Hospital uses concierge to provide unlimited service; Payers spend less than 1% of premiums on quality improvement;

News From Around the Web

> New York's Adirondack Health is laying off 18 full-time employees and reducing work hours for another 15 full- and part-time employees, according to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. Meanwhile, Abemarle Health in North Carolina is laying off 39 employees, keeping 45 positions vacant and reducing the salaries of executives, reported The Outer Banks Voice.

> Recent research shows critical differences between men and women in cardiovascular illness, cancer, liver disease, osteoporosis, and in the area of pharmacology, and the ramifications of these differences for treatment and prevention. Statement

> Providing "unlimited service," Monongahela (Pa.) Valley Hospital's concierge helps patients fill out forms or make doctor appointments, provides personal items such as deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, coordinates transportation home from the hospital, and even arranges hair dressers for those on extended stays, reported the Tribune-Review. Article

Health Insurance News

> For better care coordination and lower costs, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina joined forces with two providers to offer bundled payments for knee-replacement surgeries. Interview

> Insurers spent less than 1 percent of premiums--only $29 per member--to improve healthcare quality in 2011 under the reform law's medical-loss ratio provision, according to a new study. Article

And Finally… That must have been some late fee. Article