Former Caremark exec launches media company

Former Caremark Rx exec Drew Crawford announced Tuesday the launch of PBM365 Media, a media source based in Nashville covering the pharmacy benefit management industry.

Billed as fair, unbiased reporting as well as insight and analysis, PBM365 will publish feature stories, opinion pieces, analysis, breaking news and a variety of viewpoints. Included in coverage will be CatamaranRx, CVSCaremark, Express Scripts, UnitedHealth Group and Magellan Health, among others.

Mr. Crawford said, "The PBM industry is an almost $300 billion dollar industry that affect the lives of more than 200 million Americans. It is a business that plays a dominant role in our health care system, provides tens of thousands of valuable, good paying jobs and its five public companies alone have a market cap of over $237 billion. However, nobody outside of these companies truly understand what they do or how they make money. We want to stop that now. PBM365 will unlock the black boxes surrounding the industry and provide investors, customers, consultants, legislators, employees and every other PBM stakeholder with better information to make important decisions with.

Jul 30, 2014 9:57 AM

Two analysts hike HCA targets

Two analysts following hospital industry leader HCA Holdings have hiked their price targets for the company following its Q2 profit report. At Oppenheimer, Michael Wiederhorn now sees HCA — which ended Tuesday trading at $65.07 (Ticker: HCA) — climbing to $74 in the coming quarter. That's up from $62. Ann Hynes at Mizuho has him beat by a dollar after lifting her target to $75 from $60. Both analysts recommend investors add to their HCA holdings.

Jul 30, 2014 8:37 AM

Earnings wrap: Acadia, First Farmers, First Freedom

Behavioral health provider adds 1.5 points to EBITDA margins, suburban community banks seeing solid growth
Jul 30, 2014 7:29 AM

Capella appoints associate GC

Vanderbilt Law grad has worked at Vanguard, Quorum, among others
Jul 30, 2014 7:07 AM

Martin Cos. funds Chicago Healthbox grad

Former Vanguard VP looks to scale physician payment system
Jul 30, 2014 7:03 AM

Jarrard promotes three

Communication firm adds two VPs
Jul 30, 2014 7:00 AM

HCA beats on EPS, revenue; earnings in line with preview

HCA Holdings released its full financial results for the second quarter Tuesday, reporting earnings in line with the company's preview released last week.

The company reported a net income of $483 million and earnings per share of $1.37, excluding a one-time reimbursement and sale gain, beating analysts' expectations by 10 cents. On a conference call with investors, the company also announced Q2 revenues of $9.23 billion. HCA Holdings cited "continued strong performance in our core business and an increased impact from health reform" for the better-than-expected results.

Overall admissions in the quarter increased 2.3 percent, and revenue per equivalent admission increased 5.4 percent. The company reported decreases in uninsured patients in all markets, particularly in the states that have expanded Medicaid.

"We have seen a 32 percent increase in Medicaid admissions and a corresponding 48 percent decline in uninsured admissions year to date in our four expansion states," said Bill Rutherford, HCA Holdings CFO. "It is interesting to note that uninsured volume for non-expansion states has also declined just under 2 percent."

On the conference call, Rutherford also said the acuity of patients who purchased insurance on the federal and state exchanges was about 10 percent higher than HCA's managed care population. But the acuity and admission increases are expected to taper off as health reform progresses, he added.

President Milton Johnson announced the company has finalized exchange contracts with UnitedHealthcare for all of HCA's Texas markets. The company is also in discussions with "all the major health plans" regarding exchange contracting for 2015, including expansion of exchange networks and new products.

Shares of HCA (Ticker: HCA) are up slightly to $64.38. Year to date, they're up nearly 35 percent.

Jul 29, 2014 1:10 PM

Analysts lift LifePoint targets

Local RBC Capital health care analyst Frank Morgan has hiked his price target for shares of LifePoint Hospitals waaaaaaay up to $89 from $63 following the company's blowout second-quarter earnings report. Morgan says health care reform is driving most of the good numbers but he likes the improved visibility into the company's operations and continues to rate the stock an 'outperform.' LifePoint shares (Ticker: LPNT) have climbed to $74 from $65 since its report but Morgan isn't the only one who sees them rising further. Over at UBS Securities, A.J. Rice has raised his target to $80 from $73.

Jul 29, 2014 12:12 PM

Metro Animal Care and Control names manager

Metro Public Health Department officials announced today that Lauren Bluestone has been named manager of Metro Animal Care and Control.

Bluestone (pictured) replaces Spencer Hissam, who had served as interim manager after long-time MACC Manager Judy Ladebauche retired earlier this year.

Bluestone, who has more than 11 years of animal care and control experience, began her career as an animal caretaker at DuPage County Animal Control in Illinois, and then became an animal control officer with Kane County (Illinois) Animal Control. At Kane County, she eventually assumed the role of shelter operations and program manager, managing the operations of KCAC through private-public cooperation with Kane County Government and various non-profit rescue organizations, according to a release. 

Most recently, Bluestone worked as superintendent of animal services for the City of Newport News, Virginia. 

Bluestone holds a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from University of Wisconsin, a master’s degree in criminal justice from Boston University and a master’s degree in public administration from Northwestern University.

“We feel very fortunate to have Lauren onboard as the new MACC manager, and we look forward to building on MACC’s recent improvements and successes,” Dr. Bill Paul, MPHD director, said in the release. “She has a track record of successful leadership, she is not afraid to try new approaches, and of course she has a genuine passion for animal care and sheltering.”

Jul 29, 2014 10:44 AM

Qualifacts secures majority investment

Behavioral EHR company to pursue health reform-based product development
Jul 29, 2014 10:15 AM