Health Care Vs Health Insurance

I’ll be blunt and get right to the three points of this article.
Point 1. Health care and health insurance should be separated.
Point 2. If it weren’t for the fact that health insurance has come to mean health care for most Americans there would be no health care reform.
Point 3. The only way to fix America’s health care once and for all is to bifurcate health care and health insurance as they should be.I’ll also give you three reasons why I say this so if you choose you can go to other articles and not bother with reading this further.
Reason 1. Because health care is now paid for by a third party health insurance premiums have increased over 100% since 2004.
Reason 2. On average over 60% of every health care dollar is wasted in the health insurance claims process.
Reason 3. Because of the health insurance/health care connection Americans are being robbed of their most precious birthright – their health.By means of government and health insurance company propaganda health care has been synonymous with health insurance since most of us can remember. At some point who among us hasn’t thought we needed a job with “benefits,” or maybe better benefits, so we could go to the doctor. We have been brainwashed by a system that profits monstrously from our lack of knowledge or apathy – whichever the individual case may be. We have been taught from our first paycheck that health insurance is the be-all-end-all when it’s time to take the kids to the doctor for a runny nose.That is confirmed within days when we get bill from the doctor’s office that says that the cost for that visit was $225.00.The system is rigged and it’s rigged so that each and every American thinks that someone else should pay for their health care. More on that later.Health care should be separated from health insurance like car care is separated from car insurance. When it’s time for an oils change do you reach in your pocket for your car insurance card to pay for it? “Of course not.” you say, “That would be ridiculous.”I ask you now to stop for a second and think why that would be a bad idea.In case you don’t know, let me give you a little primer on insurance. Insurance premiums are based on, among other things, claims – both the number and the amount of the claims. The individual states Department of Insurance ride herd over insurance companies to see that the amount paid out in claims is in proportion to the amount collected in premiums. So an insurance company doesn’t get a rate increase unless they have the claims to substantiate the increase. (That, by the way, is the one good service that the departments of insurance serve, since as individuals we don’t have the time nor the inclination nor the resources to look all of that information up.)So let’s now go back to the oil change scenario and look at it again. Instead of the one, two or three claims that you may file in a lifetime on your car insurance, you now find yourself filing a claim every three months or 10,000 miles. What would you expect your premiums to be like? How much would they increase? Also take this into consideration; your local mechanic or oil change service would have to wait 90 to 120 days to get paid for their money for the oil change. Plus there would be layer upon layer of paperwork to file the claim. The fact is, that if car insurance was like health insurance, your local oil jockey would have to hire an entire billing department just to file the correct forms with the correct codes – not once – but maybe as many three or four times.Do you think the oil change would still be $35.00 at your local Spiffy Lube would still be $35.00 or with the added payers of paperwork and personnel would the cost go up?The average face time with a medical doctor in the United States in now less than 10 minutes. The average amount of office labor involved in collecting the money for that 10 minute visit is upwards of three hours. How much is that costing you? Since there are no statistics kept on this let me do the simple math for you here. Billing and coding personnel make an average of $15.00 an hour. That could mean as much as $45.00 of your health care dollar goes toward processing your claim… and that is just at the doctor’s office. To be fair it is probably close to $30.00 on average but that is still a mighty large chunk of money.It is even larger when you look at what the doctor gets paid. (I told you earlier we would get back to this.) Don’t look at what the doctor bills, Look instead at your EOB, Explanation of Benefits that comes in a few months down the road. Don’t get caught up in the coding and insurance gibberish but instead look good and hard at the amount that was paid to the doctor. In many cases it will be something around $50.00, up to very rarely, $100.00.So the doctor paid out $30.00 to $45.00 to collect $50.00. Does that sound right or even smart?Then there are the processing costs added on at claims departments at the insurance companies. Most companies have at least two tiers of bureaucracy to look at every claim. The highest cost of any division at the large health insurance companies – right after management – is the claims department.The new health care reform law (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act )has added no less than 159 new programs, agencies and departments in between your visits and your doctor getting paid. Anyone out there really think all of those programs will save your health care dollars for health?

