Outpatient data left out with focus on inpatient safety; Hospital CEO gets merit increase amid rising hospital property tax;

> Two senators are pushing the Medicare and Medicaid Fighting Fraud and Abuse to Save Taxpayers' Dollars Act, urging Acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner to increase anti-fraud measures. According to a letter written yesterday by Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.), "a large number of common-sense measures" remain unimplemented. Letter (.pdf)

> Enhanced emphasis on the safety of inpatients has left outpatient data lacking, according to an American Medical News article. In fact, the industry still doesn't have a nationwide estimate of the number of patients harmed or killed by mistakes in the outpatient setting. Article

> South Jersey Health System signed a merger agreement with Woodbury-based Underwood-Memorial Health System to become one of the region's largest hospital systems, reports The Daily Journal. The health systems expect state and federal approvals this spring. Article

> Thanks to a 1.5 percent merit raise, University Medical Center CEO will receive a base salary of $430,580 a year, reports the El Paso Times. Meanwhile, a hospital property tax increase was approved September 2011, following a $22 million annual loss in state funds and rising healthcare costs for uninsured patients. Article

> The Texas health department is spending more than $100,000 on windows at 10 state psychiatric hospitals after allegations that a physician sexually abused patients in rooms without windows, reports the American-Statesman. Article

And Finally... Older people are happier. Press release