Good morning. Today's word count is 773 words, or ~3 minutes.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
NorthBay Healthcare, a not-for-profit hospital system in California, recently gave a candid look into how it operates, telling investors it has used its negotiating clout to extract "very lucrative contracts" from health insurance companies.
Details: NorthBay owns two hospitals and several clinics in California's Solano County. Kaiser Permanente owns the only other full-service hospital in the county, and Sutter Health operates some medical offices. (A NorthBay spokesperson argued the system is "more akin to the David among two Goliaths.")
Three health insurers have terminated their contracts with NorthBay over the past couple years. During a June 19 call with bondholders, executives explained why this has happened.
"We've been able to maintain very lucrative contracts without the competition. And what the payers are saying is, they would like us to be like 90% of the rest of the United States in terms of contract structure."— Jim Strong, interim CFO, NorthBay Healthcare
Between the lines: NorthBay's revenue has increased by 50% over the past few years, from $400 million in 2013 to $600 million in 2018, due in large part to its natural monopoly and oligopoly over hospital services.
NorthBay also serves as a cautionary tale for price transparency, the policy fix du jour.
Livongo, a health tech startup that provides diabetes coaching, filed papers for its initial public offering on Friday, a move that's seen as a test for how well such startups may do in public markets, Stat reports.
Between the lines: This new generation of buzzy, venture capital-backed health care companies hasn't produced an IPO since 2016. A second digital health company, Health Catalyst, filed to go public on Thursday.
Backdrop: Livongo's main source of revenue is self-insured employers, which hire it to monitor and coach employees with chronic diseases — especially diabetes.
Purdue, the maker of OxyContin, is facing sluggish sales, a dwindling workforce and restructuring challenges as it fights a slew of lawsuits claiming that the company contributed to the opioid epidemic, WSJ reports.
Purdue's financial reliance on OxyContin was a result of business decisions made by the company and its board, including members of the Sackler family — which is also under legal scrutiny.
Sen. Kamala Harris. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday that she does not support abolishing private health insurance after she raised her hand to support that position during Thursday's Democratic presidential debate, my colleague Rashaan Ayesh writes.
The big picture: Harris said that she interpreted the question as whether or not she'd give up her own private insurance, but this isn't the first time Harris has had to clarify her position on the issue.
Details: As the Washington Post's Jeff Stein wrote, Harris and several other Democrats running for president have said they support Sen. Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All bill, which moves all Americans — including those with private insurance — onto a single government-run plan.
Have a great week! Send tips, feedback and good newsletter intro fodder to email@example.com.