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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Today's Globe: insulin pump hurdle, Wightman sentence, healthcare costs, costly viral outbreak, medical vendor deal

The insulin pump that controls Gregory Hennick's diabetes is the size of a pager and fits in his pocket. He said it hasn't stopped him from working as a police officer during the summer or from running laps, working out at the gym, or doing just about anything else, until now. A state regulation bars anyone who wears an insulin pump from being hired as a full-time police officer in Massachusettss.

wightman150.bmpLouise Wightman (left) yesterday was sentenced to six months, suspended for five years, for her convictions on May 4 of larceny, filing false healthcare claims, and posing as a psychologist. Suffolk Superior Court Judge Nancy Staffier Holtz said the 47-year-old woman's exotic dancing career was not a factor in the criminal case.

To sustain the landmark Massachusetts health insurance initiative, the state must find ways to control the climbing costs of healthcare, policy-makers said yesterday at a forum on the first year of healthcare reform.

The coalition that put together the Massachusetts health reform law has to stick together to restrain healthcare inflation so that health insurance is affordable for all those who must buy it under the state mandate, a Globe editorial says, while Sally C. Pipes, president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute, writes on the op-ed page that the law's guardians have made certain that the plan will fall far short of achieving universal coverage.

The final financial toll of an outbreak of a stomach virus last winter has been tallied at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts. The state's largest health insurer yesterday reported a first-quarter loss of $31.9 million, compared to an $11.5 million profit a year ago, blaming a norovirus that led to a spike in healthcare costs.

Cardinal Health Inc.,
the second-largest U S drug distributor, agreed to acquire Viasys Healthcare Inc. for $1.45 billion to add respiratory-care products used in hospitals and expand global sales.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 06:23 AM
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