Contaminated alcohol prep-pads lead to international recall; American Nurses Association urges federal government to acknowledge the importance of RNs;

> Jefferson Regional Medical Center announced (.pdf) Tuesday that it plans to partner with Highmark, a Pittsburgh health insurer, according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the latest in the growing trend of provider-payer partnerships. Highmark has agreed to contribute up to $200 million to Jefferson to cover such costs as debt, pensions, and hospital expansion. Article

> Suspicious illnesses at a Colorado children's hospital in 2010 prompted an investigation that led to the discovery of alcohol prep pads contaminated with Bacillus cereus bacteria, according to The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. This discovery prompted an international recall of the alcohol prep pads, which are among the most widely used products in healthcare. Statement

> The role of a registered nurse is essential to care coordination, according to a new position paper from the American Nurses Association, released yesterday. The ANA urged the federal government to acknowledge the contribution of RNs to patient care and quality, which should be funded accordingly so as to continue the delivery of improved healthcare. Statement (.pdf)

> Carolinas HealthCare System announced yesterday that it has entered a management-services agreement with Cone Health in Greensboro, N.C. Both parties consider the agreement an affiliation rather than a merger, as Cone Health will remain independently owned and retain its identity. Announcement

> Forbes released a list Tuesday of how healthcare can become more consumer-friendly. The list highlights ways to prevent the loss of customers, which include no longer suing patients, discontinuing the posting of emergency room wait times and scrapping the hotel-like amenities in hospitals. List

And Finally... The "dog" set the house on fire. Article