Dartmouth-Hitchcock offers early retirement to more than 700 workers; Healthcare costs pit unions, hospitals against each other;

> Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is offering early retirement to 725 nonclinical employees in an attempt to offset to the hospital's $96 million deficit, reports New Hampshire Public Radio. Article

> Hospitals' attempts to rein in costs are causing clashes between management and labor unions, reports the Boston Globe. Unions in Massachusetts are bargaining for better pension plans while hospitals are planning to cut jobs. Article

> Five hospitals owned by Baptist Healthcare System will about pay $8.9 million for allegedly overbilling Medicare, reports the Lexington Herald Leader. According to the settlement, the Kentucky hospitals used the wrong codes to describe services provided to patients. Article

> A judge has questioned whether Wisconsin's nonprofit hospitals--massive corporate structures with upscale amenities--should be tax exempt, according to The Capital Times. Tax exemptions put the financial burden on governments and citizen taxpayers, even as many states deal with severe budget cuts. Article

> Doctors claim the Medicare reimbursement process is geared more toward specialists than primary-care providers, notes HealthLeaders Media. In a lawsuit filed this week in U.S. District Court in Maryland, six Georgia physicians say the process has "systematically overvalued many specialty procedures while undervaluing primary care." Article

And Finally... Be happy at work; it could add years to your life. Article

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