Consumer and Employer Leadership Explored at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont Issues Conference

first_imgConsumer and Employer Leadership Explored atBlue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont Issues ConferenceBurlington, VT — Employee health incentives, better management of chronic illnesses, new provider payment structures, and integration of mental and medical health care were among a variety of strategies proposed Wednesday by a panel of national experts who met in Burlington to discuss ways to improve health care and at the same time hold down health care costs.The experts highlighted a half-day conference held as part of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermonts annual health issues symposium series. Nearly 300 Vermonters attended, including employers, health care providers, legislators and consumers.Keynote speaker Ian Morrison, an internationally known author, consultant and futurist specializing in long-term forecasting and planning, addressed the changing environment surrounding consumer involvement in health care. Morrison explained that information necessary for useful provider quality ratings is inadequate today but will improve dramatically in the next five years. Morrison cited pay for performance as holding great promise as a reimbursement strategy for improving our health care system. Morrison also identified e-business as a key factor in system improvement in the future.Other panelists included Michael Samuelson of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Islands Health and Wellness Initiative, Alex R. Rodriguez, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Magellan Health Services, Sharon Moffat, Deputy Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health, and Harvey Yorke, President and CEO of Southwestern Vermont Health Care.Michael Samuelson focused on the role of the individual in partnership with employers, providers and health plans. He effectively used personal experiences to illuminate trends in health care that rely on greater personal involvement.Dr. Rodriguez outlined the role that depression plays in overall heath status, and the importance of mental health care as a priority in any effective health care system.Harvey Yorke described a useful and innovative strategy for employers to emphasize preventive health while simultaneously holding down costs. Yorkes hospital has created and implemented an incentive program for its employees that rewards employees financially for incorporating self-responsibility for practicing healthy behaviors. The incentive, Yorke told conference participants, is to decrease the amount that the employee contributes to the cost of the health insurance premium as the employees level of compliance with health criteria increases.Sharon Moffat concluded the conference agenda with an overview of key initiatives the states health department is pursuing to improve health status. Foremost among those projects is a chronic care initiative underway to reform the way the health care system approaches chronic illness.The program was moderated by WCAX-TV Channel 3 news co-anchor and medical reporter, Sera Congi. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont President and CEO William R. Milnes, Jr. welcomed the conference participants and introduced the program.Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is the state’s oldest and largest private health insurer, providing coverage for about 180,000 Vermonters. It employs over 350 Vermonters at its headquarters in Berlin and branch office in Williston, and offers group and individual health plans to Vermonters. More information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is available on the Internet at www.bcbsvt.com(link is external). Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent corporation operating under a license with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.(End)last_img read more

USC football offensive playmakers depart early

first_imgRedshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold (right) and junior running back (left) Ronald Jones II played a significant role in the Trojans’ offensive performance over the past season. Photo by Emily Smith | Daily TrojanAfter a disappointing Cotton Bowl loss, one pressing question lingered in the minds of Trojan fans: What will happen to Sam Darnold? On Wednesday at 4:16 p.m., the redshirt sophomore quarterback posted a video on Instagram stating his intention to declare for the 2018 NFL Draft. He was followed to the NFL by fellow offensive playmakers, juniors running back Ronald Jones II and wide receiver Deontay Burnett. “After talking to my immediate family, very close friends, and many people who have helped me throughout my life, I have made the decision to declare for the NFL Draft,” Darnold said in the video.Darnold went on to say that he is thankful for the coaches and mentors who have helped him better his life both off and on the field.“The people who have been involved in making me the man I am today have prepared me for the life and decisions that I have to make in the future,” he said.Through that mentorship, Darnold has proven himself as one of the elite quarterbacks that the NCAA has to offer. After taking over as the Trojans’ starting quarterback in the fourth game of the 2016 season, Darnold tallied 3,086 yards, 31 touchdowns and a Rose Bowl victory. The following season, he recorded 4,143 yards and 26 touchdowns but couldn’t mark his second bowl game win. It was the first 4,000-yard passing season in USC history. The USC quarterback’s Instagram announcement was posted just minutes after UCLA QB Josh Rosen also declared for the draft. Darnold was not the only record-setting Trojan to announce his departure. A fellow backfield member, running back Ronald Jones II, also declared for the NFL Draft just two days later.“Because of the prayers, love, and support of so many people, I feel I am genuinely ready for the challenges and successes of the NFL,” Jones said in a letter announcing his decision. Jones arrived at USC from McKinney, Tex., in 2015 and made his presence felt immediately. He led the team with 987 rushing yards — the most ever for a freshman in school history.Affectionately referred to as the “Texas Tesla” by fans, the speedster upped the ante in his sophomore year, eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark and earning All- Pac-12 second team honors.In his third and final campaign, a bulked-up Jones rumbled for 1,550 yards, with 19 touchdowns, making first team All- Pac-12, alongside Darnold. Jones ran for over 100 yards on nine occasions this season, including a 216-yard performance against Arizona State and a 140-yard game in the Pac-12 Championship.Always a home-run threat during his career with the Trojans, “Rojo” finishes his career as the fifth all-time rusher in USC history. He is currently projected to be a second-round pick by many draft analysts.Deontay Burnett emerged as one of Darnold’s favorite targets, with a breakthrough performance in the 2017 Rose Bowl (164 yards and three touchdowns). In his junior year, he proved to be more than a one-hit wonder, as Burnett led the Trojans with 1,114 yards receiving and nine touchdowns. “The NFL has been a lifelong dream of mind and I feel I am ready to take on this next challenge in my life,” Burnett wrote in a Twitter post. Replacing Darnold, Jones and Burnett will be a difficult task for the USC coaching staff moving forward. Darnold and Jones alone combined for over 80 percent of the team’s total offense in 2017. At quarterback, freshman Jack Sears and redshirt freshman Matt Fink will likely compete for the starting quarterback position, alongside incoming recruit JT Daniels. The five-star Daniels was originally a member of the 2019 class, but recently announced his intention to reclassify and join USC by Fall camp.Losing Burnett will be a major blow, but the next Trojans’ starting quarterback will not lack offensive weapons to throw to. Redshirt freshman Tyler Vaughns and sophomore Michael Pittman Jr. combined for 1,213 yards receiving in 2017. Replacing Jones at running back should also be a relatively clear-cut process. Freshman Stephen Carr showed flashes of brilliance in his debut campaign, despite being hampered by injuries (363 yards, three touchdowns). Meanwhile, redshirt freshman Vavae Malepeai displayed a bruising physical, running style with limited carries (261 yards, 5.3 yards per carry). They are joined by the more experienced Aca’Cedric Ware, a junior running back. “My sincerest thanks to all of my coaches and teammates at the University of Southern California,” Jones wrote. “I am truly going to miss you guys. Go win that national championship for me next season.”last_img read more

UNITED WE STAND FOR DONEGAL AND CHRISTY!!

first_imgThis bunch certainly are ‘United’ in their support for Donegal.Your pictures are coming in thick and fast in support of Jim McGuinness and the boys ahead of next Sunday’s game. We’re not sure if all these folk at United Health Group in Letterkenny are from Donegal but I suppose they are supporting the winning team!!Many members of staff donned their Donegal colours to show that ‘united’ we stand.And if you look very closely you will see a certain Christy Toye who is an employee at the plant.And no – there’s no truth to the rumour that they have been given next Monday off if we crush Dublin at croker!! EndsUNITED WE STAND FOR DONEGAL AND CHRISTY!! was last modified: August 22nd, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Christy ToyedonegalletterkennyUnited Health Grouplast_img read more