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markfritz

Mark Fritz

Coalition against Insurance Fraud: Pay me now or …

 

Police are responding less and less to minor auto accidents

 

If you crash cars for a living in New Orleans, your life may be getting a bit easier.

 

Thanks to a bill in the state legislature, police in the Crescent City may no longer be required to respond to fender benders. If you’re involved in a minor accident, just head over to your local police station, give them the details, and they’ll  hand you an accident report you can use to file your insurance claim.

 

Crashers will no longer need to stage a collision. Just report it. How convenient.

 

The bill aims to relieve the cash-strapped city so police can focus more on violent and more-serious crimes. Responding to some 14,000 minor accidents each year is a drain on city resources, according to news reports.

 

That argument is hard to argue with. And it’s one that more and more jurisdictions are grappling with as cities continue struggling with adequate funding for police.

 

The extra dollars residents likely will pay in auto premiums rarely gets discussed in these deliberations. It’s a hidden tax that’s better spent paying for more police.

 

So while fraud fighters likely won’t win this policy battle, they can try to minimize the losses by educating the public and beefing up anti-fraud training of claims reps.

 

Pay now or pay later. Either way, this legislation will cost taxpayers and consumers.

 

Moss Adams Business Consultants Strategy

Whatever challenges you face, rely on an advisor for strategy, planning, and execution.
 
4 ATTRIBUTES OF HIGH PERFORMERS
 
All organizations face impediments to achieving optimal performance.
 
In addition to typical challenges—such as finding ways to increase revenue, reduce costs, grow your customer base, and stay ahead of regulatory changes—the next decade will present many of its own unique scenarios. Shifting workforce demographics and declining employee engagement are megatrends that are already costing organizations billions of dollars a year in lost productivity. To succeed despite these challenges, it’s important to gain insight on the underlying issues and proven strategies for overcoming them. That’s where a trusted advisor can help.
 
For more than a century, Moss Adams LLP has helped organizations nationwide and across industries improve financial and operational performance. In that time we’ve identified four key attributes of high-performing organizations: planning, performance, people, and communication.
Most organizations struggle to effectively put these four attributes into practice, even though they might seem straightforward. We’ve determined the critical interdependencies of these attributes and developed a practical approach for incorporating them into your own organization.
 
 
We’ll work collaboratively with you to develop strategies that are aligned with each stage in your organization’s life cycle—from start-up through growth, reinvention, and eventual transition. Our straightforward approach includes discovery, analysis, and the application of best practices to develop solutions tailored to your culture and organization. These strategies will not only enable you to drive change today but will also give you the tools to maintain your momentum well into the future.
 

WHO WE SERVE

 

We work with public and private middle-market companies across numerous industries as well as not-for profit organizations and governmental entities at the federal, state, and local level.

Hawkfield Gallery Consultants Review and Managing a Gallery 101

Many people, in general, do not have a working knowledge of what an art gallery is and how it operates. Here is an overview of what an art gallery is all about.

 

An art gallery essentially “houses” (whether directly or indirectly) art works and other materials which have artistic, cultural or historical value, such as relics, ancient manuscripts, archeological artifacts and jewelries. That is, a gallery can exhibit actual valuable materials for display to those who have the capacity and intention to purchase them or it may provide assistance, through its fine arts consultants, toward acquiring art works not yet in their possession. Yes, they can even do the hunting for you! Especially of wild birds you wish to keep “alive” on your walls. Ordinarily, of course, buyers would not want to wait and simply go to galleries that house works they can buy on sight. 

 

Some of the art works are not directly owned by the gallery but consigned to them by their owners. This means they have been displayed in a gallery in the hopes that they will attract buyers instead of being kept at home where they cannot be seen by as many prospective buyers as possible. Consignment is a common practice since it does not involve money upfront either by the owner or the gallery, until a buyer pays for a piece of work. In short, everyone is happy when a sell is made, especially the buyer who goes home with the art work. We can almost say that, artistically and practically, the buyer is the ultimate winner. 

 

It is precisely for that sense of satisfaction of providing assistance to customers that Hawkfield Gallery Consultants continues to provide quality services to art buyers and collectors. The list of artists represented in the gallery is provided on the website for reference. Nevertheless, the gallery welcomes others artists and can appraise their works as well to give them an idea as to the fair market value of their works. 

