Saturday, January 24, 2015

Health Care Transformation – Numbers Speak Louder Than Words

When you measure what you speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it.

Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), Popular Lectures and Addresses

What impact are ObamaCare and health exchanges having on the health industry?

United Healthcare – The Nation’s Largest Health Insurer

Well, with UnitedHealthcare, the economic impact has been salubrious.

Revenue from premiums rose 6% to $29.38 billion, while medical costs increased 4.1% to $23.43 billion.

The company served 88.5 million individuals across all of its businesses as of Dec. 31, up from 88.2 million a year ago.

It has enrolled more than 400,000 people through the health-law exchanges, and it expects its new sign-ups to be close to 500,000.

It has increased its presence in the marketplaces to 23 states this year and plans its "footprint” next year.

It has added 15,000 customers this year in its Medical Advantage plans.

its community and state business grew its Medicaid enrollment by one million people in the past year.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose 5% in its division that includes Medicare, and 29% in the segment with Medicaid.

CVS, The Nation’s Largest Pharmaceutical Chain

CVS Health supplies more than one of every five prescriptions in the U.S. and accounts for 1% of all corporate tax revenues.

According to CVS chief executive, Larry Merlo, the U.S. health system is undergoing a health care “retailization” aimed at reducing the cost of care while making its access more convenient.

About 100 million Americans are CVS customers each year.

It has 960 walk-in “minute clinics: staffed by nurse practitioners. The clinics are open on nights and weekends with no appointments. Their prices are posted and are 40% to 80% lower than traditional physician and a fraction of the costs of emergency rooms.

The overall costs in an internal study of its 200,000 workers who use the clinics are 8% lower than those who don’t.

It has stopped selling nicotine products in its stores, and it engaged in a campaign to raise adherence to prescription use by 15%.

All of these numbers indicate a focus on health. “ Our purpose, our goal, “ says Mr. Menlo, is to help on their path to better health.

Joseph Rago, a member of the WSJ editorial board, who interviewed Mr. Menlo, comments, “Mark it down as another way private innovation is finding ways to serve patients better despite, or because of, the policy mess in Washington.” (Joseph Rago, “The Revolution at the Corner Drugstore, “ WSJ, January 24-24, 2014)

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