Payday Loans VMR Sat, 25 Sep 2021 09:06:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Payday Loans VMR 32 32 Increase in violence against healthcare workers, state lawmakers say Sat, 25 Sep 2021 05:15:00 +0000

by Tim Darnell | Sep 23, 2021 | Capitol Beat Press Service

ATLANTA – A veteran nurse allegedly attacked by an abusive patient was one of several speakers Thursday before a state Senate study committee formed to examine violence against healthcare workers.

“I was assaulted by a patient who had assaulted one of our technicians before,” said a nurse who identified only as Destiny. “As I was trying to defuse the situation, the patient threw herself at me, grabbed my hair and twisted it in her hands. I received several punches and kicks; I was bitten; and she tried to drag me into the bathroom.

Destiny, who works at the Northeast Georgia Health System’s Braselton site, said it took five nurses and three security guards to restrain the patient. She said she had suffered a back injury, multiple scratches and bruises, and weeks of headaches and anxiety as a court date approached.

“I have been asked several times, am I sure I want to press charges,” she said. “The patient and her family have asked for my home address, and now they know where I am. I work 12 and 2 hour shifts and have a son and daughter who are sometimes alone at home.

“We are here to take care of the patients,” she said. “We are not here to be hurt. ”

According to a study by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, healthcare workers account for about 50% of all victims of workplace violence.

But Deborah Bailey, executive director of government affairs at Northeast Georgia Medical Center, told the committee that 75% of all workplace assaults in the United States involve healthcare workers.

“Only 30% of nurses and 26% of doctors actually report these incidents,” Bailey said. “Violent altercations are so common now that most employees see them as part of their daily work. ”

Workers in healthcare facilities are four times more likely to be assaulted than workers in the private sector, according to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

“Alarmingly, the actual number of violent incidents involving healthcare workers is likely much higher because reporting is voluntary,” the commission said.

Kevin August, a veteran former police officer and FBI official and now director of security at Grady Memorial Hospital, said any legislation regarding attacks on healthcare workers must come with enforcement powers.

“Training and more staff are imperative, but if the police don’t enforce the laws and judges don’t punish them, this problem will never be solved,” he said.

Lindsey Caulfield, director of marketing and experience at Grady, said healthcare is the fastest growing industry in the country and health and social service workers are five times more likely to sustain violent injuries on the job than other workers.

“Eighty percent of these workplace violence incidents in healthcare facilities are due to the patient over provider,” Caulfield said.

Anna Adams of the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) said increasing cases of violence are occurring statewide, not just in the metro Atlanta area.

“The pandemic has highlighted our severe labor shortage,” she said. “These types of attacks are often covered by workers’ compensation, and figures show that 22% of these claims are filed due to injuries inflicted by a patient, a patient’s family member or a colleague. “

Dr Kathleen Toomey, Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner, said stress from the pandemic, coupled with easy access to social media, is also a factor.

“A nurse who was involved in an attack had her home address posted on social media, where the public was asked to harass her,” Toomey said. “At a mobile vaccination site in northern Georgia, staff were heckled and intimidated to such an extent that they were forced to close the site. ”

Adams said a GHA survey shows that most Georgian hospitals see violence against healthcare workers from patients with mental illnesses or patients with behavioral health problems.

State lawmakers passed a resolution creating the study committee earlier this year. Its mission is to address the problem of violence against health workers in the state.

This story is available through a partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.

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Alaska Reports Nearly 1,800 New COVID-19 Cases and 44 Deaths, Partly Due to Backlog Sat, 25 Sep 2021 00:08:25 +0000

Alaska broke several daily records for the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths on Friday, but public health officials said the high numbers were at least in part due to backlogs of data.

The backlogs in data entry mean that the nearly 1,800 new cases reported on Friday were swelled by several hundred older cases, health officials said.

“This does not diminish the fact that we continue to see a huge spread of COVID in our communities,” Dr. Anne Zink, Chief Medical Officer of Alaska, said on a call with media.

