PacifiCare Health Systems Announces Cutbacks

The nation's largest provider of Medicare health plans said it plans to cut 550 jobs and take a charge of $15-$17 million against fourth-quarter earnings.

PacifiCare Health Systems said their financial problems are directly linked to rising medical costs related to shared-risk arrangements with hospitals.

The job cuts will affect 6% of workers at the corporate headquarters in Santa Ana, Calif. More than half of the staff cuts are in marketing and sales.

The company cites rising medical reimbursement costs to blame for their 64% share drop this quarter.

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