GAO Warns of Security Risks In Healthcaregov

first_imgGAO Warns of Security Risks In This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Despite improvements, the federal health insurance website has continuing security holes that put consumers’ personal information at risk, the nonpartisan watchdog agency said in a report Tuesday.The Wall Street Journal: Federal Health Care Website Faces Security Risks, Watchdog has continuing security frailties that put users’ sensitive personal information at risk, a government watchdog is set to tell Congress this week. Despite the federal government’s efforts to protect the website from breaches, “weaknesses remained in the security and privacy protections applied to and its supporting systems,” said the Government Accountability Office. The agency released a report Tuesday on the security of the site, through which millions of Americans bought coverage under the health law last year and which millions more will be urged to use (Radnofsky and Armour, 9/16).The Associated Press: Probe: Website Must Boost, the health insurance website serving more than 5 million Americans, has significant security flaws that put users’ personal information at risk, nonpartisan congressional investigators have concluded. The Government Accountability Office said the Obama administration must resolve more than 20 specific security issues related to who can get into the system, who can make changes in it and what to do in case the complex network fails (9/16).Reuters: GAO Report Warns Of Security Risks In U.S. Health Care, President Barack Obama’s health insurance exchange, has security and privacy protection vulnerabilities, a U.S. government watchdog reported on Tuesday, nearly a year after the website’s troubled rollout. The General Accounting Office (GAO) said that despite steps taken by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for security and privacy protection, weaknesses remain in the processes used for managing information security and privacy. The GAO also identified issues regarding the technical implementation of IT security controls (9/16). Politico Pro: GAO Lashes Security Of has weaknesses that have put sensitive personal information at risk, according to a Government Accountability Office report expected to be released Wednesday. With the second year of enrollment just two months away, the website and its information still “remain at increased risk of unauthorized use,” according to the report obtained by POLITICO. The 78-page critique is the latest sign that CMS and its website were under-prepared for the rollout of last fall, during which 8 million people chose insurance policies (Haberkorn, 9/16).Fox News: Watchdog Report: HealthCare.Gov Still Has Security IssuesDespite efforts to protect patient information on the website, a new government watchdog report scheduled to be released Thursday says security issues are still a concern. According to the Government Accountability Office report, “weaknesses remained in the security and privacy protections applied to and its supporting systems.” The agency will present its findings to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday (9/16).Fiscal Times: Obamacare Websites Still A Mess, And Costing MillionsIt’s been nearly one year since Obamacare’s nightmarish debut. The federal website was plagued with technical glitches that crippled and a number of state exchange websites suffered an even worse fate. Just as health officials are preparing for Obamacare round two, auditors are warning that both the federal and some state websites are still not ready for prime time. The Government Accountability Office released a new report Tuesday night concluding that while the federal exchange website has improved, it’s not fully secure—with two months to go before its second launch. In the report, auditors detailed an array of issues that left unaddressed pose security risks to user information and the entire website itself (Ehley, 9/17).last_img read more

State Highlights Texas Public Health Costs Rising Missouri Medicaid Switches Hep C

first_img North Carolina Health News: Local Health Directors Eye Future Warily Charlotte Business Journal: UnitedHealthcare Contract With Carolinas HealthCare Set To Expire The Associated Press: Vermont Takes 2nd Look At Aid-In-Dying Law The Associated Press: Missouri To Save $4.2M By Switching Hep C Drug State officials say Missouri’s Medicaid program will save an estimated $4.2 million in fiscal year 2016 by using a newer, cheaper drug to treat hepatitis C. The state joined a group of 25 other states to receive rebates on Viekira from drug maker AbbVie. The state in most cases will provide that drug instead of Gilead Science’s Sovaldi in an agreement announced Monday. (1/27) The Texas Tribune: The Texas Health Care Budget: Four Things To Know In the midst of negotiations over a new contract, UnitedHealthcare has notified its brokers that Carolinas HealthCare System “wants to be paid up to 150 percent more than other hospitals in the Charlotte area for providing the same services.” The multiyear contract between Charlotte-based Carolinas HealthCare and the insurance company will expire Feb. 28 if a deal isn’t reached. That would leave 12 Charlotte-area hospitals and many doctors offices in Carolinas HealthCare “out-of-network” for the nearly 80,000 Charlotte-area members covered by UnitedHealthcare. (Garloch, 1/27) The Charlotte Observer: Carolinas HealthCare And UnitedHealthcare Contract Nears End UnitedHealthcare began notifying patients this week by mail that its contract with Carolinas HealthCare System is scheduled to expire Feb. 28. Unless a deal is reached, Carolinas HealthCare facilities — including its hospitals and physicians practices — will no longer be considered in-network for individuals covered by UnitedHealthcare. That could mean higher out-of-pocket costs for nearly 80,000 patients with insurance coverage through UnitedHealthcare’s commercial plans or Medicare starting March 1. (Thomas, 1/27) Legislators expressed skepticism Tuesday about a bill that would require hospitals to provide discharge instructions to patients’ designated caregivers. Kansas AARP has made House Bill 2058 one of its priorities for the session, running ads for it on public television. But the group has not come to an agreement with the state hospital association on the bill, and members of the House Children and Seniors Committee questioned whether it’s necessary. (Marso, 1/27) Ten years after California voters passed Proposition 63’s tax on millionaires to fund programs for the mentally ill, the state cannot document whether billions of dollars in funding have improved residents’ lives, according to a new report by the Little Hoover Commission. (Siders, 1/27) center_img The first Legislature in the country to pass an aid-in-dying law may revisit the issue, as a key backer says changes to automatically take effect in mid-2016 would remove too many patient protections. (1/27) The Kansas Health Institute News Service: Legislators Skeptical Of AARP Caregiver Bill Texas’ Republican leadership has fought tooth and nail against federal health care reform, adamantly opposed to taking either money or direction from the Obama administration when it comes to providing health care for the poor. But putting politics aside, public health care costs in Texas are rising about $1.3 billion over the next two years, according to one legislative budget estimate. Medicaid enrollment is growing, whether or not the state decides to accept more federal funds to expand the program’s coverage to poor adults. And fiscal conservatives are raising the possibility, for first time in recent memory, that state appropriators will this year allocate more money for health care than education. (Walters, 1/27) State Highlights: Texas Public Health Costs Rising; Missouri Medicaid Switches Hep C Drug A selection of health policy stories from Texas, Missouri, North Carolina, California, Kansas, Florida and Vermont. Health News Florida: GOP Lawmaker Files Medical Marijuana Bill In Florida There’s a new push to legalize medical marijuana in Florida, and a Republican lawmaker is leading the charge. Though a constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana failed in November, Republican lawmaker state Sen. Jeff Brandes has filed a bill to make medical marijuana legal for Florida residents. (Watts, 1/27) The Sacramento Bee: Report Rips California’s Oversight Of Mental Health Initiative At the annual meeting of North Carolina’s state health directors last week in Raleigh, small knots of people gathered in the halls and the backs of conference rooms, all discussing the same question: How will public health survive the coming changes in health care financing? One of the biggest concerns voiced by health directors both off and on the record centered around the future of North Carolina’s Medicaid program. Currently, legislators are discussing changing both how the program gets administered and how services get paid for. And for many local health departments, Medicaid payments – small as they are – are key to keeping budgets solvent. (Hoban, 1/27) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Latest OnePlus 7 Pro update makes practically everything better

