Hospital charges climb for 2006; LIBOR increase means trouble;

> According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, overall hospital charges climbed 8 percent in 2006--including a 15 percent growth in charges to the uninsured--while admissions grew only slightly. Article

> The London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) more than doubled last week, from 3.10 percent to 6.44 percent, a move that could hit healthcare borrowers hard, as auction-rate securities, variable rate demand bonds and bank letters of credit prices are based on this index. Article

> California voters will be considering in a few weeks whether to pay for a $980 million bond issue allowing children's hospitals to expand, improve facilities and buy medical equipment. The funding is intended to help make up for inadequate Medi-Cal reimbursements. Article

> While some hospitals have gotten skittish about new investments given the slowed economy and financial market crisis, Indianapolis-based Clarian Health is moving ahead with its plans to build a $180 million hospital and medical office complex. Article

And Finally... What's that big, orange thing flying through the air? And why is it up there in the first place? Article

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