The 41 deaths of Alaskan residents from COVID-19 reported on Friday mainly occurred last month, officials said. A few took place even earlier this year and had yet to be included in the tally due to a cyberattack that hampered the state’s death certificate record-keeping system.

But, a record 217 hospitalizations reported on Friday was not part of the data backlog and represented the growing number of people sick enough with COVID-19 to need hospital care in Alaska.

Over the past month, the state recorded its “highest incidence of cases we have ever seen, straining our public health infrastructure, our hospitals, our businesses and our economy,” Zink said.

The majority of the 44 deaths reported on Friday – including 41 residents and three non-residents – were deaths that occurred in August and were identified through a standard review of death certificates, officials said on Friday.

[Alaska health workers face anger and threats from COVID patients and public, chief medical officer says]

Government agencies rely on death certificates to report deaths from COVID-19. If a doctor judges that a COVID-19 infection contributed to a person’s death, it is included on the death certificate and ultimately counted in the state’s official toll, according to the DHSS.

Some deaths are reported directly to the state, while others are less clear than others and take longer to verify, epidemiologist Dr Louisa Castrodale said.

“The hospitals will call us and say, ‘Hey, we had this unfortunate death, we really think it’s COVID, and we’re bringing it to you,'” she explained.

“The hospitals will also call us and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got this person that’s passed away. There’s a lot going on with this person, we don’t really know what the provider will ultimately put on the death certificate. So for those, we are waiting, ”she said.

Ultimately, every state-reported COVID-19 death has a death certificate that lists COVID-19 as the cause of death, and each goes through a rigorous verification process, Castrodale said.

[How do COVID-19 deaths in Alaska get counted?]

About a dozen of the deaths reported Friday occurred in the spring; for those, reporting was delayed by a cyber attack in May that targeted the state’s health department, leaving several of its systems offline for months, officials said.

Continuously high numbers of COVID-19 patients continue to overwhelm healthcare facilities across the state.

Record hospitalizations and long emergency wait times

By Friday, a status dashboard reported a new record of 217 people hospitalized in the state with COVID-19 – higher than at any time during the pandemic and well above the peak of last winter.

Hospitals say their numbers are likely an underestimate of the true impact of COVID-19, as they are not including some long-term COVID-19 patients who no longer test positive but still need hospital care.

Earlier this week, state officials announced they would implement statewide crisis care standards, a worst-case scenario that requires hospitals to ration care due to limitations in resources and personnel.

Hospitals across the state continue to report long emergency room wait times, delayed procedures and limited transfers, and in at least one case the death of a patient who was unable to access emergency care. timely.

The vast majority of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Alaska are unvaccinated people.

In August in Alaska, state data showed residents were 8.3 times less likely to require hospitalization if they were vaccinated than if they were not, Zink said Friday.

Friday’s new record of 1,793 new cases of the virus – including 1,735 among residents and 58 non-residents – followed Thursday’s previous record of 1,330 cases plus seven deaths.


A few hundred of the cases reported on Friday were from positive test results last week and the week before as well as a few even before that, Castrodale said. She estimated that once the state has exhausted its backlog, it expects to see around 1,000 cases per day.

As the state found ways to automate new cases, it was able to dig into older case reports and catch up, Castrodale said.

Delays in reporting data make it difficult to compare daily counts, and Zink said it may be more useful to look at the overall trend each week. She pointed out that throughout the month of September, the state recorded its highest number of cases.

Delays are also coming from a variety of locations, officials said, including some overwhelmed testing facilities sending out all of their results for several days at a time, as well as limited staff amid a crush of new cases.

“There’s only a limited number of people on the team, so we’re doing our best to fit it in,” Zink said.

Alaska’s per capita case rate remains the highest in the country – and about three times the national average, according to a New York Times tracker.

Statewide, 9.23% of tests performed in the past week yielded positive results.

