Nearly all doctors think palliative care is important; West Penn Hospital is planning upgrades to compete with UPMC;

> The Rhode Island Department of Health has deemed the merger between Landmark Medical Center and Boston-based-Steward Health Care incomplete, according to an RI NPR blog post. Although the health department asked for adjustments, it couldn't say what was missing from the application. The hospitals must fix the application by Dec. 27. Blog post

> The medical board in Wisconsin reprimanded seven physicians who issued sick notes for protesters, reports Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The reprimands, which will stay on their records permanently and show up on a national database of physicians, required the doctors to pay $225 to $350 each for costs, as well as take four hours of continuing education courses on medical record keeping. Article

> Hospitals in Virginia are starting to institute smoke-free medical campuses, according to Wicked Local. Southcoast Health System is leading the way, prohibiting patients, visitors, and employees from smoking and using other tobacco products on all properties, including parking areas and vehicles on the properties, starting Jan. 1. Article

> West Penn Hospital is planning $18 million in upgrades during the next six months to compete with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Earlier this year, Highmark, which is funding the improvements, sued UPMC over a deceptive ad campaign. Article

> Nearly all doctors believe palliative care is essential, according to a new National Journal poll released Tuesday. In fact, 96 percent of 500 board-certified physicians surveyed said quality of life for dying patients is more important than ensuring they live as long as possible. Article

And Finally... Women are more likely to suffer from broken heart syndrome. Article