UnitedHealth Saw COVID Costs, Care Deferral Rise in 4Q

In the fourth quarter of 2020, health care spending patterns experienced by the country’s largest health insurer “returned to seasonal baselines” even as COVID-19 cases surged all over the U.S. Such is one major takeaway from UnitedHealth Group’s fourth-quarter 2020 earnings report, which offers an instructive look at the unique ways that the pandemic continues to affect health care economics.

During a Jan. 20 conference call with investors, UnitedHealth Chief Financial Officer John Rex explained that two opposing forces caused health care spending to align with historical levels. While the amount that UnitedHealth spent on COVID-19-related care increased compared with the third quarter, overall outpatient activity dipped below baseline as the end of the year drew closer, reflecting the fact that more people started deferring routine and elective care as coronavirus cases rose.

0 Comments
© 2024 MMIT
Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

Related Posts

medicare-part-c
May 17

Medicare, Medicaid Segments May Be a ‘Mess,’ but Bounce-Back Expected

READ MORE
hospital-hallway
May 17

As Hospitals’ Commercial Prices Keep Rising, Experts Float Solutions

READ MORE
businessman-viewing-news-update-journalism-headline-on-a-laptop
May 17

News Briefs: CMS Extends Medicaid Redetermination Deadline

READ MORE

GAIN THERAPEUTIC AREA-SPECIFIC INTEL TO DRIVE ACCESS FOR YOUR BRAND

Sign up for publications to get unmatched business intelligence delivered to your inbox.

subscribe today