48 charged in prescription drug scheme; High-volume stroke centers provide better care;

> The U.S Attorney's Office of the Southern District of New York announced yesterday it had filed charges against 48 Medicaid recipients allegedly involved in a massive prescription drug fraud scheme. Federal prosecutors claim the 48 individuals participated in a black market scheme that resold prescription drugs for $62 million on the street, costing Medicaid roughly $500 million in reimbursements. Announcement

> Three programs are being recognized for their efforts to expand the scope of palliative and end-of-life care, the American Hospital Association announced Tuesday. On July 20, Akron Children's Hospital (Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center) in Akron, Ohio; Calvary Hospital in the Bronx, N.Y.; and Sharp HealthCare in San Diego will each receive the Circle of Life Award: Celebrating Innovation in Palliative and End-of-Life Care. Announcement (.pdf)  

> High-volume stroke centers deliver faster treatment and better outcomes, according to a study released Friday by the Emory University School of Medicine. University doctors say medical staff at high-volume stroke centers are more experienced and better prepared to quickly and efficiently restore blood flow to stroke patients, giving patients an 86 percent higher chance of survival. Statement

> Pre-term births declined from 2009 to 2010, according to a report by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. The proportion of infants born at less than 37 weeks of gestation fell to 12 percent, down from 12.2 percent in 2009. Statement

> The GOP yesterday released its spending bill for 2013, which would cut funding to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality funding, according to AHA News Now. The bill also could cut funding to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's prevention fund, and includes other conditions that would hinder current healthcare reform efforts. News brief

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