Archive for July, 2012

Stricter standards in higher ed towards sexual harassment

Last year, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan introduced new sexual harassment guidelines to colleges and universities, calling for more aggressive regulation of sexual violence incidents on campuses. Now, with litigation and claims expected to increase, education leaders are feeling the pressure to make sure their institution’s comply with the stricter standards.

Among the chief concerns for colleges and universities is whether the new guidelines favor alleged sexual assault victims and discriminate against their accusers. The guidelines include a requirement that school’s must employ a grievance procedure which uses the “preponderance of evidence” standard of proof, meaning that it’s more likely than not that an incident occurred. In the past, most institutions applied a Read more…

FIO, EIOPA and SIFI; acronyms we should get to know

The global financial crisis of 2008 has affected almost every industry, especially insurance. In order to improve federal regulation and oversight of the insurance industry, two new ‘supervisory’ bodies were created: the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) in the U.S., and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) in the European Union.

The obvious fallout from the creation of FIO and EIOPA will be an accelerated regulation on the global insurance industry. With the continued malaise of the economy and more regulation to follow, insurance carriers are realizing that the business model that drives their profit is breaking down. The call for a new platform with significant new strategies will challenge long-standing operating procedures. Other factors to watch out for include: Read more…

U.K. issues updated guidelines for Phase 1 clinical trials

Effective immediately, changes have been made to the UK regulations governing insurance solely for Phase 1 clinical trials. The guidelines were developed by the Association for the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), the BioIndustry Association (BIA) and the Clinical Contract Research Association (CCRA) in consultation with the Department of Health and the National Research Ethics Service to provide insurance coverage recommendations based on industry best practices and claims history. Sponsors can then use the guidelines to prove to Ethics Committees that adequate insurance policies are in place for patient volunteers on a “no-fault” basis.

The guidelines apply to both healthy volunteers as well as patient volunteers suffering from a chronic but stable conditions not related to the target disease, where the administration of medicine Read more…

Lump sum settlement – impact on return to work

The Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) recently released the results of an interesting study regarding the behavior of workers’ compensation claimant’s upon receiving lump sum settlements of their workers’ compensation claims. The Institute followed 2138 workers’ compensation claimants injured in 2004, who later received lump sum settlements.

Of the 2138, 78%  (1667) did not change their employment status following their receipt of a settlement – i.e.: if they were gainfully employed upon receiving the settlement, they remained employed and vice versa.

Of the remaining employees whose employment status changed upon receiving a settlement, a greater percentage attained employment then exited employment. Of the claimant’s studied, 25% were employed at the time of settlement and 32% were employed one year after the settlement. Read more…

PPACA Legislation – more than just a tax debate

With the dust having settled a bit on the legal front since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”), there has been no such settling on the media and propaganda front. Pundits and talking heads from both sides have declared both victory and travesty from Chief Justice John Roberts’ ruling on June 28, 2012. Whether the “penalty” is a tax seems to be the favorite topic of debate and scorn. However, I strongly believe it misses the point of the law and its impact on our nation’s future.

To be frank, I share the fundamental concern of many of my conservative friends about the ability of the Federal government to impose “commerce” on its citizens. This move, in my opinion, takes us down a path that I am not sure we want to explore in great depth. But I am equally concerned that our national “General Welfare” is not addressed Read more…

C is for cookie, and for compliance

July 11, 2012 1 comment

The phrase “C is cookie” may conjure up images of a furry blue monster for many, but if you are conducting business within the European Union, cookie now stands for compliance with the e-Privacy Directive.

For the last few years, European officials have made an effort to implement new online privacy directives that would give users greater control over their data. A little over a month ago, the rules finally came into force in the UK by enacting legislation referred to as the cookie law.

The law provides some substance to the European Union’s privacy directive that requires organizations to obtain consent before they collect any personal information from Europeans via cookies, or the small digital files that a site deposits on Read more…

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Lessons from Massachusetts for National Health Care Reform and the Affordable Care Act

July 2, 2012 1 comment

With the approval of the United States Supreme Court for the Affordable Care Act, the focus of conversation in health insurance turns now from the halls of the courtroom to the halls of commerce.  The full effect of Obamacare takes place on the first day of 2014.  By then it will be seven years since most of the effects of the similar Massachusetts health care reform implementation.  While Massachusetts had lower levels of uninsurance and a highly subsidized state support program before its reforms, the leadership position of Massachusetts begs some important questions.  What have we learned from Massachusetts health care reform?  How will it be a model for the country? How will it be so very different?

Massachusetts health care reform succeeded in two important ways.  It increased health care access by increasing health insurance to almost everyone in the state.  A small number of persons pay Read more…