Medicare’s finances got much worse in the last couple of years, foreshadowing tough choices for the new government!

The latest Medicare projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) show the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt Medicare’s financial outlook, and foreshadow the tough choices facing the next President and Congress. According to CBO’s estimates, Medicare’s Hospital Insurance Trust Fund will have insufficient funds to cover all benefit costs beginning in 2024…

Hospitals charge a lot more when Wall Street owns them

Hospitals owned by private equity firms rake in almost 30% more income than hospitals that aren’t, according to new research published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine. Private equity is gobbling up more and more of the health care industry. Investors are buying up physicians’ practices, hospitals and the firms that negotiate prices with insurers. Their ownership of ambulance operations and…

Healthcare imploded in the second quarter

The U.S. economy shrank at an annualized 32.9% rate in the second quarter — the worst-ever contraction on records that date back to 1947. The staggering contraction beats the last record set in 1958 when GDP shrank at an annualized 10% rate. Any way you slice it, it’s an ugly, historic economic contraction. Widespread lockdowns…

Pharma keeps escalating prices amid the pandemic

Despite the crisis that the pandemic has created, drug companies have conducted business as usual hiking prices of 245 drugs since the start of the year, on par with prior years. More than 75% of the 245 price increases are related to COVID-19. The pandemic has put people with chronic diseases and acute health conditions…

Hospitals continue consolidating despite the pandemic

The pandemic has dried up big parts of hospitals’ businesses, and that’s why Congress established a $175 billion bailout fund to help them. At the same time, they’re spending millions on lawyers and advisers to explore deals that expand their business empires. When a merger or acquisition occurs in healthcare, the conjoining providers often say that…