Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The health care industry continued to rake in record-level profits in the second quarter, with its year-over-year earnings increasing by 23%, according to an Axios analysis of 160 companies.
The bottom line: Pharmaceutical firms and hospitals, in particular, are reaping some of the largest rewards even amid the sustained public furor over drug prices and surprise medical bills.
Where it stands: We updated our health care earnings tracker to include 48 not-for-profit hospital systems, many of which also own health insurance companies, and we will add more as more financial documents are released.
By the numbers: Big Pharma remains the cash king.
- Drug companies collected almost half of all health care profits despite generating less than 20% of industry revenue.
- 12 of the 16 most profitable companies in Q2 were pharmaceutical firms.
- This theme should sound familiar.
The intrigue: Hospitals don't retain as much money as drug companies, but their prices and Wall Street investments are still leading to sizable windfalls.
- The combined net profit margin for this sample of hospital systems was 8.6%. That's lower than the extremely profitable first quarter hospitals had, but above average for the entire group.
- 17 of the 55 companies in the analysis that had net margins of at least 10% in Q2 were not-for-profit hospital systems.
The big picture: The profits don't just lead to hefty paydays. They allow the industry to amass a war chest to fend off piecemeal reforms and larger-scale overhauls like Medicare for All.