Female docs spend more time with their patients; 270 healthcare groups oppose Medicare payments panel;

> Hospitals struggle to provide adequate care as hundreds of drugs remain in scarce supply, reports the Baltimore Sun. As a result, patients are getting less effective or more costly substitutes, or worse--no treatment at all. Article

> Indianapolis-based Franciscan St. Francis Health is defending itself against a report that said the hospital violates state law by not prominently disclosing its financial assistance program to potential patients, reports the Indianapolis Star. The nonprofit hospitals maintain that it makes patients aware of its financial assistance program with information on patients' bills and its website, in addition to offering financial counselors to answer questions. Article

> Prenatal doctors may need to get used to having male patients. According to research in published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, extending prenatal care to dads could help improve family and infant health, reports TIME. Article

> Female doctors are spending more time with their patients, on average, than male docs, according to Medscape's 2011 Physician Compensation Report. Most doctors spend between 13 and 16 minutes with a patient, yet the report found that women are more likely to spend more than 16 minutes with a patient (50 percent) than their male counterparts (42 percent). Report (reg. req.)

> Roughly 270 healthcare groups signed a letter to Congress calling for the repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel of experts appointed by the President that has the power to decide Medicare rates, reports The Hill's Healthwatch blog. Article

And Finally... Dancing docs remind colleagues to wash hands. Article

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