- The Pacific Business News reports that earlier today Walgreen's dropped its bid for the Long's Drug Store chains which means that the chain falls into the waiting arms of Caremark CVS.
- Congress has recessed for the November 4 election. AHIP's Washington Bulletin explains that
Lawmakers will return to Washington during the week of November 17-21 to conduct leadership elections and handle other organizational matters in preparation for the 2009 session. The Senate will consider a very brief legislative agenda that week, including a package of public lands bills, although there are no "must pass" bills awaiting congressional action at this time.
For the remainder of the year, both the Senate and the House – instead of adjourning – will continue to hold "pro forma" sessions so lawmakers will be able to reconvene on short notice if turmoil in the financial markets and the broader economy requires Congress to take further legislative action this year.
- Healthcare IT News reports that HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt hosted an e-prescribing conference in Boston this week to kick off the first phase of Medicare's mandate for e-prescribing which rolls out in January 2009.
- Speaking of IT, the AHIP Newswire reports that "nine research teams from across the country have unveiled innovative prototypes of personal health record (PHR) applications that provide a glimpse of the "next generation" of PHRs." The effort is part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Project Healthdesign. The prototypes focus on patients with different chronic illnesses and diseases, e.g., diabetes.
- The Washington Post reports that
Healthfinder.gov, the government's consumer health site, has just undergone its first overhaul since its debut 11 years ago, and the updates are worth a look. In addition to health news and links to government health agencies and vetted consumer groups, Healthfinder.gov now offers calculators, videos and interactive tools, many of them as good as or better than applications you'd buy for your computer or your iPhone, BlackBerry or similar mobile device.
- The Wall Street Journal reports that "Online health-information companies Waterfront Media and Revolution LLC's Revolution Health Network agreed to merge in a deal that could potentially threaten WebMD Health Corp.'s No. 1 spot."