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Health News 07/2008


Analyst comments lift Medco Health Solutions (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Shares of pharmacy benefits manager Medco Health Solutions Inc. rose Monday after an analyst said key contract wins and a successful strategy should help the company's profits.

Smoke ban for mental health units (BBC News)
A new rule in mental health units in England means smoking will not be allowed in hospital buildings or grounds.

Less Bingo, More Health Coverage Start Today (Washington Post)
Thousands of low-income parents will be eligible for health coverage under Medicaid starting today, and same-sex couples will have new rights, as 189 laws take effect in Maryland.

Jailed Myanmar journalist in ailing health: media watchdogs (AFP via Yahoo! News)
Media watchdogs on Tuesday condemned the prolonged detention of Myanmar journalist Win Tin, saying his health has seriously deteriorated in recent days.

New Conn. health plan accepting applications (AP via Yahoo! News)
Mariana Luari would like to provide her 12 employees at the Town Line Diner with health insurance, but she and her husband can't afford it.

Mental health care loses funds in 2nd vote (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Gov. Sonny Perdue succeeded Monday in rounding up enough votes to shift millions of dollars away from mental health care to fill other holes in the state budget.

Ahead of the Bell: Community Health Systems (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
A Citi Investment Research analyst expects Community Health Systems to at least reach Wall Street's profit estimates in the second quarter, and he upgraded the stock to "Hold" from "Sell" due to its price.

Health interventions around the kitchen table (Chicago Tribune)
During a brainstorming session on ways to implement health interventions for residents of Chicago's Austin neighborhood, someone tossed out an idea that struck a chord. How about inviting small groups of neighborhood residents to meetings in intimate settings similar to the homey way families swap stories around a kitchen table?

Opening Glance: Health care equipment and supplies (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Health care equipment and supply stocks fell early Tuesday, in line with the broader market, as Wall Street continued to pull back on concerns that higher energy costs will curb consumer spending, further straining the economy.

Opening Glance: Health stocks trade lower (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Health care providers and service stocks opened slightly lower Tuesday, with modest losses spread throughout the sector.

Preferred Health Systems Upgrades with SunGard (Insurance and Technology)
Preferred Health Systems will use SunGard’s EXP Macess to help improve customer service.

Top health official frustrated by salmonella probe (AP via Yahoo! News)
The Bush administration's top health official is expressing frustration that the salmonella outbreak from tainted tomatoes hasn't been solved yet.

Neogen buys product line from DuPont Animal Health (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Neogen Corp., which makes test kits for food and animal safety, said Tuesday it bought a product line from DuPont Animal Health Solutions for an undisclosed amount.

Coventry Health Care director buys shares (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
A director of Coventry Health Care Inc. bought 4,000 shares of common stock, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday.

Closing Glance: Health care stocks decline (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Shares of health care providers and service companies lost ground Tuesday as the markets endured an uneven session. Here are afternoon results from a few key stocks in the sector:

Pa. health info agency shut down by governor (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
The agency that monitors the cost and quality of Pennsylvania's health care system was pared down to a skeleton crew after a political stalemate at the Capitol allowed its funding to expire at midnight Monday.

Closing Glance: Health care equipment and supplies (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Health care equipment and supply stocks ended Tuesday mixed as investors found some solace in a better-than-expected sales report from General Motors. Rising oil prices, however, continued to weigh on the market.

Revolution Health's Lack of Health: Moving Away From B2B Focus; Consumer Only; Strategic Options? (paidContent.org via Yahoo! Finance)
Revolution Health, the high profile health information company founded by Steve Case, has been through its share of troubles over the last year or so: first it laid off about 60 employees from its Health Networks division eight months ago, and last month it laid off another 50 employees, about 20 percent of its present workforce, reports industry newsletter AISHealth.

Revolution Health's Lack of Health: Moving Away From B2B Focus; Consumer Only; Strategic Options? (CBS News)
Revolution Health, the high profile health information company founded by Steve Case, has been through its share of troubles over the last year or so: first it laid off about 60 employees from its Health Networks division eight months ago, and last month it laid off another 50 employees, about 20 percent of its present workforce, reports industry newsletter AISHealth. The company says the latest ...

One year later, health care in San Francisco not quite 'universal' (San Francisco Chronicle)
One year ago, San Francisco became the first city in the nation to attempt to provide universal health care to it residents. Twelve months later, some city residents wonder why the program is billed as universal when they're still getting turned away. When...

Go-ahead for £91m health projects (BBC News)
A Cynon Valley community hospital and new mental health units in Wrexham get final approval.

Healthwise Among the First to Receive NCQA Health Information Product Certification (Fox News)
Healthwise Interactive Tools Help People Make Better Health Decisions

Opening Glance: Health Care equipment and supplies (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Health care equipment and supply stocks rose early Wednesday as Wall Street opened mixed after a Commerce Department report that factory orders rose as expected in May.

Opening Glance: Health care shares gain ground (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Health care stocks rose in Wednesday morning trading, with insurers rising after UnitedHealth Group Inc. reduced its full-year profit and revenue forecasts as Wall Street expected.

Most Patients Happy with German Health Care (NPR)
German health benefits are very generous and there's usually little or no wait to get elective surgery or diagnostic tests, such as MRIs. It's one of the best health care systems in the world. It's visible in little ways that most Germans take for granted.

