ALSO NOTED: CMS changes am/surg payment rules; UPMC faces safety violations; and much more...

> A new CMS rule has changed the way ambulatory surgical centers are reimbursed, shifting its method to mirror that used for hospital outpatient departments and physician's offices. Article (reg. req.)

> The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has been cited for safety violations in offering gamma-knife radiation therapy. No patients appear to have been harmed, however. Article

> Atlanta's Grady Memorial Hospital may fall into a "death spiral" unless its board agrees to cede power to outsiders, critics say. Article

> U.S. Senators plan to meet this week to discuss whether the federal government should set up a national registry of gifts and payments made by pharmaceutical makers to physicians. Article

> A new federal bill would provide a health data "trust" which would serve as an intermediary between providers and health plans. FierceHealthIT

> The VA is planning to establish tougher data protection standards for portable storage devices. FierceHealthIT

And Finally...  Want to find out who's sick in your neighborhood? A new site has made pandemic monitoring a family sport. Blog