workplace

Hospitals Are Using Confidential Medical Records To Target High-Paying Patients

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/hospitals-are-using-confidential-medical-records-to-target-high-paying-patients-2012-2


skin-cancer-screening

Hospitals are increasingly milling their patients’ confidential medical records to target their promotional mailings for services, reported Phil Galewitz of USA Today.

It’s not illegal, but the practice doesn’t sit well with consumer advocacy groups who point out that many health care providers are choosing to ping patients with better insurance coverage.

That creates a sort of indirect discrimination, as hospitals make it harder for consumers with less insurance to learn about services they may very well need.

To target the ads, hospitals determine the likelihood that patients would need certain services based on age, income and insurance status. Hospitals have said they target patients with private insurance because the companies tend to pay higher rates than government-backed plans like Medicare and Medicaid.

The mailings also advertise a variety of tests, such as screenings for cancers and cholesterol, which are generally more expensive.

As record numbers of Americans go without health insurance, hospitals targeting consumers who are more capable of shelling out money for services has been an inevitable outcome, along with soaring health insurance premiums (Read why the rich are building their own hospitals.)

To make matters worse, employers are also reducing health insurance benefits in the workplace.

As we recently reported, one in five Americans are experiencing difficulty paying off their medical debt, while 25 percent have considered filing for bankruptcy because of rising medical bills. 

Though targeted mailings might place others without insurance at a disadvantage, hospital officials insist they target patients who pay more to make enough profit to serve everyone.

Now learn 6 ways to arm yourself against rising health insurance costs >

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Monday, February 6th, 2012 news No Comments

How These Guys Went From Making Music For The Terminally-Ill To Launching An iTunes-Like Startup

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-these-guys-went-from-making-music-for-the-terminally-ill-to-launching-an-itunes-like-startup-2012-1


YogiTunes

It’s the perfect example that doing what you love — and knowing what the market lacks — will eventually pay off.

Alex King-Harris, Craig Kohland and Amani Friend met through the yoga community, but what’s unique about the trio is that they were all musicians making music for those who were terminally-ill or facing chronic illness. King-Harris had been involved in a bad car accident years ago which introduced him to yoga.

As yoga increased in popularity, the co-founders realized there wasn’t a platform for instructors to get recommended healing music or share their playlists with one another or with their students. All three guys immensely believe that the right music is essential for various sequences in a yoga routine.

After initially raising $150,000, YogiTunes, which works a lot like iTunes, but is catered specifically to the yoga community, launched in July 2011. The site currently has around 6,000 artists to choose from and the downloaded music can be played through any medium — unlike iTunes, which requires Apple products.

But people are used to getting their music through iTunes and other popular sources:

“You’re up against people who have really strong habits of consuming through iTunes, or consuming through Pandora,” King-Harris told us. “It takes a little while to shift people’s habitual ways of consuming.”

Eventually, the company wants to grow beyond music and become a community for health and wellness enthusiasts.

“We definitely want to draw people in with the music and then extend to other products, other services, other things that we feel are valuable for people’s lifestyles. It’s kind of taking the Amazon model. They were really good at selling books and now they do everything.”

“We can also scale quite quickly beyond yoga to the health and wellness market. A lot of massage therapists, fitness teachers, tai chi people use our music. I think the yoga market is particularly interesting because, in general, the median income is high so we know we have an broad enough audience.”

For inspiration, the company looks at Beatport, a private company that offers music for the DJ community.

“It’s a similar way that we see ourselves servicing the yoga community. They’re a very successful enterprise, very well-known and well established in what they do. They really know their niche. And that’s what we want to do.”

NOW SEE: A complete guide to what not to do when launching a startup>

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Friday, January 20th, 2012 news No Comments

If You Use Any Of These 25 Passwords On Your Computer You Better Change Them Now

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/if-you-use-any-of-these-25-passwords-on-your-computer-you-better-change-them-now-2012-1


hackers computerRemember how all those lazy Subway managers caused millions of dollars to be stolen from customers?

A band of hackers was able to guess the passwords to their point-of-sale systems and went to town nabbing credit and debit card numbers from everyone who walked into the restaurants.

Don’t let that happen to you, people.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center just released 25 of the most commonly hacked passwords of 2011.

