3 days ago

Dutch Boy, Survivor of Jet Crash, Back Home

Last Updated 8:37 a.m. ET

The Dutch boy who is the sole survivor of a plane crash in Libya arrived in the Netherlands Saturday on a medical evacuation flight, just hours after being told that his parents and older brother perished in the disaster.

Nine-year-old Ruben van Assouw's survival of a crash that shattered the airliner into pieces has stunned doctors and given the tragedy at least one hopeful story. The Afriqiyah Airways flight from South Africa hit the ground short of the runway while landing Wednesday in Tripoli, killing 103 people, including the boy's parents and 11-year-old brother.

The boy was recovering well enough to make the journey home and most likely w

3 days ago

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3 days ago

Medicare pays 4 times suppliers' wheelchair cost, report says

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Power-driven wheelchairs are costing Medicare and its beneficiaries nearly four times what suppliers pay for them, and competitive bidding could have reduced those costs, according to an inspector general's report released Wednesday.

Competitive bidding would have cut costs on a standard power wheelchair by nearly $1,000, the report says.

Competitive bidding would have cut costs on a standard power wheelchair by nearly $1,000, the report says.

A standard power wheelchair costs the federal health insurance program for seniors an average of $4,018 to lease, compared with $1,048 for suppliers to buy, the Department of Health and Human Services' internal watchdog reported.

"Medicare and its beneficiaries paid suppliers an average of $2,970 beyond the supplier's acquisition cost to perform an average of five services and cover general business costs," the report found.

The difference was not as dramatic for more advanced wheelchairs used for physical rehabilitation patients, but at an average lease of $11,507, those chairs still cost Medicare about twice as much as the $5,880 paid by suppliers, the report found.

More than 173,000 Medicare beneficiaries received power wheelchairs in the first half of 2007, at a cost of about $686 million, the report said. The cost could have been reduced considerably had Congress not delayed a planned system of competitive bidding for what Medicare classifies as "durable medical equipment," such as wheelchairs and oxygen tanks, the report said.

Competitive bidding would have cut Medicare's average cost of a standard power wheelchair by nearly $1,000, the inspector general found.

"Medicare and beneficiary payments under the Competitive Bidding Acquisition Program would have decreased by an average of 26 percent across all included categories of [durable medical equipment], saving up to an estimated $1 billion annually," the report found. "However, Congress delayed the program and exempted complex rehabilitation power wheelchairs from future competitive bidding."

Medicare's annual budget for 2008 was $444 billion. In January, it cut its payments to suppliers by 9.5 percent to make up for what it thought competitive bidding would have saved taxpayers, according to the report.

In July, a CNN investigation found that a patient and taxpayers were billed about $1,200 over four years for a nonmotorized chair, while a nearly identical chair could be bought from the same supplier for $349.



The issue has become controversial as the Obama administration tries to overhaul the U.S. health care system and rein in the cost of Medicare.

Administration officials want to require competitive bids for items such as wheelchairs. But the American Association for Homecare, which represents many in the durable equipment industry, said the bidding program would reduce patient choice, limit access to home medical care and drive up Medicare costs by requiring more hospital stays.

All About Health Care Costs o Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services o U.S. Medicare



2 weeks ago

Business & Finance Archives - ArticleCity.com

Business & Finance, Food and Drink

5 Ways Everyone Can Improve Their Restaurant Management

Mar 21, 2017

by ArticleCity Blog



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Get more from your restaurant management team with this guide. Even the best can improve, and we've nailed down the spots to do it. Check it out....

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2 weeks ago

Apartheid's Mental Diseases - No Educative Health System-Mental Health Decline Of African South Africans Under The ANC

Wilson captured the essence of what this hub is going to be about succinctly when he stated: "People who manipulate the past and present manipulate one's mentality, sanity,contact with reality and the ability to deal with reality. In other words, the manipulation of history creates real effects in the individual personality. Our history by not being taught to us correctly ensures that our potential will be forever undeveloped as a people and that we will not challenge those who rule over us. Intellectual structures and powers are undeveloped when we suffer from Amnesia; they are restricted and alienated.

Some of my black students say, "Hey, I know nothing about Black History; but I kn

2 weeks ago

China banned from buying donkeys

But as the rising power shifts towards advanced industry and away from traditional agriculture, donkeys are in decline. State statistics show the population has fallen from 11 million to six million over the last 20 years.

China is now increasingly looking to Africa to boost its stocks, and imports donkeys from countries across the continent. But flourishing trade has hit several roadblocks.

Niger recently became the latest African state to ban exports of donkeys, following a surge in sales to China.

Government officials reported that 80,000 animals had been sold in the first 9 months of 2016, compared with 27,000 in 2015, and warned that the donkey population would be "decimated" on current trends.

In August, Burkina Faso took the same step, after 45,000 donkeys were slaughtered in six months from a total population of 1.4 million.

In both cases, the value of donkeys soared and the fledgling industry delivered a valuable stream of foreign currency. But growth came at a cost.

Growing pains

Beyond the severe damage to donkey populations, the new industry caused environmental and economic problems.

The spread of abattoirs generated a backlash. In the Burkinabe village of Balole, local farmers reportedly attacked and closed a slaughterhouse in protest at blood and offal leaking into their water supplies.

The donkey boom also attracted farmers from other livestock trades, which suffered as a result, and were also affected by inflation.

"In Niger and Burkina Faso the rising value of donkey hide and meat created inflationary impact in other sectors," says Dr. Emmanuel Igbinoba. "The price of other animals rose because of the donkey, not because there was demand for this animal, which caused imbalance in the economy."

The exporting countries suffered from a lack of regulation, according to Eric Olander, co-founder of the China Africa Project and host of the China in Africa podcast.

"Just as with other livestock, raw materials and other natural resources, the scale of the demand from China is often so large that it can rapidly overwhelm the supply of any single resource," he says. "Governments that trade with China...have an obligation to their people to regulate trade so it does not deplete any single resource to the point where it imposes burdens on their own people."

Opportunity knocks



China's huge appetite for donkeys does create opportunities that exporters can benefit from with careful planning, says Igbinoba.

"There is steady demand for the gelatin," he says. "If African countries can regulate well, with high standard abattoirs, and train people how to rear these animals, the donkey can be an important source of income."

Burkina has announced plans to regulate donkey sales, but will face competition from continental rivals willing to pick up the slack.

Major economies such as Kenya and South Africa are scaling up their facilities to meet Chinese demand, and a black market is also flourishing across the continent.

Chinese demand is expected to increase with a growing consumer class willing to spend on luxury goods such as ejiao.

The challenge for suppliers is to ensure the trade is a blessing rather than a curse.

3 weeks ago

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