first_imgOnePlus says the OTA update is landing with a limited number of owners today, with a broader release scheduled as the week goes on. In order to check the update is available for your OnePlus 7 Pro smartphone, check Settings> System > System Updates. You can see the full changelog (via the OnePlus forums) below:SystemImproved touch sensitivity for greater performanceSmoother Visual effectsOptimized haptic feedback for the keyboardOptimized the sensitivity of automatic brightnessOptimized auto-switch of display resolutionOptimized the speed and accuracy of GPS when the screen is turned offAdjusted haptic feedback of third-party app notificationsAdded Face Unlock assistive lighting (Settings – Security & lock screen – Face Unlock – Face Unlock assistive lighting)Increased sound enhancement for OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 (Settings – Sound & vibration – Dolby Atmos – Earphone Adjustment – Earphone Sound Enhancement)Updated Android security patch to 2019.06Support VoLTE/VoWiFi for 3 SE and Telenor SE (EEA Only)General bug fixes and improvements Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. The latest Oxygen OS update for the OnePlus 7 Pro smartphone is here, bringing fans of the firm’s most advanced handset a wide-range of improvements and optimisations.The OxygenOS 9.5.9 Update, which begins rolling out today, offers improvements in touch sensitivity, while delivering smoother visual effects, better haptic feedback and improved speed and accuracy of GPS.The improvements, which touch upon a wide range of features, also offer new a assistive lighting setting when using Face Unlock, while owners of the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 earphones will also benefit from enhanced sound.Related: Amazon Prime Day Smartphone DealsThere’s also a number of camera improvements, with the update promising better performance of the camera app when switching between front and rear cameras. The autofocus is also getting better, while the stitching of panoramic photos is also due a boost. Naturally, there’s also the latest Android security patch, while bug fixes are also along for the ride. Best OnePlus 7 Pro Monthly TariffOnePlus 7 Pro with Unlimited Data, Calls and TextsA stunning, innovative handset, get it on contract with this amazing completely unlimited tariff where you get 50% off the first 6 monthly payments.Three Mobile|50% off 6 Months|Now £28/monthView DealNow £28/month|50% off 6 Months|Three Mobile Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editorcenter_img CameraImproved the performance of camera mode while switching from front to backImproved speed of auto-focusAdvanced photo-stitching in Panorama modeImproved photo quality of 48MP JPG in Pro mode This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy.last_img read more

The US government shutdown What exactly happens in a situation like this

first_img What’s open and what’s closed?Social Security checks will go out and troops will remain at their posts. Doctors and hospitals will receive their Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. The U.S. Postal Service, busy delivering packages for the holiday season, is an independent agency and won’t be affected. Passport services, which are funded by fees and not government spending, will also continue.Virtually every essential government agency, including the FBI, the Border Patrol and the Coast Guard, will remain open. Transportation Security Administration officers will staff airport checkpoints.The air traffic control system, food inspection, Medicare, veterans’ health care and many other essential government programs will run as usual. The Federal Emergency Management Agency can continue to respond to disasters.Nearly 90 per cent of the Department of Homeland Security’s 240,000 employees will be at work because they’re considered essential.Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, which is investigating potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, is unaffected by a shutdown.Arizona and Utah officials put in place plans to keep open Grand Canyon, Zion, Arches and Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks Federal workers still get paid — eventuallyWhile they can be kept on the job, federal workers won’t be paid for days worked during the lapse in funding. In the past, however, they have been repaid retroactively even if they were ordered to stay home. White House officials said that would be the case again.The Senate already has passed legislation ensuring that workers will receive back pay. The House seems sure to follow suit.Federal employees already were granted an extra day of vacation on Monday, Christmas Eve, under an executive order Trump signed this past week.The Senate already has passed legislation ensuring that workers will receive back pay. The House seems sure to follow suit More Comment Facebook 0 Comments Join the conversation → Share this storyThe U.S. government shutdown: What exactly happens in a situation like this? Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Email December 23, 20189:44 AM EST Filed under News World Federal workers are exempted from furloughs if their jobs are national security-related or if they perform essential activities that “protect life and property.”According to a report by Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee, more than 420,000 federal employees deemed essential will continue to work without pay, including about 41,000 law enforcement and corrections officers. The Homeland Security employees who will keep working include about 150,000 from the Coast Guard, TSA and Customs and Border Protection.More than 380,000 employees will be furloughed — including nearly all from NASA and Housing and Urban Development and 41,000 from the Commerce Department. About 16,000 National Park Service employees — 80 per cent of the agency’s workforce — will be furloughed.Also among those who will furloughed: 52,000 staffers at the Internal Revenue Service, slowing analysis and collection of hundreds of thousands of tax returns and audits.Trump government hours away from possible shutdown as the world draws closer to ChristmasTrump tells GOP he won’t sign bill over lack of border wall money, sparking government shutdown fearsTrump demanding $5B for border wall in spending bill, Republican says, amid fears of government shutdownShutdowns happenShutdowns happened every year when Jimmy Carter was president, averaging 11 days each. During President Ronald Reagan’s two terms, there were six shutdowns, typically just one or two days apiece.Before a three-day lapse in January, caused by Democrats’ insistence that any budget measure come with protections for young immigrants known as “Dreamers,” the most recent significant shutdown was a 16-day partial shuttering of the government in 2013.That one came as tea party conservatives tried to block implementation of President Barack Obama’s health care law. The government also shut down for a few hours last February amid a partisan dispute over deficit spending. The U.S. government shutdown: What exactly happens in a situation like this? It’s not just Trump: Shutdowns happened every year when Jimmy Carter was president. Here’s an explainer on what actually goes on Featured Stories The Apollo 11 moon landing was so boring it must be real If Americans were going to fake the moon landing, you’d better believe there would be some high drama and maybe even an explosion or two.… The Associated Press Mark Wilson/Getty Images Twitter Sponsored By: Reddit advertisement But hundreds of thousands of federal workers will be forced off the job, and some services will go dark.In the past, the vast majority of national parks were closed to visitors and campers, but beginning with the last government shutdown, in January, the Interior Department has tried to make parks as accessible as possible despite bare-bones staffing levels. Some are staying open thanks to funding from states and charitable groups.In Washington, the museums along the National Mall will remain open at least through Jan. 1, but Smithsonian officials said they will reevaluate the situation if the shutdown continues into the new year. The Washington Monument is closed for repairs.Arizona and Utah officials put in place plans to keep open Grand Canyon, Zion, Arches and Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks.At the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, it was business as usual, thanks to funding from New York state.The U.S. Capitol is seen as the federal government is in a partial shutdown, on December 23, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Trash builds up along the National Mall as trash collectors are off work during a partial shutdown of the federal government, on December 23, 2018 in Washington, D.C.Mark Wilson/Getty Images) ← Previous Next →last_img read more

