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POSTED October 14, 2013 9:53 p.m.

 

HOSPITAL CEO PAY, PATIENT OUTCOMES NOT IN SYNC: CHICAGO (AP) — CEOs at nonprofit hospitals earned an average of $600,000 a year — and in some cases, more than $3 million — but there was no correlation between high pay and good outcomes for patients, according to a new study.

CEOs were paid more at hospitals that got high patient satisfaction scores; used more high-tech equipment including advanced imaging machines; had more beds and were located in large urban areas. But pay wasn't reflected in 30-day outcomes for patients with heart attacks, heart failure, or pneumonia in 2008, including deaths and readmissions. Those are among publicly reported outcome measures used by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and others.

While these hospitals get big tax exemptions for providing charity care and other community benefits, the researchers said the top executives' annual pay wasn't tied to those measures, either.

CEO compensation varied widely, from less than $100,000 to more than $3 million but averaged almost $600,000 in 2009, the study found.

The results were "a little disappointing," said study author Dr. Ashish Jha, a health policy professor at Harvard's School of Public Health. To not hold CEOs accountable for whether patients live or die within 30 days of treatment "doesn't quite make sense," he said.

'UNBORN HUMAN BEINGS' QUESTION MAKES COLO. BALLOTS: DENVER (AP) — A ballot measure involving crimes and pregnant women will be on 2014 Colorado ballots.

Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced Monday that anti-abortion backers turned in signatures to put the ballot measure to voters next year. The question would direct state lawmakers to add "unborn human beings" to state criminal code.

Supporters say state law doesn't adequately punish crimes against pregnant women.

The measure is different from previous attempts to add so-called "personhood" measures to the constitution. Those measures have failed twice in Colorado.

ABQ TROLLEY CO. EXPANDS 'BREAKING BAD' TOURS IN NM: ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico trolley company that takes "Breaking Bad" fanatics on a tour around Albuquerque is lengthening its season.

The ABQ Trolley Co. says it has added new tour dates in October, The company will also offer tours of the sites where the show was filmed into the month of November.

"Breaking Bad" has wrapped up its fifth and final season filming in Albuquerque. The show followed Walter White, a struggling high school chemistry teacher who turns to a life of crime, producing and selling methamphetamine with a former student, Jesse Pinkman.

The trolley tours gives people outside views of the homes of Pinkman and White, a car wash, laundry, law office, restaurant and other filming locations.

CHICAGO MAN ACCUSED OF WIELDING AX DURING MUGGING: CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago man is being held on $250,000 bond after authorities say he used an ax during a mugging.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that 30-year-old Jimmie Ortiz is charged with armed robbery and appeared in court Sunday.

He was arrested Saturday afternoon after authorities say he wielded an ax and told someone inside a car to "give me your stuff." He tried to take a cellphone before being overpowered by witnesses.

ADVOCATES TARGET CHANGING NC SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BAN: ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A county official in North Carolina says he will accept marriage license applications from same-sex couples and seek an opinion from North Carolina's top lawyer.

A 2012 amendment to North Carolina's Constitution forbids same-sex couples from marrying. But Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger said Monday he will hold the licenses and then ask state Attorney General Roy Cooper for legal advice.

Reisinger said he had been forced to deny same-sex marriage licenses to "upstanding citizens," and he felt like that was not fair.

SON OF SLAIN SIKH TO CHALLENGE RYAN: MILWAUKEE (AP) — The son of a slain Sikh temple president plans to challenge U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan in next year's congressional election, in a Wisconsin district where support for the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee has been strong but slipping.

Amar Kaleka, 35, told The Associated Press he'll file paperwork Wednesday to form an exploratory congressional committee. He plans to formally announce his candidacy as a Democrat next month.

Kaleka said he wants to bring accountability and transparency back to Washington. He blamed the government shutdown on Ryan, who's the House Budget Committee chairman, and his GOP colleagues. He said citizens are tired of career politicians who care more about staying in power than serving the people.

"There's a fever in the nation, and specifically in this district, for our leaders to stop playing politics and do their jobs," Kaleka said. "All I want to do is bring democracy — a government of, for and by the people — back to America."

Kaleka's father, Satwant Singh Kaleka, was a small-business owner who founded the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in suburban Milwaukee. On Aug. 5, 2012, a white supremacist walked into the temple and opened fire, killing Kaleka and five others before taking his own life. The FBI was unable to determine a motive.

That was a turning point for Amar Kaleka, who grew up in Milwaukee and has been making documentaries in southern California for the past four years. He won an Emmy for his 2010 direction of Jacob's Turn, about a 4-year-old boy with Down syndrome who joins his first T-ball team.

LIZA MINNELLI PERFORMS WITH BROKEN WRIST IN NY: NEW YORK (AP) — The show went on for Liza Minnelli.

A spokesman for the 67-year-old entertainer said she performed Monday night with a broken wrist at a benefit concert in New York.

Minnelli broke her wrist in three places while rehearsing at home Sunday.

The "Cabaret" star performed with her sister, Lorna Luft. The event marked their first performance together in 20 years since their duet at the 1993 Tony Awards.

Minnelli returned to the hospital for further treatment immediately after the performance at the jazz club Birdland benefiting the Women's Health Initiative and the Dr. Philomena McAndrew Fund of Tower Cancer Research Foundation.

 

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