Obamacare-Proofing Your Portfolio
Written by: Dana Blankenhorn
Tickers in this article: THC DNDN UNH CVS WAG
Having covered the medical beat while the bill was under debate, I can offer you a quick take:
UnitedHealth is the first one to look at because it has the most investments in health IT, through what is now called Optum, combining the former Ingenix unit with Connextions, a health IT consultancy acquired last year.
Data is considered a key to lowering the per-patient cost of care, using electronic health records to bring best practices to physicians and hospitals. The sector got a $19.2 billion boost in the 2009 stimulus, and those who don't take the cash will start being hurt in reimbursements by 2015.
UNH shares fell sharply yesterday, after the Supreme Court ruling, but actually closed higher as the smart money came in.
CVS has its MinuteClinic chain, while Walgreens' in-store clinics are called Take Care. Walgreen's is redesigning stores to put a host of health-and-lifestyle services in front of customers while they wait for prescriptions to be filled. CVS stores are more traditional, but the company also owns a pharmacy benefit manager to assure traffic. Walgreen's famously split from the leading PBM, ExpressScripts(ESRX) last year.
This has been true for over a decade, but it now becomes the key to financial success across the industry.