Health Care Companies See Increases in Revenue

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, May. 23, 2011 12:00 am  

Most of the health care companies on the Arkansas Business list of the largest 75 private companies saw slight increases in revenue in 2010.

(Click here for a list of the state's largest private companies in the health care sector.)

QualChoice Holdings Inc. of Little Rock had one of the biggest increases in revenue for a health insurance company. Its revenue climbed 17.5 percent in 2010 to $157.6 million.

Michael Stock, QualChoice's president and CEO, said the growth was tied to "increased market penetration and continued growth of new products," such as its individual insurance plan.

Still, Stock said, the insurance industry was in a tough market.

"Employers are very concerned about premium increases," he said. "They continue to make benefit modifications to keep their premium increases as low as possible. And we continue to see some smaller employers dropping just because they can't afford it anymore."

The largest health insurance company, Arkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Little Rock, also saw its revenue rise, increasing 5.7 percent in 2010 to $1.2 billion.

"What we saw was what people saw nationally," said ABCBS spokesman Max Heuer. "Claims were down, and the economy had a lot to do with that. ... We also had a slight increase in membership."

Stock said people weren't using heath care services as much these days because many do not have health insurance. And that state of affairs is hurting hospitals.

Baptist Health of Little Rock, which operates seven hospitals in the state, reported revenue of $926.7 million in 2010, an increase of just 0.3 percent from 2009.
Revenue for Arkansas Children's Hospital of Little Rock rose 6.8 percent to $532.4 million for its fiscal year that ended June 30, 2010.

"We're still coming out of a [recession]," said Paul Cunningham, the senior vice president of the Arkansas Hospital Association. "We still have a lot of people who aren't working. [There are] a lot of people who aren't insured or have a very high deductible insurance plan."                            



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