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Nine of the top 10 health plans in the Sacramento market posted a statewide profit in 1998. For severed of them it was a sharp turnaround from a poor 1997.
Higher rates charged to employers helped health maintenance organizations get back into the black. So did paying closer attention to core operations instead of building market share.
Combined net income for seven of the area's top 10 health plans was $347 million in 1998, up 23 percent from net income of $281.5 million in 1997. Complete figures for the other three were not available.
The only health plan to report a loss in 1998 was a start-up, Western Health Advantage, a locally based plan than began operations in August 1997. It lost $2 million on revenue of $29.6 million. Western Health - a partnership of Mercy Healthcare Sacramento, UC Davis Health System and North Bay Health System in Fairfield - lost $2.9 million on revenue of $8.4 million in 1997.
The rest made money. That included the California HMO operations of Kaiser Permanente, even though the …