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Curtis PickelleA lot of news happened in the past week. These are some of the items that caught my attention.

Business

Accountable Care Organization poster child Steward Health Care continues its aggressive roll-up strategy in the Boston market with the purchase of Quincey Medical Center. According to Mass. Market, it will soon own one out of five hospitals in the greater Boston area. Read more.

Insurers eager to cut costs and promote managed care are buying up physician groups finds a new Kaiser Health News report. Check it out here.

Three Ohio hospitals are ending their relationship with Santa Monica, Calif., based teleradiology provider Imaging Advantage and planning to use their own in-house radiologists starting next year, reports HealthImaging.com. Read the story.

Hard Realities

Fierce Health Finance’s review of Peter R. Orszag’s speech at the Healthcare Financial Management Association is interesting to trend watchers. Orszag was director of the Office of Management and Budget and a key architect of the financial contours of the Accountable Care Act. His take on the problem of runaway healthcare costs is that that onus is on providers to ration care based on research data. To support this providers need a safe harbor where a doctor that follows best practices cannot be held guilty of malpractice for not ordering a treatment or test. Read the story.

Looming Patient-Provider Conflicts?

Are hospital CEOs paid too much asks an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Read the story.

An online report on difficult patients by QuantiaMD kicked off fireworks by focusing in part on patients who use internet health information to challenge their doctors and tie up the provider’s time. CNN gives a good roundup about the issue, which may grow as patients demand more access to their personal health information. Read the CNN report.

Research

The Wall Street Journal does a nice job of putting the recent JAMA published findings on overuse of angioplasty in context. Read the article.

The Affordable Care Act is working for some, says new research from Harvard. In particular, it increases rates of preventive care like mammograms in poor patients. Read the press release.

EHR Adoption

Hurry, hurry, step right up and get your share of EHR adoption incentive bucks says CMS in a blog post that could have been written by the late Ed McMahon for Publishers Clearinghouse. Still the cash is real and the sign up process claims to be simple. Check it out.

Books

I'm currently reading Regina Hertzlinger's 2007 book Who killed health care? about the consumer driven model. A great book by someone I admire and respect. Available in hardcover and as an e-book.