For UnitedHealth, Coronavirus Costs Have Been Offset By The Cancellations Of Routine Medical Appointments
The report from one of the nation's major insurers reveals the complicated impact that the coronavirus is having on the health system.
The New York Times:
UnitedHealth Reports Profit, Citing Falling Demand For Elective Care
UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation’s major insurers, reported on Wednesday that its earnings actually increased this past quarter, adding that the costs of the coronavirus pandemic were offset by the cancellations of routine medical appointments and elective surgeries for hip replacements and other conditions. The company’s report provided an early glimpse of how the crisis is affecting the U.S. health care industry, which in many regions has been overwhelmed by emergency and intensive care of patients infected by the virus. (Abelson, 4/15)
UnitedHealth Sees Minimal COVID-19 Impact In First Quarter
This is largely because even though UnitedHealth pledged to eliminate patient costs for coronavirus-related testing and treatment and has donated funds to support communities most affected by the pandemic, it is benefiting from the postponement of high cost, elective procedures across the nation. "The elective deferrals to date are offsetting COVID-19 costs," UnitedHealth CEO David Wichmann said during the first-quarter earnings call on Wednesday. These are the same elective procedures that many healthcare providers rely on but were forced to defer to conserve resources for a potential influx of COVID-19 patients. Routine doctor's visits are also being canceled because of fear and state shelter-in-place orders. (Livingston, 4/15)