIT | FierceGovernmentIT | FierceBiotech | FierceBiotech Research | FiercePharma | FierceVaccines | FierceBiotechIT | FiercePharma Manufacturing | FierceMedicalDevices | FierceDrugDelivery | FierceIPTV | FierceOnlineVideo | FierceTelecom | FierceVoIP | FierceBroadbandWireless | FierceDeveloper | FierceMobileContent | FierceWireless | FierceWireless:Europe | FierceCable
© 2011 FierceMarkets. All rights reserved.