Medicare "trigger" delayed by House; Department of Energy helps hospitals get energy-efficient;

> The House of Representatives has approved a delay in taking action on the Medicare "trigger," a legal requirement saying that Congress would have to reduce spending if too much money came from the Medicare general fund. Article

> The U.S. Department of Energy has introduced a new program, EnergySmart Hospitals, offering tools, resources, case studies and design strategies to help hospitals increase energy efficiency. The DOE has set a goal of 20 percent improved efficiency in hospitals and 30 percent improvement over current standards in new construction for the project. Article

> The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has found that Medicare Part D pays an average of 30 percent more for drugs than Medicaid, resulting in an extra $3.7 billion for drugmakers during the first two years of the program. Article

> Sen. Chuck Grassley has introduced legislation that would give eight rural Iowa hospitals better financial treatment under Medicare. The hospitals involved are known as "tweener" hospitals because they're too large to be designated as critical access hospitals, but too small to be financially viable under the Medicare hospital prospective payment system. Article

And Finally... All these guys had was a monkey, but they made good use of it. Article