MedStar Washington Hospital Center lays off 300; Doctors to be more aggressive about patients' weight;

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> Due to an $8.5 million shortfall in its budget and mounting financial pressure, MedStar Washington Hospital Center laid off 300 employees last week, according to the Washington PostArticle

> New medical profession guidelines mean doctors will be more aggressive with patients regarding their weight thanks to a new effort to help fight the nation's obesity epidemic, according to the Minneapolis Star TribuneArticle

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced the CMS Virtual Research Data Center, an internet portal that allows access to CMS-collected healthcare data for research and analysis. Portal

Health Payer News

> As the federal health insurance exchange continues to falter amid technical problems, companies are continuing to launch their own private exchanges that could eventually compete alongside the public marketplaces. Article

> Kaiser Permanente is turning to the retail front to help sell plans on and off California's health insurance exchange and to help inform the public about its coverage options now that so many new consumers will be shopping for coverage for the first time. Article

And finally…Will these ads really sell healthcare? Article

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