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Shots - Health Blog
2:37 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Medicare Dings Hospitals For Too Many Repeat Customers

Denver Health has a network of clinics to keep track of patients discharged from its hospital.
Denver Health

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 9:14 am

A paradox of American health care is that hospitals are sometimes rewarded for doing things badly.

Patients who are discharged, for example, shouldn't have to come right back because they got worse after getting home. But if they do come back, hospitals benefit because they can fill an empty bed and bill for more care.

The federal government says, in fact, that Medicare alone pays $17.4 billion a year for unnecessary return visits.

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All Tech Considered
2:35 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Calif. Greenlights Self-Driving Cars, But Legal Kinks Linger

California Gov. Jerry Brown (front left) rides in a driverless car to a bill signing at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., on Sept. 25.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 4:56 pm

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James Bond At 50
2:34 am
Wed October 3, 2012

The Sound Of James Bond: Vic Flick's Surf Guitar

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 12:36 pm

The 007 theme is one of the most famous themes in movie history. The infamous guitar riff that gives the theme its secret agent feel was performed by Vic Flick, who spoke to Morning Edition about the day he played it, 50 years ago.

In 1962, Flick was a 25-year-old studio guitarist who was asked to help give the James Bond theme more of a punch. Composer Monty Norman, who wrote the theme, was scrambling to complete the score for the first Bond movie, Dr. No. He'd scratched out a rough draft of the theme, but Flick says it fell a little flat.

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It's All Politics
2:26 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Colorado Voters Get Revved Up Over Energy Policy

Beer is processed at the New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colo. The brewery has embraced sustainability, making efforts to produce some of its own energy.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 7:17 pm

The presidential debates are expected to cover a wide range of topics, from the economy to foreign policy to health care. Wednesday night's debate will focus on domestic policy — and one topic that's likely to come up is energy.

It's a subject that is certainly on the minds of voters in Larimer County, Colo. Last week, in a rural area outside Fort Collins, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan held a campaign event in a warehouse at Walker Mowers, a family-owned manufacturer of lawn mowers and tractors.

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The Salt
2:25 am
Wed October 3, 2012

In Washington State, Picker Shortage Threatens Apple Boom

Amilia Magno, 23, of Pasco, Wash., carries a heavy load of buckeye gala apples in Broetje Orchards near Prescott, Wash.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 4:57 pm

In western Michigan, there aren't enough apples to pick because bad weather decimated 85 to 90 percent of the crop. But Washington state has the opposite problem — there's an abundance of apples, but not enough pickers.

This should be the happiest, busiest time of year in Washington apple orchards. But now — just as the peak of apple harvest is coming on — Broetje Orchards manager Roger Bairstow is wincing.

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