News Briefs

✦ UnitedHealth Group’s fourth-quarter 2020 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) fell 35% from the prior year to $2.52, as “care patterns normalized, while COVID-19 costs rose, and further rebates were recognized,” according to a Jan. 20 press release. Revenues for full-year 2020 increased 6.2% from the prior year to $257.1 billion, reflecting growth across the firm’s businesses, including UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare & Retirement segment, which grew revenues by 7.5% to nearly $22.2 billion. The insurer’s full-year medical loss ratio was 79.1%, down from 82.5% in 2019, largely stemming from the return of the Affordable Care Act health insurer fee and disrupted care patterns earlier in the year, but offset by COVID-19 assistance measures and testing and treatment costs, explained UnitedHealth. The company affirmed its 2021 full-year earnings outlook, including $17.75 to $18.25 adjusted EPS. Visit https://bit.ly/360Ff06.

✦ The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) on Jan. 12 filed a lawsuit challenging the HHS rebate rule that was finalized in late November. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, argued that HHS’s “herky-jerky, last-minute rulemaking process” violated the Administrative Procedure Act and should be invalidated. PCMA, the lobbying trade group for pharmacy benefit managers, asked the court to declare that federal law protects rebates issued to Medicare Part D sponsors under safe harbor regulations. View the suit at https://bit.ly/2KtlNl2.

© 2021 MMIT

Lauren Flynn Kelly Managing Editor, Radar on Medicare Advantage

Lauren has been covering health business issues, including drug benefits and specialty pharmacy, for more than a decade. She served as editor of Drug Benefit News (the predecessor to Radar on Drug Benefits) from 2004 to 2005 and again from 2011 to 2016, and now manages Radar on Medicare Advantage. Lauren graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in English.

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