Health Highlights: July 2, 2008 (HealthDay via Yahoo! News)
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:

Two-Year-Old 'Picture of Health' After Six Heart Attacks (Fox News)
A year after having a heart transplant, a little girl who suffered six heart attacks by the age of 18 months is now the "picture of health."

In Switzerland, A Health Care Model For America? (NPR)
Switzerland's health care system could be the perfect political compromise for the U.S. Those who can afford to buy insurance are required by law. For those who can't, the government provides subsidies. Swiss citizens, like Cecile Crettol-Rappaz, say they wouldn't trade it for any other system.

Providence Health buys 245-bed Tarzana hospital (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Providence Health & Services will buy 245-bed Tarzana Medical Center from Tenet Healthcare Corp. for $89 million, a company official said Tuesday.

Why Health Care? Why Now? (NPR)
Europe spends far less on health care than the United States, while managing to cover all citizens and rank above the U.S. on most measures of good health.

EU tackles discrimination, boosts worker and health rights (AFP via Yahoo! News)
The EU unveiled Wednesday new plans to tackle discrimination against aged or handicapped people, strengthen workers' rights and clear up health care across Europe's borders.

Closing Glance: Health Care equipment and supplies (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Health care equipment and supply stocks were mixed in late trading Wednesday after oil prices surged to a new high and a government report showed that factory orders had their weakest performance in three months in May.

Sector Wrap: Health insurers are mixed (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Shares of health insurers ended mixed Wednesday after UnitedHealth Group Inc. reduced its outlook for the second time this year, a move Wall Street expected -- and one that analysts said contained some good news.

Closing Glance: Health stocks (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Health care stocks wavered in Wednesday's trading, with several health insurers rising in spite of an outlook reduction by UnitedHealth Group Inc.

Rising Health-Care Costs Hurt Small Biz (BusinessWeek)
A survey of some 4,000 self-employed individuals and business owners with 10 or fewer employees finds most can't afford to offer health insurance to employees

SPECIAL ARTICLE: Electronic Health Records in Ambulatory Care -- A National Survey of Physicians (New England Journal of Medicine)
This national survey finds that only 4% of physicians use an extensive, fully functional system for electronic health records, and 13% use some form of basic electronic records. Those who use electronic records are generally satisfied with the systems and believe that they improve the quality of care that patients receive.

Google, Microsoft Need to Share Health Partners (US News & World Report)
HealthVault manager says online services for health data don't want to fragment records.

French president says freed hostage in good health (AP via Yahoo! News)
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday that the newly freed Colombian-French hostage Ingrid Betancourt was in "good health" and her children would go to see her in Colombia.

European Plan Would Expand Health Care Access Within the Bloc (New York Times)
European Union residents would be able to receive most health care treatment anywhere in the 27-nation bloc without prior authorization under a proposal published on Wednesday.

At 60, Britain's health service needs reality check (Reuters via Yahoo! News)
Britain's National Health Service is famous for being free at the point of need, but analysts say that if the 60-year-old NHS is to serve an ageing and expanding population, the reality of its cost must be accepted.

Most Patients Happy With German Health Care (NPR)
German health benefits are very generous, and there's usually little or no wait to get elective surgery or diagnostic tests, such as MRIs. It's one of the best health care systems in the world. It's visible in little ways that most Germans take for granted.

Ahead of the Bell: Aetna and Health Net skid (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Shares of Aetna Inc. and Health Net Inc. were on pace to open at their lowest levels in years Thursday after a Goldman Sachs analyst downgraded the health insurers due to falling profit margins.

Opening Glance: Health care equipment and supplies (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Health care equipment and supply stocks mostly rose early Thursday after the Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate fell flat in June, as economists had expected, abating some concern about the job market.

Opening Glance: Health care stocks (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Shares of health insurers fell sharply Thursday morning, but other health care stocks were able to make gains. UnitedHealth Group Inc., which cut its profit forecast Wednesday, reached a 4 1/2-year low Thursday morning, and a Goldman Sachs analyst downgraded Aetna Inc. and Health Net Inc.

European Plan Would Expand Health Care Access Within the Bloc (NYTimes.com via Yahoo! Finance)
European Union residents would be able to receive most health care treatment anywhere in the 27-nation bloc without prior authorization under a proposal published on Wednesday.

Health Highlights: July 3, 2008 (HealthDay via Yahoo! News)
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:

Resveratrol found to improve health, but not longevity in aging mice on standard diet (EurekAlert!)
Treated mice tended to have better bone health, as measured by thickness, volume, mineral content and density, and bending stiffness compared to the non-treated control group.

Allegheny County Health Department inspecting gas pumps (BizJournals)
The Allegheny County Health Department said Thursday it is inspecting gas stations to make sure the air pollution control devices on gas pumps are working properly.

Health insurers tumble after analyst's dire note (Market Watch)
The nation's health insurers tumble into the red after an analyst issues dire warnings about the industry's prospects.

Sector Wrap: UnitedHealth drags health care stocks (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. sank to a five-year low Thursday amid weak growth prospects, and negative sentiment on the managed care sector from Goldman Sachs dragged down other health insurance stocks.

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