Docs use group checkups to treat chronic illness; Children hospitalized longer if parents have limited English proficiency;

> Officials at Washington Hospital Center said they were forced to lay off 200 employees after the Washington, D.C. government hit them with an excessive bed tax, reports WJLA News. Hospitals in the nation's capital must pay $500 in taxes for every licensed bed they have--Washington Hospital Center has more than 900 beds. Article

> A task force of 20 community leaders is exploring long-term changes to how financially-troubled Jackson Health System is run, including a proposal to convert the government hospital system into an independent nonprofit, the Miami Herald reports. Article

> Raleigh, N.C.-based with Rex Healthcare has agreed to pay nearly $2 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit and federal investigation involving alleged Medicare overcharges for minimally invasive kyphoplasties, notes Thomson Reuters News & Insight. Article

> Amid a growing shortage of primary care physicians, docs are turning to group checkups to treat patients suffering with chronic illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure, and Parkinson's, reports the Associated Press. Article

> Hospitals ought to reevaluate the quality of their interpreter services, as sick children whose parents have limited English proficiency often have longer hospital stays, according to a new study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Press Release

And Finally... One word: Uncomfortable. Article