WellPoint Health Networks, a Woodland Hills, Calif.-based managed-care company, last week reported a profit increase of 23% to $55.6 million, or 79 cents per share, in the third quarter, compared with $45.1 million, or 68 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.
Revenues for the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose 28% to $1.4 billion.
For the nine months, earnings rose 12% to $155.6 million, or $2.25 per share, from $139.3 million, or $2.09 per share, a year ago. Revenues for the nine months rose 37% to $3.8 billion. Enrollment soared 47.5% to 6.5 million as of Sept. 30 compared with a year earlier.
In an interview, Leonard Schaeffer, WellPoint's chairman and chief executive officer, said the company's good financial results are due in large part to its information systems. Though its computers were "among the worst in the industry" in the 1980s, WellPoint has developed a single information systems platform that gives managers "excellent control" of clinical and administrative data about the company's broad range of products, he said.
By comparison, computer problems were cited by executives of Oxford Health Plans as the reason for the company's inability to accurately track money coming in from enrollees and employers and money going out to providers (See story, below).