Rhode Island Commissioner withdraws hospital payment rules; BCBS of Delaware to affiliate with Highmark;

> Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware's plan to affiliate with Highmark is moving forward, with a hearing now scheduled for Jan. 18 to hear from anyone hoping to become a formal party to the affiliation review proceedings, reports the News Journal. Article

> A judge invalidated a contract Louisiana awarded to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana to administer the HMO plan for state workers, retirees and their dependents, according to The Advocate. The judge agreed with Humana and UnitedHealthcare that the contract awarded earlier this year to Blue Cross was not the contract that was bid upon. Article

> Rhode Island Health Insurance Commissioner Christopher Koller withdrew his controversial new rules on hospital payments as they apply to negotiations between UnitedHealthcare and Care New England, notes the Providence Journal. Article

> Golden Rule Insurance Company, a UnitedHealthcare company, has introduced the Short Term Medical Copay as a new option for individuals and families who are looking for flexible, cost-effective temporary health insurance. Press Release

> And finally...  Doctors removed a knife from a patient's head--that was stuck there for three years. Article