Healthcare will play big in midterms
NOV. 5: It feels a bit like Groundhog Day, but, here we go: Analysts will be listening for any signs that Tenet Healthcare has found a buyer for Conifer. The revenue-cycle subsidiary has been on the market for nearly a year. Aside from that, Wall Street watchers predict a year-over-year increase in earnings on lower revenue. Tenet’s performance has been weighed down by volume pressure at the Detroit Medical Center and elsewhere.
NOV. 6: As we like to say in Chicago, “Vote early, vote often!” Polls leading into the midterm elections rank healthcare as one of the top issues—if not the top issue—on voters’ minds, alongside the economy and immigration. Medicaid expansion measures are on the ballot in four states. Policy wonks will also be watching too-close-to-call gubernatorial races in a half-dozen states where a Democratic win could lead to further Medicaid expansion. In Massachusetts, voters will decide if the state should adopt nurse-patient staffing ratios. And the growing campaign for legalized recreational and medical marijuana continues in dozens of statewide and local ballot initiatives.
NOV. 7: Zacks Investment Research predicts that Humana will deliver strong results when its earnings are released, including a 5% jump in revenue. While not factoring into Q3 results, Humana in early October announced a new value-based agreement with California-based Heritage Provider Network that will bring the physician-led care organization into Humana’s Medicare Advantage network. In the not-so-good-news category, Texas regulators in October fined Humana $700,000 for failing to maintain an adequate number of in-network anesthesiologists at its contracted hospitals in four counties.
NOV. 9: Heading into Veterans Day (Nov. 11, observed Nov. 12), Robert Wilkie will be the headliner at a National Press Club luncheon. Wilkie was sworn in as secretary of Veterans Affairs in July, replacing the embattled
Dr. David Shulkin. Beyond managing a massive overhaul of the department’s electronic health record system, Wilkie must figure out how to implement the VA Mission Act, which gives veterans more options to seek care among community providers.