Among eligible Alaskans aged 12 and over, 62.8% had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine while 58.5% were considered fully vaccinated on Thursday.

The deaths involved residents statewide, including 11 from Anchorage, six from Wasilla, four from Fairbanks, three from Ketchikan, three from Juneau, two from Soldotna, two from Bethel, one from Homer, one from the Pole North, one from Tok, one from Big Lake, one from Petersburg, one from Palmer, one from Kenai, one from Willow, one from a small community in the Northwestern Arctic Borough and one from Sitka.

Fairbanks has also recorded three deaths of non-residents.

Of those who died, almost half were 70 or older. Fourteen were in their fifties or sixties, two in their forties, two in their thirties and two in their twenties.

A total of 514 residents and 18 non-residents of the state have died from COVID since the start of the pandemic.

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Leasing with option to buy makes durable goods affordable Fri, 24 Sep 2021 22:05:17 +0000

For millions of consumers, having a limited or damaged credit history means that traditional credit channels are inaccessible and therefore they cannot purchase durable goods at a higher price. But alternative payment options such as buy now, pay later (BNPL) are gaining ground and can make these purchases more affordable.

The report “Finding Retail’s Invisibles: Leverage Flexible Digital Payments to Reach Underserved Durable Goods Customers”, produced in partnership between Katapult and PYMNTS, interviewed 2,122 respondents to determine how consumers deepened their relationships with merchants when they offered them a range of payment options.

See also: Option-to-buy lease options can help durable goods dealers reach 79 million unseen in retail

Among the results: Up to 75% of US consumers have purchased durable goods in the past year. About 40% of these purchases were for household appliances; almost 38% concerned home furnishings.

But by purchasing these products, consumers – especially younger ones, such as millennials and bridge millennials – have embraced capital lease options. About a quarter of those who purchased household appliances took the option of leasing or other types of financing; a slightly lower percentage did so with furnishings.

An overwhelming majority of consumers reported using these options in part because of their ability to manage their expenses and meet their immediate need for items.

The study found that 43% of former rent-to-buy program users see the option as an incentive to make purchases from a particular merchant. Almost 22% of all respondents said their willingness to shop is highest among merchants who offer option-to-buy rental programs. That percentage rises to 35% for millennials, who say that option-to-buy leasing options encourage them to shop from a particular merchant.



On: Eighty percent of consumers want to use non-traditional payment options like self-service, but only 35 percent were able to use them for their most recent purchases. Today’s Self-Service Shopping Journey, a PYMNTS and Toshiba Collaboration, analyzes more than 2,500 responses to find out how merchants can address availability and perception issues to meet demand for self-service kiosks.

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California Independent Medical Exam Volume Decreased Through H1 2021 Fri, 24 Sep 2021 22:02:20 +0000

The number of independent medical examinations used to resolve medical disputes for California workers hit an all-time high in the first half of 2021, as statewide unemployment remained stubbornly high, non-COVID workers’ compensation claims remained lower at pre-pandemic levels, millions of Californians continued to work from home, and efforts to reduce prescription drug conflict appear to be paying off, according to a new analysis from the California Workers’ Compensation Institute.

California law requires every worker claims administrator to have a usage review program to ensure that care provided to injured workers meets state-adopted evidence-based treatment guidelines.

Most treatment claims are approved by the UR, but in 2012 state lawmakers embarked on a sweeping workers’ compensation reform and passed the AMT to allow injured workers to get medical advice independent on requests that UR physicians deny or modify.

The IMR came into effect for all claims in July 2013 and the CWCI began monitoring IMR activity in 2014. The latest CWCI review found that 68,044 IMR decision letters have issued during the first half of 2021 in response to requests submitted to the State, down 3.3% from 70,368 letters issued in the first half of 2020, while the latest annual tally shows that 136,738 letters have issued in 2020, down 16.6% from 163,899 letters in 2019 and down 26% from the record 184,735 letters in 2018.

