Caregivers should take moment of silence after patient death; Inpatient Medicare patients to see higher hospital deductibles;

> Inpatient Medicare beneficiaries will see their first-day hospital deductible increase by $24 to $1,156 for Part A next year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced yesterday. The Part B annual deductible for 2012 is $140, down $22. Fact Sheet

> Northwestern Memorial Healthcare is in merger talks with Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare, both in Illinois, according to the ElmhurstPatch. The affiliation would enhance Northwestern's reach in the western suburbs and financially boost Elmhurst Memorial, which is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt. Article

> Cook County (Ill.) Health and Hospital System may face some serious funding and job cuts, thanks to a county budget proposed earlier this week, reports WBEZ. In 2012, the hospital system will receive only $252 million to care for much of the region's low-income residents, down from the $276 million it received in 2011. Hospital jobs will likely be part of the 1,057 proposed county layoffs. Article

> Care providers should take a 5-minute moment of silence after a patient dies, writes surgeon Pauline Chen in a BBC News column. The silent reflection gives closure and respect and also establishes a ritual for caregivers to acknowledge their own feelings, which will help them do a better job caring for the dying, she said. Article

And Finally... Halloween: There's an app for that. Article