ALSO NOTED: Congress investigates single-use medical devices; First Consulting to team with Northrup; and much more...

> AHRQ released a report finding that disparities in the healthcare system are growing, particularly in minority communities. Article

> First Consulting Group will work with Northrup Grumann on the prototype for a national health information network. Article

> A panel of scientists at Seoul National University issued a report yesterday that Hwang Woo-suk fabricated all of his embryonic stem cell work. Report

> Congress will investigate the reprocessing of single-use medical devices, following a report on the practice that ran in The Washington Post in December. Article

> Massachusetts is the latest state to guarantee Medicare prescriptions. Officials say the move will cost between $1 million and $2 million a day. Article

> Evanston, IL-based Northfield Labs won a restraining order against the San Diego Reader prohibiting the newspaper from publishing an article on the blood substitute Polyheme. The paper reported that clinical trials at hospitals across the country have relied on patients unable to give consent. Article

> The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey must turn over records to a federal monitor charged with correcting the school's financial problems. Article

> In a Health Affairs analysis, UCLA's Jack Needleman examines the business case for increasing nurse staffing levels. Article

> Shares of San Clemente, CA-based Biolase were up 12 percent after the company announced fourth-quarter revenue of $18 million. Biolase markets laser technology for medical and dental markets. Release

> OTC cough drops are next to useless, a new report concludes. The problem is that companies cannot increase their dextrometamorphin content for fear of abuse. Article

> Chutes & Ladders: Stung by recent criticism of its business model, Dallas-based Teladoc has appointed Dr. Robert Kramer to handle advocacy and outreach to doctors and hospitals. Article

> Chutes & Ladders: In Chicago, Northwestern Memorial Medical Center president Gary Mecklenburg said he will retire effective Sept. 1st. Article

And Finally... Today is the last day to vote in the 2005 medical weblog awards! Blog