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Cyber Risks: The Growing Threat (III – updated)

July 21, 2014 Comments off

Cyber Risks: The Growing Threat
Source: Insurance Information Institute

Amid a rising number of high profile mega data breaches—most recently at eBay, Target and Neiman Marcus—government is stepping up its scrutiny of cyber security. This is leading to increased calls for legislation and regulation, placing the burden on companies to demonstrate that the information provided by customers and clients is properly safeguarded online.

Despite the fact that cyber risks and cyber security are widely acknowledged to be a serious threat, many companies today still do not purchase cyber risk insurance. However, this is changing. Recent legal developments underscore the fact that reliance on traditional insurance policies is not enough, as companies face growing liabilities in this fast-evolving area.

Specialist cyber insurance policies have been developed by insurers to help businesses and individuals protect themselves from the cyber threat. Market intelligence suggests that the types of specialized cyber coverage being offered by insurers are expanding in response to this fast-growing market need.

There is also growing evidence that in the wake of the Target data breach and other high profile breaches, the number of policies is increasing, and that insurance has a key role to play as companies and individuals look to better manage and reduce their potential financial losses from cyber risks in future.

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NCPDP Recommendations and Guidance for Standardizing the Dosing Designations on Prescription Container Labels of Oral Liquid Medications

July 18, 2014 Comments off

NCPDP Recommendations and Guidance for Standardizing the Dosing Designations on Prescription Container Labels of Oral Liquid Medications (PDF)
Source: National Council for Prescription Drug Programs

This paper provides the healthcare industry, in particular the pharmacy sector, with historical and background information on the patient risks associated with the dosing of liquid medications and recommendations to mitigate those risks through best practices in prescription orders, prescription labeling and the provision of dosing devices.

Hot Spots Vehicle Theft Report

July 17, 2014 Comments off

Hot Spots Vehicle Theft Report
Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau
From press release:

For 2013, the 10 MSAs with the highest vehicle theft rates were:

 

2013 Ranking 2012 Ranking
1. Bakersfield, Calif. 3.
2. Fresno, Calif. 2.
3. Modesto, Calif. 1.
4. San Francisco/Oakland/Hayward, Calif. 6.
5. Stockton-Lodi, Calif. 4.
6. Redding, Calif. 10.
7. Spokane-Spokane Valley, Wash. 9.
8. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif. 8.
9. San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, Calif. 7.
10. Yuba City, Calif. 31.

Vacationers Prefer to “Travel Like a Local” Using Public Transportation

July 16, 2014 Comments off

Vacationers Prefer to “Travel Like a Local” Using Public Transportation
Source: American Public Transportation Association

As the summer travel season kicks off, 124 million Americans are planning to vacation in a U.S. city, continuing a trend from recent years. The American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) annual “Travel Like a Local” Summer Travel Survey reports that public transportation will be highly utilized by these travelers looking for the most cost effective and worry-free form of transportation – especially Millennials and adults under 45.

According to the survey, more than half (58 percent) of those visiting U.S. cities plan to utilize public transportation for at least one activity. More than a quarter of these travelers say the availability of public transportation impacted their decision to travel to a particular city.

Among Millennials (18-34) and adults under 45, 67 percent confirmed that they plan to use public transportation during their trip to a major U.S. city or metropolitan area this summer. According to the travel survey, public transportation options make travel more cost effective and stress free for all ages. Seventy-four percent of travelers will use public transportation because it is less expensive than taxis or rental cars, with 73 percent saying public transportation relieves them of the worry of finding parking.

APTA’s survey found that two out of five vacationers will use public transportation to experience restaurant dining and local nightlife, while also continuing to use it during the day for general sightseeing and shopping.

A New Partnership: Rail Transit and Convention Growth

July 16, 2014 Comments off

A New Partnership: Rail Transit and Convention Growth (PDF)
Source: American Public Transportation Association

This joint report produced with the U.S. Travel Assocation examines how cities with rail stations connected directly to airport terminals can realize increases in hotel performance. The report compares six cities with direct rail access from their airport terminal to five cities without. The analysis found that from 2006-2013, hotels in the cities with direct rail access brought in 10.9% more revenue per room than hotels in those cities without.

