Health Inc. : Shots - Health News As spending on care rises, the business of health keeps getting more important. We feature news on and analysis of drugmakers, health insurers, hospitals, doctors and others in the business of providing health care.

Proponents of hospital mergers say the change can help struggling nonprofit hospitals "thrive," with an infusion of cash to invest in updated technology and top clinical staff. But research shows the price of care, especially for low-income patients, usually rises when a hospital joins a for-profit corporation. Jens Magnusson/Getty Images/Ikon Images hide caption

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Jens Magnusson/Getty Images/Ikon Images
Paul Blow for NPR

Investigation: Patients' Drug Options Under Medicaid Heavily Influenced By Drugmakers

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Justin Volz for ProPublica

Health Insurers Are Vacuuming Up Details About You — And It Could Raise Your Rates

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The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act still prohibits your insurer from using the results of genetic tests against you. But the ACA's additional protections may be in doubt if certain states get their way. Gary Waters/Ikon Images/Getty Images hide caption

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Gary Waters/Ikon Images/Getty Images

Struggling to stay afloat, a rural hospital in Missouri took a chance on new managers. Dan Margolies/KCUR hide caption

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Dan Margolies/KCUR

Vulnerable Rural Hospitals Face Tough Decisions On Questionable Billing Schemes

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Gilead Sciences makes Truvada, a medicine known generically as "pre-exposure prophylaxis," or PrEP. Consistent, daily doses of the drug are thought to reduce the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90 percent. Paul Sakuma/AP hide caption

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Paul Sakuma/AP

In his new job overseeing health coverage for 1.2 million workers and their families, Atul Gawande says he hopes to find specific ways to make health care more efficient and the solutions exportable. Dan Bayer /The Aspen Institute via Flickr hide caption

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Dan Bayer /The Aspen Institute via Flickr

Dr. Atul Gawande has been picked to lead the high-profile joint venture in health care formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase. Mint/Hindustan Times via Getty Images hide caption

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Mint/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Atul Gawande: Medicine Has Become A Team Sport.

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Deborah Ann Favorite holds a photograph of her mother, Elaine Essa. A nursing home and Essa's primary care practice paid to settle a lawsuit brought by the family. Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News hide caption

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Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News

CRISPR and other gene technology is exciting, but shouldn't be seen as a panacea for treating illness linked to genetic mutations, says science columnist and author Carl Zimmer. It's still early days for the clinical applications of research. Westend61/Getty Images hide caption

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Westend61/Getty Images

A Science Writer Explores The 'Perversions And Potential' Of Genetic Tests

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Emergencies happen at all hours, but the cost of staffing an emergency department at night is higher than by day, according to emergency care providers. Edwin Remsburg/VW Pics/UIG via Getty Images hide caption

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Edwin Remsburg/VW Pics/UIG via Getty Images

Some personal injury law firms now automatically target online ads at anyone who enters a nearby hospital's emergency room and has a cellphone. The ads may show up on multiple devices for more than a month. sshepard/Getty Images hide caption

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Digital Ambulance Chasers? Law Firms Send Ads To Patients' Phones Inside ERs

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"As bad as NYU is, Aetna is equally culpable because Aetna's job was to be the checks and balances and to be my advocate," said Michael Frank, seen at his home in Port Chester, N.Y. Annie Tritt for ProPublica hide caption

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Annie Tritt for ProPublica

California is starting to push hospitals throughout the state to lower their rates of medically unnecessary C-sections. Thanasis Zovoilis/Getty Images hide caption

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Thanasis Zovoilis/Getty Images

California's Message To Hospitals: Shape Up Or Lose 'In-Network' Status

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DNA isolated from a small sample of saliva or blood can yield information, fairly inexpensively, about a person's relative risk of developing dozens of diseases or medical conditions. GIPhotoStock/Cultura RF/Getty Images hide caption

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GIPhotoStock/Cultura RF/Getty Images

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar talked Friday about the administration's plans to lower drug prices as President Trump looked on in the White House Rose Garden. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Patients with private insurance like the drug coupons because they can help make specialty medicines more affordable. But health care analysts say the coupons may also discourage patients from considering appropriate lower-cost alternatives, including generic drugs. DNY59/Getty Images hide caption

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DNY59/Getty Images

Under the Affordable Care Act, many insurance plans are required to cover a range of essential services, such as hospitalization and prescription drugs. But reimbursement for certain medical equipment — such as crutches or a leg boot after an injury — varies widely from plan to plan. tirc83/Getty Images hide caption

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