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. (http://www.decisionresources.com/), is the authoritative source for managed care data, analysis, and news. For more information, please visit both Web sites at http://www.healthleaders.com/ and http://www.interstudypublications.com/.

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    ajablokow@dresources.com 

SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

CONTACT: Alex Jablokow of Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2562,
ajablokow@dresources.com

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