MAMSI's first-quarter earnings soar to $6.7 million Flat medical costs, higher premiums credited

Health care

May 15, 1998|By M. William Salganik | M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF

Holding medical costs nearly flat while increasing premiums, Mid Atlantic Medical Services Inc., the Rockville-based managed care company, yesterday reported $6.7 million in earnings for the first quarter -- more than eight times the $806,000 it earned in the first quarter of 1997.

Earnings per diluted share were 14 cents, a penny less than the consensus of nine analysts surveyed by I/B/E/S International, for the quarter ended March 31. In the year-earlier period, per-share earnings were two cents.

It marks the fourth straight quarter MAMSI has outperformed the year-earlier period.

The profit margin of 2.3 percent compares to an industry average for the most recent reporting period of just 0.1 percent, according to Sherlock Company, a Pennsylvania firm that reports on publicly traded managed-care organizations. That average, however, was dragged down by large losses at a few troubled insurers, including Oxford Health Plans Inc., which lost $24.4 million in its most recent quarter.

Enrollment in MAMSI's preferred-provider plans grew 5.1 percent to 1,040,000. Enrollment in HMOs dropped 2.3 percent to 700,500 -- a result of MAMSI's decision to get out of some Medicaid business it found unprofitable, including Maryland Medicaid.

Revenue per member per month was $134.09, up 3.7 percent from $129.30 a year earlier. That largely reflected premium increases. Medical expense per member per month was $117.93, up just 1.1 percent from $116.62 in the year-earlier quarter.

MAMSI stock closed yesterday at $13.75, down 12.5 cents.

Pub Date: 5/15/98

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