Sussex County EMS in Delaware Earns First-ever National Accreditation

first_img“This is a tremendous achievement that we, and all of the citizens of Sussex County, should be immensely proud of,” Mr. Vincent said. “We all knew that ours was among the best emergency medical care systems in Delaware, the region, and across the nation. Now, we have independent proof that this is some of the best care that taxpayer dollars can buy.” GEORGETOWN, Del. — Sussex County Emergency Medical Services has earned accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS), one of the highest marks a prehospital EMS service can receive when evaluating its operations and the level of service it provides to patients. Re-accreditation by CAAS is required every three years and consists of a comprehensive self-assessment, application and on-site evaluation by industry experts, who verify compliance in clinical standards, operations and risk management, communications, equipment, facilities, as well as community relations and disaster management coordination. For this inaugural accreditation, Sussex County EMS received a perfect score on the evaluation. In addition to CAAS accreditation, Sussex County EMS has earned numerous awards and accolades over the years, including several wins at the annual Journal of Emergency Medical Services games, and recently received the American Heart Association’s Mission Lifeline Gold Plus award for excellence in STEMI (heart attack) care. Sussex County Emergency Medical Services Sussex County Council President Michael H. Vincent congratulated SCEMS on earning its first-ever accreditation, a testament to the hard work of countless dedicated professionals who have worked tirelessly since Sussex County EMS’ founding in 1990 to provide the highest care possible to the citizens and visitors of southern Delaware. CAAS, based in Glenview, Ill., is an independent commission established in 1990 to set a comprehensive series of standards for the ambulance-service industry. These standards often exceed state or local regulations putting a focus on all aspects of ambulance operations. They are designed to increase operational efficiency and clinical quality while decreasing risk and liability to organizations helping to ensure superior patient care, according to the commission. The accreditation, the first ever for Sussex County EMS, only the second advanced life support (ALS) system in Delaware to earn such a distinction, was awarded in late December 2019. It recognizes that Sussex County EMS meets or exceeds nationally-accepted high standards for patient care in the industry. “Our dedication to ensuring that we fulfill our motto of “Caring People, Quality Service” was the key to achieving accreditation,” Sussex County EMS Director Robert Stuart said. “SCEMS is proud that the Commission recognized our commitment to service excellence.”  With more than 20,000 EMS agencies in the United States alone, fewer than 200 agencies in North America currently hold CAAS accreditation. Sussex County EMS is a nationally accredited, County-operated department that augments the local volunteer fire/ambulance service by providing 24-hour-a-day advanced life support care to all of Sussex County with 10 full-time paramedic units, 99 field paramedics, and 17 administrative support staff.last_img read more

