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Daily Rounds: More For-Profit Hospitals; Fenway Smokeless Ban; FDA Asks: Do Food Dyes Make Kids Hyper?

Ranks of for-profit hospitals may grow in Mass. - The Boston Globe
For-profit health care is expanding in Massachusetts, with community hospitals in Taunton and Lowell expected to soon disclose deals to be sold, probably to Steward Health Care System, while other struggling nonprofit hospitals around the state ponder similar bids. Steward, the Boston for-profit company formed last year to run the six Caritas Christi hospitals in Eastern Massachusetts, appears to have the upper hand in bidding for Morton Hospital and Medical Center in Taunton, according to people briefed on the negotiations. It also has a preliminary agreement to buy Saints Medical Center in Lowell, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity because talks are confidential. (boston.com)

Officials seek Fenway ban on smokeless tobacco - BostonHerald.com
Local health officials looking to knock tobacco all the way out of Fenway Park are lining up behind a Washington, D.C., nonprofit to urge Major League Baseball and the players’ union to ban players, coaches and managers from using the smokeless variety at all games and ballparks. “I understand this issue as a former smoker, but I also feel like we all have roles to play as we’re adults, and making sure that we’re not modeling unhealthy behaviors is something we can all do and do easily,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of the Boston Public Health Commission, one of 15 top public health officials nationwide advocating for the ban with nonprofit Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “This would be another opportunity for our sports heroes to be heroes and really put out that very important image.” Smoking is already banned at Fenway.  (Boston Herald)Facing Concerns About Hyperactivity, Food Dyes To Get Grilling By FDA Panel : NPR
The Food and Drug Administration is meeting Wednesday and Thursday to examine whether artificial food dyes cause hyperactivity in children. Artificial food dyes are made from petroleum and approved for use by the FDA to enhance the color of processed foods. They've been around for decades and are found in everything from pudding to potato chips to soft drinks. But recent studies linking food coloring to hyperactivity in kids is causing some experts to call on the FDA ban foods containing them — or at least require a warning label. (npr.org)Hospitals increasingly offer palliative care - The Washington Post
If you’ve never heard of palliative care, you’re not alone. In a recent survey , only 24 percent of people said they were familiar with the term. Palliative care isn’t nearly as well known as, say, hospice care; in fact, people often confuse the two. Its use is growing fast, however, and 59 percent of hospitals with more than 50 beds now have palliative-care programs. Hospitals like this type of care because it appears to be cost-effective and may improve health outcomes. Patients — once they know about it — like it because it can make them feel better. (The Washington Post)

This program aired on March 30, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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