New Report Shows High-Value Provider Networks Maximize Quality, Affordability for Consumers

July 14, 2014 Comments off

New Report Shows High-Value Provider Networks Maximize Quality, Affordability for Consumers
Source: America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)

High-value provider networks are part of a broad array of strategies health plans use to maximize health care affordability and quality, and a new analysis from actuarial firm Milliman for America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) offers additional insight into how health plans develop these networks to improve care delivery and value. The report finds that high-value provider networks allow for more affordable coverage options with 5% to 20% lower premiums compared to broader network plans, while placing an emphasis on the quality and effectiveness of providers.

To achieve high quality and cost-effective care, health plans’ high-value network designs are focused on delivering care through more efficient treatment protocols, which resulting in the elimination of wasteful spending. In that regard, these initiatives address the cost and quality challenges in a comprehensive way—not simply though implementing smaller or narrower provider networks.

While health plans continue to offer broader coverage options, creating high-value networks—or contracting with a select number of providers who meet quality, cost, and effectiveness metrics—is one way health plans address the wide variation in the price of services and care delivery. In addition, the report highlights that high-value provider networks are “specifically geared toward providing personal and comprehensive care to patients in an environment where providers effectively communicate and coordinate with each other regarding the best treatment for the patient.”

III — Sports Injuries

July 9, 2014 Comments off

Sports Injuries
Source: Insurance Information Institute
Includes statistics/charts for injuries related to school sports, winter sports, bicycle and motorcycle crashes, recreational boating, ATVs, sports injuries by age/sport.

Motorcycle Thefts in the United States for 2013

July 7, 2014 Comments off

Motorcycle Thefts in the United States for 2013
Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) today released a report on motorcycle thefts in the United States for 2013. A total of 45,367 motorcycles were reported stolen in 2013 compared with 46,601 reported stolen in 2012—a decrease of 1.5 percent.

Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2013

July 3, 2014 Comments off

Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2013 (PDF)
Source: National Academy of Inventors and Intellectual Property Owners Association

The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) today announced the Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2013. The list, based on data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, recognizes the important role patents play in university research.

The NAI and IPO compile the list each year by calculating the number of utility patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office which list a university as the first assignee on the printed patent.

Top 300 Organizations Granted U.S. Patents in 2013

July 3, 2014 Comments off

Top 300 Organizations Granted U.S. Patents in 2013 (PDF)
Source: Intellectual Property Owners Association

This list of organizations that received the most U.S. utility patents is being published by IPO for the 31st consecutive year. It is based on data obtained from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

Patents granted to parent and subsidiary companies are combined in many instances. See the end notes for more information. IPO makes reasonable efforts to avoid errors, but cannot guarantee accuracy.

Survey: Flying Hassles Keep Travelers at Home

July 1, 2014 Comments off

Survey: Flying Hassles Keep Travelers at Home
Source: U.S. Transportation Association

Security lines and checked-bag fees are among the well-publicized headaches of air travel, but passengers’ No. 1 concern is flight delays and cancellations, according to a survey conducted by the independent firm ResearchNow for the U.S. Travel Association.

An economic analysis of the survey results found that air travel hassles are taking their toll on the broader economy. Passengers’ frustration with the flying experience resulted in 38 million avoided domestic plane trips in 2013. Although air travel has steadily increased since the recession, 38 million trips is a loss equal to eight percent of current air travel demand.

That suppressed activity had a significant downstream effect on travel-related businesses and the overall economy, including spending losses of:

  • $9.5 billion on airfare
  • $5.8 billion on hotels
  • $5.7 billion on recreation
  • $3.4 billion on food services
  • $2.8 billion on car rentals

The analysis found that cancellations and delays cost passengers themselves $8.5 billion in time lost, missed connections, and missed travel activity. The total hit to the U.S. economy: $35.7 billion.

The Role of Transit in Support of High Growth Business Clusters in the U.S.

July 1, 2014 Comments off

The Role of Transit in Support of High Growth Business Clusters in the U.S. (PDF)
Source: American Public Transportation Association

This study addresses issues of business productivity, market access and transit service for America’s Innovation Districts. The study draws on eight high-growth knowledge-oriented business clusters and their transportation conditions in six US cities to provide an estimate of the total national income and employment consequences of congestion and how investment in public transportation maintain competitiveness.