A review of the IMR results revealed that after reviewing medical records and other information provided to support a contested treatment request, IMR doctors confirmed the doctor’s change or denial of service. of UR in 91.2% of MRIs in the first half of 2021, this was up slightly from the maintenance rate of 88.4% in 2019, according to the CWCI.

Disputes over prescription drug claims continued to represent the largest share of IMR decisions from January to June (35.5%), but this percentage declined from almost half of all IMR disputes before the ‘State adoption of opioid and chronic pain treatment guidelines in late 2017 and implementation of the Medical Treatment Utilization Schedule Prescription Drug Formulary in January 2018, according to CWCI.

Opioids still accounted for 25.8% of prescription drug MRIs in 2020 – more than any other class of drugs – although this percentage is down from 32.2% in 2018. As demands for pharmaceuticals have increased represented a declining share of IMR, since 2018, requests for physiotherapy; injections; and durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies accounted for an increased share and together accounted for 35% of all MRIs in the first half of 2021, while all other medical service categories combined accounted for 29.5%, according to the CWCI report.

The CWCI has published additional data and analysis on IMR data through June 2021 in a newsletter that institute members and subscribers can access on the CWCI website.


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Tacoma petting zoo fined over animal neglect after sloth and anteater died – KIRO 7 News Seattle Fri, 24 Sep 2021 16:41:12 +0000

TACOMA, Washington – A Tacoma petting zoo that offered close visits with otters, sloths, and other exotic animals was recently fined by the US Department of Agriculture for mistreating animals and allowing to dozens of people to be injured during these visits, according to the archives.

The failures of City Goat Farm and Zoo between April 2019 and February 2020 led to nearly 80 people injured “of varying degrees of severity” during animal encounters, according to a quote from the USDA.

The quote also pointed to the deaths of two animals, a sloth and a type of anteater called tamandua, as the result of failure “to demonstrate adequate experience and knowledge of the species they support.” A fennec fox in the zoo’s care was also said to have been so badly injured that he had to have a leg amputated.

Posted on July 27, the quote lists seven animal welfare law violations related to animal handling, structural strength of petting zoo facilities, and record keeping. The fine is $ 7,500.

When the incidents allegedly took place, City Goat Farm and Zoo operated an indoor petting zoo at 120 138th St. S. in Tacoma and an outdoor farm in Spanaway. The business was split in June when Malisa Cloud took over the indoor petting zoo from former owner Donald Miller.

Cloud, now owner of Debbie Dolittle’s Animal Experience, said she no longer had exotic animals such as otters and sloths at the indoor petting zoo. She said the animals have been moved to Miller’s outdoor farm where people can still visit otters and other animals.

The indoor petting zoo received media attention in 2020 as he struggled to stay financially afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. Q13 Fox reported this owner at the time, Miller, was in debt of $ 200,000.

Miller said that when contacted by the USDA he was given a choice between losing his license and a fine which he said started at $ 11,500 which he was able to negotiate up to $ 7,500. . Miller said staff at the petting zoo go over the rules with visitors for interacting with animals multiple times to try to protect them. He said sometimes people still don’t listen and get bitten.

Miller said no petting zoo plans to kill animals in its care.

“It’s not what you want to do,” Miller said. “You are there to appreciate them and let the public enjoy and educate with them. When something like that happens, it devastates everyone. “

Zoosanitary and Phytosanitary Inspection Service inspectors discovered the sloth’s death during an inspection on December 10, 2019. The sloth, Malia, died on October 26, 2019 after falling from a climbing structure, according to the report. quote.

An autopsy of the sloth revealed that the cause of death was blunt trauma to the head. According to the quote, the autopsy also found that the sloth was suffering from “severe wasting,” had signs of chronic stress, and signs of older bruises on the body not associated with the sloth’s fall.

“The results were found to be consistent with mishandling, neglect and ignorance of animal care,” the quote reads.

