More patients seeking hospice care; U.S. cancer death rates continue to drop;

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is working with a federal contractor to modernize its business processes and systems, the agency announced yesterday. The new entity also will identify "strategies for meeting statutory and programmatic requirements," including those in health reform, CMS said. Statement

> An estimated 1.58 million patients received hospice services in 2010, according to new data from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Amid the rising demand, almost 42 percent of all deaths in the United States took place under hospice care. Press release

> The latest report from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found that U.S. death rates from all cancers for men and women continued to decline between 2004 and 2008. "While we currently see declines in incidence of many cancers, if obesity continues at the current rates, I believe these improvements in incidences will reverse and increase over time," Jeffrey A. Meyerhardt, a colorectal cancer expert at Dana-Farber, said in a statement this week. Press release

> In Louisiana, Willis-Knighton Health System completed its purchase of Bossier Medical Center for $3.7 million, according to the Associated Press. Willis-Knighton plans to use the facility for nonprofit services and a conference center for health meetings. Article

And Finally... Batman gets pulled over. Article

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