NU Online News Service, Jan. 29, 2004, 5:45 p.m. EST – Core health insurance operations did well at Sierra Health Services Inc., Las Vegas, during the fourth quarter of 2003.[@@]

The managed care company is reporting $4.8 million in net income for the latest quarter on $373.4 million in revenue, up from $4.5 million in net income on $326.9 million in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2002.

The company ended the quarter managing or administering health care for about 1.2 million people, about as many people as it covered a year earlier.

Sierra has been fighting to keep its share of a huge military health coverage administration program called TriCare. The U.S. Department of Defense has rejected Sierra’s bid to continue to participate in the program. The head of the U.S. General Accounting Office denied Sierra’s appeal of the rejection in December 2003, the company says.

The company says it still is deciding what to do about the TriCare contract.