Health care spending

The growing toll of kidney disease

Data: United States Renal Data System; Chart/Axios Visuals

Almost a quarter of traditional Medicare spending, or $114 billion, goes toward patients who have kidney disease. A large chunk of that, $35 billion, is spent on patients whose kidneys have failed and require dialysis or a transplant, according to the latest federal data.

Why it matters: Kidney disease diagnoses are growing, especially among older adults. Because treating it requires a lot of discomfort and money, the Trump administration is pushing for policies that will encourage more people to get dialysis treatment at home instead of in clinics, Politico reports.

The corporatization of hospital systems

A hospital sign with the 'H' replaced with a dollar sign.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Not-for-profit hospital systems increasingly operate more like corporate titans on the stock exchanges than the charities they promote themselves to be.

The big picture: As hospital systems have gotten larger, they have hosted more investor calls, released more financial data and attended more conferences and roadshows to attract banks and municipal debt buyers — all while health care spending continues to soar.