Health care costs

The big picture

Hospitals are asking for a federal bailout ASAP due to coronavirus

Some hospitals fear missing payroll, closure due to coronavirus.

Mar 21, 2020
The health care debate we ought to be having

Health care is eating up more and more of Americans’ paychecks every year.

Dec 22, 2019
Surprise bills are everywhere

These bills can be financially devastating for patients.

Aug 13, 2019
Deep Dive: The drug pricing maze

It can be enormously frustrating for patients — and profitable for everyone else.

Nov 17, 2018
By the numbers: Where America's health care spending goes

Almost one-fifth of the American economy

Jun 16, 2018

All Health care costs stories

Coronavirus causes dire prospects for health care industry's Q1

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The health care industry has been on a long run of financial prosperity, but early data points show the coronavirus is abruptly ending that run.

The big picture: Health care is usually pretty recession-proof because people still need to see doctors and fill prescriptions when the economy tanks. 

Go deeperArrowApr 3, 2020 - Health

Nancy Pelosi to headline virtual coronavirus town hall

Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will headline a virtual town hall on Facebook Tuesday that will highlight the Trump administration's "failures" in responding to the coronavirus pandemic and outline a series of new health priorities that Democrats say are needed to stem the spread of COVID-19, advocacy group Health Care Voter tells Axios.

Why it matters: Discussions on the phase 4 stimulus bill are already underway now that the $2.2 trillion rescue package has been signed into law. Several Democrats, including Pelosi, who are participating in Tuesday evening's town hall, see the legislation as an opportunity to pass new health and economic policies that failed to make it into the last deal, Democratic aides on Capitol Hill tell Axios.

Go deeperArrowMar 31, 2020 - Health

Justice Department sues Anthem, alleging Medicare fraud

Anthem's headquarters in Indianapolis. Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

The Department of Justice has sued Anthem, alleging that the health insurance company knowingly submitted inaccurate medical codes to the federal government from 2014 to 2018 as a way to get higher payments for its Medicare Advantage plans and turned "a blind eye" to coding problems.

Why it matters: This is one of the largest Medicare Advantage fraud lawsuits to date, and federal prosecutors believe they have more than enough to evidence to claim that Anthem bilked millions of dollars from taxpayers.

Go deeperArrowMar 27, 2020 - Health

What health care is getting out of the stimulus package

Hospitals stand to gain a lot of money from the stimulus. Photos: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Congress' big stimulus package will provide more than $100 billion and several favorable payment policies to hospitals, doctors and others in the health care system as they grapple with the coronavirus outbreak.

The big picture: Hospitals, including those that treat a lot of rural and low-income patients, are getting the bailout they asked for — and then some.

Go deeperArrowMar 26, 2020 - Health

Aetna waives cost-sharing for coronavirus hospitalizations

A hospitalized coronavirus patient in Belgium. Photo: Vincent Duterne/Photo News via Getty Images

Aetna is waiving all copays and other out-of-pocket costs for people who end up hospitalized from the new coronavirus, the first major health insurer to do so since senators called for action last week.

Between the lines: This policy doesn't necessarily apply equally, and a lot depends on what employers do. Roughly 14.1 million people have Aetna insurance through a "self-insured" employer, and those employers can "opt-out of this option at their discretion," an Aetna spokesperson said.

Pelosi unveils $2.5 trillion counterproposal to GOP coronavirus stimulus

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled on Monday a sweeping counterproposal to Senate Republicans' $1.8 trillion coronavirus stimulus package.

Why it matters: House Democrats' legislation — which comes with a $2.5 trillion price tag — comes after negotiations between Capitol Hill leaders and the White House broke down over the weekend, culminating in two failed procedural votes that have left the Senate Republicans' bill in limbo.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus tests could lead to surprise medical bills because of legislative loophole

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A loophole in the new coronavirus response legislation that President Trump signed into law this week exposes some patients to being billed for coronavirus tests — despite lawmakers' claims that the tests are free for everyone.

Details: The law says tests that have received FDA authorization must be free, but seems to leave out those tests that are awaiting or don't need such emergency approval.

Go deeperArrowMar 20, 2020 - Health

Hospitals ask for $100 billion coronavirus bailout

A coronavirus surge tent outside an AdventHealth hospital in Florida. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The health care industry, led by the American Hospital Association, asked Congress on Thursday for $100 billion to offset the expenses related to coronavirus testing and treatment.

The big picture: Other industries like airlines and hotels are asking for taxpayer bailouts as their operations grind to a halt. Hospitals and medical groups are asking for money as their operations prepare for a capacity overload.

Go deeperArrowMar 19, 2020 - Health

NewYork-Presbyterian expects financial damage from coronavirus

Photo: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

NewYork-Presbyterian, one of the largest hospital systems in New York City, is anticipating the coronavirus outbreak will trigger anywhere from $350 million to $700 million in losses, according to a new financial disclosure.

The big picture: NewYork-Presbyterian is in one of the hardest-hit states and was forced to delay all elective surgeries and procedures, which will ding its revenue and profit. But even with a nine-figure negative swing, the system is not in danger of going under.

Go deeperArrowMar 19, 2020 - Health
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