ALSO NOTED: Colorado posts death rates; Sierra, HCA wrangle over contract; and much more...

> Sierra Health Services, Nevada's largest insurer, is nearing the end of its contract with three HCA hospitals in Las Vegas. Both sides hope they can renegotiate a contract before time runs out. Article

> In Florida, HCA has started a program to ease ER overcrowding. HCA hospitals will refer non-emergency patients to nearby clinics. Critics say the program will only serve to shift non-emergency patients to not-for-profit hospitals. Article

> At the Piper Report, Kevin Piper examines the impact the Deficit Reduction Act will have on CMS's abilities to control Medicaid fraud. Blog

> Under pressure from employers, the Colorado Health and Hospital Association updated death rates for 11 common conditions. The information was posted for the first time last year. Report

And Finally… The FDA has approved the AbioCor Implantable Replacement Heart for patients with advanced heart failure that aren't eligible to receive a heart transplant. Report