Finance Roundup—Hospitals' generic drug venture continues to grow; Advocate-Aurora merger set to close

A stethoscope and paper money.
Aurora Health Care and Advocate Healthcare are set to close their merger on April 1, plus more health finance headlines. (Getty/utah778)

Hospitals' nonprofit generic drug venture continues to grow 

nonprofit generic drug venture that is spearheaded by some of the country's largest hospitals is growing at a rapid clip. The drug venture, which aims to produce generics that are in short supply and lower the cost of off-patent medications, could include a third of the U.S. hospital market in short order, as it has drawn plenty of interest from across the nation. (Politico

Trumps signs 2018 omnibus spending bill, after threatening a veto 

Congress passed its omnibus spending bill—which includes funding for several healthcare programs—last week. President Donald Trump threatened to veto the measure, because it did not include funding he wanted for his planned wall on the Mexican border and did not address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. But he reluctantly agreed to sign the measure, as it boosts military spending. (FierceHealthcare

Advocate-Aurora merger set to close on April 1 

The planned merger between Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care has cleared its final regulatory review, and the deal is set to close on April 1. The united health system, which will operate as Advocate Aurora Health, will be the tenth largest in the nation. (FierceHealthcare

Antibiotic-resistant infections cost more than $2B each year 

Antibiotic resistance adds $1,000 to a patient's treatment costs, totaling more than $2 billion each year, according to a new study. The researchers found that the number of antibiotic-resistant infections has increased significantly as well, from about 5% of infections in 2002 to about 11% in 2014. (FierceHealthcare

Grays Harbor Community Hospital lays off nearly a quarter of its leaders 

Grays Harbor Community Hospital, a 105-bed facility in Aberdeen, Washington, laid off 24% of its leaders to cut costs, including C-suite level jobs that will not be replaced such as chief operating officer and chief financial officer. The hospital estimates that the cuts will save $1.25 million. (Announcement

White House report shows payers are seeing significant profits under the ACA 

Health insurers' stocks have performed well despite instability in the Affordable Care Act's exchanges, according to a new report from the Council of Economic Advisers. Stocks for health insurance companies skyrocketed by 272% between January 2014 and January 2018. (FierceHealthcare

Planning committee approves Providence Tarzana Medical Center's $542 million expansion 

Providence Tarzana Medical Center's plans for a $542 million expansion were approved by the Los Angeles City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee. If the full council approves, construction is expected to begin later this year, with the expansion set to be finished by 2022. The expansion would upgrade the hospital's emergency department, renovate its lobby and build a new patient wing. (Los Angeles Daily News

Drug prices continue to increase 

Despite political promises to bring down drug prices, the cost of medication continues to rise. The price of 20 medications increased by more than 200% over the past 14 months, a rate that far outstrips inflation. (Axios