Highmark's insurance business reports $600M in operating gains

Highmark Health's strong performance in its insurance division this year has offset losses reported Nov. 30 by the healthcare delivery side of its business.

Highmark's revenues in the first three quarters are $19.5 billion. The Pittsburgh-based company reported an operating gain of $594 million and a net loss of $268 million.

"Highmark Health isn't immune to the headwinds other health care organizations are facing with regards to inflation, staffing challenges, and the difficult equity market," CFO Saurabh Tripathi said. "However, we maintain our strong consolidated financial position despite these challenges because our blended health and diversified business model works."

Highmark Health owns Allegheny Health Network and Highmark Inc., which operates the BCBS affiliates in Delaware, West Virginia and parts of Pennsylvania and New York. 

The insurance business reported $16 billion in revenues and an operating gain of more than $600 million in the first nine months of 2022, primarily driven by strong commercial and government plans and claims activity. Health plan membership is about 6.8 million people, and commercial plans have a 98 percent retention rate.

The company's Allegheny Health Network is facing challenges around supply chain, inflation and staffing demands. Patient volumes have largely stayed the same or saw slight increases year over year, including a 1 percent decrease in discharges and observations. There was a 12 percent increase in outpatient registrations (not including vaccinations), a 2 percent increase in physician visits, a 10 percent increase in emergency room visits and a 6 percent increase in births.

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