The death of the tamandua was discovered during an inspection on July 2, 2019. The animal died on June 27, 2019. According to the quote, the petting zoo did not quarantine the animal after taking possession of it. . The animal is also said to have suffered weight loss and has never been examined by a veterinarian.

Miller disputed that the animal was never examined by a veterinarian. He said the petting zoo has a veterinarian on staff who examines the animals every week. Miller said the petting zoo only had possession of the tamandua six or seven days before he died.

“We got there one morning, and it was just dead,” Miller said.

A month later, inspectors learned that a loose metal ramp designed for ferrets was being used in a fennec three fox pen. According to the quote, a female fennec fox suffered an open fractured leg and had to have a limb amputated.

The allegations list three incidents where customers were bitten by otters or capybaras. In an incident with an otter, the bite broke the skin and spilled blood.

Photos on the company’s Facebook page show people petting otters lounging on a towel in their lap. Allegations in the quote related to animal mishandling indicate that the establishment has failed to minimize the risk of harm to the animal and customers by providing barriers or sufficient distance between people and animals.

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Mo Abudu does not wait for permission Fri, 24 Sep 2021 16:35:00 +0000

Abudu’s takeaways? “If you don’t take responsibility for changing the narrative, when you leave your narration to someone else, you can’t blame them,” she said.

By 2013, “Moments” had made Abudu a household name in Nigeria. Seeing opportunities, Abudu took full advantage of Winfrey and launched a pan-African television network: EbonyLife TV. In 2020, Abudu’s parent company, EbonyLife Media, ditched its TV channel to focus on a model based on partnerships with some of the world’s biggest streamers and studios.

Today, of what Abudu described as “over 30 deals,” many of which have yet to be announced, EbonyLife Media has contracts with Netflix, Sony Pictures Television, AMC and Westbrook Studios, the production company. founded by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.

“I’ve been knocking on these international doors since day one,” she said, “but you know people weren’t ready to listen.”

When EbonyLife TV started in 2013, the mission centered around lifestyle programming that showcased the burgeoning cosmopolitan continent of the 21st century. But Abudu gradually tightened his muscles and broadened his creative palette.

“Castle & Castle,” which Abudu co-created and produced by the executive, concerns a Lagos law firm run by a husband and wife, whose respective affairs threaten to destroy their marriage. With this series, Abudu wanted to focus on specific legal issues in Nigeria. In one episode, for example, “there’s a case around lesbianism,” she said. “It is actually still illegal to have a same-sex relationship in Nigeria.

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McClaughry: A Crisis of Unsustainability Facing Seniors | Chroniclers Fri, 24 Sep 2021 12:00:00 +0000

Let’s put aside for a moment a long list of national issues – crime, drugs, racism, electoral laws, epidemics, vaccinations, the climate and the perilous international situation – to focus on a truly critical issue beyond the scope of the evening news.

To set the stage: the federal government’s current debt to the public – before the net contributions to that debt from a pending infrastructure bill of $ 1 trillion and up to a pending spending bill of $ 3 500 billion dollars to be added to the national accounts – is 28.43 billion dollars. That’s 102 percent of the nation’s total gross domestic product, a level not seen since the last year of World War II. A nation with this level of debt is usually associated with budget failures like Argentina and Greece.

The Treasury pays nearly $ 1 billion a day in interest on this debt – at a time when the federal government is borrowing (yield on 10-year notes) at 1.33%. In a year, this rate is much more likely to be higher than lower. The interest component of the federal budget will increase accordingly, and it must be paid to preserve the nation’s credit.

Now let’s focus on two extremely important programs for 65 million elderly Americans and their survivors and dependents: Social Security and Medicare.

Last month, administrators of the Social Security system, including Medicare, released their annual report on the status of these programs. The directors are four cabinet members appointed by President Biden. Here is what they tell us:

The two combined social security funds (retirement and disability) will be exhausted in 2034. That is to say that all the reserves will have been paid, and the funds will only be able to pay what comes from social charges. At the current payroll tax rate, this will represent 78 percent of the benefits promised for that year.