  

Those with experience in the gallery business consider evaluating art works as a delicate process not easily accomplished as it can be a quite subjective. Hawkfield’s fine arts consultants utilize comparative sales approach by using recent auction sales as basis for pricing art works. Likewise, the gallery also considers the opinion of independent consultants for appraising art work.   

 

Hawkfield Gallery offers competitive prices as it has low overhead expenses. Through visiting antique shops and art auctions, the gallery gains insight into the quality and value of art works that they have collected and of those which they hope to acquire from many sources. This assures customers that what they see at Hawkfield Gallery are not only a broad representation of classic American art but also of guaranteed high-quality and fair price.

Big Pharma has the upper hand ‘and they know it’ with Richard Isaacs MD

There has been an alarming upward trend in the costs of similar treatments, as more drugs are developed and come on to the market, new Pharmac figures  show.

 

And as the price of life-saving medicines soar and pharmaceutical companies show no signs of justifying their costs, the Government is warning that something has got to give. 

 

Pharmac, the Government’s drug buying agency,  began funding a key blood cancer drug Thalidomide, manufactured by drug giant Celgene, in 2002. While the true costs of what Pharmac pays are confidential, the list price for the drug in 2002 was $360, based on a daily average dose for a month.

 

Compare that with a later iteration of the same drug - Lenalidomide - which in 2014 carried a list price of $8353. A third option for blood cancer patients, whose condition might not respond so well to the first two, was Bortezomib, which had a list price of $9742.

 

The benefits of treating cancer with any of the drugs were similar, and limited studies comparing Lenalidomide and Thalidomide showed no survival difference.

 

When it came to differing forms of chemotherapy for breast cancer, list prices had risen 443 per cent.

 

Anthracycline, a common chemotherapy, was listed at $975 in 2002. As two more options came onto the market - Docetaxel, also in 2002, and Trastuzumab, in 2007 - list prices rose to $2488 and $5300 respectively.

 

A similar trend was also shown across medicines for the treatment of kidney cancer, and lung cancer, rising 411 and 44 per cent respectively.

 

While all those costs related to the list-price of the medicines, chief executive Steffan Crauzas said Pharmac did not pay that much.

 

How much less Pharmac paid was confidential, but the increase in the list-price showed an alarming trend that the overall cost of providing New Zealanders access to medicines was becoming more difficult.

 

Costs were symptomatic of a price-war raging overseas, where the medicines market was not so tightly controlled by a public purchaser.

 

According to the World Health Organisation, medicines accounted for over half of total health expenditures and were often “unavailable and unaffordable to consumers who need them”.

 

It recommended making some essential medicines exempt from taxation.

 

Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition chair Libby Burgess, who led a campaign for the public funding of breast cancer drug Herceptin, said the problem was the Pharmac model.

 

She cited Australia, where two separate bodies took care of funding decisions and then purchase of the medicines respectively.

 

“All of that happens under one roof in Pharmac, which means its very easy for one part of the process to compromise another.”

 

MidCentral DHB Oncologist Dr. Richard Isaacs said the prices big pharma was charging was “gobsmacking”.

 

“There’s been a lot of criticism of Pharmac over the years, and I was involved in advocating for Herceptin, but I strongly believe now there needs to be a strong focus on the costs that pharma are charging when they introduce new targeted therapies into the market.

 

"We certainly can’t afford all of them and I think our process of carefully assessing the drugs is a good one.”

 

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne said Pharmaceutical companies needed to justify their costs more.

 

“I think that there’s a real question about how everything starts with several zeros behind it, and think that is a question mark… but it may not solve the issue as far as access to medicines in New Zealand is concerned.”

 

Instead, it was Pharmac that would likely undergo changes in the next 10 to 15 years. Those changes were unlikely to be the kind Burgess was after, however.

 

“Pharmac are remarkably skillfull… and they are able to put these packages together, which are impressive. But the issue I thought they would have done a little more on, is actually evaluating their decisions; was there a benefit from funding Herceptin, for instance?

 

"We can be confident in the model at the moment, and in the forseeable future. But that’s not going to [last forever].” Dunne said.

 

“[Drug companies] have got the upper hand, and they know it. At the end of the day, no government is going to deny its citizens access to medicines.”

Source: http://markfritz.carbonmade.com/projects/5877479