HEALTHEON/WEBMD: Losses Mount, But Not as Big As Expected
Although Healtheon/WebMD's second-quarter losses widened, the results were "better than expected," the Wall Street Journal reports. The online health information provider's net losses totaled $518.3 million, compared to the $17.6 million loss during the same quarter last year. But revenue from medical transactions increased to $51.8 million from $11.2 million in 1999. CEO Jeff Arnold said, "We had a great quarter." While most transactions still are conducted on private electronic networks, Healtheon/WebMD has made some progress in moving business online. Conducting nearly 274 million electronic transactions this quarter, 7.1 million occurred online, compared to 4.8 million in the first quarter this year. While the company intends to cut costs by linking doctors, patients and health institutions over the Internet, Arnold also indicated that Healtheon/WebMD is working to combining the professional portal WebMD Practice with software doctors use in their practices. The number of doctors registered to use WebMD Practice climbed to 130,000, up from 100,000 during the first quarter, and four million individuals visited the consumer site in June, compared to 2.9 million visitors in March (Carrns, 8/11). Troy Dayton of Dresdner RCM Global Funds said, "It was a decent quarter. But these guys are going to have to continue to show that they can integrate their business" (Kanell, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 8/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.