Commentary: Oxford Mends Its Health By Passing The Buck

The hemorrhaging has been stanched at Oxford Health Plans Inc.; the patient appears stable. On Oct. 30, a year after its collapse amid computer mayhem and $916 million in ensuing red ink, the Norwalk (Conn.)-based health-maintenance organization reported third-quarter results ahead of plan--a loss of just $47 million and $9.5 million negative cash flow. Among oft-bruised HMO investors, that amounted to cheery news, and Oxford's shares rose nearly 40% in three days, to 12.375.

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