Analysis of proposed health reform policies

prez_seal_stethHealth reform has remained a hot topic throughout the recent months leading up to the presidential election. Here is a breakdown and analysis of a few proposals put forth during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Completely repeal Obamacare. Our elected representatives must eliminate the individual mandate. No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to.

Regardless of your political affiliation, I think we can agree there are many aspects of The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that have mitigated the current health care crisis. The law has mandated more comprehensive coverage of health plans, for example, dependents must be eligible up to age 26, there are no more lifetime limits Read more…

Scammers are phishing for tax refunds

W2At least a dozen companies have recently been tricked into sending employees’ W-2 Forms to unknown third parties in response to email requests that appeared to be from others within the corporate network.   The immediate goal of the scammers is apparently to file fraudulent tax returns in the name of the victims and seek large refunds. W-2s contain almost all the information they need.

Tax refund fraud a growth business. The FTC has indicated that it is largely responsible for last year’s dramatic increase (nearly 50%) in complaints of consumer identity fraud.  Scammers seeking fraudulent tax refunds even stole sensitive data of about 330,000 people from the IRS’s own website. Read more…

Autonomous cars on the move

carGoogle reported Monday that it is partly to blame for an accident involving one of its autonomous vehicles hitting a municipal bus in California. This is the first accident that Google has taken blame for in the past six years; there have been 17 minor accidents during that time, however none have held Google at fault.

Driverless cars are fast becoming the trend in the next layer of technology. The Tesla Model S is one of those cars that is fast becoming a known name. The Tesla allows for autonomous driving while the actual driver is in the car to observe. The driver is still responsible and in control, putting the layer of risk back on the driver and not the company, unlike the situation with the Google car. Read more…

Growth in renewable jobs in Massachusetts

February 18, 2016 Leave a comment

solar_workerAccording to a recent report from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the state has seen an increase in jobs and performance in the energy sector over the past two years. The double-digit growth has been consistent for the past four years with the state now employing 98,985 workers at 6,439 clean tech and renewable energy companies across the state. Massachusetts clean energy is now an $11 billion dollar industry, making it a stand out on the map for global leadership in clean energy.

The innovation and investing in the field has allowed Massachusetts to grow the industry into a model of what other states want to accomplish. “Private sector innovation and investment combined with public sector leadership on forward thinking clean energy policies are continuing to prove to be a strong formula to drive the flourishing of this industry,” commented Northeast Clean Energy Council President Peter Rothstein. Read more…

Directors & Officers liability for life sciences marketplace

February 16, 2016 Leave a comment

stocks_lifesciIn 2015, the D&O market as a whole experienced a competitive environment, with new and increased capacity leading to healthy premium decreases for some companies. The public D&O insurance market for life sciences companies, however, continues to evolve, with the industry still a prime target of Federal Securities Class Action (FSCA) lawsuits. In 2014, a total of 170 FSCA lawsuits were filed, including 39 complaints against 38 companies in the life sciences sector. At 23% of all 2014 FSCA filings, this represents a noteworthy increase over recent years.

The heightened regulatory environment and the increase in investigations and enforcement actions by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) –perhaps most notably in the SEC’s increased targeting of individuals–has presented more complex and costly exposures for life sciences companies. Read more…

Zika virus rises to public health emergency status

February 4, 2016 Leave a comment

zikaLike so many other viruses or diseases that make media headlines, the Zika virus has proven to be the latest in a long line of “bugs” that has raised the public awareness of the dangers that appear from foreign lands and seem to be of an unknown origin. However, the truth of the matter lies far from perceptions and assumptions made in the media. What is not a myth is the risk that these types of pandemic exposures present to healthcare providers across the entire industry spectrum.

Unlike the most recent scare that made so many headlines, the transition of the Zika virus is very different from that of Ebola and other “bugs” that have caused pandemic headlines. Read more…

New tactic introduced to battle opioid crisis but comes with complications

pills 2The opioid crisis that exploded at the end of 2015 is making headlines again as we close out the first month of 2016. During Charlie Baker’s State of the State address on Thursday, January 21st, he noted that the opioid crises was “terrifying” and that four people die every day in Massachusetts due to opioid overdoses.  Many of these opioid addictions are linked to the overprescribing of the drug and lackadaisical manner of follow-up to prescription taking. Governor Baker pushed for a 72 hour prescription cap that would allow doctors to closely monitor the ingestion of the drug. Similarly, a new tactic for battling the epidemic has been made public; an implant used to fight the addiction of opioids. Read more…