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The conversion of not-for-profit Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield into for-profit WellChoice faces more challenges by consumer groups, who say that the deal violates New York's constitution. The Consumers Union says that the law allowing the deal benefited Empire, and Empire alone. A no-no, they claim.... Doctors' disciplinary files can now be found on the Internet in Washington state. But physicians aren't the only ones being scrutinized. The state's new web site lists pending and past actions against 260,000 health care professionals with state credentials.... Though physicians are prescribing fewer antibiotics, the ones they do prescribe are often too powerful for the condition, according to a recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers found that the number of prescriptions doctors wrote for antibiotics dropped 17 percent between 1991 and 1999. However, prescriptions for powerful antibiotics nearly doubled, from 24 percent to 40 percent.

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