Aetme Does It Again

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The title in the WSJ goes as follows: Aetna’s Earnings Rise Amid Moderate Medical Costs.  Remember Aetna is buying Humana so good times ahead.  Why do they better-than-expected earnings?  Because they are gouging customers. It reminds me of buying food at an airport or at a ballpark.  You can’t leave or go anywhere else so your screwed.  And it will only get worse. Let’s see what their CEO says:

”As we finish out the year and look toward 2016 and beyond, we are well-positioned across a number of major growth opportunities, including Medicare and Medicaid,” said Chief Executive Mark T. Bertolini.

That is so nice.  In fact, Aetna said it was aiming for at least low double-digit earnings growth!

 

There is no stopping this train.  We are all screwed.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  4 comments for “Aetme Does It Again

  1. Geno
    November 4, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    We have reached a point where normal, everyday folks are paying more in monthly insurance premiums than they are for rent/mortgage and physicians have to employ a three-ring circus in their billing office just to make less than they were making 10 years ago. The patient’s burden increases every year with higher premiums/out-of-pocket expenses and the physicians receive less reimbursement for doing more. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the insurance companies are having a hard time accurately forecasting profits because they keep forgetting that they’re not robbing Peter to pay Paul, but instead they’re robbing Peter, Paul, AND Mary.

    My dearly departed wife had it right when she said we should move to some third world country, live in a shack on the beach and see patients for chickens and pigs…at least that way, we would still get to eat.

  2. Pat
    November 3, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    Corporate cronyism.

  3. Bill Ameen MD
    November 3, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    The insurance companies are too embedded in politics to be removed from the equation any time soon. I remember the line of Burt Reynolds in the movie “Deliverance,” when he commented while paddling down the river that he didn’t have any insurance, didn’t believe in it (they never explained how he paid for his hospitalization for the broken leg at the end, but in 1972 it would have been only a few hundred bucks!). To quote another film I just saw, “Truth,” Dan Rather tells Mary Mapes, “F.E.A.” And she figures it out…it certainly applies to insurance companies…all of ’em!

  4. Steve O'
    November 3, 2015 at 8:15 am

    It’s telling that Mark Bertolini is targeting “low-double-digits” annual earnings growth. That’s been the standard in the health & medical “industries” for the last twenty-five years. I like the part in the report:

    Aetna Inc. raised its full-year forecast for the fourth time this year and reported better-than-expected earnings in its third quarter as a key measure of the company’s medical costs fell.

    The beancounters were underestimating the profits, and the forecasts had to be reset about every three months. I just wish I had the problem of constantly underestimating profits.

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