Tesla Opens Up More European Markets For Model 3 Orders

first_imgTesla is gearing up to deliver thousands of Model 3 per month. Volume production will start in January.As the Model 3 will be equipped with CCS Combo charging inlet, the company is also retrofitting Superchargers with additional CCS Combo plugs.Source: Electrek Reservation holders from at least 9 countries have the option to configure an order.Tesla expanded the Tesla Model 3 order configurator to a few more countries in Europe – Germany, Denmark, Finland and Italy, which comes on top of France, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands and Spain.Orders can be only Long-Range AWD and Long-Range AWD Performance versions.Those reservation holders who place an order this month can still hope for delivery in February. Besides to a small group, Tesla didn’t yet offer test drives in Europe.Tesla Model 3 in Europe Tesla Expected To Ship 3,000 Model 3 To Europe Weekly By February Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 23, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News Tesla Surprise: Model 3 Buyers In Europe Get Early Test Drives See First Tesla Superchargers In Europe Retrofitted With CCS Plugslast_img read more

New BMW 7 Series PHEV Gets More Battery Capacity And Range

first_imgBut isn’t the grill too small now?BMW recently released its new 7-Series, which brings a significant upgrade rather than just a simple facelift.The plug-in hybrid BMW 745e iPerformance will be available in three versions, which all get a 12.0 kWh battery (up from 9.2 kWh) and 83 kW electric motor. The range slightly improves, so we expect that in the real world (EPA) 18 miles (29 km) will be possible.745e745Le (longer)745Le xDrive (longer and all-wheel drive)More on the general changes you can see below in images and the video overview:BMW news BMW 745e Specs:Max system output 290 kW / 394 hp and 600 Nm – six-cylinder in-line gasoline engine (210 kW / 286 hp) and 83 kW electric motor12.0 kWh battery for up to 54-58 km (33.5-36 miles) or all-electric rangeAcceleration 0–100 km/h in 5.2 secondsTop speed 250 km/h (155 miles)Top speed (electric) 140 km/h (87 miles)Charging time for 100% charge: 4.4 h at 3.7 kW (16 A / 230 V)BMW 745Le Specs:12.0 kWh battery for up to 52-55 km (32-34 miles) or all-electric rangeAcceleration 0–100 km/h in 5.3 secondsBMW 745Le xDrive Specs:12.0 kWh battery for up to 50-54 km (31-33.5 miles) or all-electric rangeAcceleration 0–100 km/h in 5.1 secondsThe new BMW 7 Series specs details here BMW Releases Nifty Infographics On Electromobility In 2018 BMW Exec Suggests Automaker Should Work With Elon Musk BMW Sold 142,617 Plug-In Electric Cars In 2018 .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } World premiere for the new BMW 7 Series: Premium carmaker BMW sharpens the profile of its flagship luxury-class models. New exterior design exudes significantly greater presence and elegant precision. New interior appointments create refined, feel-good ambience and further enhance long-distance comfort.New, striking and high-prestige appearance thanks to 50-millimetre taller front end. New BMW kidney grille with single-piece surround and surface area around 40 per cent larger. Slimmer headlight units, optionally with BMW Laserlight. Outer air intakes now with large, painted plates and eye-catching chrome trim strips.Vertical Air Breathers in the front side panels bring extra precision, clarity and solidity to the car’s flanks. Side trim strips now extend into the rear apron.Extensively re-designed rear end. Rear apron contours adopt the design language of the front air intake trim. Integral exhaust tailpipes with larger chrome surrounds. New, three-dimensional and 35-millimetre slimmer rear lights with red/black surfacing. Sharply defined, very slim light strip (six millimetres wide) below the chrome bar between the rear lights provides an extra stylistic flourish.Expanded portfolio of exterior paint finishes and light-alloy wheels. Design Pure Excellence for the exterior and interior and M Sport package provide scope for individualisation. Extended BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line now available.Stylish sophistication for the interior. Exclusive Nappa leather upholstery with extended quilting, new fine wood interior trim strips and Ambient highlight in smoked-glass look create harmoniously crafted luxury ambience. Leather steering wheel with optimised arrangement of multifunction buttons. Re-positioned tray for wireless charging of mobile phones. BMW Touch Command with upgraded hardware and software. Rear-seat entertainment system with full-HD touchscreen display.Enhanced acoustic properties optimise long-distance travelling comfort: improved soundproofing around the rear wheel arches, B-pillars and seatbelt outlet covers in the rear, and for the side windows and rear window (acoustic glass).Updated line-up of engines. All variants meet the Euro 6d-TEMP exhaust standard. V12 engine in the BMW M760Li xDrive (fuel consumption combined: 12.5 – 12.4 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 285 – 282 g/km) now with gasoline particulate filter. New V8 engine with maximum output raised by 60 kW/80 hp to 390 kW/530 hp for the BMW 750i xDrive (fuel consumption combined: 9.5 – 9.5 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 217 – 217 g/km) and BMW 750Li xDrive (fuel consumption combined: 9.6 – 9.5 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 218 – 218 g/km). Also available: three diesel engines with up to four turbochargers and outputs ranging from 195 kW/265 hp to 294 kW/400 hp.Plug-in hybrid variants of the new BMW 7 Series now with specially adapted six-cylinder in-line petrol engine and upgraded high-voltage battery. System output in SPORT mode raised to a maximum 290 kW/394 hp. Electric range increased to 50 – 58 kilometres (31 – 36 miles).Sophisticated chassis technology delivers exceptional balance between luxurious ride comfort and the dynamic flair for which BMW is renowned. Adaptive suspension and two-axle air suspension fitted as standard. Integral Active Steering and Executive Drive Pro with active roll stabilisation (not available for plug-in hybrid models) available as options. BMW M760Li xDrive and plug-in hybrid variants with model-specific chassis tuning.Further progress towards automated driving. Exceptionally wide range of driver assistance systems. Driving Assistant Professional with Steering and lane control assistant. Standard-fitted Parking Assistant now also includes Reversing Assistant.Standard BMW Live Cockpit Professional with Navigation system, fully digital, 12.3-inch instrument cluster and 10.25-inch Control Display with consistent, modern graphics. New BMW Operating System 7.0 enables extremely fast access to settings and functions, customisable displays and multimodal operation via touchscreen display, iDrive Controller, steering wheel buttons, voice control and gesture control.BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant acts as a digital co-driver and expert on the car. Controlled by natural voice commands. Vitality and relaxation programmes plus three Experience Modes with need-based compositions of lighting, air conditioning, fragrancing, seat massage, shading, seat heating and seat ventilation. Integration of Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business. Remote Software Upgrades for updating vehicle functions over the air. Changes: Source: Electric Vehicle News 8 photos Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 18, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Bird Cruiser unveiled as mopedstyle electric bicycle with seating for two

first_imgSource: Charge Forward In what has become an escalating arms race between the major shared electric scooter operators, Bird’s latest salvo is a brand new vehicle. The Bird Cruiser is a moped-style electric bicycle that could change the electric scooter industry as we know it. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast. post Bird Cruiser unveiled as moped-style electric bicycle with seating for two appeared first on Electrek.last_img

