loader image
Financiera EPS

The financial health of the EPS of the contributory regime

Foto Francisco Garcia

Francisco Jose Garcia Lara
Surgeon and Master in Health Administration
from the Javeriana University
Columnist of the newspaper La Nación de Neiva

A large part of Colombians consider that EPS is a big business and that a significant part of its profits are obtained by the denial or delay in the authorization of services.

In order to verify the veracity of said judgment, and taking the information from the financial statements of the EPS of the contributory regime that is found on the website of the National Superintendency of Health as of December 31, 2019 [1], they were carried out some observations on the financial situation of the EPS of the contributory regime, the results of which we present below.

Actives and pasives

Regarding assets [2], the following table was prepared, which includes the first seven in terms of amount:

Financiera EPS1


Regarding liabilities [5], the first seven are also presented:

Financiera EPS 2


A simple analysis allows us to show that assets are lower than liabilities, the most significant difference being in Medimás and Coomeva.


Saludvida, which is not among the main ones with the largest assets, presents an even greater difference, since it had liabilities for $1,239,384,053,540 and assets for $327,170,241,582.


It is important to bear in mind that the EPS record invoices that have been audited and accepted as liabilities, that is, those that are in the audit process or have not been accepted are not reported in the revised information, which would imply that the liability EPS should eventually be higher.


Accounts receivable from ADRES[6]

One of the main excuses of the EPS for not canceling the debts with the IPS and suppliers, is that the government, through the ADRES, owes them large resources.


Therefore, the data in the Superhealth information mentioned above were searched in relation to the amount owed for services or technologies not included in the Health Benefits Plan (No. PBS before No POS) [7], finding the shown below, again of the seven EPS with the highest accounts receivable for this concept:

Financiera EPS 3


Of the debt described above and reported by the EPS to the Superhealth, Compensar reports a value of zero for this concept, without being able to specify the reasons for this figure.


This debt represents a little more than a third of the previously reported liabilities, without including the amounts pending payment for compensation or maternity leave payments, which are also in charge of the ADRES.


With the aim of making a comparison between what is owed to the EPS with what they in turn owe to IPS or providers for No PBS [8], it was found that only three EPS reported the information. In the others, the information found is zero, without again being able to specify why this figure is reported.


The three EPS that reported the aforementioned debts are:

Financiera EPS 4


The first two show that the amount owed by the ADRES is significantly higher than the amount owed by the EPS to IPS and suppliers for the same concept.


The results

Regarding the results [9], these were divided into two: the EPS that reported losses which are accumulated with previous years, and those that gave profits corresponding to the year 2019.


The main ones that report accumulated losses are the following:

Financiera EPS5


And those that reported profits are:

Financiera EPS6


It is reiterated that the losses are accumulated because they better reflect the financial reality of the EPS, and regardless of the fact that some of the EPS that have been showing losses in previous years could have made profits in 2019, they could not cover the negative value of the years previous.


The EPS that reported profits if they correspond to the year 2019, and in the revised information it was evidenced that they are not dragging losses.


After adding the losses and subtracting the profits, a result of total losses for the EPS of the contributory regime of $-3,761,255,908,620 is obtained.



In addition, the National Superintendency of Health presented the preliminary evaluation report on compliance with the minimum capital and adequate equity indicators (effective 2019 [10]).


As a summary of said report, the following table is presented, which shows compliance or not with the minimum capital and adequate equity indicators:

Financiera EPS7


The table shows some EPS that had not been mentioned before, such as EPM, Comfenalco Valle, Saludmia and Ferrocarriles, which due to their size were not significant in the previous points.


It should be noted from the report that the vast majority of the EPS of the contributory regime comply with the minimum capital and adequate equity. Medimás, SOS and Saludvida do not comply with either of the two; while Famisanar, Saludmía and Ferrocarriles do not comply with the adequate patrimony.



Are EPS really such a good business?

By way of conclusion and based on the data presented above, which is reiterated are taken from the official information registered on the website of the National Superintendency of Health, the answer to the question posed is a resounding no.


Regardless of the fact that several of the EPS of the contributory regime may have collateral businesses, such as their own IPS or belong to a group that possibly obtains some type of profit in collateral activities, insurance as such does not seem to be a big business.


It is essential to highlight that there are EPS that give profits, which leads to think that the insurance business in some cases can be profitable, however, these profits are negligible compared to the large losses in the sector.


Nor should it be forgotten that there may be mismanagement in some of the entities, in fact, in 2019 the liquidation of three EPS of the contributory regime was ordered: Cafesalud, which since 2017 did not operate as such, Cruz Blanca and Saludvida.


On the other hand, taking into account that in accordance with article 155 of Law 100 of 1993, the EPS are administration and financing agencies of the General System of Social Security in Health, the financial situation of these entities shown here, puts in serious risk to the entire system, since the crisis affects the other actors in it.


