All Health care costs stories

Jun 1, 2020 - Health

Health care CEO pay outstrips infectious disease research

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The CEOs of 179 health care companies took home almost $2.5 billion in 2019, a majority of which came from cashing out stock, according to an Axios analysis of financial filings.

The big picture: That amount is four times what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had to study and prepare for all "emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases" last year, right before the novel coronavirus outbreak turned into a global pandemic.

May 28, 2020 - Health

A reality check on Medicare's new insulin coverage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new type of a Medicare prescription drug plan will cap insulin costs at $35 per month for people who have diabetes. The Trump administration and every industry group were quick to hype the model as a win for everyone.

Reality check: Medicare's new model will bring some financial relief next year to patients who are struggling to afford their insulin. But experts say it doesn't change actual prices and gives cover to avoid more serious drug pricing reforms during the coronavirus pandemic.

May 28, 2020 - Health

Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers sue CVS, alleging drug pricing fraud

Photo: John Lamparski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Six Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers have sued CVS Health, alleging the pharmacy chain overcharged them based on "artificially inflated prices" for generic drugs and concealed the true cash prices of those drugs.

The big picture: CVS has faced legal scrutiny over its cash discount programs since 2015, and this lawsuit adds big names to a mounting problem.

May 21, 2020 - Health

The coronavirus is slowing health care spending

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The coronavirus pandemic will likely reduce total U.S. health care spending — at least for a while.

The big picture: The pandemic is a health care crisis, but it's costing less than the other, routine care that's been postponed because of it.

May 13, 2020 - Health

Atul Gawande leaves Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan health care company

Atul Gawande was at Haven for less than two years. Photo: Lisa Lake/Getty Images

Famed surgeon and writer Atul Gawande has formally resigned as CEO of Haven, the health care venture started by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase. Gawande, whose departure was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, will stay on as the company's' chair.

The big picture: Haven whipped the health care industry into a frenzy when the billionaire chiefs of Amazon, Berkshire and JPMorgan first put it together, but the company has not rolled out any ideas publicly in its two-year existence and has been involved in litigation with a competitor.

May 12, 2020 - Health

Trump administration doubles down on hospital price transparency

Hospitals are fighting regulations that would force them to disclose negotiated prices. Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images

The Trump administration unveiled a new proposal Monday, in which privately negotiated prices between hospitals and private health insurers would inform how Medicare pays for future health care services.

Yes, but: Hospitals are suing over the original price transparency regulation, so this proposal would get thrown in the trash if hospitals win in court.

May 7, 2020 - Health

The high stakes of pricing a coronavirus drug

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Now that the federal government is allowing the emergency use of remdesivir for coronavirus patients, and as the world awaits final clinical data on the drug's effectiveness, a giant question looms: What will the price be?

Why it matters: Gilead's pricing decision is important on its own, but it also will set the bar for how all coronavirus treatments that come after remdesivir will be priced.

May 6, 2020 - Health

FTC blesses AbbVie's $63 billion takeover of Allergan

Photo: AbbVie

The Federal Trade Commission has signed off on AbbVie's $63 billion acquisition of Allergan, but antitrust regulators said the companies must divest three drugs — two of which will be sold to Nestlé — that would have consolidated too much power under one roof.

The bottom line: This was a contentious decision among the FTC commissioners. But now AbbVie — which makes the world's best-selling drug, Humira, and has been accused of playing games as the autoimmune drug's patent lapses — is significantly expanding by acquiring the maker of Botox.

May 5, 2020 - Health

The coronavirus is further dividing rich and poor hospitals

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Many hospitals may not make it out of the coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture: The most vulnerable organizations — especially those that treat more old, poor and non-white patients — are teetering on the edge of existence and have to compete with larger, affluent hospitals for federal aid.

May 4, 2020 - Health

Rep. Scott Peters: New medical innovations may save money over time

Congress should embrace new medical methods and technologies, like gene therapy treatments, because they may become cheaper than traditional medicines over time, Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) said during an Axios virtual event on Monday.

What he's saying: "People, their initial reaction to technologies is that it must be more expensive," Peters said. "It's our job to show that it's more cost-effective over time."