It boggles the mind to think people are still using these everyday words [e.g.: Monkey, football, 123456) to protect devices that hold all their financial data – especially in the workplace.

Raise your virtual hand if your employer assigns workers a single password to access company databases, content management systems or email accounts. (See 11 ways to protect yourself when shopping online.)

“Sharing passwords among users in a workplace is becoming a common theme to continue the flow of operations,” the ICCC says, but “users have prioritized convenience over security when establishing passwords.”

Here’s the full list of passwords to avoid:

  1. password
  2. 123456
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. abc123
  6. monkey
  7. 1234567
  8. letmein
  9. trustno1
  10. dragon
  11. baseball
  12. 111111
  13. iloveyou
  14. master
  15. sunshine
  16. ashley
  17. bailey
  18. passw0rd
  19. shadow
  20. 123123
  21. 654321
  22. superman
  23. qazwsx
  24. michael
  25. football

Now see the dirty dozen internet scams to watch out for this holiday season >

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Thursday, January 5th, 2012 news No Comments

If You Use Any Of These 25 Passwords On Your Computer You Better Change Them Now

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/if-you-use-any-of-these-25-passwords-on-your-computer-you-better-change-them-now-2012-1


hackers computerRemember how all those lazy Subway managers caused millions of dollars to be stolen from customers?

A band of hackers was able to guess the passwords to their point-of-sale systems and went to town nabbing credit and debit card numbers from everyone who walked into the restaurants.

Don’t let that happen to you, people.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center just released 25 of the most commonly hacked passwords of 2011.

It boggles the mind to think people are still using these everyday words [e.g.: Monkey, football, 123456) to protect devices that hold all their financial data – especially in the workplace.

Raise your virtual hand if your employer assigns workers a single password to access company databases, content management systems or email accounts. (See 11 ways to protect yourself when shopping online.)

“Sharing passwords among users in a workplace is becoming a common theme to continue the flow of operations,” the ICCC says, but “users have prioritized convenience over security when establishing passwords.”

Here’s the full list of passwords to avoid:

  1. password
  2. 123456
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. abc123
  6. monkey
  7. 1234567
  8. letmein
  9. trustno1
  10. dragon
  11. baseball
  12. 111111
  13. iloveyou
  14. master
  15. sunshine
  16. ashley
  17. bailey
  18. passw0rd
  19. shadow
  20. 123123
  21. 654321
  22. superman
  23. qazwsx
  24. michael
  25. football

Now see the dirty dozen internet scams to watch out for this holiday season >

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Thursday, January 5th, 2012 news No Comments

Huge Company Bans Internal Email, Switches Totally To Facebook-Type-Stuff And Instant Messaging

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/company-bans-email-2011-12


In case big email providers like Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo hadn’t already been scared stiff by recent online communication trends, this news should wake them up.

A huge French company has just banned the use of email within the company. Instead, having concluded that the vast majority of email is just time-wasting noise, it is switching all employees to a Facebook-like interface and instant messaging.

The company is Atos.  Susanna Kim of ABC reports:

CEO Thierry Breton of the French information technology company said only 10 percent of the 200 messages employees receive per day are useful and 18 percent is spam.  That’s why he hopes the company can eradicate internal emails in 18 months, forcing the company’s 74,000 employees to communicate with each other via instant messaging and a Facebook-style interface.

Caroline Crouch, a spokeswoman for the company, told ABC News the goal is focused on internal emails rather than external emails with clients and partners. Atos has already reduced the number of internal emails by 20 percent in six months.

When asked how employees have responded to the policy, Crouch told ABC News the overall response “has been positive with strong take up of alternative tools.”

Breton, Atos’s CEO, says he hasn’t sent an email in three years. (And he’s obviously managed to keep his job.)

This trend at the corporate level mirrors email trends among young people–the future workforce. As the chart below shows, the use of web-based email by the younger crowd is plummeting, as these folks communicate via Facebook, IM, and texting instead.

Email is still an extremely convenient way to communicate, so it’s not likely to go anywhere. But there’s no question that email is losing share of digital communications, including in the workplace. And that’s not good for companies that depend on it for their livelihoods.

chart of the day, web-based email use by age year over year, nov. 18, 2011

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Sunday, December 4th, 2011 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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