HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, finds that Texas HMOs as a whole continued a three-year streak of profits in 2004, and several individual plans improved dramatically. According to the latest issue of the Texas Health Plan Analysis from HealthLeaders-InterStudy, Texas HMOs overall posted net income of $194.2 million in 2004, up from $163.7 million in 2003.

"Although medical costs are still going up, the increases have moderated somewhat and Texas HMOs have done a good job of setting premium rates," said Paula DeWitt, HealthLeaders-InterStudy analyst. "Of course, they'll have to continue keeping a tight rein on costs in order to continue the profitability streak."

Other health plan news in Texas:

PacifiCare Health Systems (which has entered into an agreement to be acquired by UnitedHealth Group), is pushing its consumer-driven plan out to the individual market. Its SignatureFreedom Self Directed Health Plan couples a high-deductible PPO with a "self-directed account."

So far, Humana Inc. is the only company to publicly announce that it is applying to CMS to offer a statewide regional Medicare Advantage PPO in Texas. Others are expanding at a local level only.

CIGNA Healthcare is hoping to bring a pioneering physician pay-for- performance program called Bridges to Excellence to Houston.

About HealthLeaders-InterStudy

HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a newly formed company of Decision Resources, Inc. (, is the authoritative source for managed care data, analysis, and news. For more information, please visit both Web sites at and

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

  For more information, contact:    Alex Jablokow    Decision Resources    781-296-2562 

SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

CONTACT: Alex Jablokow of Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2562,

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