Medical treatment in the emergency room is expensive, but there's a perverse incentive at work which encourages EMS workers to send more people there. Medicare reimburses for 911 calls only if the patient is transported to the ER. A pilot program at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City tries to keep patients from coming back to the ER.
President Obama has nominated Stanley Fischer to be vice chairman of the Federal Reserve. Fischer trained outgoing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, and he spent much of the last decade running Israel's central bank. If confirmed, Fischer would take over the position being vacated by Janet Yellen, who was recently confirmed as Bernanke's successor.
Touting a rebound in manufacturing jobs, President Obama announced a public-private partnership to expand that momentum. He unveiled a manufacturing innovation institute in North Carolina, the first of three similar hubs he proposed in last year's State of the Union address. Though factory jobs are being added, economists say it's highly unlikely that manufacturing can become a significant source of future employment.
It isn't just Bitcoin. You can now choose from more than 70 virtual currencies, and people are using them partly because it could be a free way of transferring money online. Given more time and widespread use, that could change the playing field for companies like Western Union and banks.
In a deal worth some $16 billion, the Japanese beverage giant Suntory is buying Beam, the maker of Jim Beam bourbon and the owner of well-known American brands such as Maker's Mark. Industry leaders say it's a reflection of bourbon's exploding popularity in Asian markets, but some are wondering if the new owners will preserve bourbon's Kentucky heritage.
President Obama heads to Raleigh, N.C., and is expected to call on Congress to try again to extend federal unemployment benefits. Republicans blocked a Senate bill that would have restored the benefits that ended last month for 1.3 million Americans. In North Carolina, a state law has prevented people from getting the benefits since July 1.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has struck down a provision of the Federal Communications Commission's "Open Internet Rules." That provision allowed the FCC to regulate Internet service providers in much the same way it regulates phone service providers — requiring them to provide unrestricted service to all users.
The Minnesota Orchestra hasn't performed in its concert hall in Minneapolis in 488 days. The musicians and orchestra management have been locked in a bitter labor dispute. But on Tuesday, musicians agreed to a new contract ending the longest work stoppage for any symphony orchestra in U.S. history.