Perspectives Blog

The importance of being transparent

Harlan Sonderling, CFA, Senior Healthcare Analyst | December 2, 2013

Transparency is emerging as a powerful force in improving healthcare outcomes and increasing access to care. The growth of consumer financial responsibility is now estimated at 41% for large corporate plans. Consumer education has never been more important in healthcare than now. President James A. Garfield survived an assassin’s bullet in 1881, only to die several months later of complications from the infection that developed from his doctor…

Specialty pharmaceuticals – The fastest growing category of healthcare spending

Harlan Sonderling, CFA, Senior Healthcare Analyst | January 27, 2014

A complex industry has developed to manage the delivery and costs of the therapeutic innovations in specialty pharma Healthcare payers are focused on managing specialty pharma spending, their most rapidly growing medical cost The accelerating pace of change and disruptive therapeutic advances create significant opportunities across healthcare delivery Pharmaceuticals are central to the effort to improve medical outcomes and control medical cos…

M&A in healthcare – Out with the old, in with the new?

Harlan Sonderling, CFA, Senior Healthcare Analyst | March 31, 2014

Recently the market has been quite optimistic about merger synergy promises. History suggests investors should be diligent about analyzing acquirers’ claims around merger benefits and returns. While attractive acquisitions may lie ahead, it is critical to continue to carefully evaluate acquirers’ strategies and claims. The “old” healthcare M&A In the “old days,” pharmaceutical Company A would announce its acquisition of Company B for stock…

Death, taxes and Medicaid expansion

Harlan Sonderling, CFA, Senior Healthcare Analyst | September 8, 2014

…pansion will be a source of accelerating revenue and earnings within the managed care industry. The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) significantly expanded both eligibility for and federal funding of Medicaid, the means-tested healthcare program for low-income families and individuals. The program is jointly sponsored by federal and state governments and managed by the states, with each state having broad latitude to determine eligibility. ACA exp…

Obamacare’s insurance exchanges

Columbia Management, Investment Team | December 9, 2013

Enrollment is low There is still confusion around plans Where do we go from here? Healthcare.gov’s performance has improved since its re-launch last week, but capacity and communications problems will persist. Through October, the reported number of enrollees in federal and state-run health insurance exchanges remains meaningfully below initial targets. The federal government is running the insurance exchanges for many Republican-led states th…

Antibiotic resistance – What it means for drug manufacturers, hospitals and diagnostic companies

Columbia Management, Investment Team | May 12, 2014

Overuse of antibiotics has led to new classes of “super bugs” that are resistant to current or traditional antibiotic treatments. Legislative and economic incentives are driving innovation and adoption of new technologies in the antibiotic resistance category across the investable healthcare spectrum. We anticipate increased new drug development and improvements in the identification and treatment of bugs and “super bugs.” By Aaron Reames, Wal…

Second quarter U.S. corporate earnings wrap-up

Tom West, Director of Equity Research | August 18, 2014

Non-cyclical sectors slightly out performed cyclical sectors during the quarter. In technology, the U.S. is improving, Europe is still not strong and developing markets lag. The healthcare sector improved, but it is still a question mark for the second half of the year. As the economic recovery matures, we have seen a fairly consistent pattern in quarterly earnings: estimates come down during the course of the quarter, and then beat the “lower…