Medicare spends $103 billion on drugs; Florida lawmakers shut down legislature over Medicaid expansion;

News From Around The Web

> Medicare spent $103 billion on pharmaceuticals in 2013, with 14 drugs costing the programs more than $1 billion apiece, Kaiser Health News reported. Article

> Florida lawmakers, bitterly divided over the expansion of Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, have partially shut down the legislature as a result, and will debate the next steps with Gov. Rick Scott, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Article

> The state of New York may provide $88 million to help consolidate two hospitals in Kingston in the coming years, the Times Herald-Record reported. Article

Provider News

> Although reducing readmissions has long been a goal for Ascension Health, efforts reached a peak five years ago when the system began a series of pilot programs that focused on readmissions from the patient's perspective. For Ann Hendrich, R.N., Ph.D., senior vice president of quality and safety and executive director patient safety organization at Ascension Health, the largest non-profit health system in the country and the world's largest Catholic health system, the biggest challenge is taking some of the more successful pilots and scaling them to fit larger populations. Article

Healthcare IT News

> The Cleveland Clinic is focusing on making data useful rather than just interesting as part of its push to embed data analytics into its core culture, according to an article at Healthcare Informatics. It has the benefit of a structured data repository that sits behind the electronic medical record for data mining and report generation, but operates separately, Eric Hixson, senior program administrator in the clinic's Business Intelligence Department, explains in an interview. Article

And Finally... A 79-year-old kidney donor. Article