Advance Paradigm will buy PCS Health Systems from Rite Aid Corp. for $1 billion — a third less than what Rite Aid paid for PCS last year.... In Massachusetts, supporters are working with the legislature on a compromise after gaining enough signatures to put a universal care proposal on the November ballot. But in Washington State, backers failed to qualify a similar initiative for the ballot.... Managed Medicare patients are more costly than patients in fee-for-service Medicare after a stroke, due to poor-quality acute care that leads to longer aftercare, according to a Journal of the American Geriatric Society study.... In a curious agreement, United HealthCare is signing over care for its 900,000 California members to Blue Shield, but it isn't leaving the state. One fourth will be transferred to Blue Shield, while the remainder will use Blue Shield's provider network. United wants out of the business of negotiating with providers in the state. Consumer advocates worry that because the deal isn't a full-blown merger, it escapes state scrutiny.