Healthcare quality, cost, access vary by region; UMass Memorial CEO to retire after 10 years;

> A new report from The Commonwealth Fund Quality finds drastic variations in quality, cost and access depending on area. The top-performing areas are concentrated in the Upper Midwest and Northeast. Report

> Mayo Clinic Care Network will add CentraCare's Coborn Cancer Center as its first cancer-specific member, the Mayo Clinic announced yesterday. Under the acquisition, the cancer center will remain independent. Statement

> Although provider empathy leads to more satisfied patients and curbs the risk of malpractice suits and errors, a study published this month in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education found that empathy training doesn't last, reported The Philadelphia Inquirer. Article

> Southern states have the lowest overall health scores, according to the latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey. The annual poll found that West Virginia has the lowest well-being in the nation (62.3), followed by Kentucky (63.3) and Mississippi (63.4), according to the American Medical News. Article

> The president and CEO of UMass Memorial Health Care will leave the post in early 2013, reported the Telegram & Gazette. John G. O'Brien is retiring after leading the nonprofit academic health system for 10 years. Article

And Finally... Biased decision making leads to poor choices, depression. Press release