While reporting lackluster second-quarter numbers, CVS Caremark boss Tom Ryan told investors the pharmacy benefit management division once housed in downtown Nashville is turning the corner and making good progress on 2011 contracts. The unit also has signed a long-term deal to manage billions in drug spending by Aetna plans.
Jul 29, 2010 7:10 AM
Avondale Partners analyst Sean Jackson has raised his EPS estimates for HealthStream following the company's Q2 report. This year's forecast now stands at 7 cents (from 6 cents) and Jackson sees Nashville-based HealthStream (Ticker: HSTM) earning 22 cents next year, up from 21 cents. Jackson also wrote to clients that the company is looking to build its customer base beyond hospitals — think surgery centers and home health.
The company already has some exposure to the non-acute market in contracts with Psychiatric Solutions and HealthSouth, and would like to penetrate that area further. Management has been looking for small acquisitions ($1mil-$10mil in revenue) to jump-start this fairly new venture. HealthStream believes the non-acute market is the same size opportunity as its current acute-care market.Over at Citi, Carl McDonald previews second-quarter numbers from health insurers and says there will be some "real fun" later this year when carriers will have to defend their planned premium hikes. He suggests investors avoid managed-care names and head for Medicare and Medicaid insurers such as HealthSpring, whose shares (Ticker: HS) have fallen 3 percent in 2010. UPDATE: HealthSpring's monster Q2 numbers suggest McDonald is on the right track.
Jul 28, 2010 12:07 PM
Cigna Government Services, which is based in Nashville, has been selected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to administer hospital and home care services in almost 20 states. The award is worth more than $240 million and comes after Cigna and another insurer appealed CMS' January 2009 decision to give the work to Highmark.
Jul 26, 2010 7:08 AM
The Senate voted 60 to 40 yesterday to end a filibuster on a $34 billion bill that would extend jobless benefits for Americans who have been out of work for six months or longer. Some 2 million people have seen their benefits suspended while Congress haggled over the bill for the past two months. From The New York Times report:
“Finally, finally, finally,” said Senator, Democrat of Maryland. She called the unemployment insurance program a social compact with American workers that meant “when you hit a speed bump and have to be laid off through no fault of your own, there will be a safety net so that you do not fall.” Republicans said they backed the idea of extending benefits, but were determined to prevent the costs from being piled onto the mounting deficit. “We believe the federal debt has grown to an alarming level, where it is threatening the future of our children and grandchildren,” said Senator of Tennessee, the No. 3 Republican in the Senate. After the Senate completes its final vote on the measure, the House must still act on it, a vote that is could come shortly after expected Senate passage on Wednesday. would then quickly sign the bill into law at the White House, freeing the aid.
Jul 21, 2010 9:14 AM
Citi analyst Carl McDonald has initiated coverage on Medicare Advantage plan provider HealthSpring Inc. with a 'hold' rating and $19 price target. From StreetInsider.com:
Citi analyst says, "HealthSpring has the best model for managing cost trends in the industry - However, it doesn’t appear that the new reform regulations will compensate plans for lowering medical costs, as all Medicare plans will be required to maintain a minimum 85% MLR by 2014. This means HealthSpring’s current target Medicare loss ratio of 80% and EBITDA margin of around 9% probably aren’t sustainable." "HealthSpring never participated in the Medicare private fee for service (PFFS) product, so it doesn’t have to worry about membership losses next year because of the changes plans are required to make to that product. Medicare rates will flat in 2011, so HealthSpring should see earnings rise next year."Shares of HealthSpring (Ticker: HS) were trading around $16.50 per share Friday.
Jul 16, 2010 1:18 PM
Healthways Inc. (Ticker: HWAY) today announced another international deal, this time to provide health support and chronic care management services to members of private Australian insurer Teacher's Health Fund. The Franklin-based company, in conjunction with its Healthways Australia subsidiary, will work with up to 200,000 of the nonprofit insurer's members. Healthways Australia has already enrolled more than 25,000 Australians in its chronic care management program through its work with Hospital Contributions Fund. Today's deal is the latest in Healthways' continued international expansion push. Last month the company landed a deal to work with overseas military personnel.
Jul 13, 2010 8:01 AM
Uninsured individuals who have been denied health insurance coverage because of a pre-existing health condition today can apply for coverage through a newly-created high risk pools. The $5 billion high risk program, created through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is designed to serve as a bridge to 2014. That’s when all insurers will be barred from discriminating based on pre-exsting and state health insurance exchanges will offer affordable insurance options. Tennessee is among a group of 21 states that have opted to let the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services run their pools. The remainder of states and the District of Columbia will administer their own. In Tennessee, individuals who have been uninsured for six months and denied coverage based on a health condition may apply for coverage at healthcarenow.gov. On a conference call with reporters yesterday HHS officials estimated monthly premiums for the pools will vary by state, ranging from $140 to $900. In Tennessee, the uninsurable also have AccessTN as an option. Click here for a chart comparing the federal plan and AccessTN
Jul 1, 2010 7:30 AM
Healthways Inc. has landed a contract with Blue Shield of California to provide its Silver Sneakers program to Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Plan members throughout the golden state. The California Blues plan has 3.4 million members. From the presser:
A 2008 study sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found SilverSneakers provided tangible health benefits for high-risk members. Members with diabetes who were active in SilverSneakers are admitted to the hospital less often, have lower inpatient care costs and have significant reduction in overall healthcare costs after only a year of participation.
Jun 30, 2010 11:22 AM
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