The Medicare program is threatened by the increase in life expectancy and the constant increase in health care costs for the elderly. At the current tax rate (1.45% of wage and salary income, plus an Obamacare surtax of 0.9% on very high-income seniors), the Health Insurance Trust Fund (HI) will not be able to pay only 91% of expected claims in 2026, which decreases with each subsequent year.

Each proposed remedy is extremely controversial. For pension funds, freeze increases in the cost of living. Increase social contributions to 10% for employees and employers and to 20% for the self-employed. Pay general income – actually borrowed money – to cover annual deficits. Eliminate early retirement at 62 and raise the retirement age to 70. Tell the elderly that they will have to live on less.

Solutions for Medicare are even more controversial. Increase the payroll tax rate from 1.45% to 5%. Offer senior citizens a financial incentive not to resort to expensive medical care here and to seek treatment in low-cost countries (“medical tourism”). Ration care UK style, reducing services for the very old and unhealthy, and lengthening wait times until the death of some patients. Reduce reimbursements to providers, at the risk of having fewer providers willing to accept Medicare patients at reduced prices, offering them cheaper services and reducing the number of small clinics and hospitals, especially in minority areas and rural underserved.

Not only are politicians from both parties allergic to any discussion of this issue, but a large number of them – the Sanders-Biden Democrats – are hard at work to quickly escalate the Medicare problem.

Their current plan, in Sanders’ pending $ 3.5 trillion budget bill, would expand benefits to include dental, vision and hearing, and lower the age of eligibility for insurance. illness at age 60. If implemented this year, it would bring two years to the day of reduced Medicare benefits. closer, 2026 to 2024. The Sanders Bill would also create new federally funded fees, such as free tuition, national child care, and universal preschool, the spending of which would compete for billions of dollars. budget with all other spending programs.

Covering fund deficits through “general revenue” is no longer, if it ever was, a viable solution. “General revenue” means more borrowed money and / or more taxpayer money. The burden of new taxes to prevent the depletion of both funds would threaten to cripple the U.S. economy, already facing challenges from COVID, the growing dollar depreciation and fierce international competition.

What is my solution? This is an unprecedented titanic problem, and the only advice I can give is: don’t make it worse. Restoring the sustainability of failing social security and medicare will require extraordinarily courageous leadership that is not on the horizon.

Perhaps the roar of seniors receiving reduced pension benefits and restricted health care services will put those funds back on the path to fiscal sustainability. I hope to live to see it.

John McClaughry is Vice President of the Ethan Allen Institute ( The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Bennington Banner.

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Paduda: Reviews of Conduent | Workers’ Compensation News Fri, 24 Sep 2021 07:10:33 +0000

Through Joe paduda

Friday, September 24, 2021 | 0

As we go through the list of Big, Biggest and Largest Worker Compensation Services Entities, we are now at the Single Service Provider level.

Joe paduda

It will not take much time. Conduent is the market share leader in workers’ health bill review claims, followed by Mitchell and Medata. The company claims 50% of the market share, which seems fair, although the alleged “savings” of $ 16 billion is just plain absurd (as it likely reflects cuts below the fees charged, which we all know to be. are not “savings”).

Back then, there were a lot more invoice review apps and providers: PowerTrak, CompIQ, Smartadviser, Corporate Systems, and CS Stars (can’t remember the names of their apps).

Strataware is Conduent’s application. Stratacare – owner of Strataware – was acquired seven years ago when Xerox bought ISG Holdings (ISG had previously acquired Stratacare).

At the end of 2018, we did an investigation into the review of workers’ compensation invoices (Conduent’s predecessor did pretty well; Conduent, not so much). I also conducted BR surveys in 2009 and 2012.

There have been a lot of rumors that Conduent is potentially selling its BR app. The company has suffered from staff departures, ditched the CompIQ platform, and has had too many senior executives lately. While it remains the largest player in the worker invoice review request space, it is evident that Conduent has yet to figure out how to right the ship and put it on a stable and improved course.

