Blood infections cost hospitals $15.4B in 2009; Worst hospitals treat more poor, minorities;

> The "worst" hospitals (low-quality, high-cost facilities) treat twice as many poor, minority patients as the "best" hospitals (typically nonprofit institutions in the Northeast), according to a study in Health Affairs. The findings suggest that the worst institutions will have to improve on both cost and quality to avoid worsening disparities in care. Study abstract

> With questions of whether big pharma is cooking up the current drug shortage, comes news that the the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is looking into drug markups at hospitals, reports the Wall Street Journal. Article (sub. req.)

> Blood infections cost hospitals $15.4 billion in 2009, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Septicemia, an illness caused by blood infections with bacteria, was the single most expensive condition treated in U.S. hospitals. Report

> Washington-based Providence Health & Services and Swedish Health Services will collaborate to create a new nonprofit system, both companies announced earlier this week. Under the proposed plan, Providence will keep its name and its Catholic identity, and Swedish will keep its name and remain non-faith-based. Announcement

And Finally... No car? No marriage. Article