Retired surgeon convicted of Medicare fraud; Nonprofit hospital mergers have no end in sight;

> A retired Miami surgeon will serve two years in prison for Medicare fraud, reports the Miami Herald. Dr. Fred Dweck pleaded guilty last year to running a scheme that yielded $37 million in fraudulent claims and $22 million in payments between 2006 and 2009. Article

> Hospitals in Connecticut contribute $17.6 billion to the economy and generate 97,000 jobs, reports AHA News Now. Too bad that fiscal impact is in danger due to the proposed state budget, says Connecticut Hospital Association President and CEO Jennifer Jackson. Article

‎> More than half of the writers and reviewers involved in developing new heart treatment guidelines had conflicts of interest due to ties with drug makers and other companies, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Article 

> Hospital mergers will continue as hospitals face rising health care costs and low federal payment rates, industry experts tell the Hartford Courant. In particular, urban nonprofits are being forced to merge or form partnerships in order to operate. Article

> Nurse practitioners will be playing a greater role in providing primary care as California health systems develop medical home models of care, reports the Los Angeles Times. Proponents argue that allowing nurses to take on more primary care responsibilities will reduce unnecessary hospital visits and cut costs. Article

And Finally... This doctor takes "no smoking" seriously. Article