Bright Health Group shares fell about 12% on Wednesday after the company's latest financial results came up short of analyst estimates.
The Bloomington-based health insurer said that, despite the earnings miss, it was largely holding steady with financial projections for the year. Executives said they made progress on resolving previously disclosed problems with claims processing and calculating risk adjustment payments.
Bright Health went public during summer 2021 in Minnesota's largest-ever initial public offering of stock. At its IPO, Bright Health's stock initially priced at $18, but shares on Wednesday closed at $1.71.
Executives told investors during a conference call on quarterly results that the company now is actively working to secure additional financing. "We've always planned for more capital and we are well underway in satisfying this need," CEO Mike Mikan said on the call.
He added that, because of improving performance and cost reductions, Bright Health is on track to reach a break-even point in its adjusted operating profit in 2024.
Revenue and operating costs during the latest quarter were hurt by one-time items, including a payment related to the risk adjustment issue, Kevin Fischbeck, an analyst with Bank of America, wrote to investors on Wednesday.
"Overall despite noise in the quarter, it was less volatile than results in 2021," Fischbeck wrote.
He added in a second research note: "Although [first half of 2022] results have been solid (albeit noisy), the early stages of the turnaround, wide guidance range, and need to raise capital leave us seeing more upside at peers."
For the April through June period, Bright Health reported a loss of $251.3 million, or 45 cents a share, on nearly $1.58 billion of revenue. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting a loss of 32 cents a share on $1.81 billion of revenue.
Bright Health Group sells health insurance coverage to individuals under age 65 through government-run health exchanges. It also runs Medicare Advantage health plans for seniors who opt to receive their government insurance benefits through private managed care companies. Beyond insurance, the company operates medical clinics.
Since its founding in 2015, Bright Health has quickly grown. As of June, Bright Health had about 970,000 individual market enrollees and 120,000 people in Medicare Advantage plans.
Fast growth in 2021 complicated by COVID-19 issues made it difficult for the insurer to accurately calculate risk scores for enrollees. As a result, the company had to pay more than expected to other carriers through a marketwide risk adjustment program, where funds are transferred to insurers that cover more people at risk of needing costly medical services.
Last November, shares fell by more than 32% when Bright Health disclosed the risk adjustment troubles while reporting third-quarter results.
In addition, fast growth in some state health insurance markets — particularly Florida — meant the company fell behind in loading data about health care providers into its claims payment system. As a result, Bright Health failed to pay claims on a timely basis and the problem contributed to the risk adjustment issue.
After disclosing the extent of the claims processing problem with its fourth-quarter results, the company's share price plunged in March by more than 20%.
Earlier this year, Bright Health announced plans to eliminate about 150 jobs and exit some health insurance markets in 2023. Those steps, as well as improved operations, have helped limit the company's need for additional capital, Cathy Smith, the firm's chief financial officer, told investors Wednesday.
The company's depressed share price improved by one-third in May with the release of first-quarter results showing improvement on claims processing and risk adjustment.
Even so, Smith said Wednesday that a special committee of the board has been formed and outside advisers were working to raise funds.
"We are actively working to satisfy our capital needs, which will require additional financing in the next year," Smith said. "We have received significant interest from and are in advanced discussions with third-party and current investors to finalize the capital raise."
In December, Bright Health Group announced it was raising another $750 million, including a large strategic investment from a subsidiary of Cigna Corp., one of the nation's largest health insurers. The announcement came within a few weeks of reporting a significant loss during last year's third quarter that stemmed from the risk adjustment issue.
For the year, Bright Health now expects revenue of $6.8 billion to $7.1 billion. Executives forecast a loss of between $500 million and $800 million adjusted before interest, taxes, appreciation and amortization.