I will be proved right in the end claims Wenger

first_imgDavid Hytner Share via Email Arsenal This article is more than 10 years old Share on Facebook Share on Messenger Share on Facebook First published on Fri 7 Nov 2008 19.01 EST I will be proved right in the end, claims Wenger @DaveHytner Share on LinkedIn Topics news Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger believes Arsenal can still win the Pfremier League title. Photograph: Tony O’Brien/Action Images Premier League Share on Twitter Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest • Judge our season in May, says Arsenal’s manager• Gunners priced at a record 9-4 to defeat United today Share on WhatsApp This article is more than 10 years old Reuse this content Share via Email Arsène Wenger yesterday put forward a passionate defence of his methods and beliefs, and insisted that the Premier League title will not be decided by the result of today’s showdown with Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium.The Arsenal manager railed, not for the first time, against the knee-jerk culture of modern football and the imperative for results alone, while maintaining his conviction that the squad he has assembled will challenge for the domestic game’s biggest prize this season.His team have stuttered at times, losing three matches already – the same number of league defeats that they suffered over the course of last season – and Wenger dare not contemplate another one today against United. His team have gone three matches without a win, the morale-sapping 4-4 draw with Tottenham and the stalemate against Fenerbahce in the Champions League coming either side of the 2-1 loss at Stoke City. Pundits have written them off while bookmakers were offering 9-4 on them winning today – the longest odds for a home game under Wenger. “I am always having to answer questions as though we have failed,” the Frenchman said yesterday, betraying exasperation. “Let us speak about it in May [at the end of the season]. I would not exchange my position with any other manager because I believe in our qualities. “We have to rise above the pressure and the expectation levels and be guided more by what we want to achieve and how we want to play football than by people who want perfection immediately. I stick to what I believe is right. You have moments that go well and those that go less well. You are not God when everyone says you are, and you are not miserable when everyone says you are. The truth is somewhere in between.” Wenger mentioned his team’s unbeaten bolt to the Premier League title in 2003-04 on more than one occasion yesterday, pointing out that the unique triumph was achieved playing “in exactly the same spirit”.The problem for Wenger is that the third championship in what is now 12 years at Arsenal set the bar high and his team have won only one trophy since, the FA Cup in 2005. “For me, success would be to take the maximum out of this team,” he said. “At the end of a season you always look at what you have achieved, what other people see as a success and failure, and your own examination. Did I get the maximum points with this team? Sometimes I think I could have done better, sometimes no. “A trophy is important because you want people who care about the club to be happy but again, what does a Carling Cup trophy weigh compared to the fact that you play in the Champions League again next year? Nothing.”Wenger could be forgiven for envying the Old Trafford club’s resources. As his stretched and injury-hit squad took on Fenerbahce, United rested star names including Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov at Celtic. But having taken a different path on team building – Wenger has no £15m-plus players in his squad – he suggested that patience has to be the natural by-product. “The way we build the team, you have to accept that you have to get them to grow together,” he said. “You take how Chelsea and Man United have been built and how we built and the investment we have made and you have to accept that. It is easier to say, ‘OK, we buy him, him and him’, but when you go for a team with young players, you have to be strong. You have to give them belief and strength and continue to push them through the criticism.”Wenger gave nothing away about his team selection for this afternoon, saying that Arsenal would give fitness tests to the captain, William Gallas, Bacary Sagna and Theo Walcott. “This is a fantastic opportunity to show how strong we are, when everyone is doubting us,” he added. “Mental strength is maybe the most important quality to playing for a big club.” Shares00 Arsenal Fri 7 Nov 2008 19.01 ESTlast_img read more

A Focus On DOJ FCPA Individual Prosecutions

first_imgThis post highlights certain facts and figures concerning the DOJ’s prosecution of individuals for FCPA offenses in 2014 and historically.As highlighted in recent posts here, here, and here, the DOJ frequently talks about the importance of individual FCPA prosecutions. Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell has stated that “certainly…there has been an increased emphasis on, let’s get some individuals” and that it is “very important for [the DOJ] to hold accountable individuals who engage in criminal misconduct in white-collar (cases), as we do in every other kind of crime.” DOJ FCPA Unit Chief Patrick Stokes has said that the DOJ is “very focused” on prosecuting individuals as well as companies and that “going after one or the other is not sufficient for deterrence purposes.”Against this backdrop, what do the facts actually show?Since 2000, the DOJ has charged 133 individuals with FCPA criminal offenses.  The breakdown is as follows.2000 – 0 individuals2001 – 8 individuals2002 – 4 individuals2003 – 4 individuals2004 – 2 individuals2005 – 3 individuals2006 – 6 individuals2007 – 7 individuals2008 – 14 individuals2009 – 18 individuals2010 – 33 individuals (including 22 in the Africa Sting case)2011 – 10 individuals2012 – 2 individuals2013 – 12 individuals2014 – 10 individualsAn analysis of the numbers reveals some interesting points.Most of the individuals – 99 (or 74%) were charged since 2008.  Thus, on one level the DOJ is correct when it states that there has been an “increased emphasis” on individual prosecutions – at least as measured against the historical average given that between 1978 and 1999, the DOJ charged 38 individuals with FCPA criminal offenses.Yet on another level, a more meaningful level given that there was much less overall enforcement of the FCPA between 1978 and 1999, the DOJ’s statements about its focus on individuals represents hollow rhetoric as demonstrated by the below figures.Of the 99 individuals criminally charged with FCPA offenses by the DOJ since 2008:22 individuals were in the Africa Sting case;9 individuals (minus the “foreign officials” charged) were in the Haiti Teleco case;8 individuals were in connection with the Control Components case;8 individuals were in connection with the Siemens case;5 individuals were associated with DF Group in the Indian mining licenses case;5 individuals were associated with Direct Access Partners;4 individuals were in connection with the Lindsey Manufacturing case;4 individuals were  in connection with the LatinNode / Hondutel case;4 individuals were in connection with the Nexus Technologies case;4 individuals were in connection with the BizJet case; and4 individuals were in connection with the Alstom case.In other words, 58% of the individuals charged by the DOJ with FCPA criminal offenses since 2008 have been in just five cases and 78% of the individuals charged by the DOJ since 2008 have been in just eleven cases.Considering that there has been 67 corporate DOJ FCPA enforcement actions since 2008, this is a rather remarkable statistic.  Of the 67 corporate DOJ FCPA enforcement actions, 50 (or 75%) have not (at least yet) resulted in any DOJ charges against company employees.  (See here for the chart with details – current when published in October 2014).In short, and as demonstrated by the statistics, DOJ FCPA individual enforcement actions are significantly skewed by a small handful of enforcement actions and the reality is that 75% of DOJ corporate enforcement actions since 2008 have not (at least yet) resulted in any DOJ charges against company employees.Another very interesting and significant picture emerges when analyzing DOJ individual prosecution data based on whether the corporate entity employing or otherwise involved with the individual charged was a public or private entity.Of the 99 individuals charged by the DOJ with FCPA criminal offenses since 2008, 71 of the individuals (72%) were employees or otherwise affiliated with private business entities.  This is a striking statistic given that 53 of the 67 corporate DOJ FCPA enforcement actions since 2008 (79%) were against publicly traded corporations.In the 14 private entity DOJ FCPA enforcement actions since 2008, individuals were charged in connection with 7 of those actions (50%).  In contrast, in the 53 public entity DOJ FCPA enforcement actions since 2008, individuals were charged in connection with 10 of those cases (19%).  In short, and based on the data, a private entity DOJ FCPA enforcement is approximately three times more likely to have a related DOJ FCPA criminal prosecution of an individual than a public entity DOJ FCPA enforcement action.Are other factors at play when it comes to the fact that 75% of DOJ corporate enforcement actions since 2008 have not (at least yet) resulted in any DOJ charges against company employees?  A future post will highlight a relevant datapoint.[Notes – the above data was assembled using the “core” approach – see this prior post for an explanation.  The term “public entity”  is not limited to “issuers” under the FCPA, but rather a public entity regardless of which market it shares trade on.  Thus, for instance, JGC Corp. of Japan and Bridgestone are both public entities even though its shares are not traded on a U.S. exchange.]last_img read more

