FDA says it's not the root cause of the drug shortage; Tenet and Cigna collaborate in ACO;

> Eight hospitals fell below the national average in 30-day readmission rates for the disease categories of pneumonia, heart attack and heart failure, according to updated data of readmission and mortality rates by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Hospital Compare website, HealthLeaders Media reported. Fortunately, no hospitals fell below the national averages for 30-day mortality rates for those same disease categories. Article

> The Food and Drug Administration on Monday fired back at a House report that claimed the FDA was the root cause of the national drug shortage. In a letter to Congress, the FDA cited manufacturing production problems, raw material shortages and higher demand as the true root cause of more than half of all drug shortages. Letter (.pdf)

> Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corporation is continuing to collaborate with Cigna, headquartered in Bloomfield, Conn., on a joint ACO project under a renewed contract, the former announced yesterday. This partnership will allow Cigna customers access to health services at all hospitals and medical facilities owned, operated by and affiliated with Tenet. Both parties hope the ACO project will help improve quality care, decrease expenses and increase patient satisfaction. Statement

> The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation published a report (.pdf) in the Journal of General Internal Medicine on how to reduce racial and ethnic disparities. Researchers stressed the importance of identification and intervention to reduce disparities by focusing on cultural tailoring, collaboration with families and community members and interactive skill-based training. Statement

And Finally… That's quite a tax refund. Article