The problems extend beyond reviewing the work invoice.

Overall, Conduent’s revenue declined fairly quickly, from $ 5.4 billion in 2018 to $ 4.2 billion in 2020. The review of the work bill is included in the “solutions” category. commercial health care ”, which saw a smaller decline from $ 445 million to $ 431 million during this period.

The CEO’s discussion of Conduent’s rather poor results is a classic example of corporate language:

Going forward, we will assess our diversified portfolio and apply a differentiated investment strategy to optimize, improve and expand our solutions as necessary based on our clients’ needs. We are focused on positioning Conduent for long-term success and creating value for customers and shareholders.

I don’t see Conduent adding to his portfolio of compositions for workers. On the contrary, Stratacare can be sold if / when the Conduent board decides that it is fed up with the poor performance and restructures the company / changes direction.

What does this mean to you?

The future of Strataware will be determined by bigger issues – and hopefully the resolution of those issues – at Conduent.

If / when Stratacare is sold, expect the other big players in worker compensation services to be the likely buyers.

Joseph Paduda is a co-owner of CompPharma, a consultancy focused on improving pharmacy workers’ compensation programs. This column is republished with her permission from her blog Managed Care Matters.

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Phoenix # 1 in Home Price Hikes for 25 Consecutive Months Thu, 23 Sep 2021 19:09:32 +0000

The US Census Bureau released franchise statistics from the 2017 Economic Census on August 26. Almost 300 different types of businesses are franchises, although the only data available at the state level is for full and limited-service restaurants. Comparing Arizona to the United States, 41.6% of restaurants (combined total of full and limited service) in Arizona were franchise establishments, while the figure was 35.0% for the United States. Limited-service restaurants were much more likely to be franchised establishments, as 63.2 percent of limited-service restaurants in Arizona were franchises and 57.3 percent nationally. For full and limited service restaurants, the owner is more likely to be a franchisee than a franchisor.

READ ALSO: Are Short-Term Rental Investors Ruining the Arizona Housing Market?

June was the 25the consecutive month Phoenix topped house price increases in the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller report, by 29.3% year-on-year. Nationally, home price increases hit a record high in June with an annual gain of 18.6 percent – the largest increase in over 30 years. All of the metropolitan areas included in the report saw double-digit year-over-year house price increases in June, with Chicago posting the smallest increase at 13.3%. Phoenix, San Diego and Seattle were the top three regions with respective increases of 29.3%, 27.1% and 25.0%. The 20-city composite posted a gain of 19.1% according to the August 31 press release.

US house prices rose 17.4% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2021, making it the 40e consecutive quarter of house price increases according to the house price index of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. All states posted year-over-year price appreciation for the second quarter of 2021. The five states with the largest price increases were Idaho at 37.1%, Utah at 28.3%, Arizona at 23.9%, Montana at 23.7% and Rhode Island at 23.7%. Given that the top four states are in the mountain region, it’s no surprise that this is the region of the country with the largest price increases. The report provides data on regions, states and the 100 largest metropolitan areas for the buying index only. The All Transaction Index, which includes purchase and refinance mortgages, provides price appreciation data for all metropolitan areas. Three Arizona subways ranked among the top metropolitan areas on the All-Transaction Index: Lake Havasu City-Kingman at 20.4%, Phoenix at 19.5% and Prescott Valley-Prescott at 17.7%. Arizona’s other metropolitan areas saw increases of 18.2% in Yuma, 16.8% in Flagstaff, 16.7% in Sierra Vista-Douglas and 15.7% in Tucson.

July unemployment rates were lower than the same month a year ago for all metropolitan areas except one included in the September 1 metropolitan area employment and unemployment release. Only Pueblo, CO had a higher rate than a year ago. All of Arizona’s metropolitan areas had July unemployment rates several percentage points lower than a year ago (ranging from 2.9 percentage points in Sierra Vista-Douglas to 5.0 percentage points in percentage in Flagstaff). Despite a falling unemployment rate, Yuma was the metropolitan area with the highest unemployment rate in the country at 20.1%. The lowest unemployment rate among metropolitan areas was 1.8 percent in Logan, UT-ID.

