Stories by Caitlin Owens

Hospitals' profits cost patients billions

Hospital room with medical equipment
Photo: Shannon Fagan/Getty Images

Once you pull together Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance, hospitals end up with an average payment rate that's about 34% higher than what Medicare pays on its own, according to a report by the left-leaning Center for American Progress.

Why it matters: Hospitals are by far the biggest driver of U.S. health care spending, making hospital care a prime target for payment cuts — but the industry maintains that it couldn't survive solely on the rates government programs pay.

Specialty drugs' steep price hikes

Adapted from AARP; Chart: Axios Visuals

The cost of specialty drugs has skyrocketed over the last decade, with the cost of 61 widely used drugs almost tripling between 2006 and 2017, according to a new AARP report.

By the numbers: The average annual cost of a specialty drug in 2017 was almost $20,000 more than the median U.S. household income.

Industry doesn't like Trump's transparency push

Trump signs health care executive order
President Trump signs yesterday's executive order. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Industry groups came out with guns blazing yesterday against President Trump's executive order on price transparency for hospitals. And plenty of experts are skeptical that it will bring prices down.

What's next: Industry will have ample opportunity to kill or weaken the new rules while the administration fills in the details through the regulatory process.