A Year Of FCPA Flash Podcast Episodes

first_img Strategies For Minimizing Risk Under The FCPA A compliance guide with issue-spotting scenarios, skills exercises and model answers. “This book is a prime example of why corporate compliance professionals and practitioners alike continue to listen to Professor Koehler.” The FCPA Flash podcast was launched in February 2016 and has quickly become a leading podcast devoted to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act issues. Sponsored by Kroll, FCPA Flash provides in an audio format the same fresh, candid, and informed commentary about the FCPA and related topics as readers have come to expect from written posts on FCPA Professor.What makes FCPA Flash worth your listen is the roster of highly experienced guests who offer candid expert commentary on the top FCPA (and related) issues of the day. 2017 guests included former heads of the DOJ and SEC’s FCPA units, other former high-ranking DOJ and SEC enforcement officials, leading FCPA practitioners, and practitioners from France, Canada, India and the U.K.Set forth below is a summary of the 21 episodes produced in 2017 and how these episodes can elevate your FCPA knowledge, sophistication, and practical skills.Robert LuskinIn this episode, Robert Luskin (Paul Hastings) elaborates on his previous comments that foreign corporations in FCPA inquiries have real concerns about “whether U.S. lawyers are really defense lawyers or former prosecutors in a better suit” and how some FCPA practitioners are not willing to be adverse to the DOJ; (ii) discusses legal and policy issues present in FCPA actions against foreign companies; and (iii) opines whether the FCPA has been successful in achieving its objectives.Leslie CaldwellIn this episode, Leslie Caldwell (Latham Watkins and former Ass’t AG DOJ Criminal Division): (i) offers thoughts on the DOJ’s new “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy”; (ii) discusses whether the differences in the new policy (compared to the 2016 FCPA Pilot Program) were considered in 2016; (iii) addresses whether the new policy represents a de facto compliance defense; and (iv) opines whether the FCPA, as it reaches 40, has been successful in achieving its objectives.David PereIn this episode, David Pere (Bryan Cave – Paris) discusses: (i) developments in France relevant to the anti-bribery and compliance space including, most notably, the new so-called Sapin II law and the new French anti-corruption agency; (ii) what general counsel and other compliance professionals need to know about the new law and enforcement agency; and (iii) French resentment to aggressive U.S. prosecution of French companies based on sparse jurisdictional allegations.Claudius SokenuThis episode is a conversation with Claudius Sokenu. Sokenu is among a small number of individuals who has experienced the FCPA from three different vantage points. First, Sokenu was Senior Counsel at the SEC’s Enforcement Division where he worked on FCPA matters. Second, Sokenu was a partner at various leading law firms where his practiced focused on the FCPA. Currently, Sokenu is Deputy General Counsel and Global Head of Compliance at Andeavor.Kevin MulendorfIn this episode,  Kevin Muhlendorf (a former Assistant Chief in DOJ’s Fraud Section and former Senior Counsel in the SEC’s Enforcement Division) discusses: the DOJ and SEC’s FCPA enforcement programs; FCPA enforcement and the rule of law; whether business organizations cooperate too much in FCPA enforcement actions including as to statute of limitation issues; and whether the FCPA – as it approaches forty – has been successful.Jonathan DrimmerIn this episode, Jonathan Drimmer (V.P. & Deputy General Counsel of Barrick Gold Corp. a Canadian company with shares traded in the U.S.) answers which law (the FCPA or Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act) and its enforcement keeps him up more at night; the challenges of compliance including third party due diligence; and training best practices including whether there is compliance fatigue.Kara BrockmeyerIn this episode, Kara Brockmeyer (Chief of the SEC’s FCPA Unit between 2011 – 2017) looks back at her time at the SEC including what she views as the most significant matters / trends; discusses a few items that, in her view, are not well-understood or appreciated about the SEC’s FCPA enforcement program; explains theories of enforcement regarding the FCPA’s internal controls provisions; and shares insights regarding the SEC’s whistleblower program relevant to the FCPA.David BitkowerIn this episode, David Bitkower (former Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ Criminal Division and current partner at Jenner & Block) discusses multilateral bribery settlements including whether it is ever appropriate for the U.S. to bring FCPA enforcement actions against foreign companies from OECD Convention countries. Bitkower also discusses whether the FCPA, as it approaches 40, has been successful in achieving its stated objectives.Neil SmithIn this episode, Neil Smith (former senior counsel in the SEC Enforcement Division and member of the SEC’s FCPA Unit and current partner at K&L Gates) discusses: SEC remedies in FCPA enforcement actions, the SEC’s theory of enforcement around the FCPA’s internal controls provisions, the impact of the Supreme Court’s recent Kokesh decision on SEC FCPA enforcement, and changes to the FCPA and FCPA enforcement that he would like to see.James CoplandIn this episode, James Copland (senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute who has written extensively about NPAs and DPAs) discusses: why the increased use of NPAs and DPAs is concerning; whether the DOJ (and SEC) should abolish use of NPAs and DPAs; and whether business organizations (and their tendency to be excessively risk averse) are partly to blame for the current state of affairs.Milos BarutciskiIn this episode, Milos Barutciski (Bennett Jones – Toronto) discusses Canada’s FCPA-like law, the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials’ Act. (CFPOA), including: some of the differences between the CFPOA and the FCPA; how enforcement of the CFPOA is different than enforcement of the FCPA; and whether Canadian companies subject to the FCPA are more concerned with CFPOA enforcement or FCPA enforcement.Joseph SpinelliIn this episode, Joseph Spinelli (Senior Managing Director at Kroll) discusses: risk assessments; the role various business personnel besides legal can play in FCPA compliance; and the use of technology in third party compliance.Danforth Newcomb and Cynthia Urda KassisIn this episode, Shearman & Sterling attorneys Danforth Newcomb and Cynthia Urda Kassis discuss: (i)  what makes potential legal liability under the FCPA or similar laws different than potential legal liability under other laws; (ii) the gap between corporate FCPA enforcement and individual FCPA enforcement; and (iii) whether a recent DOJ statement that “FCPA investigations [should] be measured in months, not years” is believable.Richard GrimeIn this episode, Richard Grime (Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and former Assistant Director of SEC Enforcement) discusses: (i) reasons for the general increase in FCPA enforcement (among the reasons mentioned is “the government has realized this is a money-winner”; (ii) whether FCPA enforcement, including the internal control’s provisions, has been pushed beyond the breaking point (in Grime’s words yes it has and “almost any conduct becomes subject to an enforcement vehicle”); and (iii) whether long, drawn-out FCPA investigations can be avoided. The episode is a must listen if you want to hear informed and candid commentary about the current FCPA enforcement landscape from someone who used to enforce the FCPA.Ryan McConnellIn this episode,  Ryan McConnell (founder of the boutique Houston law firm R. McConnell Group and author of the article “Watching Which Way the Wind Blows: You Need Good Forecasting to Build Good Compliance“), discusses: (i) how many company risk assessments are fundamental flawed; (ii) how best to forecast FCPA risk; (iii) and whether the DOJ and SEC’s approach to enforcing the FCPA is fair to certain companies.Judy KreigIn this episode, Judy Krieg (a U.S. educated lawyer in the U.K. offices of Shepherd and Wedderburn) talks about her recent post titled “UK DPAs – Have We Really Built a Better Mousetrap?” and discusses the U.K.’s emerging DPA regime; answers the above question; explains why certain recent UK DPAs “have had their accuracy and factual underpinnings questioned;” and opines whether DPAs in the U.K. going forward will be the rule rather than the exception.Joseph CovingtonIn this episode, Joseph Covington (Smith Pachter and former head of the DOJ’s de facto FCPA unit in the early 1980’s). The podcast is a must listen for anyone seeking a better understanding of the DOJ’s “early” enforcement of the FCPA. In the episode, Covington also offers a candid assessment of how FCPA enforcement has changed; whether the FCPA has been successful in achieving its objective of reducing bribery; and why he continues to support an FCPA compliance defense.Jay DardenIn this episode, Jay Darden (Paul Hastings and former Assistant Chief of the DOJ’s Fraud Section) discusses what FCPA practitioners need to understand about being a DOJ FCPA attorney and along the same lines what DOJ FCPA enforcement attorneys need to understand about being an FCPA practitioner. Darden also provides a list of things he would change about the FCPA or FCPA enforcement and comments on recent FCPA enforcement actions concerning internship and hiring practices.Sherbir PanagIn this episodeSherbir Panag (managing partner of the New Delhi office of Panag & Babu) addresses the question of whether doing business in India is possible without paying bribes; talks about the “bribery panic” that often results in India; discusses how companies can best navigate India’s “Licence Raj”; and provides advice for how companies can “Indianise” FCPA compliance programs.Marc BohnIn this episodeMarc Bohn (Miller & Chevalier) previews Kokesh v. SEC, a case recently accepted by the Supreme Court which presents the issue of whether a five-year statute of limitations applies to SEC claims for disgorgement. Although not an FCPA matter, disgorgement is the predominate remedy the SEC seeks in corporate FCPA actions and Bohn discusses the potential impact of the Kokesh decision on FCPA compliance, internal investigation, and enforcement issues.Karen PoppIn this episodeKaren Popp (Sidley Austin – an FCPA practitioner with prior DOJ experience) provides her list of the top 2016 developments including: international collaboration, a DOJ initiatives “scorecard,” and reflections on the Leslie Caldwell / Andrew Weissmann era at the DOJ; and the continued prominence of compliance and the potential for even greater expectations in the Trump administration. Order Your Copylast_img read more