University, I4RH discuss Supreme Court’s ruling regarding contraceptive coverage

first_imgThis report was updated at 11:42 a.m. on July 20.The Supreme Court ruled July 8 that employers with religious or moral objections do not have to help provide insurance coverage for contraceptives in the case of The Little Sisters of the Poor v. State of Pennsylvania.This ruling applies to the section of the Affordable Care Act which, as defined under the Obama administration, required businesses to provide free contraceptives under company insurance. The Trump administration first announced it would roll back the birth control mandate in October 2017.University President Fr. John Jenkins praised the Supreme Court for their decision in a statement last week. “Americans of all faiths or none should welcome today’s Supreme Court ruling for upholding religious liberty against government’s interference with the ability to act in accord with religious principles,” he said.When asked for comment, University spokesperson Dennis Brown said it was not immediately clear whether the court’s decision would affect the University’s insurance coverage. “It’s uncertain whether there is an immediate impact on the University,” he said in an email. “It is still being reviewed.”Brown said people who require birth control for medically necessary purposes will still be able to receive contraceptive care under the new ruling. Irish 4 Reproductive Health (I4RH), a nonprofit, independent organization advocating for reproductive health rights at Notre Dame, said the lawsuit did not account for the fact that religious employers serve employees who may not necessarily share their beliefs. Brown did not comment on the status of the lawsuit, saying direct questions should be taken up with I4RH’s lawyers.“Notre Dame’s support of the ruling suggests that the diverse community it vocally celebrates must adhere to its specific set of religious beliefs, thereby diminishing the beliefs of its students, staff, and faculty who may have no qualms over the use of birth control,” the organization said in an email. Currently, “certain forms of IUDs and emergency contraception are not covered at all by University insurance plans,” according to previous Observer reporting. I4RH said the organization wants to see an increased commitment by the University to helping marginalized members of the Notre Dame community, despite the new ruling. “To us, that means making all FDA-approved forms of contraception available without copay to students, staff, and faculty as guaranteed under the ACA,” the email said. “Restricting this right forces religious beliefs on people who may not share them and interferes with medical treatment agreed to between a patient and their medical professional.”In June of 2018, the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) filed a lawsuit on behalf of I4RH against the University for entering into “an unlawful settlement agreement between the Trump-Pence Administration and Notre Dame to deny students, employees, and their dependents insurance coverage of birth control guaranteed to them by the Affordable Care Act (ACA),” a press release from the NWLC said. The Trump-Pence administration and the University filed to have the suit dismissed. However, in January, I4RH was cleared to move forward with their case. The organization said the lawsuit has not been affected by the Supreme Court’s ruling in this case, and will continue to proceed as planned. “It is important to remember that this ruling is not fully resolved in regards to its constitutionality, nor does it address several of the arguments we are bringing to the court,” the email said. “The Little Sisters v. Pennsylvania ruling did not in any way address the constitutionality of the settlement Notre Dame and the Trump-Pence administration entered into.”I4RH said the lawsuit will not affect their mission to advocate for contraceptive care and reproductive freedom at Notre Dame.“We will continue fighting, in court and out, for access to contraceptive care for people who need it and are unable to access it due to a lack of healthcare on campus,” the email said. “Our current plans are to continue helping the Notre Dame community gain access to sexual health resources and education as safely as possible, as has always been our mission.”Managing Editor Mariah Rush contributed to this report.Tags: birth control, I4RH, Irish 4 Reproductive Health, National Women’s Law Center, Supreme Courtlast_img read more

Weekend Poll Results: Fans Name The Lion King Favorite Animal Kingdom-Inspired Show

first_img 2. Cats — 16% Andrew Lloyd Webber’s mega-musical Cats took second place, thanks to the antics of the irresistible Bustopher Jones, Rum Tum Tugger, Grizabella, Jellylorum, Macavity, Mr. Mistoffelees and friends. Based on the poetry collection Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot, Cats transports audience members to the Heaviside Layer to get up close and personal with the Jellicle felines themselves. View Comments 1. The Lion King — 39% The African Prideland comes to life in Broadway’s hit musical The Lion King, featuring a menagerie of elephants, giraffes, birds, hyenas, zebras, and of course, Pride Rock’s own royal family. Featuring breathtaking costumes by Julie Taymor, The Lion King pays tribute to the entire animal kingdom—it’s no wonder fans voted it their favorite musical named after an animal. 3. War Horse — 11% Featuring innovative creations by the Handspring Puppet Company, War Horse stunned audiences when it opened on Broadway in 2011. Nick Stafford’s moving stage adaptation tells the story of a boy who embarks on a mission to bring his beloved horse home from the frontlines of World War I. This weekend’s Broadway Barks event was a huge success, and leading up to the 15th annual dog and cat adoption extravaganza, we’ve had animals on the brain! Just for fun, our weekend poll asked fans to choose their favorite show featuring a living creature in the title. From The Lion King to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, find out which shows that pay tribute to the animal kingdom made the top three.last_img read more

Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Army Airfield

first_imgCentrally located on Oahu, on the eastern slope of the Waianae Mountain Range, Schofield Barracks is named in honor of Lt. Gen. John M. Schofield, who, in 1872, recognized the strategic importance of Oahu to the defense of the United States. Construction began on the barracks in 1909.Today, Schofield’s training areas and cantonment area occupies approximately 18,000 acres. Schofield Barracks supports almost 100,000 military personnel, civilians, retired military personnel and their family members. It is home to the 25th Infantry Division.Wheeler Army Airfield was established in 1922. The initial air units stationed at the airfield were photo reconnaissance and fighter squadrons. By 1940, the primary units stationed at Wheeler were fighter squadrons, making it a prime target for the Japanese when they attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. Wheeler came under the control of the Air Force in 1947 and was returned to the Army in 1991. Wheeler Army Airfield comprises about 1,389 acres of land adjacent to Schofield Barracks, just 20 miles from the state capital of Honolulu. Today, Wheeler Army Airfield is home to the headquarters of U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.last_img read more

OPEN MIN.D allows for a new take on the classic road bike with Minimal…

first_imgIn order to get to the comfort desired for the bike, OPEN opted for an integrated seat mast approach with a vert skinny 25mm diameter. Thanks to the lack of seat post/seat tube overlap, and the thinner profile that extends all the way to the saddle, OPEN claims this design is much better in terms of comfort.However, you do have to cut it to fit which gives you 15mm of adjustment after the cut. If you adhere to the ‘Measure Once Cut Twice design’ principle, then OPEN offers their MOCT saddle clamp which gives you 15-35mm of adjustment, which may come in handy if you ever want to sell the bike to someone with longer legs. The Ritchey saddle rail clamp includes side plates for standard round and oval carbon rails as well.Giving it what they refer to as ‘New Road Handling,” the MIN.D geometry started as a steel test mule with adjustable dropouts and headtube angles. Sold in four sizes, most use a 72.5° head tube angle and a 73.5° seat tube angle, 71mm BB drop, and a fit that is somewhere between racer and full comfort road.Offered in a single stock Midnight Blue color, the framesets are also available in their popular RTP or Ready To Paint Option – which allows you to create your own custom finish design with a painter of your choice.OPEN frames usually command a premium price, and this one is no different. The frameset is priced at $3,600 and includes the frame and fork, a headset, seat tube top clamp, rail clamp, thru-axles, 2 RD hangers, 2 MultiStops (Di2, eTap), cable exit stop, noise-reduction foam sleeves, bottle cage bolts, and manual. Available for pre-order now, framesets will begin shipping in July Up front, the new R-Turn fork brings their U-Turn fork design to the pure road segment. OPEN’s Smartmount system allows for the use of 160mm rotors without any adapters, meaning the caliper bolts directly to the fork. That means you can’t run 140mm rotors, but OPEN says you should be running 160mm anyway given the better braking performance with minimal weight penalty. The same system is used for the rear brake mount as well.The full carbon fork uses a tapered steerer with a Cane Creek Integrated IS42/28.6 upper, and OPEN-Custom integrated IS47/38 headset lower headset. With an uncut steerer, the fork has a 335g claimed weight. Running 100 x 12 and 142 x 12 thru Carbon-Ti thru axles at each end, the frame offers clearance for up to 32mm tires on modern, wide rims for added comfort. A BB386EVO pressfit bottom bracket is found, and the frame has provisions for 1x mechanical, 2x mechanical (Shimano only), and Di2, eTap, and EPS drivetrains.center_img When you think of the classic road bike, what do you picture in your mind? With an OPEN MIN.D, you end up with something with classic road bike lines, but modern performance and fitments. Something OPEN refers to as MINimal Design, or MIN.D.OPEN has made their mark on the world of cycling with bikes that can accept large tires and occupy the sort of all road/gravel and true off-road spectrum of bike design, but the company’s founders Andy Kessler & Gerard Vroomen have a deep road cycling background from their time at Cervélo and BMC. While gravel is certainly an exciting new world, they mention that they will always have the road bike bug. So the OPEN MIN.D was sort of the answer to what kind of road bike would they want to ride? It’s hard to beat the classic lines of traditional road bikes, but the final product needed modern pure road performance without sacrificing comfort.The resulting bike offers what they refer to as Minimal Design – a light weight, sleek road frame that offers comfort without resorting to “gimmicks”, with a “restrained appearance, that underneath is all business.” OPEN claims that for medium frame only with paint, uncut seat mast, and without metal parts, you can expect a respectable weight of 870g.last_img read more

