NU Online News Service, Aug. 1, 4:41 p.m. – PacifiCare Health Systems Inc., Cypress, Calif., is reporting $20 million in net income for the second quarter on $2.8 billion in revenue, compared with $15 million in net income on $3 billion in revenue for the second quarter of 2001.

PacifiCare, a managed care company, provided or administered major medical coverage for 3.3 million people at the end of the quarter, down from 3.7 million people a year earlier.

Commercial premium revenue per commercial health maintenance organization member increased 18%, to $526.

Commercial enrollment fell because of rate increases, efforts to pull back from unprofitable markets, and decisions to drop higher-cost health care providers from provider networks, PacifiCare says.

PacifiCare notes that it wrote off $13 million in investments in companies such as WorldCom Inc., Clinton, Miss., and MedUnite Inc., San Diego, a company that has been setting up an electronic communications system that would link physicians with health insurance carriers.

Another carrier, Oxford Health Plans Inc., Trumbull, Conn., is also writing off the value of some of its investment in MedUnite.

A spokeswoman for MedUnite said the consortium is moving ahead with efforts to introduce its communications services and suggested the write-offs might reflect a new, more conservative approach to accounting for investments.

“MedUnite is fully functional, fully staffed and remains dedicated to alleviating the medical paperwork burden of the healthcare community,” the spokeswoman said in a statement. “Our founders our strong believers in our business model and remain firmly committed to our goal.”

Representatives for PacifiCare and Oxford were not immediately available for comment.