In this corner, you’ve got the eight more states that recently won approval from the Department of Health and Human Services to operate healthcare exchanges under President Obama’s healthcare law. And in this corner: Utah.

“Thursday’s announcement brings the total number of states approved to fully or partially operate their marketplaces to 20, with 18 running state-based exchanges and two planning to partner with the federal government.”

And in this corner: Utah.

“Utah’s position on our state health exchange has not changed and it will not change. Because it’s consumer-driven, market-based and flexible, Utah’s model is the right solution for Utah,” Ally Isom, deputy chief of staff to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, said.

“Of course we’ll review the HHS announcement and determine if the conditions are acceptable or reasonable for our state exchange,” Isom added, using the diplomatic version of a parental “We’ll see” that always means you’re NOT going to get to go to that sleepover at Dawn Forsythe’s house, “but there is nothing about Utah’s path that changes as a result of today’s announcement.”

Other headlines from around the ‘Net. (What if this Daily Digest was just me talking about that movie The Net starring America’s sweetheart Sandy Bullock and she orders a pizza through the computer and it BLEW OUR MIND(S)?)

HIPAA, Hospice. Hospice, HIPAA: Thanks to the 2010 theft of an unencrypted laptop, an Idaho non-profit hospice will find itself $50,000 non-profitter. “The settlement is the first involving a breach of protected health information affecting fewer than 500 individuals under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Security Rule, HHS said.”

HIPAA Deadline Extended: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it will not initiate enforcement of HIPAA-covered entities that are not in compliance with Affordable Care Act eligibility requirements until March 1.”

Infection Control Today, Tomorrow, To Always!: reported this Very Important piece of news: “A California hospital reported that its vascular access team has gone nearly seven years without a central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) in any of its peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) lines.” Congratulations, Sutter Roseville Medical Center: CLABSI-free since 2006!

You Don’t Mess with the People Who Control Your Pain Meds: “In a move expected to shake up health care labor battles statewide, the powerful California Nurses Association announced Thursday that it will affiliate with the National Union of Healthcare Workers in fights with major health systems over wages, benefits and patient care issues.

Stop Trying to Make “Futurist” Happen: Ugh. You guys. We’ve covered my feelings about futurists, right? How it’s not, nor should it be, a thing that exists that one gets paid money for outside of a Las Vegas stage with either smoke machines or white tigers? Anyway, here’s terrific and not at all ridiculous Futurist Jack Uldrich, who will keynote some events. Do me some favors: (1) Look at his picture in that article. (2) If you are going to one of these events, email me IMMEDIATELY.

Rising Healthcare Costs Killing Independent George: Bloggers Arthur Kellermann and David Auerbach have, in the past, examined the impact of a decade of health care cost growth. The follow up is… not great: “In the two years since we concluded this analysis, the situation has grown worse for the middle class. In 2010 and 2011, our median-income family’s out-of-pocket spending and tax burden devoted to health care didn’t grow much (due respectively to the effects of the recession and historically low growth in Medicare spending), but the cost of their employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 10 percent, from $13,770 in 2009 to $15,073 in 2011. (It grew another 4 percent in 2012.) So although their total monthly compensation grew modestly – about $170 per month – their employer held back an additional $57 per month to cover its share of the rising premium, and the family had to chip in another $51 per month to cover the rest. This left them with only $62 more per month, or roughly $14 per week, to address the rising costs of other goods and services.”

Best Practices List for Merging and Acquiring: 20 Best Practices for Healthcare Mergers & Acquisitions.