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

U.S. Elected To UN Human Rights Council For The First Time

first_imgBy Dialogo May 15, 2009 Today the United States was chosen for the first time to be a member of the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC), a body that monitors the human rights situation in the world and which up until now had been ignored by Washington. The UN General Assembly elected the U.S., Norway, and Belgium to fill three seats on the group of Western European and Other States, while Cuba, Mexico, and Uruguay succeeded in being re-elected to the Latin American and Caribbean bloc. These six countries had secured their election because they did not face any competition for the three seats available to each group. A similar situation occurred for the five seats for Asia, in which China, Bangladesh, and Jordan managed to be re-elected, while Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan were elected to be part of the body. Furthermore, in the group of Eastern Europe, Russia and Hungary managed to secure the two available places at Azerbaijan’s expense. In Africa, the other bloc with more candidates than open seats, Senegal, Nigeria, Mauritius, Djibouti, and Cameroon won more votes than Kenya. The U.S. ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, was pleased by the support obtained in the General Assembly for Washington’s decision to “again play a meaningful leadership role in multilateral organizations.” “Although we know that the Human Rights Council is a flawed organization which has not complied fully with its mission, we intend to work with other countries to reform it from within,” said the diplomat at the end of the meeting. Rice said that the Council members are elected for terms of three years, and, therefore, the winners of these elections will have the opportunity to participate in the review of the body’s structure and procedures to be held in 2011. The administration of President George W. Bush flatly refused to participate in the HRC, which has its headquarters in Geneva, and voted against its creation in May 2006, considering it to be dominated by countries that violate human rights. The Mexican ambassador to the UN, Claude Heller, also welcomed the election of his country for another three-year term. The endorsement made in the General Assembly “confirms the important role that Mexico has played in the Human Rights Council and its strong commitment to human rights,” he added. The HRC was created on March 15, 2006 by the UN General Assembly to replace the Commission on Human Rights, which was abolished after 60 years of work due to the crisis of legitimacy that had risen due to decisions that were seen by as prejudiced, unbalanced and politicized. The Council is an intergovernmental body that is part of the United Nations system and is composed of 47 member states responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights in the world.last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Tuesday, Nov. 12

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionOur present system works for AmericaWhile some letters disparaging Trump were difficult to accept, I agree with comments about his childish tweets and his insults towards people opposing him that make him unpresidential.For those angry over Hillary’s loss, this may help:When Bill Clinton left office, their net worth was less than $16 million. When Hillary left as Secretary of State, their net worth grew to more than $48 million.One could assume if Hillary was elected president, their net worth would have skyrocketed.Trump’s salary is $1 per year.For those wanting Fox News off the air while CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and NBC are all anti-Trump, we have only Fox, as pro-Trump.One-sided news sounds like China.The 2020 elections have the three top Democrats running for office all wanting to change our present system, which creates millionaires and billionaires, to a system that makes the rich evil and people dependent on the government.These supposed acts of kindness are a Trojan horse towards socialism. Be careful when you replace a few job creating entrepreneurs with many people waiting in line for free government handouts.When Trump is re-elected in 2020, he will continue his work on job creation, lifting all boats, both rich and poor.As always, God bless America and God bless, our present form of government.Vince AlescioClifton ParkRussian history is a reflection of todayCertain items in this parody of Rep. Adam Schiff quoted from the book “The Gulag Archipelago” by Solzhenitsyn might remind the reader of current events.Please read on.“The Petrograd Church trial June 9 – July 5, 1922. The only witnesses heard were those of the prosecution. Defense witnesses were not permitted to testify. (oh, how familiar it all is) They were in a big hurry to produce a Criminal Code in time for the trial of the SR’s, the Socialist Revolutionaries.“Trial of the SR’s was June 8 – August 7, 1922. But since then, and after many, many trials, the whole thing makes one want to vomit.“But keep them in prison and hadn’t it already been 3 years? Wasn’t it necessary to try them? And what should they be charged with?“This period had not been sufficiently investigated in the pre-trial examination our prosecutor complained.”These words quoted from the book are true accounts of the happenings in 1922 when a Russian bishop in the Russian Orthodox Church was on trial in Russia.Anyone interested in learning more can look up Benjamin of Petrograd from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia on the computer.Walter K. JanczakSloansvilleWe’re all entitled to express opinionsIn her Oct. 30 letter, Diane Sanders Hombach’s referral to a letter from Wendell Neugebauer on Oct. 21 saying “until a baby can come out of a man’s body, an opinion on abortion shouldn’t come out of his mouth.”Following that logic, none of us should have or be able to express an opinion regarding space travel, leaving that discussion to the relatively few who have actually traveled into space.Also, since I don’t drink alcohol and I have never had a driver’s license, I guess I’m not entitled to an opinion, nor can I speak about drunk drivers or driving.Our opinions are what we opine about, think about, and talk about. They do not necessarily have to come from our own experiences.The original point to the letter is that “a baby would be coming out of a body.” That being said, it’s a separate entity from that body.The argument from pro-abortion/pro-choice people is that it’s a woman’s body; her choice doesn’t hold up. The baby is coming out as its own separate being.Kudos to Geraldine Havasy’s Nov. 5 letter (“Even women don’t have a right to kill babies”) for a similar sentiment.Susan HoverSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

