Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Its all about the money

It’s all about the money. The elephant in the room.
From Reuters, July 18, 2006
While physicians, hospitals, provider groups and state and federal governments struggle to find financing for health data exchanges, this report regarding the rise in profits for health insurers.
“UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) on Wednesday reported a 26 percent rise in second-quarter profit on strong revenue from premiums and improved performance for its new Medicare Part D business, sending shares up nearly 3 percent.
The results beat analysts' estimates, and the insurer also raised its full-year profit outlook slig
Net earnings rose to $974 million, or 70 cents per share, from $770 million, or 58 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts on average expected 68 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.
The company forecast 2006 earnings of $2.91 to $2.95 per share, up from a previous forecast of $2.88 to $2.92. Analysts were expecting $2.92.
Chief Executive William McGuire said second-half results should benefit from seasonal factors.
The company also projected earnings to rise another 15 percent in 2007.”
Insurers are eager to implement P4P, and are on the bandwagon for HIT, RHIOs and EMRs, they can afford it…..they are already reaping the lion’s share of IT improvement funded by their reduced reimbursements to providers. HSAs increase their profit margins.
Studies published in medical journals are biased to prove unproven theses, read the bottom line….the companies balance sheets, required by the SEC. (and this is how they borrow money and raise capital.)
Calls for funding of RHIOs by grant agencies, federal sources, and providers should fall on deaf ears….let's see this group pony up some starting capital.......

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