Health care costs

The hot new corporate health care trends are old and lukewarm

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Large employers from the Rust Belt to Silicon Valley are turning inward as they try to find cheaper, higher-quality health care, embracing ideas like onsite clinics or direct contracts with specific hospitals.

Why it matters: Employer-based benefits are the backbone of the U.S. health care system. But for all the talk about revolutionizing the system, some of their most popular strategies for dealing with rising health care costs are old ideas that don’t exert much pressure on the system overall.

Health care industry on track for massive profits

A doctor looks at monitors during a surgery.
Business is booming for health care companies. Photo: Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images

With more than a week to go in the second-quarter earnings season, the health care industry has already banked more profits than any other quarter in the past year.

The bottom line: Company after company has posted profits that have exceeded Wall Street estimates, and most firms have raised profit estimates for the rest of 2018.