FTC continues Phoebe merger challenge; Actors teach bedside manners;

> The Federal Trade Commission is continuing to challenge Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital's purchase of Palmyra Medical Center in Georgia, which the FTC says creates a monopoly. The FTC has until March 8 to appeal to the Supreme Court to overturn the sale, although the agency asked for an extension. Phoebe officials say it doesn't make sense to try to undo a merger that's already gone through, noting the merger occurred months ago. Article

> Cancer has the highest per-person price among the nation's 10 most expensive medical conditions, the Associated Press reported. The cost of treating cancer in the United States rose from a total of about $95.5 billion in 2000 to $124.6 billion in 2010. Article

> Americans are split on supporting the healthcare repeal, according to Gallup poll, reported Politico. The poll found nearly half (47 percent) of Americans want a GOP president to repeal the law, while the other half (44 percent) oppose a repeal. About three-quarters (72 percent) believe the individual mandate in health reform is unconstitutional, while 20 percent believe it is constitutional. Article

> Doctors are taking their cues on bedside manners from actors and executive coaches, according to Star Tribune. A coach from Talon Performance Group offers a patient interaction skills course, including communication and satisfaction building, for three months to a year at up to $5,900. Article

> Boston Medical Center plans to shut down its 12-bed acute-injury rehabilitation unit and outpatient clinic. This will result in layoffs for about 30 nurses and therapists, The Boston Globe reported. Article

And Finally... Happy National Pancake Day! Article