Federal report shows a need for research and data on LGBT health; Cost of retiree healthcare drops;

> There is a lack of significant research and data on the health status of the LGBT community, according to an Institute of Medicine report released today. The authors recommend collecting data on sexual orientation and gender identity in federal health surveys and programs and call on the National Institutes of Health to design a research agenda regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) health issues. Report

> Kaiser Permanente has launched a new doctor-shadowing partnership with Drexel University's Center for Graduate Studies in Sacramento, reports the Sacramento Business Journal. The full-time, 10-month program allows Drexel students an opportunity to shadow Kaiser physicians to see what it's like to be a doctor. Article

‎> The cost of retiree healthcare is dropping for the first time since Fidelity Investments began tracking health spending ten years ago, reports Reuters. The 8 percent decline from last year is attributed to changes to the Medicare prescription drug program in the Affordable Care Act that cut out-of-pocket spending by seniors. Article

> More than 2,000 U.S. doctors received $20.4 million in speaking fees from Merck in 2010, reports the Dow Jones. Thanks to health reform, drug makers will be required to disclosesuch physician- payment data to the government beginning in 2013. Article

> Hospital-acquired infections and medical harm remain a major concern for the American public. According to a new Consumer Reports survey, 77 percent expressed high or moderate concern that they or someone in their family might get hospital-acquired infection during treatment, 71 percent said they were highly or moderately worried about medication errors, and 65 percent were similarly concerned about surgical errors. Report

And Finally... Docs don't recommend the sofa cushion diet. Article