Healthcare cost-cutting bill passes in Massachusetts; NYU Langone Medical Center, Continuum Health Partners talk massive merger;

> The Massachusetts House yesterday passed a healthcare cost-cutting bill, by a whopping majority, according to Common Health. Despite critics who worry this bill will increase insurance premiums, the House plans to fund a campaign to promote healthy lifestyles, maintaining that prevention is the key component in controlling healthcare costs. Article

> Sutter Health will invest $20 million over three years to expand its research and development functions, the California  health system announced Tuesday. Research teams will focus on the creation and launch of new products and the development of transformative care solutions, particularly focusing on patient-centric care. Announcement

>The recent Illinois legislation that defined charity care criteria for property tax exemptions could be a positive development for non-profit hospitals in the state, according to a report from Fitch Ratings.The bill is expected to raise $700 million for Medicaid by increasing taxes on cigarettes, and physicians will be paid subsides for charitable practices, such as treating low-income patients and promoting education programs. Statement

> In an effort to lower healthcare costs and improve care delivery, NYU Langone Medical Center and Continuum Health Partners are considering a merger, which would create one of the largest systems in New York City, reported The New York Times. The combined organization will likely create massive competition and put pressure on other medical practices, particularly academic and training medical facilities. Article

And Finally... Reality TV heading to Mars. Article