Nikki M. James, Brandon Victor Dixon and Montego Glover Join Michael James Scott for #LiveatFive Roundtable Discussion

first_img Montego Glover As previously announced, Aladdin star Michael James Scott has joined the team of’s popular daily live news show #LiveatFive to host a weekly roundtable discussion with notable theater stars. This week’s episode will air on June 16 at 5PM ET and feature Tony-nominated performers Brandon Victor Dixon and Montego Glover and Tony winner Nikki M. James. Each #LiveatFive episode will be broadcast live on’s Facebook and YouTube account. The interview will also become available as a podcast on iTunes and Spotify.Dixon was most recently seen on Broadway in his Tony-nominated turn as Eubie Blake in Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. He also earned a nomination for appearing in the original Broadway production of The Color Purple. Dixon’s other Broadway credits include a starring turn as Aaron Burr in Hamilton and being part of the Tony-winning producing team for Hedwig and the Angry Inch. He earned an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Judas Iscariot in NBC’s live concert version of Jesus Christ Superstar.Glover earned a Tony nomination for starring in Memphis and has previously been seen in Les Misérable, The Color Purple and It Shoulda Been You. She played Angelica Schuyler in the Chicago production of Hamilton and recently starred in this season’s All the Natalie Portmans off-Broadway, which earned her recognition at this years’ Outer Critics Circle Awards.James received a Tony Award in 2011 for her featured turn as Nabulungi in The Book of Mormon. Her other Broadway credits include Les Misérables, All Shook Up and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. James also was the assistant director for the Tony-winning revival of Once On This Island in 2018.Scott has been Aladdin’s Genie since the show premiered on Broadway in 2014. Originally acting as a standby, Scott went on to lead the Australian, national tour and Broadway productions. He has previously been seen on Broadway in Something Rotten, The Book of Mormon, Hair, Mamma Mia and more. He joins the team as a moderator for the #LiveatFive roundtable. Nikki M. James from $57.50 Related Shows Michael James Scott Brandon Victor Dixon Star Files View All (4) Aladdin View Commentslast_img read more

$33.8 million in federal funding secured for consumer-owned health insurance company in Vermont