It is important to mention that other financial indicators were not calculated because the situation shown and the mere comparison of assets versus liabilities, added to the losses presented, make it practically unnecessary to do so, since the delicate financial situation of the vast majority of EPS obvious.


Special emphasis should be placed on the debt of the ADRES with the EPS for No PBS, which as explained before, is one third of the liability of the EPS of the contributory regime and whose figure is higher than what is budgeted by the government in the so-called agreement end point [11].


This situation most likely prevents the National Superintendency of Health from requiring the EPS to pay the IPS and providers, since the debt chain originates in the State. In other words, the argument of the EPS for not paying their debts is not a simple excuse but a reality, and being an original sin of the State, it is very difficult for the inspection, surveillance and control entity to demand that the EPS comply .


Finally, it must be taken into account that the financial crisis of health systems is global, aggravated in Colombia by a PBS, which added to the No PBS, makes the benefits covered with public resources practically unlimited, even if there are a few exclusions.


Other blogs readers viewed


1. https://www.supersalud.gov.co/esco/Paginas/DelegadaSupervisionRiesgos/informacion-financiera-EPS-EMP-SAP-regimenes-de-excepcion-y-especiales.aspx

2. Code 1 in the information of the National Superintendency of Health.

3. It is classified in the information of the National Superintendence of Health as EPS of the subsidized and contributory regimes.

4. It is classified in the information of the National Superintendency of Health as EPS of the subsidized and contributory regimes

5. Code 2 in the information of the National Superintendency of Health.

6. Administrator of Resources of the Social Security in Health, before the Solidarity and Guarantee Fund (FOSYGA).

7. Code 130205 in the information of the National Superintendency of Health.

8. Code 210607 in the information of the National Superintendency of Health.

9. Code 35 in the information of the National Superintendency of Health.

10. https://docs.supersalud.gov.co/PortalWeb/SupervisionRiesgos/EstadisticasEPSRegimenContributivo/INFORMEPRELIMINARRESULTADOCUMPLIMIENTOINDCMPA.pdf

11. See blog: https://www.neuroeconomix.com/los-avances-del-acuerdo-de-punto-final/


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Francisco Jose Garcia
1 year ago

Luis Enrique: the blog does not pretend to show the creation of value, but it does not ignore it. The creation of value would require another specific blog and an in-depth analysis of the collateral businesses that the EPS have, the answer to which may be partially seen in a new blog on the financial situation of the IPS that will soon be published.
Alonso: without a doubt we can do things better but it is very difficult to invest when the state's debt with the EPS is so high, the important thing is that it is understood that the flow of money is stopped in the government and from there the delinquency is triggered in everything the sector.
Thank you both very much for your comments.

Alonso Verdugo
1 year ago

Francisco, thank you very much for answering. My point is that there is something that the numbers alone do not show and that must be of greater complexity. For EPS it is clear that improving processes, automating, interoperating, managing population health risk, would by far allow a better outlook. Integrated health systems https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/integrated-care-systems-explained#what-are-ICSs
These investments would be paid in less than 24 months, implemented progressively, not Big Bang or things like that. Compensating is doing it. THE law allows it and financially benefits everyone, why not do it? that is underneath that prevents movement so that this can be viable. Is there money elsewhere that it is better to leave things as they are? that the government still does not turn? My financial knowledge is basic, and clearly his answer shows me, But that same basic principle, since it is not clear, allows us to infer that white is not white and black is not black.

1 year ago

It seems to me an article that does not respond to why value is created in the health sector, the author limits himself to showing figures but does not explain how Economic Value is produced in the organizations that manage health in Colombia.

Francisco Garcia Lara placeholder image
1 year ago

Dear Alonso, the discussion is not whether the EPS can leave or not, in the blog it is specified that there are collateral businesses and that is well known, what we must be clear about is that insurance per se is not the big business that is believed and that the health system is in serious financial risk. Likewise, we must not forget that to get out of the business they must have authorization from the Superhealth and some compensation funds of the subsidized regime have wanted to do so without the Superhealth allowing them. Regarding investing, remember that Cafesalud was for sale and the offers were only two from the country, one whose result we know and another from an EPS that only offered for the contributory regime, then: if it is the great business that is created because foreign insurers do not did they offer?
Thank you very much for your comment.

Alonso Verdugo
1 year ago

This book documents something interesting about COMPENSATE EPS .. that sheds light on this system under law 100.

Alonso Verdugo
1 year ago

Looking at the raw data, and the resounding NO. The most important question, why if they are so BAD BUSINESS, are they still? Any businessman, with this scenario, WOULD NOT INVEST ANYTHING, He would retire, basic rational of the accounting of coquito, THERE MUST BE MONEY .. then there is some fallacy. I mean, the business is clearly not what you see on the surface.

Featured posts
Have a similar project

Schedule a video call and let's talk!

Subscribe to our blog