More CO-OPs receive state approvals; Montana officials unsure of Blue Cross, HCSC merger;

News From Around the Web:

> Several consumer operated and oriented plans (CO-OP) have received approval from various states to sell insurance alongside traditional health plans, LifeHealthPro reported. Article

> Montana officials aren't yet convinced that the state's Blue Cross Blue Shield plan should merge with Health Care Service Corporation. They're concerned the proposed affiliation won't be good for Montana consumers and are asking both insurers for commitments that could change their mind, according to the Helena Independent Record. Article

> Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has signed a new accountable care organization with Cornerstone Health Care, based in High Point, reported the Winston-Salem Journal. The deal is effective May 1 and involves 116 medical practices in 11 counties throughout the state. Article

Health Provider News:

> Surgeons treating victims of the Boston Marathon bombings were able to employ techniques their military counterparts learned from treating combat wounds, including prioritizing treatment of urgent, life-threatening medical problems. Article

> Healthcare spending nationwide increased 3.9 percent in February compared to the same time last year, according to new data from the Altarum Institute. Article

Health IT News:

> Of 432 healthcare executives, almost 93 percent said that they're more reliant on technology and are positive about the impact it's having on the industry. Article

> Medicare members are using MRIs less often in the last four years, possibly because they're more educated about the appropriateness of advanced imaging examinations. Article

And Finally… If your mother was a fainter, you probably are too. Article