first_imgToday the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the award of $33,837,800 million in loans to the Consumer Health Coalition of Vermont for the creation of a new non-profit health insurer in Vermont. Unlike Vermontâ s current health insurers, the Vermont Health CO-OP will be entirely member-owned and governed. Of the loan award, $6,289,400 is allocated for â start-up’and $27,548,400 for cash reserves (â solvency fundâ ).â Weâ re excited to be part of a national movement of member-owned and governed health plans. We believe the Vermont Health CO-OP will play an important role in health care reform and is a perfect fit for Vermontâ s culture and rich heritage of cooperative endeavors,’said Mitchell Fleischer, Chair of the founding Board of Directors.The Affordable Care Act (ACA) charged HHS with designating at least one CO-OP in each state, which will provide a selection of innovative health plan options for the stateâ s Health Insurance Exchange, slated to begin operation in January 2014. The federal loan to Vermont Health CO-OP will provide funding for the 18-month start-up period for the new non-profit company, as well as the solvency fund required by the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation for licensed health insurers.  The loan agreements with HHS require payback of the start-up loan within five years, and the solvency loan within 15 years.The ACA requires these new health plans to be non-profit corporations, with direct election of the board by the individuals covered by the CO-OPâ s health plans.  The ACA also requires that any financial gains realized by the CO-OPs must be used exclusively on behalf of members and to re-pay the loans from the federal government. The Vermont Health CO-OP is incorporated in Vermont and will apply for an insurance license immediately.  It will begin marketing products by October 2013. CO-OP health plans will be available statewide to individuals and small groups through the Vermont Health Insurance Exchange starting January 1, 2014. The CO-OP also anticipates offering plans outside of the Exchange to larger employers as well.The founding board includes individuals with extensive experience in health insurance, regulation, and health care delivery, including CEOs of successful Vermont start-up ventures.Under the bylaws of the CO-OP, and as required by federal law, within two years of the issuance of the first insurance policies, the founding board will be replaced by an operational board directly elected by the members. The Vermont CO-OP will work with Vermont Managed Care to coordinate the delivery of health services through its growing network of hospitals, physicians, patient-centered medical homes, and other health care providers throughout the state of Vermont.â We will be working closely with the Vermont Health CO-OP to implement the types of delivery systems and payment reforms envisioned in Vermontâ s Health care reform efforts,’said John Brumsted, president and chief executive officer, Fletcher Allen Health Care, which wholly owns Vermont Managed Care. â Weâ re excited to have a partner whose foremost goal is to strengthen the patient-physician relationship, and who is eager to innovate with us in the new health care reform environment.âTodd Moore, president of Vermont Managed Care said â We believe the Vermont Health CO-OP strongly aligns with our vision of the future, where provider-based organizations assume financial accountability for the medical cost and quality outcomes for a population.  We anticipate strong relationships with payers in our market area who see value in this type of payer-provider partnership, and are confident that the Vermont Health CO-OP will be a leader in applying this model. Founding Board member James Lampman, President of Lake Champlain Chocolates, noted that the mission and governance of the Vermont Health CO-OP differentiates it in important respects from other health insurers. â The CO-OP will be a democratically operated health insurance company.  Its only purpose is to serve its members. All of the founding Board members are dedicated to establishing a corporate culture centered on that goal. The CO-OP will focus on our Members’health improvement and will operate with full transparency.’As part of the rigorous application and selection process established by HHS, the CO-OP was required to present comprehensive feasibility and actuarial studies and a business plan. Moreover, the CO-OP is required to meet a series of strict operational milestones in order to continue to draw down the federal loan funds.  The CO-OP is subject to oversight by the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation and the federal Department for Health and Human Services until the loan funds are fully repaid. Formation Board of DirectorsMITCHELL FLEISCHERPresident, Fleischer Jacobs GroupDAVID JILLSONBusiness Manager, Orthopedic SurgeryJAMES LAMPMANPresident, Lake Champlain ChocolatesDOUG NEDDEPrincipal, Redstone GroupMARK PITCHER, MDPartner, Good Health PPCPAULLETTE THABAULTSenior Manager CVS/Caremark, former Commissioner Vermont Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care AdministrationOverview of Consumer Owned and Operated Plan (CO-OP)Provisions in PPACADuring the Congressional debates on health care reform when the â public option’proposal failed, people rallied around the idea of providing incentives and opportunities for member-owned and governed insurance companies to compete with the existing commercial insurance carriers in the new state-operated Health Insurance Exchanges. As a result, the federal health care reform law (The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ‘PPACA) created the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) program.The idea is to bring to health insurance the model familiar to many American for electricity, water, housing, and food — the â cooperative’model of member-ownership and governance. (1)There are three major principles governing the award of the loans:(1) Consumer operation, control, and focus must be the salient features of the CO-OP and sustained over time;(2) Solvency and the financial stability of coverage should be maintained and promoted;(3) CO-OPs should encourage care coordination, quality