Texas state hospital privatization deal called off; Premature deaths drop in most counties between 2006 and 2012;

News From Around the Web

> Premature deaths declined in 60 percent of the nation's counties between 2004 and 2006 and 2010-2012, with the District of Columbia seeing the greatest decrease, according to county health rankings released this week by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Report (pdf)

> Akron General Health System in Ohio has launched a high-tech effort to help rural residents get quicker access to life-saving medical care for deadly heart attacks. Announcement

> A plan to privatize Terrell State Hospital was called off by the Texas Health and Human Services Department following a report from State Auditor John Keel stating the health commission did not follow its own contracting procedures, according to the Texas Tribune. Article

Health Payer News

> Cigna and California-based SCAN Health Plan have formed an alliance to provide Medicare Advantage plan benefits to employer clients in California, the insurer recently announced. Article

> Humana's recent sale of Concentra shows that the company intends to shift its strategy of integrating healthcare operations with its core insurance offerings. Article

And Finally… You pelican run but you pelican't hide. Article