Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, Calif., nearly doubled its fourth-quarter profit to $313 million, up from $157 million in the year-ago quarter, thanks partly to higher premiums and new operating efficiencies. Operating revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2004, rose 11% to $7.1 billion. Annual net income climbed 60% to $1.61 billion in 2004, from $1.01 billion in 2003. The not-for-profit HMO's operating margin expanded to 5.3% in 2004, from 4% in 2003, on an 11% increase in operating revenue -- to $28 billion. Kaiser said it provided $825 million in community-benefit funding, up 29% from $641 million in 2003. The HMO added 20,000 new members in 2004 for a total enrollment of 8.23 million in nine states and the District of Columbia. Its spending on facility renovation and other capital improvements increased 30% to $2.2 billion. -- by Laura B. Benko
Kaiser's profit soars, helped by premiums, efficiencies
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