2012 DOMFESTA to be officially launched today

first_imgChief Cultural Officer, Raymond LawrenceA Creole Song Competition, a Creole Spelling B Competition for primary schools and two new plays by local artists are expected to form part of activities to celebrate DOMFESTA 2012.Chief Cultural Officer Raymond Lawrence said several of the activities forming part of DOMFESTA are new.“We are doing in collaboration with a number of stakeholders and organizations. The DOMFESTA program is very varied. It is very exciting and we have several overseas artists. We have Ethiopian bans. We have two new plays written by locals, we have a Creole song contest. Normally the DOMFESTA song contest could be written in any language but we want it in Creole this time,” he said.Several government officials and sponsors are expected to be recognized at today’s launching.This year’s DOMFESTA celebration is being held under the theme “Through Culture We Build a Progressive and Peaceful Society”.The official launch of the activities will take place this morning from 10 o’clock.Dominica Vibes News Sharing is caring! Tweet Share Sharecenter_img LocalNews 2012 DOMFESTA to be officially launched today by: – April 18, 2012 39 Views   no discussions Sharelast_img read more

Facebook to ban new political ads before Election Day to ‘fight misinformation’

first_imgluchezar/iStockBy WILLIAM MANSELL, ABC News(NEW YORK) — Facebook is banning all new political advertisements a week before the general election with the hopes of limiting misinformation on its platform, the company announced Thursday.“The US elections are just two months away, and with Covid-19 affecting communities across the country, I’m concerned about the challenges people could face when voting,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement Thursday morning. “I’m also worried that with our nation so divided and election results potentially taking days or even weeks to be finalized, there could be an increased risk of civil unrest across the country.”“This election is not going to be business as usual. We all have a responsibility to protect our democracy. That means helping people register and vote, clearing up confusion about how this election will work, and taking steps to reduce the chances of violence and unrest,” he said.Zuckerberg said while he generally believes “the best antidote to bad speech is more speech,” there might not be enough time in the final days before the election to clear up false and misleading information.All currently approved ads will be allowed to run throughout the election cycle.Other steps Facebook announced it was taking Thursday include highlighting its Voting Information Center at the top of Facebook and Instagram, which will include video tutorials on how to vote by mail and information on voter registration deadlines for each state.Facebook said it would also limit the number of messages users can forward on the Messenger app and extend its work on partnering with elections officials to remove misinformation about voting.“I believe our democracy is strong enough to withstand this challenge and deliver a free and fair election — even if it takes time for every vote to be counted. We’ve voted during global pandemics before. We can do this. But it’s going to take a concerted effort by all of us — political parties and candidates, election authorities, the media and social networks, and ultimately voters as well — to live up to our responsibilities,” Zuckerberg said in his statement. “We all have a part to play in making sure that the democratic process works, and that every voter can make their voice heard where it matters most — at the ballot box.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Stanley Cup Final 2019: Blues’ Ryan O’Reilly wins Conn Smythe Trophy

first_img Related News O’Reilly beat out rookie Jordan Binnington, who set a rookie record with 16 wins in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The 25-year-old stopped 32 of 33 shots to lead the Blues to a victory in Game 7.But O’Reilly’s overall play was just too good to pass up as he was fantastic in scoring and on the defensive end, leading a forecheck which dominated a very tough Bruins team.His defense on Patrice Bergeron helped hold down one of the best facilitators in the NHL and win the Stanley Cup. Ryan O’Reilly has won the Conn Smythe Trophy.The Blues won the Stanley Cup Final with a 4-1 victory in Game 7 over the Bruins on Wednesday and it had everything to do with O’Reilly. Stanley Cup Final 2019: Three takeaways from Blues’ Game 7 win Nine points in the Final.A franchise-record 23 points in the #StanleyCup Playoffs.First-year @StLouisBlues forward Ryan O’Reilly is the 2019 Conn Smythe Trophy winner. #NHLStats #Game7 pic.twitter.com/Hm7ULVA4QJ— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 13, 2019He scored the first goal of the game, just as he did in the last four games of the Stanley Cup Final.Ryan O’Reilly is the first player to score in four straight Stanley Cup Final games since Wayne Gretzky in 1985.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 13, 2019He finished with a franchise-record 23 points in the playoffs — eight goals, 15 assists — and, most importantly, helped the Blues win their first-ever championship.last_img read more