Good heart failure programs will be penalized for high readmissions; St. Mary's Hospital refunds $90K for improper billing;

> Even hospitals with 5-star heart failure programs will be penalized for high congestive heart failure readmissions starting next fall, reported The Chicago Tribune. Regardless of good programs, safety-net hospitals that treat a high number of low-income patients face tough financial penalties. Article

> Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital in Maryland refunded nearly $90,0000 to Medicare for incorrectly billing 17 same-day readmissions between 2008 and 2010, reported the Richmond Times Dispatch. As of August, the hospital has been using new procedures to review same-day readmissions. Article

> About 100 hospitals in Wisconsin are participating in a statewide initiative to cut down on readmissions and infections, according to the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. The program, funded through reform, aims to reduce healthcare spending and improve care. Article

> As independent hospitals continue to fight the consolidation trend in the Philadelphia area, several freestanding, nonprofit hospitals in the Boston suburbs are resisting mergers with larger Massachusetts health systems, reported the North Andover Citizen. Article

> Thousands of nurses walked off the job today at 80 Kaiser Permanente facilities in Southern California, according to MissionViejoPatch. The union said it gave 10 days' notice of the strike to minimize disruption to patients. Article

And Finally... In a win for female drivers, women are better at parking. Article

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