Health Care

Hospitals lose 340B drug cut appeal

A nurse works in a hospital's oncology infusion center.
A nurse works at a hospital's oncology infusion center. Photo: Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Three federal appeals court judges in D.C. today unanimously dismissed a lawsuit brought by hospitals over the federal 340B drug discount program. The court said a new policy that decreases certain drug payments to hospitals by 28.5 percentage points can proceed, because the hospitals sued before the cuts were technically effective.

The big picture: The cuts will cost hospitals $1.6 billion this year. The American Hospital Association and other plaintiffs said in a statement they plan to "refile promptly in district court."

UnitedHealth Group is raking in profits

UnitedHealth Group headquarters in Minnesota.
UnitedHealth Group's headquarters in Minnesota. Photo: UnitedHealth

UnitedHealth Group posted another quarter above expectations, banking a $2.9 billion profit in the second quarter on more than $56 billion of revenue. The $2.9 billion in earnings was 28% higher than the same period last year.

Between the lines: The conglomerate continues to control more of the domestic and global health economy and is reaping huge amounts of cash in the process. But Wall Street actually sold off UnitedHealth's stock Tuesday because medical costs on the health insurance side were a shade higher than expected.

Industry responds to Trump's drug plan with more finger-pointing

President Trump and Alex Azar discuss a drug price plan in the Rose Garden.
The industry gave its two cents on Trump's drug plan. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

One common thread emerged in health care industry groups' comments on President Trump's plan to lower drug prices: The problem is someone else's fault.

The big picture: The only big area where the health care industry stands united is aversion to any kind of government price-setting.