Hospital leaders urge Congress to avoid funding cuts; Trinity Health, Mercy Hospital explore merger deal;

> Nearly one-fourth of companies fail to respond to consumers through social media, according to a study by MarketTools released last month. This highlights a missed opportunity in healthcare, especially as consumers pick hospitals based on their social media connections. Press release

> Jewish Hospital will pay $435,502 to settle claims that it overbilled Medicare for outpatient wound care services from January 2006 through February 2010, reports Business First. The hospital plans on paying the settlement by Nov. 17. Article

> More than 120 hospital leaders urged Congress yesterday to avoid making hospital care cuts as part of the deficit reduction plan, reports AHA News Now. They maintain that the funding cuts would jeopardize patient care, as well as remove much-needed jobs. News brief

> Counting nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified nurse midwives in the population-to-provider ratio is among recommendations given to Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on how to identify workforce shortages in medically underserved areas. Report (.pdf)

> In a move that would push recent healthcare M&As even further past 2010 deals, Michigan-based Trinity Health and Chicago-based Mercy Hospital & Medical Center have signed a letter of intent to merge, the latter announced yesterday. The affiliation process could be completed by the spring of 2012. Press release (.pdf)

And Finally... Hospital tests conducted on Egyptian mummy. Press release