PacifiCare Health Systems, Santa Ana, Calif., swung to a fourth-quarter net profit of $37 million, or $1 per share, as it dropped unprofitable accounts, boosted premiums and controlled medical costs. The company posted a net loss of $26 million, or 77 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue fell 5% to $2.7 billion, on an 8% drop in commercial membership and a 20% drop in Medicare+Choice membership. Total membership fell 10% to 3.1 million. PacifiCare has been laboring over the past two years to recover from financial problems caused by changes in the way it reimburses providers. The company also has been working to reduce its dependence on Medicare, with a goal of cutting the percent of its profits generated by Medicare to below 10% in 2005 from 60% in 2000. For 2002, PacifiCare lost $757.8 million, or $21.51 per share, because of a large write-off tied to accounting changes. A year earlier, it earned $19 million, or 55 cents per share. Annual revenue fell 6% to $11.2 billion. -- by Laura B. Benko
PacifiCare records fourth-quarter profit
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.