Big Time Comeback For Pygmy RabbitGrant Co Sheriff Hires New Deputies And

first_imgFrom Maecy Enger Newsradio 610 KONAThe latest survey shows the nearly-extinct Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits have shown signs of recovery.Of 17 rabbits found last winter at Sagebrush Flat north of Wenatchee, 15 were wild-born.This comes after a four-year breed project at the Oregon Zoo, Washington State University and at Northwest Trek to get the kitten-sized rabbits reestablished in eastern Washington.In 2008, the world’s last known Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit died. Experts say to survive the rabbits had to become hybrids and in 2001 the rabbits were mixed with pygmy rabbits from other western states. The Oregon Zoo was the first location to successfully breed the rabbits. Since then more than 1,600 pygmy rabbits have been born among the three institutions.Officials say, “Pygmy rabbits are at the bottom of the food chain, and their habitat has many predators and risks. But if they continue to breed, and if we continue to restore their habitat, we’re hopeful we can give these rabbits a good chance to survive.”last_img read more

Newly developed technique allows researchers to study liver stage malaria

first_imgMay 9 2018A newly developed technique allows researchers to more easily study malaria outside the human body during the earliest point of infection, the liver. The liver stage is significant as it precedes the parasite’s ability to infect human blood, the point of which symptoms of malaria first appear.”Almost all of the current strategies are focused the blood-stage of malaria – after the person has already become infected,” said lead author John Adams, PhD, distinguished professor at the University of South Florida College of Public Health. “But, in order to eradicate this disease, you need to block the cycle of reinfection and the most efficient way to do that is by blocking the parasite from coming into the person. This has not been possible previously because the methods of studying the liver stage have just not been there. Our technique makes that work possible.”Related StoriesResearchers explain why fascioliasis patients have increased risk for neurological diseasesMetabolic enzyme tied to obesity and fatty liver diseaseLiving-donor liver transplant offers advantages over deceased-donor, research findsIn the study published in Nature Communications, researchers used 384-well plates, the standard tool used for analytical lab research, to cultivate primary human liver cells, greatly enhancing parasite development rates. This updated in vitro method allows scientists to more quickly screen preclinical drugs and vaccines than current techniques.”Some of the other methods for researching liver stage malaria are very expensive with large biomaterial requirements,” said co-lead author Alison Roth, PhD, University of South Florida College of Public Health. “Our method reduces the cost and biomaterials which makes it much more accessible,” Roth said. “It’s exciting to know that the model we’ve developed can be easily adapted to other labs and even used in endemic countries.”Dr. Roth says they’re now working on a vaccine to prevent the parasite from infecting liver cells and eventually drugs to kill the parasite once it’s entered the human body. Source: read more

Healthy lifestyle counseling program linked to reduced risk of developing cancers

first_imgMay 23 2018A 5-year healthy lifestyle counseling program for adult men was linked with a reduced risk of developing cancers related to overweight, diet, and smoking over 25 years. As reported in the Journal of Internal Medicine, the intervention did not reduce the overall cancer risk in the very long term.The study is a 43-year follow-up of the Oslo diet and antismoking study, which recruited men at high risk for cardiovascular disease in 1972-73. Previous research revealed that the counselling intervention had a clear benefit for reducing cardiovascular disease risk in these men. So far, evidence for effects of lifestyle interventions on cancer have been limited, but this Norwegian study showed that advice for a heart-friendly lifestyle also could prevent some cancers in the long term.”This study showed that changes to a healthier diet and stopping smoking in adult life will reduce risk of some lifestyle-related cancer forms, which are on the rise in the population”, said senior author Dr. Paula Berstad, of the Cancer Registry of Norway. Source: read more

