Highmark posts $13.6B in H1 revenue as volumes rise at Allegheny Health Network

Highmark Health reported $13.6 billion in revenue for the first half of 2023 as well as $389 million in net income.

The not-for-profit Blues insurer attributed the performance to positive results at most of its segments, namely its core health plan as well as United Concordia Dental. In addition, volumes at Allegheny Health Network were were up year over year, further driving greater revenue.

The health system reported an 8% increase inpatient discharges and observations compared to the first half of 2022 and a 6% increase in outpatient registrations. Physician visits were also up 6%, and emergency room visits were up 8% across the network.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization at Allegheny Health Network were $68 million in the first six months of 2023, and the network reported $2.3 billion in operating revenue.

Highmark Health Plans reported $237 million in operating gain in the first half of 2023, backed by "high annual membership."

A common thread in the second quarter for for-profit insurers was concern about rising utilization among Medicare Advantage enrollees, particularly for surgeries and other outpatient services. Ja'Ron Bridges, chief financial officer for Highmark Health Plans, told Fierce Healthcare that overall utilization has been consistent with the payer's expectations, though there are some "hot spots" the team is tracking.

Those hot spots generally align with national trends, he said.

"I think the way that we’ve been looking at overall utilization is that it’s returning to what we call trended pre-pandemic levels," Bridges said.

United Concordia Dental, meanwhile, reported a $40 million operating gain in the first half of the year. 

Highmark CEO David Holmberg said during a briefing with reporters that the company has been focused on making investments in transformation through both financial discipline and a commitment to rethinking healthcare.

"If we want to transform the health ecosystem for the people we serve, we need to be willing to transform our own organization," he said.