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What We Read Today 23 December 2014

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

Medicare Cuts Payments to 721 Hospitals With Highest Rates of Infections, Injuries (Jordan Rau, Medscape)  In its toughest crackdown yet on medical errors, the federal government is cutting payments to 721 hospitals for having high rates of infections and other patient injuries, records released Thursday show.

Some of the nation's top hospitals have been penalized, including:  Cleveland Clinic, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa.  The penalty amounts to a 1% reduction in Medicare payments from 01 Ocrober 2014 through 30 September 2015.  One out seven of U.S. hospitals have been asessed the penalty. (Note: Free subscription may be required to access.)  


Foreign Brands Struggle To Enter China Via Alibaba: WSJ (Shuli Ren, Barron's)  International merchants are not finding success on Alibaba.  The Chinese website is a giant e-commerce site within China and for Chinese merchants but so far it has flopped globally.  Ten months ago it launched Tmall Global but is simply not getting customers and foreign companies are slow to sign up.  One reason is the cost of entry for merchants is very high compared to other Alibaba storefronts.  Another reason is that almost all of Alibaba's business is with Chinese customers and both prices and delivery times are not favorable compared to domestic merchants.  From Kathy Chu of The Wall Street Journal:

Traffic on Tmall Global is a fraction of that on Alibaba’s other marketplaces: The site ranks No. 311 out of about 3,500 in terms of popularity in China, while Alibaba’s Taobao and mainland Tmall sites rank Nos. 2 and 5 respectively, according to data provider Alexa Internet.

A review of the site for The Wall Street Journal suggests about 70% of the stores are doing “almost no volume,” said Jacob Cooke, chief executive of Web Presence in China, a digital marketing agency. “That platform is really going to damage [Alibaba’s] reputation,” he said.

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