Newspapers Canada releases 8th annual National Freedom of Information Audit

June 18, 2014 Comments off

Newspapers Canada releases 8th annual National Freedom of Information Audit
Source: Newspapers Canada

Newspapers Canada released its 8th annual National Freedom of Information (FOI) Audit report on June 4, 2014. The 2013/2014 audit reviews the performance of Canadian governments and various public institutions with respect to their access to information regimes. As such, it provides the public with the opportunity to see the degree to which our governments are in compliance with their own FOI legislation, as well as facilitating comparisons among jurisdictions.

“The audit represents an important tool for asserting the public’s right to access government information,” says John Hinds, CEO of Newspapers Canada. “The results of this audit show that we’ve still got a long way to go before we really have a culture of openness and accountability around government data.”

This year’s study put special emphasis on asking for electronic data, to test governments’ commitment to the concept of open data. “We found that governments may boast about being open with their data, but they don’t always live up to that talk,” says Newspapers Canada’s Senior Advisor, Policy and Public Affairs Jason Grier. “Open data doesn’t really mean much if it’s only carefully manicured data, with anything interesting or newsworthy stripped out before the public has access.”

More than 100 New Medicines in Development to Treat Mental and Addictive Disorders

June 18, 2014 Comments off

More than 100 New Medicines in Development to Treat Mental and Addictive Disorders
Source: Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)

America’s biopharmaceutical research companies currently are developing 119 novel new medicines to help improve the lives of the estimated 61.5 million Americans that are affected by mental health disorders, according to a new report by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

These medicines in development – all either in clinical trials or under review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – include 36 for schizophrenia, 29 for depression, 20 for substance/addictive disorders, 15 for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and 15 for anxiety disorders.

Mental health conditions pose a heavy human and economic burden in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 1 in 4 American adults have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder – and serious mental illnesses cost the U.S. more than $317 billion annually in lost wages, health care expenditures and disability benefits.

Spending on Father’s Day to Top $12.5 Billion, According to NRF Survey

June 13, 2014 Comments off

Spending on Father’s Day to Top $12.5 Billion, According to NRF Survey
Source: National Retail Federation

As the smallest of the American gift-giving holidays, Father’s Day is a blip on the retail sales radar compared to Christmas and Mother’s Day, but the sentimental importance of the occasion will never be overlooked by consumers. According to NRF’s 2014 Father’s Day Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average person will spend $113.80 on neckties, tools, electronics and other special gifts for dad, slightly down from $119.84 last year. Total spending for the holiday is expected to reach $12.5 billion.

An Analysis of Exchange Plan Benefits for Certain Medicines

June 12, 2014 Comments off

An Analysis of Exchange Plan Benefits for Certain Medicines
Source: Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)

A central goal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was to expand access to insurance so patients, particularly those with chronic disease, could access the treatments and medicines they need. Recognizing that coverage would have limited value without basic access and affordability, the ACA included a non-discrimination provision, an out-of-pocket spending cap, mandatory coverage of “essential health benefits,” and financial assistance for low-income enrollees.

Health insurers typically design “tiered” prescription drug benefits in which a patient’s cost varies depending on a drug’s tier placement (e.g., preferred, non-preferred, etc.). Tiering structures are therefore critical factors in affordability. Plans submit their formulary tiering structure, along with other aspects of the plan’s design, for review by the appropriate state or federal regulator to ensure they meet relevant requirements under the ACA.

Following a recent report that some exchange plans have placed all covered HIV/AIDS medicines on the highest tier, PhRMA engaged Avalere Health to determine the prevalence of such practices, which would appear to be at odds with the patient protections at the core of the ACA. Formularies that require high cost sharing for all medicines of a specific therapeutic type or “class” (e.g., insulins, statins, etc.) create access barriers for patients.

