Four Wisconsin hospitals to affiliate with Ascension; Texas mental hospitals need $1B for infrastructure;

News From Around The Web

> Affinity Health System, Columbia St. Mary's, Ministry Health Care and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare plan to merge into a single entity called Ascension Wisconsin, Healthcare IT News reported. Article

> Texas' publicly operated mental hospitals need at least $1 billion in funding to shore up their crumbling infrastructure, according to The Dallas Morning News. Article

> Hospitals are spending more on high-tech equipment and raising the fortunes of various companies, Investor's Business Daily reported. Article

Provider News

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services intends to incorporate sociodemographic factors into its methodology for determining hospital quality, but in the meantime, some providers are taking the initiative themselves, according to Kaiser Health News. St. Louis' Christian Hospital faces the loss of nearly $600,000 in Medicare payments due to readmission penalties, However, Steven Lipstein, CEO of the hospital's parent company, BJC HealthCare System, told KHN that if socioeconomic factors such as chronic illness and income were part of the equation, the penalty would be less than a quarter of that figure. Article

Healthcare IT News

> Telemedicine is a viable option for treating diabetes among prison populations, according to a study published in Telemedicine and e-Health. Researchers from SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse performed a chart review of telemedicine visits between an endocrinologist and 106 male diabetic inmates at 15 correctional facilities in upstate New York. Telemedicine addresses not only transportation and security costs for inmate doctor visits, but increases access to specialists, the authors note. Article

And Finally... Pair of glasses used to prank modern art museum. Article