MARIETTA — WellStar Health System has implemented Xenex Healthcare Services’ room disinfection system in its patient and operating rooms. It is the first health system in metro Atlanta to use the “green”, mercury-free technology. It has proven to destroy all major classes of microorganisms that cause hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA and Clostridium.
* Today, the UPS Foundation is donating $21,000 to the Safety Village, located at 1220 Al Bishop Drive in Marietta. The Cobb Safety Village is designed to teach children how to react when faced with fire, crime and disaster emergencies, as well as drug and alcohol awareness and pedestrian safety.
* Averitt Express has been chosen as a “Green 75 Supply Chain Partner” by Inbound Logistics magazine for the third straight year.
* Cobb County is conducting a job searching seminar on today from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Central Library, located 266 Roswell St. in Marietta. For more information, call (770) 528-2369.
* Prestige Salon will conduct a ribbon-cutting on Dec. 10 at 11 a.m. at 4200 Wade Green Road, Suite 184 in Kennesaw.
Study: Medicaid to cost $2.5B
ATLANTA — A new study projects that expanding Georgia’s Medicaid health care program would cost the state about $2.5 billion over a decade while providing half a million uninsured Georgians with coverage.
The study, released Monday by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, estimates that more than $33 billion in new federal money would flood into Georgia over a 10-year period.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the study is the latest analysis of the cost of expanding Medicaid under the health law.
Nationwide, state leaders are debating whether to expand the program as they continue to struggle with huge budget shortfalls.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has said Georgia can’t afford to expand the program, already facing a shortfall of hundreds of millions of dollars, even with the substantial federal help.
Home prices are increasing
WASHINGTON — Home prices increased in September in most major U.S. cities, more evidence of a housing recovery that is providing a lift to the fragile economy.
Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller reported Tuesday that its 20-city index of home prices rose 3 percent in September compared with the same month last year. Prices also gained 3.6 percent in the July-September quarter compared with the same quarter in 2011.
Across the nation, prices increased in 18 of 20 cities over the 12-month period. In Phoenix, prices jumped 20.4 percent over that stretch to lead all cities. Prices in Atlanta showed a modest 0.1 percent increase, ending 26 straight consecutive year-over-year declines.
ConAgra purchases Ralcorp
NEW YORK — ConAgra Foods is set to become the nation’s biggest maker of store-brand foods, with a $5 billion purchase of Ralcorp that expands its stake in the growing market for cereals, crackers and other packaged foods sold under private labels.
The deal announced Tuesday caps a year of acquisitions for ConAgra, which makes brands including Banquet, Chef Boyardee and Marie Callender’s. The company, based in Omaha, Neb., also made multiple attempts to buy Ralcorp last year.
The latest bid for Ralcorp comes at a time when private-label brands — also known as store brands or house brands — are gaining popularity with price-conscious shoppers. Supermarkets and drug stores have also been working to improve the image of their brands as a way to control the rising costs for name brands.