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Healthcare Roundup: Revolution Health Vanishes, Cardinal Health Penalized, and More

Revolution Health merges with Waterfront Media in $300M deal -- So the rumors were true. Steve Case's once-flashy startup, Revolution Health Network, agreed last week to merge with Waterfront Media, owner of several online-health Web sites, in a $300 million deal. Case will continue to run Revolution LLC, which will become a major investor in Waterfront. [Source: NYT]

Cardinal Health pays $34M settlement for painkiller scandal -- The medical-products distributor Cardinal Health will pay $34 million to seven U.S. attorneys' offices to settle allegations that it failed to report suspicious Internet orders of the opioid painkiller hydrocodone. The company admitted no wrongdoing, and will now be able to resume distribution of the drugs. [Source: Modern Healthcare, WSJ]

Hospitals have incentive to underreport infections -- A new Government Accountability Office report noted that hospitals that "self-report" cases of clinically acquired infections may be fudging the numbers to make themselves look better. The GAO didn't find any evidence of numerical game-playing, but noted that of 23 states that mandate such reports, only four have plans to audit the data to ensure that hospitals aren't hiding or reclassifying such infections. [Source: Modern Healthcare]

Quality of care at commercial health plans continues to rise -- Data from the National Committee for Quality Assurance shows that quality at private health plans rose for a ninth straight year, while that at Medicare and Medicaid lagged. The NCQA tracks how well various health systems deliver the appropriate care to patients based on various clinical measures and established evidence; it showed that commercial plans improved on 44 of 54 measures, while traditional Medicare gained on only 26 of 52. [Source: Modern Healthcare]

Court stops expansion of San Fernando Valley hospital -- A California judge told Providence Holy Cross Medical Center to halt construction of a $180 million expansion project pending further review by the LA City Council, which will decide if further environmental study is necessary. Local residents and the Service Employees International Union oppose the expansion. [Source: LAT]

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