How to cut labor costs; Residents can unionize;

> Steps taken by Frederick (Maryland) Memorial Healthcare System to cut $5.1 million in labor costs include moving time clocks closer to departments where staff members work, using unit staffing levels to place new patients more efficiently, and deciding not to include shift differentials as paid time off, reports Becker's Hospital Review. Article

> The National Labor Relations Board has sided with the residents and interns at St. Barnabas Hospital in Bronx, N.Y., ruling that they are employees and have the right to unionize, reports the New York Daily News. Article

> Effective July 4, Medicare contractors will begin revalidating hospitals that are billing Medicare but are not established in the Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS). Medicare contractors also will double-check that these hospitals have current electronic funds transfer agreements. Hospitals are required to revalidate their enrollment information every five years. Hospitals that don't comply with revalidation won't be able to bill Medicare, according to Transmittal 713 (change request 6885). Transmittal

> Community Mercy Health Partners in Springfield, Ohio, is laying off 58 workers in its finance department as parent Catholic Health Partners centralizes the revenue cycle function in its Cincinnati headquarters, reports the Springfield News Sun. Article

> The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board has voted to allow Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanguard Health Systems Inc. to proceed with its purchase of two Illinois hospitals--West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park and Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park--for $40 million from the Catholic healthcare system Resurrection Health Care, reports the Chicago Tribune. Article

> Eleven-hospital St. Luke's Health System in Overland Park, Kan., has signed a new three-year contract with Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group Inc. effective Sept. 1. Their previous contract ended contentiously on Feb. 1, reports the Kansas City Business Journal. Article

And Finally... Wow, there's not much to say but 'Go Tweety, Go!' Article