Largest brain imaging study uncovers factors that accelerate brain aging

first_imgAug 21 2018Schizophrenia, cannabis use, and alcohol abuse are just several disorders that are related to accelerated brain agingIn the largest known brain imaging study, scientists from Amen Clinics (Costa Mesa, CA), Google, John’s Hopkins University, University of California, Los Angeles and the University of California, San Francisco evaluated 62,454 brain SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) scans of more than 30,000 individuals from 9 months old to 105 years of age to investigate factors that accelerate brain aging. SPECT tomography evaluates regional cerebral blood flow in the brain that is reduced in various disorders.Lead author, psychiatrist Daniel G. Amen, MD, founder of Amen Clinics, commented, “Based on one of the largest brain imaging studies ever done, we can now track common disorders and behaviors that prematurely age the brain. Better treatment of these disorders can slow or even halt the process of brain aging. The cannabis abuse finding was especially important, as our culture is starting to see marijuana as an innocuous substance. This study should give us pause about it.”The current study used brain SPECT imaging to determine aging trajectories in the brain and which common brain disorders predict abnormally accelerated aging. It examined these functional neuroimaging scans from a large multi-site psychiatric clinic from patients who had many different psychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).Researchers studied 128 brain regions to predict the chronological age of the patient. Older age predicted from the scan compared to the actual chronological age was interpreted as accelerated aging. The study found that a number of brain disorders and behaviors predicted accelerated aging, especially schizophrenia, which showed an average of 4 years of premature aging, cannabis abuse (2.8 years of accelerated aging), bipolar disorder (1.6 years accelerated aging), ADHD (1.4 years accelerated aging) and alcohol abuse (0.6 years accelerated aging). Interestingly, the researchers did not observe accelerated aging in depression and aging, which they hypothesize may be due to different types of brain patterns for these disorders.Related StoriesAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsCommenting on the study, George Perry, PhD, Chief Scientist at the Brain Health Consortium from the University of Texas at San Antonio, said, “This is one of the first population-based imaging studies, and these large studies are essential to answer how to maintain brain structure and function during aging. The effect of modifiable and non-modifiable factors of brain aging will further guide advice to maintain cognitive function.”Co-investigator Sachit Egan, Google Inc. (Mountain View, CA), said, “This paper represents an important step forward in our understanding of how the brain operates throughout the lifespan. The results indicate that we can predict an individual’s age based on patterns of cerebral blood flow. Additionally, groundwork has been laid to further explore how common psychiatric disorders can influence healthy patterns of cerebral blood flow.”Source: read more

Economic burden of breast cancer can continue long after diagnosis

first_img Source: Aug 22 2018The financial fallout from breast cancer can last years after diagnosis, particularly for those with lymphedema, a common side effect from treatment, causing cumulative and cascading economic consequences for survivors, their families, and society, a study led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers suggests.Excluding productivity costs, those with lymphedema were estimated to have an average of $2,306 in out-of-pocket costs per year, compared to $1,090 for those without lymphedema-;a difference of 112 percent, the study found. When factoring in productivity costs, those with lymphedema spent an average of $3,325 in out-of-pocket costs, compared to $2,792 for those without lymphedema.”That extra $2,000 or so may not break the bank in one year,” says study leader Lorraine T. Dean, ScD, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School. “But it can take away discretionary spending, or whittle away retirement savings. If it’s a recurring burden each year, how can you ever rebuild? That extra $2,000 in spending can cripple people over the long term.”The findings, published Aug. 18 in the Journal of Supportive Care and Cancer, are a call to action for policymakers to develop new ways to curb costs after cancer, the authors say.A growing body of research highlights the “financial toxicity” of cancer, a term that pertains to the harmful personal economic burden caused by cancer treatment, explains co-author Kala Visvanathan, a professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Epidemiology. The financial consequences of cancer have been shown to affect mental health and a variety of other health outcomes, including rates of death.Although previous studies have attempted to tally how much breast cancer survivors spend on their care, this earlier research has largely focused on costs in the short term after diagnosis or used insurance claims to calculate costs-;measures that can miss much of what patients are actually spending, Dean says.To get a handle on real expenditures and how this disease affects patients over the long term, she and her colleagues used several different methods to assess cancer-related costs in 129 breast cancer survivors from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, who were an average of 12 years out from diagnosis and had a mean age of 63. Just under half of them had lymphedema, an adverse effect of breast cancer treatment that affects an average of a third of breast-cancer survivors. All were insured by public or private providers.These volunteers were asked to keep diaries for six months of all direct and indirect costs related to their overall health care, from doctor and emergency department visits to medications and gym memberships. For those who had lymphedema, they also included all lymphedema-specific health care needs, such as compression garments and bandages.Additionally, participants recorded productivity losses at work and home. These were defined as times when they couldn’t perform usual activities or needed help to carry out daily activities.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerTo help capture a full year of data, the researchers asked the volunteers to recall these types of expenses, using personal calendars, insurance statements and receipts as memory aids for the previous three months. They were also asked to project the next three months of health care-related expenses.To better understand why participants spent what they did and how their financial situations evolved, the researchers interviewed a subset of 40 patients representing a range of socioeconomic statuses and ages and those with and without lymphedema.The interviews provided insight into what these costs meant for these women’s lives. Many reported the use of savings, loans, or debt to cover medical costs, which were often so large that they compromised patients’ abilities to manage basic needs like utility bills. These costs had rippling effects on their future financial status, decreasing their ability to help family members, support their children’s educational endeavors, and retire. For those with lymphedema, medical costs also affected their ability to effectively manage their condition.Breast cancer and resulting lymphedema also had past ramifications on the participants’ finances that had lasting impacts, Dean explains. For example, many of those interviewed had stories of lost jobs or educational opportunities that were directly or indirectly caused by their medical conditions, events that they never financially recovered from.Together, Dean says, these results show that the economic burden of breast cancer and its complications can continue long after diagnosis, even among those who have insurance. While the annual costs may not seem extreme for a middle-class household, she adds, the amounts add up over time.Measures often discussed to help patients cut costs, such as encouraging healthier behaviors, place the onus directly on patients to find ways to save, says Dean. Rather than further burden patients still dealing with the consequences of a serious disease, she and her colleagues suggest strategies that change the health care system and the division of financial responsibilities between patients and insurers. For example, most insurance companies don’t fully cover lymphedema care needs, which can be substantial. Congress is considering legislation (HR930; SB497) that could amend Medicare to cover certain items, such as compression garments, as durable medical equipment.”The U.S. is too resource-rich for people to have to make decisions between their health and their wealth,” Dean says. “By making some important changes in coverage, we can help breast cancer survivors who continue to struggle with economic burdens long after their cancers are considered cured.”last_img read more

CSU chemists may help in making extracorporeal life support devices more effective

