Health care

Costs of Lifetime Injuries In Billions

A new study shows that medical expenses and losses in productivity amount to an estimated $406 billion for the lifetime cost of injuries for a single year in the United States.

Fungus Outbreak Among Contact Lens Wearers

Looking forward to taking the glasses off and going back to the contact lens after tax season? Some extra caution may be in order. Recently, there has been a spike in dangerous fungal eye infections, and while the precise source remains a mystery, federal health officials have linked it to Bausch & Lomb, Inc.’s popular ReNu(R) with MoistureLoc, according to the Associated Press.On Thursday, Bausch & Lomb voluntarily asked retailers across the nation to temporarily remove bottles of ReNu contact lens solution from their shelves.

Lawmakers Debate Ways to Ease Pain of Health-Care Costs

Measures aimed at lowering the cost of employee health care for small businesses have been introduced in the U.S. Senate.
Technology

Medicare’s New Accounting System Improving Agency Performance

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have a new financial management system that has generated $9 million in interest for the Medicare trust fund in just seven months. Mark McClellan, CMS administrator told Government Health IT, the new system also allows for more accurate reimbursements and faster reporting.
Community News

Sox-In-A-Box Acquires HIPAA Consulting Firm

Sox-In-A-Box has acquired a HIPAA consulting firm that will enhance the business model designed by Sox-In-A-Box.

GASB Seeks Comment on Medicare Part D Technical Bulletin

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), in February, published a proposed staff Technical Bulletin intended to clarify the proper reporting of payments that an employer, or defined benefit other postemployment benefit (OPEB) plan, receives from the federal government under Medicare Part D.
A&A

Coalition Urges Retirement Solutions for All Americans

In a letter sent to Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao as she prepares to open the final SAVER Summit, members of Americans for Secure Retirement, a coalition of 34 organizations representing a broad cross section of interests, urged Chao and Summit attendees to explore solutions addressing often-overlooked elements of the retirement security debate.Advertisement

Health Spending Increases

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reports that total health care spending will grow from its current 16.2 percent of the economy to 20 percent by 2015. This translates to each person spending $12,320 annually, according to USA Today. Nationally projected, we will spend more than $4 trillion on health care by 2015.
A&A

Growth Predicted for Long-Term Care Market

The market for long-term care (LTC) is expected to grow at an annual rate of 10.5 percent through 2009, with revenues expected to reach $394 billion, according to a new study, The Long Term Care Market: Nursing Homes, Home Care, Hospice Care, and Assisted Living, from Kalorama Information, a division of MarketResearch.com.

Accountants’ Offices Have High Germ Levels

The latest installment of Germs in the Workplace indicates that the offices of accountants are in the top germ bracket, having nearly seven times the germ levels of lawyers’ offices. Only classrooms were found to have higher germ levels than accountants’ offices.“TV producers, consultants, and lawyers ranked on the low end of the germ spectrum,” Dr. Charles Gerba of the University of Arizona and the study’s leading researcher said. “We were pleased to find a decrease in bacteria levels.
Tax

Senior Marriage Penalty

“It’s galling that they have a marriage penalty for seniors, when they’ve addressed it for everyone else,” Lonell Spencer, a 77-year-old retiree from Arcadia, Connecticut, told the Hartford Courant.The penalty he’s referring to is the tax on Social Security income, which applies to every dollar of income over $32,000 for married couples, compared to $25,000 for a single taxpayer.
Community News

Helping Clients Keep Their Financial Resolutions

It’s a new year and many clients start it off right by organizing financial files and “cleaning house.” The benefits of this are twofold: 1) They will gain a clearer idea of their current financial situation, and 2) They can form financial goals for their future.

State and Local Governments to Report Future Health Care Benefits Costs

For years governments have promised retirees hefty health care benefits to control current labor costs, experts say, according to a Crain’s Chicago Business report. “No one has thought about it as a long term liability, says Fitch Ratings analyst Joseph D. Mason.
A&A

Workplace snacks to get you through the busy season

When you’re too busy to leave your desk for meals, your health can suffer. It’s not just the stress of working long hours, either. The food you are eating may actually be contributing to the problem.

Millions Afflicted but Undiagnosed with Dry Eye Syndrome

You’ve been staring at your computer or poring through ledgers for hours. You have hours more to go. Then you notice your eyes are dry, burning and feeling gritty. You could be among the estimated 20 to 30 million Americans with Dry Eye Syndrome, or even the 9 to 10 million suffering from moderate to severe dry eyes.Dry eyes can be caused by many things: aging, extended contact leans wear, LASIK surgery, diabetes, arthritis or dietary deficiency of omega-3s. Prolonged computer use and dry air, stemming from either indoor heating or air conditioning, can exacerbate the symptoms.

Company Drug Prescription Plans Vary

The Kaiser Family Foundation has released a new retiree health benefits survey showing that almost 80 percent of employers that currently offer retiree health benefits will take government subsidies to maintain prescription coverage in 2006. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the basic Medicare coverage of more than 12 million retirees is supplemented by company health plans. The annual survey was released last week in Washington.

Retiree Drug Coverage; Competition Intense Among Medicare Insurers, Employers

Four in five employers that pay for retirees’ drug costs will accept government subsidies to continue coverage, according to a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Hewitt Associates, of 300 companies with 1,000 employees each, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. When it drafted the program, Congress created a tax-free subsidy to encourage companies to continue offering retiree drug coverage. The subsidy, for 2006, will be equal to 28 percent of a retiree’s drug costs between $250 and $5,000, the Intelligencer states.
Community News

How to Hire Holiday Care-Givers

The holiday season is a busy time of year. For many people, care-giving, either for children or older family members, becomes a major issue. Whether the need is for someone to “fill-in” for a few hours and provide care while a primary care-giver goes shopping or attends a holiday function, or a longer term need for ongoing care-giving throughout the coming year, finding and hiring the right care-giver can be tough.The Wall Street Journal’s Career Journal reports demand for part-time care-givers, especially babysitters, has been surging this fall.

Illness Impacts Family Finances Without Disability Insurance

A new survey from MetLife reveals that nearly 60 percent of Americans have $5,000, or less, in personal savings available for use in the event of a major illness. Even more ominous, nearly half would have to borrow against retirement savings, or secure a line of credit on their home, if they needed access to between $10,000 and $35,000 to cover expenses related a major illness.

SEC Eases Revenue Accounting Rule for Vaccine Makers

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), on Monday, announced a change in accounting guidance for pharmaceutical companies supplying vaccines to the Pediatric Vaccine Stockpile or the Strategic National Stockpile. Under the new guidance, vaccine manufacturers can recognize revenue upon delivery to government stockpiles rather than delaying revenue recognition until the vaccine is distributed.

Pages