Prisoners made to shoulder healthcare costs; AHA tells Congress to be wary of AHIP merger data;

News From Around The Web

> The American Hospital Association has told Congress it should be skeptical of some of the research cited by America's Health Insurance Plans in support of pending mega-mergers among some of the nation's largest insurers, AHA News Now has reported. Article

> Uncompensated care costs at Minnesota hospitals dropped 6 percent last year--the biggest reduction in at least 20 years, according to the Tribune News Service. Article

> A recent study by the Brennan Center for Justice concluded that prisoners pay for part of the cost for their healthcare and are charged co-payments of a few dollars to as much as $100, Kaiser Health News reported. Article

Provider News

> "Merger mania" is sweeping the nation as hospitals, insurance companies and other healthcare institutions consolidate to help satisfy the mandates of the Affordable Care Act. While the conventional wisdom says that consolidation hurts care access and competition, one physician believes that when hospitals merge, patients actually benefit. Article

Healthcare IT News

> The Palo Alto VA Healthcare System put patient health information at risk during a pilot program with an outside vendor meant to improve its IT capabilities, according to a report from the Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Inspector General. The OIG was investigating a complaint alleging that the facility's chief of informatics formed an illegal agreement with the vendor, Kyron, and that sensitive patient information was transmitted outside of VA's firewall. Article

And finally...Doggone it.  Article