CMS cuts off payments to Maine psychiatric hospital; Correlation between spending, incidences of cancer;

News From Around The Web

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has suspended payments to Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta, Maine, due to what the agency contends is the use of improper restraints on patients, according to the Bangor Daily News. The decision cuts off up to $20 million a year in payments to the facility. Article

 A new study in the journal Annals of Oncology has detected a correlation between spending and higher incidences of cancer and lower mortality rates in 27 European countries it studied, suggesting the same correlation might be found elsewhere. Article

> A Georgia lawmaker has warned that the state must rein in spending on dual-eligible Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, saying it would face "serious trouble" without finding more efficient means of delivering care to this population, according to the Athens Banner-Herald. Article

Provider News

> The National Labor Relations Board has charged UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) with harassing and intimidating workers who are trying to form a union at several of its hospitals, the Pittsburgh Business Times reports. In addition, it claims the hospital network fired four workers for their union-organizing efforts. Article

Healthcare IT News

> During the government shutdown, health IT vendor athenahealth plans to monitor flu activity and issue updates accordingly. Such activity normally is conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which had to furlough nearly 9,000 workers during the budget fight in Washington. The CDC normally issues a weekly flu report, and the media helps announce disease outbreaks and launch public awareness campaigns. Without those reports, detection of flu trends could be delayed. Article

And finally...The 200-ton hospital challenge. Article