ALSO NOTED: US drugmakers face financial downgrades next year; Providers getting on board with NPI quickly; and much more...

> Next year could be a grim one financially for U.S. drug manufacturers, who can expect to see their credit ratings drop thanks to patent expirations, generic competition and regulatory challenges. FiercePharma

> Last week, it was death and chaos all around. But this week, providers have made tremendous strides in using the National Provider Identifier number correctly on Medicare and Medicaid claims. FierceHealthFinance

> In Canada, one in nine patients show up at the ED because of medication problems. Blog

> The Wall Street Journal officially takes note of the obvious--that family doctors are a scarce commodity. Blog

And Finally...  Here's baby Dillon, showing us that under the right circumstances, even a routine echocardiogram can be blindingly cute. Video

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