April means baseball, tax day, and Earnings Season. Company earnings, while prone to short-termism and BS (see: The Number by Alex Berenson), often reveal truths. For example: the impact of a shifting yield curve for health savings companies, acquisition data (including prices paid), new growth challenges, and subtle things divulged then later omitted. While you don’t just read an annual report, or 10k, you can read an earnings transcript.
United Healthcare (UHC), the $200B revenue lion, is one company worth following. UHC’s Q12018 report has many nuggets on what strategic things are on the minds of management and analysts, thoughts on the future of value based care, acquisitions, uses of cash flow, commercial trend, changes in net promoter scores, utilization and savings through the PreCheck MyScript tool (“Since introducing…last year, we have already helped 500,000 patients. And over 20% of the time, the consumer and their physician are switching to a lower-cost prescription when presented alternatives.”), impact and per episode savings numbers for their physician selection tool (“When a consumer selects a premium designated physician, they reduce their costs of health care by more than $300 per care episode.”). Some have to be taken with a grain of salt (or more) but there is value.
It just requires a little reading.