Caroline's Feed
Oct 16, 2014

UnitedHealth says medical use is low and likely to stay that way

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Thursday that patients had used medical services at low rates in the third quarter, easing worries among investors that higher admissions reported by hospitals would cost insurers more than they planned.

UnitedHealth reported a net profit increase that beat Wall Street expectations and described medical use as “restrained.” The portion of premiums that it spent on medical claims fell, including for the division that manages health plans sold on the new Obamacare health exchanges.

Oct 16, 2014

Investors eye third quarter medical use from hospitals, insurers

Oct 16 (Reuters) – Hospitals and insurers are expected to
give their clearest view yet on whether people are having more
surgeries and other medical procedures during the next few weeks
when they report earnings, according to investors who are
closely watching U.S. medical services use.

Investors, who study medical use data as a cue for the right
time to buy hospital stocks and sell insurer stocks, say most
signs indicate the increase in use is primarily due to a onetime
event: the decline in the U.S. of the uninsured population due
to the national healthcare reform law.

Oct 3, 2014

Salix calls off inversion deal amid U.S. government crackdown

NEW YORK, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd
, citing a “changed political environment,” said on
Friday it had scrapped a deal with Italy’s Cosmo Pharmaceuticals
SpA that would have allowed it to shift its tax base
from the United States to Europe.

The deal termination came less than two weeks after the U.S.
Treasury Department took a series of steps to curb “inversion”
deals that let companies avoid U.S. taxes by reincorporating
abroad.

Oct 3, 2014

Medtronic sticks by Covidien deal but will use debt, not cash

By Caroline Humer and Soyoung Kim

(Reuters) – U.S. medical equipment maker Medtronic Inc (MDT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it would still buy Covidien Plc (COV.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) but would use $16 billion in debt rather than cash held overseas, reacting to new U.S. Treasury guidelines designed to cut the benefits of such “inversion deals.”

The U.S. government has tried to clamp down on deals in which U.S. companies move their headquarters to Ireland and other low-tax countries. New rules are aimed at making it harder for these companies to avoid paying taxes when they use cash held overseas.

Sep 25, 2014

ValueAct returns to Valeant board, plans to raise stake

Sept 25 (Reuters) – Hedge fund ValueAct Capital said on
Thursday it would return to the board of directors of Valeant
Pharmaceuticals International Inc, which is pursuing a
hostile takeover offer for Allergan Inc, and that it
planned to increase its stake in the company.

Valeant shares rose more than 3 percent.

ValueAct Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Ubben said in a
statement that once he is on the board, he would work with
Valeant on its $53 billion acquisition of Allergan, a deal whose
certainty he has previously questioned.

Sep 24, 2014

Your medical record is worth more to hackers than your credit card

NEW YORK/BOSTON (Reuters) – Your medical information is worth 10 times more than your credit card number on the black market.

Last month, the FBI warned healthcare providers to guard against cyber attacks after one of the largest U.S. hospital operators, Community Health Systems Inc, said Chinese hackers had broken into its computer network and stolen the personal information of 4.5 million patients.

Sep 23, 2014

U.S. government health agency sees 25 percent increase in Obamacare insurers

By David Morgan and Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – The number of insurers offering individual health plans on the Obamacare exchanges will increase about 25 percent in 2015 and that should keep down prices, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said on Tuesday in a report.

More than 7 million people signed up for health insurance through the exchanges in 2014, which were created under President Barack Obama’s national healthcare reform law and offer income-based subsidies.

Sep 23, 2014

U.S. Govt health agency sees 25 pct increase in Obamacare insurers

Sept 23 (Reuters) – The number of insurers offering
individual health plans on the Obamacare exchanges will increase
about 25 percent in 2015 and that should keep down prices, the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said on Tuesday in
a report.

More than 7 million people signed up for health insurance
through the exchanges in 2014, which were created under
President Barack Obama’s national healthcare reform law and
offer income-based subsidies.

Sep 17, 2014

Humana CEO: New competition curbs Obamacare plan prices

BOSTON (Reuters) – New competition between health insurers offering so-called Obamacare plans in 2015 is having an impact on the pricing of such coverage, based on a first look at proposed insurance premiums, the head of Humana Inc said on Wednesday.

The state insurance exchanges offering coverage under the Affordable Care Act. President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare law will begin enrolling customers for 2015 benefits in mid-November. Now in its second year, Obamacare is attracting health insurers to offer plans in more states after over 8 million people enrolled for coverage in 2014.

Sep 12, 2014

Janus Global Life Sciences manager sees more deals ahead

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Andy Acker, the portfolio manager of the Janus Global Life Sciences Fund since 2007, says the healthcare merger craze of the past year has been driven by medical innovations and corporate cost savings and is not likely to abate soon.

The fund, which had $2.3 billion under management as of July 31, has gained 24 percent so far this year compared with a 13 percent increase in the NYSE Arca Pharmaceutical Index as well as in the Nasdaq composite index.