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Don't rush out to buy sympathy cards for Florida's HMOs just yet.
Despite monumental fourth-quarter losses, many of the state's HMOs still managed to pull a profit out of their hats for the year.
And, overall, things are looking up, thanks to recent rate hikes: Half of the state's HMOs did better in 2000 than they did in 1999 -- the industry's worst year on record in Florida.
True, two out of every three HMOs in the state bled in the fourth quarter, leaving the industry reeling from a total combined loss of $114.6 million for 2000.
Even so, "its a mixed result," said Peter Young, a Fort Myers health care consultant. "Excluding Prudential, overall you are seeing an improvement, tempered by the factor of …