CO-OPs might be unable to pay back feds; Mississippi Blues reaches deal with University of Mississippi Medical Center;

News From Around the Web:

> Nonprofit, member-owned CO-OP plans might not be able to repay the federal government for the $6 billion in total startup loans they received, reported LifeHealthPro. Article

> Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi has reached a one-year contract agreement with the University of Mississippi Medical Center after six months of negotiations, according to the Associated Press. Article

Health Provider News:

> A neutral regulatory environment that doesn't favor one kind of provider or payer over another is key to the success of accountable care organizations, according to an analysis published in the August issue of Health Affairs. Article

> Hospitals are continuing their buying spree of physician practices, despite the challenges presented to doctors. Article

> Price increases on personal expenditures for healthcare goods and services reached their lowest levels in nearly half a century. Article

Health IT News:

> Although some physician practices have improved efficiency and patient satisfaction by using electronic communications, widespread adoption of such technology remains elusive, according to research published in the journal Health Affairs. Article

> Unless patients trust healthcare organizations to protect their digital health data, they may be unwilling to allow it to be shared--which could have life-threatening consequences. Article

And Finally… Take your hands off the Germans' sausage. Article