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Healthcare Roundup: Stent Makers Pay Up, New York Pays Hospitals to Close, and More

Stent makers forced to pay J&J $1.2B -- Medtronic and Boston Scientific lost separate patent-infringement cases regarding their bare-metal stents to Johnson & Johnson, and now owe J&J $521 million and $703 million, respectively. Oddly enough, Boston Scientific pulled the offending blood-vessel scaffolds from the market four years ago. [Source: WSJ Health Blog]

New York offers $1.3B for healthcare-facility restructuring -- The state of New York is apparently in the midst of a forceful restructuring of its healthcare infrastructure, with state policy requiring the closure and merger of various hospitals and nursing homes. The latest step: An additional $280 million in grants, which now total $1.26 billion, for facilities to make the necessary transitions. [Source: FierceHealthcare]

AHRQ gives $3M for preventing central-line infections -- The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality gave a $3 million grant to a trust affiliated with the American Hospital Association in order to prevent central-line infections, one of the leading causes of hospital-acquired infections. The grant appears to build on pioneering work by Johns Hopkins doctor Peter Provonost, who worked out ways to boil down complicated lists of safety procedures into a few key principles that govern care and prevent medical errors. [Source: Modern Healthcare]

Bailout bill also a vote for mental-health parity -- If the politics of the financial bailout bill weren't complicated enough for you, here's the healthcare angle: The Senate bill actually also requires employer-provided health plans to cover mental illness on the same basis that they cover physical illness. The reasons are procedural and complicated, but the fact remains: The bailout bill may also be good for your mental health, and not necessarily in the ways you think. [Source: WSJ Health Blog]

Health Wonk Review is up at Healthcare Economist -- For a biweekly helping of healthcare discussion and analysis, check out Health Wonk Review, hosted this week by the able Healthcare Economist, Jason Shafrin. [Source: Healthcare Economist]

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