HealthGrades says best hospitals have 30% lower mortality; Nurse guides keep seniors from returning to hospital;

> The best hospitals in the nation have a nearly a 30 percent lower mortality rate, according to a new report from HealthGrades released today. Most of those top-performing hospitals (87 percent) are non-profit. Announcement (.pdf)

> Meeting the American Heart Association's cardiovascular health metrics would help prevent premature deaths in the United States, according to research in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Study abstract

> Hospitals in Ontario, Canada use specially trained Geriatric Emergency Management nurses to help seniors avoid unnecessary hospital stays and to keep healthcare costs down, reported The Windsor Star. Thanks to GEM nurses, Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital saw seniors readmitted to the ER at a lower rate than the national average. Article

> As the FTC increases efforts to block hospital deals, the commission, along with the Idaho attorney general's office, is reviewing several of Boise-based St. Luke's Health System's physician practice acquisitions, the Idaho Statesman reported. Article

>  The Idaho Senate has approved legislation forbidding providers from denying end-of-life care to dying patients without the patient's consent, according to the Associated Press. Article

> With lagging patient volumes, Seattle-based Swedish Medical Center is losing $250,000 a day and likely will have to lay off workers, the CEO told employees Monday, according to the Seattle Times. Article

And Finally... A firm handshake signals better health. Article