Patients

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.

At hospital nonprofits, lawsuits frequently target former patients

A patient waiting to leave the hospital
Photo: Darren Kemper/Corbis/VCG/Getty Images

Nonprofit hospitals are aggressive about suing patients to collect unpaid bills — in some ways, even more aggressive than their for-profit counterparts.

Driving the news: 36% of Virginia hospitals sued former patients and garnished their wages in 2017, according to a new study. And nonprofit hospitals account for the lion's share of those suits.