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Business Latest: Patient safety improving

PATIENT SAFETY IMPROVING: About 50,000 fewer patients died from hospital-acquired conditions from 2010 to 2013, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced Tuesday. The unprecedented drop coincides with a concerted effort to tackle patient safety issues in hospitals. In addition to fewer deaths, there has been a 1.3 million, or 17%, drop in the overall number of such conditions contracted while hospitalized, leading to about $12 billion in health care cost-savings. “These are huge numbers,” one official said. Drops in hospital-acquired conditions accelerated in latter half of the time period. While precise cause of big drop is “not fully understood,” officials note it came at same time as Obamacare’s penalization of hospitals for high-rates of re-admissions, and partnerships to improve safety at acute-care hospitals. Read more

GAS PRICES ARE FALLING, BUT HYBRID PRODUCTION IS NOT: Prices at the pump are falling but production plans for hybrids and electric vehicles are not. “Hybrids may be struggling a bit right now, but automakers are not changing their plans to build those vehicles,” said Michael Robinet with IHS Automotive. In fact, just the opposite is happening. Automakers are gearing up for greater production of electric, fuel-cell and hybrid vehicles. Read more

THE REAL ENERGY THREAT: It isn’t Saudi Arabia or OPEC. Read more  

STOCKS RISE ON CAR SALES; DOW ENDS AT ANOTHER RECORD: Read more

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Business Latest: Patient safety improving