and efficiency to the extent feasible in local provider and health plan markets; and(4) To be eligible for a loan, an applicant must be a private nonprofit member organization.An organization is not eligible for a loan if it was licensed by a State as a health insurance issuer as of July 16, 2009 or it was a related entity or predecessor organization of such an issuer. An organization is also not eligible for a CO-OP loan if the organization has as a sponsor a State or local government, or any political subdivision or instrumentality of a State or local government.Elements in PPACA provide strong support for CO-OPs: Start-up and Solvency Loans to cover the costs associated with getting the CO-OP up and running as a brand new insurance company, and to fund the â reserves’required by the state insurance regulators for licensing as a health insurance carrier. A requirement that a funded CO-OP must be allowed by states offer its health plans on the stateâ s Health Insurance Exchange.The statute provides loans to capitalize eligible prospective CO-OPs with a goal of having at least one CO-OP in each State. Congress provided budget authority of $3.8 billion for the program. The statute directs the Secretary to give priority to applicants that will offer CO-OP qualified health plans on a statewide basis, will use integrated care models, and have significant private support. The Start-Up Loan must be repaid in five years, and the Solvency Loan payback schedule requires payback of the loan in 15 years. The interest on these loans is close to zero, as it is the fed rate plus 0.CO-OPS cannot be started up by insurers, nor can a CO-OP partner with existing insurance companies for operational activities and services. The law allows CO-OPs to sell policies outside of the Exchange, but the Exchange business must comprise at least 2/3 of the CO-OP business.Here are some other salient points from the federal law: Profits must be used to lower premiums, improve benefits, or to finance programs aimed at improving the quality of care to members. Representatives of federal, state or local governments as well as representatives of insurance issuers that were in existence on July 16, 2009 cannot serve on CO-OP boards. CO-OPs may establish private purchasing councils that may enter into collective purchasing arrangements for items and services. But councils are precluded from setting payment rates for health care facilities or providers that are participating in health insurance coverage provided by the plans. Other newly created CO-OPs are discussing group purchases of reinsurance, administrative services, actuarial services, etc.Consumer Health Coalition of Vermont (the Vermont CO-OP) has been incorporated as a non-profit entity for the purpose of offering health insurance plans on the Exchange and to large employers. The CO-OPâ s bylaws conform to the federal requirements that the Formation Board be replaced by a Member-Elected Operational Board by 1/1/2016. The Formation Board oversees the management that will be setting up the CHCVT, getting everything ready to start issuing policies on the Vermont Health Exchange 1/1/2014.The federal website for CO-OP information is at: is external)A good overview of the CO-OP legislation is Sara Collinâ s testimony for the Commonwealth Fund, which can be found at:…(link is external)The Vermont CO-OP website is: is external)CO-OP Press Conference and Announcement Q/AQ How did this happen? Where is this money coming from?A The federal government included a provision in the Section 1322 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 to provide $3.4 billion in loans to establish non-profit consumer-based health insurance companies in every state, called â Consumer Oriented and Operated Plans (CO-OPs). These CO-OPs will provide health insurance to individuals and small employers in competition with other existing carriers. Larger groups can also sign up.The Consumer Health Coalition of Vermont, a non-profit Vermont corporation, was formed in October of 2012 for the purpose of applying for the designation as Vermontâ s CO-OP. The bylaws and other governance documents for CHCVT specify that it will operate in full compliance with the ACA requirements for CO-OPs, including member-governance. CHCVT filed an application with HHS on January 3, 2012 for the loans, and for the past five months has undergone a rigorous evaluation of all aspects of the business plan, actuarial projections, and financial feasibility. The CHCVT application received the endorsement of Senator Patrick Leahy and Congressman Peter Welch, along with our partner Vermont Managed Care.Q How much money will the CO-OP receive?A The Department of Health and Human Services has provided two loans to the CO-OP. One loan in the amount of $6,289,400 is to cover start-up costs for the new insurance company. This loan will be repaid to the federal government during the next five years. The second loan provides the capital reserve required by the state of Vermont. This is not provided all at once, but will be drawn upon by the CO-OP as enrollment grows. These funds are not spent, but are held in reserve, like a contingency fund, to make sure that there is always enough money on hand to pay claims. The total amount available for reserves is $27,548,400. This loan will be repaid to the federal government over the first 15 years of the CO-OPs operation, or immediately upon closure of the CO-OP.HHS subjected the CO-OPâ s business plan, actuarial studies and feasibility study to a rigorous five month examination prior to authorizing the two loans.Q Is this the only CO-OP in Vermont to receive funding?A Yes, The Vermont Health CO-OP is the only federally designated CO-OP in Vermont.Q How will the Vermont Health CO-OP be different from other insurance companies in Vermont?A The Vermont Health CO-OP is different in four very important ways:o First, the CO-OP is member-governed. Unlike other insurers in Vermont, this insurer will be governed by a Board of Directors that is directly elected by the people covered by the insurance policies. Itâ so Second, the federal laws under which the CO-OP operates requires that if the CO-OPâ s income is greater than expenses, those profits have to go back to the policy