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5 Highlights From Anthem's Q1 Earnings Call

Analysis  |  By Laura Beerman  
   April 21, 2022

The insurer had its strongest selling season to date with organic growth across all business lines.

On its first quarter (Q1) 2022 earnings call and in a companion press release, Anthem reported performance that surpassed analyst expectations, including earnings of $8.25 per share and operating revenues of $37.9 billion—the latter an 18% increase over Q1 2021. Anthem’s earnings were in line with the company’s consistent 12%–15% share price growth projections, highlighted at its March 2021 Investor Day and which the company continued to support on the earnings call. President and CEO Gail Boudreaux and EVP-CFO John Gallina emphasized the following contributors to Anthem’s best selling season to date.

  1. "Best national accounts selling season ever." Anthem’s employer account gains were a recurring headline on the earnings call. Boudreaux noted that multiple large employers had consolidated their business with Anthem and cited usage growth of the company’s Sydney mobile app for healthcare navigation.
  2. Organic growth across business lines. Anthem’s overall medical enrollment grew 7.5% (from 43.5 million to 46.8 million). Medicare Advantage (MA) growth—a key strategic priority for Anthem—came largely from dual-eligible special needs plan (D-SNP) enrollment. On the Medicaid side, Anthem’s organic increases were aided by its acquisitions of MMM and Paramount Advantage.
  3. Acceleration of value-based care (VBC). Boudreaux named VBC as "one of the most important strategic imperatives inside our organization." Anthem noted that more than 60% of its consolidated medical expenses were paid under VBC contracts and that its primary focus is to "increase penetration of downside risk-sharing including global capitation" to more than one-third of its contracts across all business lines by 2025.
  4. The role of Diversified Business Group (DBG). Anthem’s DBG targets chronic and specialized care and is a separate reportable segment that is key to company strategy. DBG is also designed to help the company grow its risk-based contracts and manage beyond traditional utilization management strategies.
  5. The importance of whole-person health. Via Anthem’s press release, Boudreaux stated: "Our strong momentum across all our businesses is evidence that our transformation to become a lifetime, trusted health partner continues to drive our growth and accelerate our capabilities focused on whole person health." In the earnings call, the CEO added that the whole health focus is central to Anthem’s transition from a "traditional health insurer." This message is supported by the company’s intent to rebrand as Elevance Health (elevate plus advance) and deliver, in Boudreaux’s words, "health beyond healthcare."

Laura Beerman is a contributing writer for HealthLeaders.

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