Hospital and health plan mergers are expected to accelerate; New healthcare commission reviews costs in Alaska;

> Mergers among hospitals and health plans are expected to accelerate, according to American Medical News. The publication cited cost pressures and the fact that healthcare reform financially encourages organizations to be larger. Article

> A new healthcare commission created by the state Legislature in Alaska will look at the state's healthcare costs, and how they will be affected by healthcare reform. It has determined that Alaskans up to the age of 34 will have about $560 a year in additional costs under reform, while older Alaskans will pay less or even experience cost savings. Article

> California has launched a new pool to provide insurance coverage for those applicants who have pre-existing medical conditions. The pool is intended to bridge the coverage gap until 2014, when insurers most cover everyone. Article

And finally ... Not your grandmother's wheelchair. Article