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When you really just have one job

Updated: Apr 10



MA MLR Slide of the week
.pptx
Download PPTX • 412KB

This week's Union Healthcare Insight Slide of the Week is a bit of a twofer. Not only can you feel free to download the PPT version of this week's slide (linked above and below), but you can also register for this week's Board Briefing on healthcare investment trends for 2024. Yulan Egan, Kirsta Hackmeier, and I will be talking about a lot of things--including the discussion of a panel Amanda Berra attended (and help facilitate) at The Healthcare Summit at Jackson Hole last week. Compared to last year, there's definitely a lot more optimism: increasing confidence that interest rate hikes are done for now, a sigh of relief that fewer startups than expected folded last year, a stronger feeling that provider margins are finally stabilizing. And while I welcome the optimism (the market runs on collective psychology after all), the market is also full of warning signs.


One of them is covered in this week's slide. Several of the biggest health insurers have been reporting increases in medical loss ratios driven primarily by higher-than-expected utilization among Medicare Advantage patients. On the surface, this is . . . odd. Being able to accurately project future outlays is rather the whole point of insurance. But looking at the major insurers' earnings, the trend is clear: MA, that great growth engine for nearly every sector in the industry, is becoming less predictable. Is utilization really trending unsustainably upward, or are the major payers laying a foundation to raise premium rates to avoid making permanent unpopular moves such as ratcheting up denials and slowing down claim processing? And how will that affect who gets capital across 2024? So if you want to hear about interest rates, investor calculus, reimbursement shifts—all with a healthy dose of cynicism from yours truly—then tune in this Thursday.


MA MLR Slide of the week
.pptx
Download PPTX • 412KB

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