2014 TechAmerica Federal CIO and CISO Survey – CIO/CISO Insights: Achieving Results and Confronting Obstacles

June 10, 2014 Comments off

CIO/CISO Insights: Achieving Results and Confronting Obstacles (PDF)
Source: TechAmerica

The 24th report of Federal CIOs occurred in a year of many challenges. The CIO community endured the effects of a bitterly divided Congress that resulted in sequestration and a government shutdown, along with unprecedented leadership turnover of Federal CIOs and a major IT implementation failure, Healthcare.gov. It is against this backdrop that we sought insight from CIOs on how they are providing innovative technology solutions to their customers. This dedicated cadre of technology professionals is working diligently to improve how government uses technology to deliver services to its constituents. Many Federal leaders are doing just that and coming up with creative ways to navigate through what seem to be perpetual challenges: security, funding, and workforce.

We organized this year’s survey around an analysis of the top priorities and challenges facing CIOs followed by a series of questions related to the four priorities in the President’s FY14 IT budget – innovating for the American people; delivering to improve the return on investment in Federal IT; protection to advance our nation’s cyber security; and analyzing data to make business decisions that achieve results.

Top priorities for CIOs include: improving cyber security, modernizing/transforming IT operations, migrating to the cloud and maturing mobility. While there is much work to do in these areas, CIOs are making headway moving to continuous monitoring for cyber, using agile techniques to simplify IT modernization and “walking not running” toward cloud and mobile. Top challenges include workforce, cyber security and budget. While CIOs have a dedicated workforce, they still continually face the need to navigate through the impacts of budget cuts on hiring, skills gaps and workload imbalances on performance. The internal and external cyber threats facing CIOs continue to grow. Finally, CIOs survived the shutdown, but still feel as if too much of the limited IT dollars go to fund operations and maintenance, and IT infrastructure, as opposed to development, modernization and enhancement.

Insured Metal Theft Claims See Three-Year Decline

May 15, 2014 Comments off

Insured Metal Theft Claims See Three-Year Decline
Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau

In a new report released today, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) sees hopeful evidence that the national problem of metal theft might be decreasing. The report reviews metal theft insurance claims from Jan. 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2013.

In 2011, a total of 14,676 metal theft claims were processed. The number dropped to 13,603 in 2012 and decreased again in 2013 to 10,807—a decline of over 26 percent from 2011. During this period, 41,138 insurance claims for the theft of copper, bronze, brass or aluminum were handled—39,976 of them (97 percent) for copper alone. When the number of metal theft claims per month and monthly average copper prices are compared, the number of claims filed is found to have a statistically significant correlation with the price of copper.

As in our previous report on metal theft, Ohio ranked first of all the states generating 4,144 metal theft claims. It was followed by Texas (2,827); California (2,489); Pennsylvania (2,345) and Georgia (2,067).

Global Consumer Technology Trends: Cross Market Briefing

April 21, 2014 Comments off

Global Consumer Technology Trends: Cross Market Briefing (PDF)
Source: Consumer Electronics Association

Consumer electronics (CE) and technologies are popular with consumers across the globe. Fueled by Internet infra-structure and the proliferation of mobile connected devices (especially smartphones and tablets), people around the world are more connected than ever. As such, increased connectivity has significant implications for policymakers, businesses and citizens alike. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) recently conducted consumer research in 13 markets on four continents representing approximately 29% of the world’s population (approximately 2.1 billion people) and 49% of the world’s GDP (approximately $35.4 trillion) to understand both current trends and the future outlook of consumer technologies. The survey was conducted online and all results are based on online adult consumers. Internet access varies by nation and is often driven by a nation’s wealth and infrastructure development. Household Internet penetration is highest (in the 90% range) in several Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden and Denmark) and in the U.K. (85%) and Finland (84%). However, less than half of Russian (46%) and Chinese (23%) households have Internet access, likely due to poor infrastructure and lower household incomes.

Tech Trade in the States: A State by State Overview of International Trade in Tech Goods

April 14, 2014 Comments off

Tech Trade in the States: A State by State Overview of International Trade in Tech Goods (PDF)
Source: Tech America Foundation

TechAmerica Foundation proudly presents our 2014 edition of Tech Trade in the States: A State-by-State Overview of International Trade of Tech Goods. It provides 2012 data on tech trade at the national level and export data for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The report also provides an estimate as to the number of jobs that are supported by export activities.

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