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 24 2018Smoke inhalation, pneumonia, and combat-related trauma are just a few causes of acute respiratory distress syndrome – a condition where the lungs fill with fluid, and is too often fatal.To help these critically ill patients, doctors use extracorporeal life support – a cardiopulmonary bypass system that artificially re-oxygenates blood when the lungs are too damaged to breathe normally.This critical care technology has saved many lives, but it needs improvement. Together with trauma care doctors, Colorado State University chemists may soon play a key role in making next-generation extracorporeal life support devices more effective and less invasive.CSU Monfort Professor and Associate Professor of Chemistry Melissa Reynolds is sharing in a $3.4 million grant from the Department of Defense for developing better treatments for acute lung injuries, particularly in the context of military combat and medical emergencies. She has teamed with Dr. Andriy Batchinsky, a trauma surgeon who oversees research laboratories at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research and the Geneva Foundation.The problem Reynolds and her team will address involves a common, life-threatening complication for patients on life support: the body’s tendency to form blood clots around the inserted machinery.The standard of care for reversing the blood clotting problem is administration of systemic blood thinners such as heparin, but these medicines come with major side effects for already extremely sick patients. In many cases, the immune system attacks the non-clotting cells as non-functional cells, leading to further infections and complications.Reynolds’ goal for this project is to help Batchinsky’s team create life-support systems that eliminate the need to administer blood thinners at all.Reynolds’ lab makes advanced biocompatible materials for clinical applications, with the goal of making minimally invasive, implantable devices that the body does not reject. A chance meeting with Batchinsky at a conference several years ago seeded a partnership between two scientists working on essentially the same problem – patient mortality and critical care treatments – from different angles.Related StoriesResearchers study the role of nasal ecosystem and viral infection on pneumococcal acquisitionAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyMathematical model helps quantify metastatic cell behavior”We are interested in the blood or tissue response in medical devices,” said Reynolds, who also serves as associate dean for research in the College of Natural Sciences. “We are happy and very excited to work with any group with a challenge of mitigating those blood-device interactions.”For the life-support project, Reynolds will lead the development of biologically friendly coatings that will be chemically incorporated into the polymers that the system components are made of – the catheters, circuits and other devices that must come in contact with a patient’s blood. The coatings are made of metal-organic frameworks, designed to resist blood coagulation by replicating the natural function of endothelial cells through the release of nitric oxide.The Reynolds lab will oversee this important advance, which should solve the blood compatibility problems so pervasive in extracorporeal life support systems and eliminate the need for blood thinners. Reynolds and her students will work on the chemistry and engineering side of the framework additives, while Batchinsky’s team will lead in-vivo experiments to test the new systems.”I am particularly enthusiastic about this collaboration because Dr. Reynolds brings a much-needed potential solution for the problem of thrombogenicity of blood-polymer interactions during extracorporeal life support,” Batchinsky said. “As a leader of a premier Department of Defense-affiliated research laboratory and program, I am focused on solving this problem with Dr. Reynolds’ help, and we will test the new devices coated by our partners at Colorado State, in a clinically relevant setting.” Source: read more

Indonesian cave art may be worlds oldest

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Country Email The world’s oldest cave art may not lie in Europe but rather halfway around the globe in Indonesia, according to a new study of the long-known art. But some archaeologists question the redating of the ancient images.Thousands of years ago, people on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia spray-painted stencils of their hands on the walls and roofs of caves by blowing red paint out of their mouths. They also painted strange-looking pigs in red and mulberry hues. Archaeologists assumed the paintings, discovered in the 1950s, were less than 10,000 years old. Now, a team of Australian and Indonesian researchers has found that the paintings are startlingly ancient: The hand stencils are at least 40,000 years old and the animal paintings at least 35,400 years old. That makes them about the same age or even slightly older than the famous cave art in Europe—which was until now the most ancient in the world. The discovery has important implications for how and when humans developed the ability for symbolic expression.In Africa, where our species was born, people engraved geometric designs on chunks of hematite and ostrich eggshells as early as 78,000 years ago. But the first real sophisticated symbolic art burst on the scene about 35,000 to 40,000 years ago in Europe. At Chauvet Cave in southern France, for example, cave artists covered the walls with rhinos, horses, lions, and women with pronounced vulvas at about this time. Although some archaeologists argued that the human capacity for symbolic expression developed over time in Africa, others felt that the European creative explosion reflected a new leap in human abilities. “What was believed before our study was that Europe was the center of the earliest explosion in human creativity, especially cave art,” says geochemist and archaeologist Maxime Aubert of Griffith University, Gold Coast, in Australia, who led the new study.center_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Aubert’s colleague Adam Brumm, also of Griffith University, visited the Maros region of southwest Sulawesi in 2011 with Indonesian researchers and wondered if they could date the paintings. They knew that humans had been in the area at least 35,000 years ago, the age given to ocher crayons and ocher-smeared stone tools they had excavated from the Leang Burung 2 rock shelter nearby. They noticed that some of the cave art was covered with “cave popcorn,” small stalactitelike growths that formed atop the paintings when mineral-rich water trickled over the cave walls. Over the next 2 years, Aubert used a diamond saw blade to collect 19 samples of calcite popcorn from 14 paintings in seven caves within a 1-kilometer radius. He then used the concentration of naturally occurring but unstable uranium in the calcite to estimate how much time had passed since the popcorn formed, giving him a minimum age for the art. The method has been proven robust for dating corals and larger rock formations in caves and has recently been adapted to date thin deposits of carbonate on rock art.The team was surprised to find that the oldest hand stencil dated to at least 39,900 years ago. A painting of a fruit-eating “pig-deer,” called a babirusa, on the ceiling of the same cave dated to at least 35,400 years ago, the team reports online today in Nature. (Watch a video about the research.)The hand stencils are a bit older than the hand outlines at Chauvet, if the dates are accurate. This suggests either that humans in Europe and Indonesia each invented symbolic art at roughly the same time, or that modern humans brought their artistic capabilities with them as they spread out of Africa starting about 60,000 years ago. The authors prefer the second explanation, because it fits with archaeological evidence showing that humans were not only on Sulawesi at the time, but were also in Australia by at least 50,000 years ago. Some of the Indonesian art resembles paintings in Australia, although much of the Australian rock art is undated.Others agree that the Indonesian paintings support the African development of symbolic behavior. “The people leaving Africa had the capacity to create images of the world around them,” says paleoanthropologist Alison Brooks of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., who has long held that view.But everything depends on whether the new dates hold up. “I have a big question mark about the dates,” says paleoanthropologist Randall White of New York University, co-author of a paper published earlier this year in the Bulletin de la Société préhistorique française that challenged the reliability of this dating method. The thin calcite deposits on cave art can be contaminated by new flows of uranium-containing water, dust, or other detritus, making the art seem older than it is, he and his colleagues argued. He thinks the dates need to be verified with a second dating method.Others, however, say they are satisfied that the team took special measures to date the site. For example, Aubert and his team took 55 samples of the layers of the calcite popcorn, showing that they formed a sort of ministratigraphic sequence in which the layers closest to the art were oldest and the top layers were the youngest. They also tested uranium and thorium contamination at multiple sites. “The work stands as an excellent example of how rigorous choice of samples and rigorous analysis makes the technique sound,” says archaeologist Paul Pettitt of Durham University in the United Kingdom, who was co-author of a paper applying the same method to cave art in Spain.The team includes Thomas Sutikna of the National Centre for Archaeology in Jakarta and the University of Wollongong in Australia, who helped discover the “hobbit,” a small-statured human species from another Indonesian island, and he and Brumm are already excavating the caves near the newly dated art to search for ocher pieces, stone tools, and bones. Meanwhile, Aubert is optimistic that researchers will find more ancient art. “The discovery must surely be the tip of the iceberg,” Pettitt agrees. “So relatively little fieldwork has been undertaken on sites of this antiquity in the vastness of East Asia that it would be surprising if this were it.”last_img read more