Beleaguered Oxford Health Plans remains awash in red ink, according to the company's first-quarter results released last week.
But with a net loss of $45.3 million, or 57 cents per share, on revenues of $1.2 billion for the quarter ended March 31, the sting was less painful than it might have been.
Wall Street analysts had expected the Norwalk, Conn.-based managed-care company to lose 64 cents per share on average, said First Call, a Boston-based research firm.
Oxford, which earned $34.4 million, or 44 cents per share, in the first quarter of 1997, disclosed its latest results in a terse press release lacking the usual tables. It noted, however, that enrollment had risen 21% to nearly 2.1 million compared with the year-ago quarter.
The company's financial woes stem in part from computer system problems that led to a huge backlog of unpaid claims.
The Greater New York Hospital Association recently met with Oxford's new management to create a process for resolving the backlog and correcting hospital payment snafus, said Kenneth Raske, the association's president.
Oxford's quarterly report to the Securities and Exchange Commission also discloses the addition of four newly created positions to its management team. The new hires will handle medical affairs and quality management; reserves, rate-setting and underwriting; legal issues; and regulatory compliance.
The day following the April 27 earnings announcement, Oxford's shares closed at $16.94 cents, up 50 cents.