Lower 3rd Quarter Earnings For Health Net, Humana - But Optimism Still Reigns

And, a consulting firm measures the boom in retail clinics.

Los Angeles Times: Health Net Posts Plunge In Profit, Strikes Deal With California
Woodland Hills insurer Health Net Inc. said third-quarter net income plunged 71%, but its shares rose as the company resolved a dispute with California officials over reimbursement for government health programs. Health Net disappointed investors in August when it slashed its full-year profit outlook and reported higher-than-expected medical costs. On Monday, Chief Executive Jay Gellert ... cited a wide-ranging agreement with California healthcare officials as a major step forward (Terhune, 11/6).

The Associated Press: Humana Posts Lower 3Q Net, Hikes 2012 Earnings Forecast, Names CEO, Deal To Expand In Florida
Health insurer Humana Inc. said Monday that its third-quarter net income fell 4 percent as more premium dollars from its members went to pay for medical claims, offsetting continued growth in its lucrative Medicare Advantage business. But its earnings still beat analysts' expectations and the company raised its earnings forecast for the full year (Schreiner, 11/5).

The Wall Street Journal: Humana Brings Doctors In-House
Humana Inc.is accelerating its move into directly providing health care, with new deals and planned investments that are expected to expand the number of physicians under its umbrella to more than 2,600. ... The plans are the latest sign of how the lines between health-care providers and health insurers are blurring—a shift that is happening particularly fast in the Medicare sphere where the Louisville, Ky., company's business is focused (Mathews and Kamp, 11/5).

NPR: For Simple Care, Retail Clinics Are A Popular Choice
If you've got the sniffles or need a shot, do you go to the doctor or stop in at a clinic in a nearby drugstore? Lots of people are opting for the clinics, which are springing up inside grocery stores, big-box retailers and chain drugstores across the country. There are already 1,388 clinics like these in the U.S., according to data from Merchant Medicine, a consulting firm (Hensley, 11/5).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.