The United States gained 235,000 non-farm payroll jobs in August, up from a revised, seasonally adjusted increase of 1,053,000 in July. The average monthly increase so far this year has been 586,000 according to the September 3 publication of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment situation. Professional and business services followed by transportation and warehousing were the main sectors where employment increased during the month. The number of people not in the labor force decreased over the month, but was still higher than at the same time last year. The country’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage point to 5.2% in August.

The US trade deficit narrowed in July to $ 70.1 billion, from a revised figure of $ 73.2 billion in June. The increase in exports combined with the decrease in imports has contributed to the reduction of the deficit in goods and services. July exports increased $ 2.8 billion to $ 212.8 billion, and imports fell $ 0.4 billion to $ 282.9 billion. Exports of goods increased by $ 2.7 billion and services increased by $ 0.1 billion according to the September 2 joint publication of the US Census Bureau and the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit in July was 37.1% compared to the same period in 2020.

There were 826 bankruptcy filings in Arizona during the month of August, bringing the cumulative total for the year to 6,760, down 25.5% from the same period a year ago. The last time the August cumulative total was this low was in 2007. So far this year, the Phoenix office is down 27.2%, the Tucson office is down 21.4%, and Yuma’s office by 19.6%. La Paz was the only county to have a higher number of filings since the start of the year for August compared to a year ago with 11 this year compared to 10 last year. The Phoenix office includes Apache, Coconino, Gila, Maricopa, Navajo, and Yavapai counties. The Tucson office manages the counties of Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, Pima, Pinal and Santa Cruz, while the Yuma office represents the counties of La Paz, Mohave and Yuma.

Producer prices rose 0.7 percent during the seasonally adjusted month in August according to the Sept. 10 release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Final demand goods rose 1.0 for the month, with a 2.9% increase in final demand food prices contributing. Final demand services increased 0.7%. The change in the unadjusted 12-month final demand index was 8.3%, the largest annual increase since November 2010 (when 12-month data was first calculated) .

Valorie H. Rice is the Senior Business Intelligence Specialist at the Center for Business and Economics Research (EBRC) at the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona.

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Analysis: A growing number of states allow reimbursement of medical cannabis costs through workers’ compensation insurance Thu, 23 Sep 2021 17:22:58 +0000

A limited but growing number of states allow eligible patients to be reimbursed for their medical cannabis-related costs through their Workers’ Compensation Insurance (WCI) plans, according to a recently released analysis of the policies of the State conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

NORML deputy director Paul Armentano said these policy changes are further proof of the legitimacy and social acceptance of medical cannabis. “For millions of patients, cannabis is a legitimate treatment option. Increasingly, our laws and regulations recognize this fact and evolve their policies accordingly. “

Researchers affiliated with the federal agency evaluated the rules and regulations of 36 states allowing access to medical cannabis. They identified six states – Connecticut, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York – that explicitly allow employees to be reimbursed for their medical cannabis expenses. In three of those states – New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York – refunds were ordered following state Supreme Court rulings earlier this year.

In contrast, the authors identified six states where workers’ compensation insurance is expressly prohibited from reimbursing medical marijuana-related costs: Maine, Massachusetts, Florida, North Dakota, Ohio, and Washington.

In all other jurisdictions, the law is either silent on the issue or states that insurers are “not required” to reimburse employees who are injured on the job for the costs associated with their use of medical cannabis.

The authors said they expected the number of states allowing marijuana-related compensation to increase in the coming years “as more and more workers petition state courts and administrative agencies reimbursement of WCI cannabis ”.

A summary of the study, “Review of Cannabis Reimbursement by Workers’ Compensation Insurance in the United States and Canada,” appears in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

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