Morning CheckUp: December 6, 2011

Seniors save on prescription drugs: “More than 2.65 million Medicare recipients have saved more than $1.5 billion on their prescriptions this year, a $569-per-person average, while premiums have remained stable, the government plans to announce today.” [USA Today]

More access to quality: “The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services finalized rules Monday giving employers and consumer advocates broader access to Medicare data on the quality of healthcare providers.” [The Hill]

Health stocks hit by Medicare fears: “US healthcare stocks are extremely volatile amid fears that government healthcare providers will limit expensive heart, spine and orthopaedic treatments from the start of next year.” [Financial Times]

Surge in young nurses: “A surge in young nurses may ease forecasts of coming shortages as their baby-boomer coworkers retire. The past decade brought a 62 percent increase in the number of younger registered nurses entering the workforce, researchers reported Monday in the journal Health Affairs.” [AP]

Exchange in limbo in New Hampshire: “A final attempt to spend grant money allowing New Hampshire to plan a health insurance exchange as mandated by the federal health care overhaul has been held up by the state’s Executive Council and is again facing opposition from the Legislature’s Republican majority.” [Concord Monitor]

South Carolina may also put exchange on hold: “South Carolina shouldn’t bother to create its own health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act because federal rules for such exchanges remain uncertain, according to a report by panel of state health experts.” [The State]