61 of the drugs with price hikes were being used to treat coronavirus.Jun 29, 2020 - Health
Delayed care is beating COVID-19 cases right now.May 21, 2020 - Health
Part 5 of our What Matters 2020 series.Mar 6, 2020 - Health
Health care is eating up more and more of Americans’ paychecks every year.Dec 22, 2019 - Politics & Policy
Some hospitals are refusing to administer Biogen's new Alzheimer's drug, Aduhelm, but many freestanding infusion centers are offering it despite concerns about the drug's safety and lack of effectiveness.
Yes, but: Hardly any patients are receiving the drug, even with infusion centers eagerly advertising it. Just over 100 patients have actually gotten Aduhelm so far, way below Biogen's already-tempered forecasts, STAT reported.
The number of patient visits for chronic kidney care plummeted by more than 26% in the early months of the pandemic, according to new data from the nation's largest insurer, UnitedHealth Group.
Why it matters: Researchers are racing to understand just how much care people skipped — and whether it actually affected their health.
Walgreens paid $970 million to increase its ownership of Shields Health Solutions — a company that helps hospitals run their own specialty pharmacies — from 23% to 71%.
Why it matters: Standard Walgreens pharmacies are ubiquitous throughout the country, but this deal will give Walgreens a bigger position in specialty pharmacies, which handle pricey medications for complex conditions and have become very lucrative.
In July, the head of the American Hospital Association blasted UnitedHealth Group for its "jaw-dropping" profits in the second quarter. But an analysis of financial documents shows a sample of large not-for-profit hospital systems that collectively generated the same amount of revenue as the insurance giant were almost three times more profitable than UnitedHealth.
Reality check: Companies and lobbying groups often paint their business foes as the primary problems with the health care system, but each sector contributes to the system's dysfunction.
Health care advocates are making the case that the pieces of Democrats' legislative agenda that lower health care costs and expand coverage are the most popular with voters — and should thus be prioritized.
Why it matters: Democrats are trying to figure out what topline spending number they have to work with for their reconciliation package. The lower that number goes, the more the party will have to cut from the package.
Why it matters: The combined Intermountain-SCL system will own 33 hospitals, will generate more than $13 billion of annual revenue and will dominate several areas throughout Utah and Colorado — consequently gaining leverage over health insurers and employers as a must-have network if the deal is finalized.
A key congressional committee failed to pass Democrats' signature drug pricing bill yesterday, but that doesn't mean the party's push to lower drug prices is anywhere near over.
Why it matters: Hundreds of billions of dollars are on the line — and Democrats need that money to pay for the rest of their giant legislative agenda.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is proposing to kill a regulation the agency finalized earlier this year under the Trump administration that would have required Medicare to pay for any medical device deemed as a "breakthrough" by the FDA.
Driving the news: After receiving public feedback, CMS determined the rule was "not in the best interest of Medicare beneficiaries because the rule may provide coverage without adequate evidence that the breakthrough device would be a reasonable and necessary treatment."
Hospitals are worried that the Democrats' plans to curb prescription drug costs could be the beginning of a slippery slope that ultimately cuts into their bottom lines, too.
Why it matters: Hospitals and drug companies aren't always allies, and hospitals aren't likely to lobby very hard solely on pharma's behalf. But the industry could become another powerful opponent for Democrats if its own profits are on the line.