ALSO NOTED: Wis. considers payment reform; HCA gets Spring Hill CON; and much more...

> Wisconsin is the latest state to consider health care payment reform, with three proposals floating in the state legislature. Article

> HCA gets its CON for a new hospital in Spring Hill, TN, despite protests from nearby public facilities. The state Health Services and Development Agency cited rapid growth and traffic problems in the area as a reason to build the hospital locally rather than sending residents to hospitals 14 miles away. Article

> The FTC has slammed a Canadian telemarketing firm for selling bogus "health discount plans" to U.S. seniors, misrepresenting themselves as calling from insurance companies or government agencies, and billing fraudulent charges to consumers' credit cards or bank accounts. The defendants will pay $200,000 in consumer redress as part of the settlement. Article

> Merit Health Systems, Louisville, KY, has won its bid to acquire 347-bed Mountainside Hospital, which serves Montclair and Glen Ridge, NJ. The facility will be the largest owned by for-profit Merit, which was founded in 2002 and owns five other hospitals. Article

> A tight union vote hangs in the balance at three New Jersey hospitals, with both sides disputing the validity of some voters. Nurses voted on whether to be represented by Health Professionals and Allied Employees. The tally was 299-279 in favor. Article

And Finally... Hawaii has become the first state to explicitly allow women to take their placentas home from the hospital following childbirth. The Aloha State experienced a political uproar in 2005 after declaring placentas to be infectious waste; in many Polynesian cultures, the placenta is considered a sacred part of the child, and native Hawaiians often bury it in a religious ritual. Four families have taken their placentas home since the new law went into effect in April. Article