UnitedHealth’s Profits Rise
The company reported that its fourth-quarter profits rose 21 percent, drivin by increases in health-insurance membership and continued light health care usage.
The Wall Street Journal: UnitedHealth Rises 21% On Higher Enrollments, Optum Growth
UnitedHealth Group Inc.'s fourth-quarter profit rose 21 percent, helped by growing health-insurance membership, signs of light health care usage in some areas and fast-rising sales in the company's Optum health-services unit. The Minneapolis-based company, the largest managed-care concern by revenue, capped a strong year helped by a continued trend of muted patient traffic in hospitals and doctors' offices (Kamp, 1/19).
Meanwhile, in other news, USA Today reports that lack of dental insurance drives many to the emergency room —
USA Today: Lack Of Dental Coverage Sends Patients To ER For Pain
While government-managed health care programs such as Medicaid pay for emergency room visits for adult enrollees seeking temporary relief from toothaches, tooth abscesses and other dental emergencies, coverage of outpatient dentist office treatment for those problems varies greatly from state to state, according to a 2011 federal Medicaid report (Bath, 1/20).