holders, either in expanded coverage or in reduced premiums.o Third, the federal law charges the CO-OPs nationwide with being health care innovators, with working specifically on reforms to provider payment, to health care delivery and health care quality improvements. The CO-OP canâ t just sell insurance; we have to be a reform leader, which is why our partnership with Vermont Managed Care is so important to our members.o Fourth, because of these three differences, your role as a member and consumer is very different. You have a voice in the values, direction, goals and governance of the CO-OP. If you take care of your health and use the health care system wisely, and the CO-OP saves money, youâ ll see the benefits yourself. And finally, youâ ll be a part of a health plan built to support the reforms we all seek, one where the insurance company doesnâ t have to interfere with the patient/provider relationship.Q What impact could Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act have on the CO-OP and its funding?A We have been assured by representatives of the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services that the CO-OP Program will continue regardless of the outcome of the Supreme Court appeal, and that the funds being loaned to start the Consumers Health Coalition of Vermont are committed funds that will not be affected by any possible outcome of the case before the Supreme Court.Q Will the CO-OP sell Blue Cross, MVP or other policies?A The CO-OP will sell its own policies. The CO-OP is not an association or group; it is a member-owned insurance company. Once the CO-OP receives a license from the State of Vermont Department, the CO-OP will be a third health insurance choice for Vermonters.Q Who can buy insurance plans from the Vermont Health CO-OP?A The Vermont Health CO-OP will be applying for a license to issue health insurance products to individuals and small businesses ( 50 employees. Their enrollment is also targeted for October 2013 for plans to start coverage on January 1, 2014.Q When will the CO-OP insurance plans be available?A The CO-OP business plan projects enrollment to start in October of 2013. Our first task is to apply for a license as a Vermont insurance company.Q How much will the CO-OPâ s health insurance plans cost?A Itâ s too early to know what the premiums will be for 2014, but our goal is offer plans that best our competition. Weâ ll be able to do this for two key reasons. First, our plans will be smart designs that give consumers positive incentives to get healthy and use health care wisely. Second, our agreements with Vermont Managed Care will give providers incentives to keep our members healthy and to provide high value health care. For example, weâ ll help our members stop smoking, the doctor will help, and members stop, weâ ll reward them. The beauty of the CO-OPâ s structure is that when our members and providers spend less money, the members will enjoy lower premiums and better benefits, and providers will share the savings.Q What is the relationship between the Vermont Health CO-OP and Vermont Managed Care?A Vermont Managed Care is the network of health care providers that CO-OP members will be able to access. is external) The Vermont Health CO-OP and VMC intend to negotiate a risk-sharing financial agreement that allows VMC providers the flexibility to do whatâ s best for patients, while also incentivizing high value care. Through this agreement, VMC, which is a provider organization, will manage the care; the CO-OP will not manage the care. This is what consumers and providers in Vermont want.Q How many people will the Vermont Health CO-OP employ?A Another way the CO-OP will keep down costs is by staying small. Our business plan currently projects around 20 employees once enrollment reaches our projections for the fifth year. We wonâ t be adding employees to process claims and manage care, or spending money on technology to support those functions. The CO-OP will contract with a skilled administrator with high customer satisfaction ratings to process medical claims, and Vermont Managed Care will manage the medical network and medical care. The employees of the CO-OP will focus on member services, satisfaction, and financial management. One of the most important CO-OP employees will be the Ombudsman, whose job is to be an advocate for any and all members and their concerns, and to make sure the CO-OP complies with all state and federal requirements.Q Who runs the CO-OP? Who is on the Board?A As required by the federal law, the CO-OP must hold elections for the Board within one year of the issuance of the first insurance policies. For the Vermont Health CO-OP, that will be in late 2014. The entire Board, called the Operational Board, must be elected by membership by the end of 2015. In the start-up phase, the federal law allows a â Formation Board’to govern the CO-OPâ s activities. The bylaws and governance documents, and the individual members of the Formation Board were vetted by HHS prior to the issuance of the loan to make sure that the CO-OP is independent of existing insurance companies, is truly member-governed and complies with all other federal laws governing the CO-OP health plans. In accordance with the business plan, the first milestones for the Board include hiring a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) almost immediately. The CEO will then put together the senior management team, hire the additional staff needed, and start the process of applying for the Vermont insurance company license. Consultants on legal issues, business planning and operations, benefit design and provider contracting are available to the Board and CEO until the CO-OP has staff to take on those responsibilities. The list of Board members, and addition information about the Vermont Health CO-OP is on our website: is external).South Burlington, June 22, 2012——————1 Because not all states have business statutes allowing creation of a â cooperative’for health insurance purposes, the federal law requires incorporation as a cooperative or non-profit, as state statutes permit. That is also why the federal law creates an acronym ‘â CO-OP’designating consumer/member â ownership and operation’as the hallmark.last_img read more

