A technician uses a surgical robot in a hospital. Photo: Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

HCA Healthcare's stock price increased by almost 5% today after the operator of hospitals and surgery centers posted higher-than-expected profits in 2018 and anticipated an even bigger year in 2019.

By the numbers: HCA's "same facility revenue per equivalent admission," an important industry metric that shows how much hospital and clinic prices increased, went up by 3.9% in 2018. That was the highest rate for HCA since 2014, meaning higher prices and medical codes helped fuel the company's big 2018 — in addition to the $551 million in tax savings the company reaped from the Republican tax overhaul.

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Updated 9 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court clears way for first federal execution since 2003

Lethal injection facility in San Quentin, California. Photo: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via Getty Images

The Supreme Court ruled early Tuesday that federal executions can resume, reversing a lower court decision and paving the way for the first lethal injection since 2003 to take place at a federal prison in Indiana, AP reports.

The big picture: A lower court had delayed the execution, saying inmates had provided evidence the government's plan to carry out executions using lethal injections "poses an unconstitutionally significant risk of serious pain."

1 hour ago - Health

More Republicans say they're wearing masks

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Nearly two-thirds of Americans — and a noticeably increasing number of Republicans — say they’re wearing a face mask whenever they leave the house, according to the latest installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: A weakening partisan divide over masks, and a broad-based increase in the number of people wearing them, would be a welcome development as most of the country tries to beat back a rapidly growing outbreak.

Buildings are getting tested for coronavirus, too

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Testing buildings — not just people — could be an important way to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: People won't feel safe returning to schools, offices, bars and restaurants unless they can be assured they won't be infected by coronavirus particles lingering in the air — or being pumped through the buildings' air ducts. One day, even office furniture lined with plants could be used to clean air in cubicles.