Hospitals challenge proposed Medicare payment changes; Physician charge database project launches;

> Hospitals are raising a stink over a provision in the House reform bill that would order the Institute of Medicine to study regional variations in Medicare spending, and recommend changes promoting "quality and value." Urban hospitals say this approach could unfairly target them, arguing that it may could payments in areas where costs grow most rapidly. Article

> New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced this week that the non-profit tasked with developing a fair, out-of-network physician ratings database had officially launched. The database is designed to replace a popular one maintained by UnitedHealth Group subsidiary Ingenix, which allegedly understated standard physician fees dramatically. Article

> Gallatin, Tenn.-based Sumner Regional Health System is working to recover from bad times, setting plans to sell 20 pieces of property and entertaining a buyout offer. The system is facing financial troubles, and recently had $150 million in bonds downgraded by Fitch. Article

> A group of nine New Jersey hospitals have launched a pilot program designed to make sure that no infant leaves their facility without health insurance. The program is a joint effort between the state Department of Health and Senior Services and the New Jersey Hospital Association. Article

And Finally... You know, I'm as big a fan of the iPhone as anyone--but I sincerely doubt this app would work as billed. Article