As More States Consider Legalizing, Questions About Pot And The Brain

first_imgNPR:Five states are voting this fall on whether marijuana should be legal, like alcohol, for recreational use. That has sparked questions about what we know — and don’t know — about marijuana’s effect on the brain.Research is scarce. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug. That classification puts up barriers to conducting research on it, including a cumbersome DEA approval application and a requirement that scientists procure very specific marijuana plants.One long-term study in New Zealand compared the IQs of people at age 13 and then through adolescence and adulthood to age 38. Those who used pot heavily from adolescence onward showed an average 8 percent drop in IQ. People who never smoked, by contrast, showed slightly increased IQ.…Jackson and Joshua Isen, now an assistant professor of psychology at the University of South Alabama, conducted a study comparing IQ tests of twins age 9 to 12, before either had smoked marijuana, and then seven to 10 years later, after one had started.Read the whole story: NPR More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Myers Industries Names New Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

first_imgAKRON, Ohio — Myers Industries has announced that David Knowles, 48, has joined the company as executive vice president and chief operating officer, effective immediately. Knowles will be responsible for all manufacturing and distribution operations, sales, marketing, research and development and supply chain functions. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement John Orr, president and chief executive officer, commented, “David brings to Myers Industries an extensive operating background in the plastic materials and specialty products arena. His leadership success in business development, sales and market share growth, lean manufacturing and organizational development will be an asset as we focus on the growth strategy in our businesses. I look forward to his contributions and to the value he will help create for our shareholders, customers and employees.” Since 2003, Knowles was president and chief executive officer of Aristech Acrylics LLC, a manufacturer of continuously cast acrylic sheet and solid surface products used in diverse applications like bathtubs, hot tubs, signage, countertops and more. Under his leadership, Aristech Acrylics transformed its solid surface product line into a high-growth, branded solid surface business; improved margins and cash flow in a difficult raw material and economic environment; and made its Avonite Surfaces brand the fastest-growing in the North American solid surface market. Prior to joining Aristech, he was vice president and general manager for Honeywell’s Performance Products business, where he earned his Six Sigma Plus Leadership Black Belt. From 1991 to 2000, Knowles advanced through various positions with the former M.A. Hanna Co. (now PolyOne Corp.), including director, corporate development; senior director, corporate strategy and development; and finally executive vice president and president of the company’s $500 million resin distribution business. Advertisement Knowles is a graduate of Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management with a master’s degree in management, concentrating in economics, finance and marketing. He received a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from The University of Michigan.last_img read more

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