Millions Now Find Local Business on the Internet Even Though Yellow Pages Lie on a Shelf in a Closet

What keeps you awake at night, indigestion boiling up your esophagus, eyes open, staring at the ceiling? What do you secretly, ardently most desire? Is your business growing to satisfy all of your needs?Is your local business getting enough phone calls?With the radical changes in the economy and people moving away from Yellow Pages, newspaper ads and other old school advertising media, your customers are looking on the Internet for you. They search the Internet, and then they go down the street and buy what they want and need. If they don’t find your Local Business in their search, they are not buying from you.Times have changed, indeed. The Internet is still new; but, it is everywhere, and it is not going away anytime soon. The Internet has transformed our world, shrunk the whole world into a computer you hold in your hand, heretofore known as a cell phone. If you don’t get your business in position to be seen on that small screen, your customers are going someplace else.WARNING: Your customers are looking for you online right now!If your Local Business is found on the Internet, you can sell. If…Perhaps, a few statistics will shed light on this mystery:
Over 1 Billion local searches performed every month — growing over 50% a year
80% American consumers are using the Internet [2009]
80% of people first search online before making a purchase
97% Internet users use the Internet to shop [NPD Group]
90% Internet searches result in offline brick & mortar purchases [Comscore]
82% Internet searches result in calls & contact with businesses [Comscore]
74% Internet users perform local searches [Kelsey Group]
73% Internet searches are related to local content [Google]
66% Internet users use Internet for local searches [Comscore / TMP]
25% Internet searches have purely local commercial focus [ Kelsey / Bizrate]
Pepsi, FedEx pass on 2010 Super Bowl ads — shift ad dollars to new marketing efforts mostly online.What are your customers looking for?Old school marketing is still King. Times have changed, and media change, too. None of us alive today remember the King’s herald announcing news from the official scroll. Some of us recall barkers calling out theater or carnival sideshow attractions to passers-by. Most of us have bought something from a newspaper advertisement, or called to order something prompted by a Yellow Page spread.The Internet and computing devices are new media. Applying old school marketing principles to new media is a wise idea. That’s exactly what we are about to show you here.Can your customers find your Local Business on the Internet?Local Business Search ResultsDon’t worry — if you’re a Fortune Multi-National Conglomerate, you don’t need to appear in the Local Business Results.One of the best kept local Internet marketing secrets is the Google Local Business Center. Until your business is registered here, it cannot be found in the search results map. Google implemented this feature in early 2009, and it’s been evolving ever since. For those buying locally, however, this is the first thing most searchers see… and probably the first links on which they will click. Once here, not only are you at the top of Page One — look at that map! They now know where you are and how to get to you…If you’ve seen maps and GPS on cell phones, this is how your Local Business shows up on mobile devices. The Mobile Market is enormous and truly the wave of the future.Organic Search ResultsAdditionally, you need to be at the top of the normal, Organic Search Results, the traditional results area on the left, mostly below the Local Business Results. When your web page link is in the top six Organic Search Results — your Local Business has another clickable link on this first search page. Multiple clickable links on the first search page increases your odds that your customers will go to your web site… once there, we believe you can close them.Your Organic Search Results are a function of the quality & credibility of your Local Business presence on the Internet. You want all online roads leading back to you and your web site. There are virtually unlimited credible and respectable sources throughout the Internet, and from there nearly infinite routes back to your Local Business web site. Remember traditional referrals and testimonials from old school marketing? Referral links back to your web pages from everywhere on the Internet are testimonials to your Local Business relevance.The local business with the most links wins!Content Search ResultsFurthermore, your online content must also appear in the top search results! All content relevant to that search adds more links back to your Local Business on the first search page. You and your Local Business are going to be viewed as the top authority on all matters regarding this search. Google loves rich, relevant & rewarding online content!!!
Online Videos (YouTube.com)
Online Press Releases (PRweb.com)
Online Articles (EzineArticles.com)
Social Content Sites (Squidoo.com)
Online Classifieds (Craigslist.org)
Online Business Directories (MerchantCircle.com)
Online Review Sites (Kudzu.com)But, wait, there’s more! Pay-Per-Click (PPC)You want to be in the Pay-Per-Click and/or Sponsored Results up there in the top yellow box and down along the right side. Pay-Per-Click is Pay-As-You-Go — your ad only shows up when somebody searches for your specific key words. Your ad is only shown to your best customers who are searching specifically for what you have to offer. You set how much you are willing to pay, and you only pay when somebody clicks on your ad — the fully qualified buyer.So, the question is, How much is each fully qualified customer on your web site worth to you???Geo-Targeting Your AdsFurthermore, you can also target your ads to local customers in your area. By focusing on local customers, your ad is only seen locally. Locally seen ads are more likely to attract local customers, are cheaper for you, and you do not compete with companies on the other side of the world.For example, a consumer searches, “I need a plumber.” Google knows where the local plumbers are. When you only show your ad to people in your city for these “generic” keywords, you get cheaper clicks, targeted traffic and less competition.What if your web pages sit atop the search engine results?What if you are the #1 Authority online?Imagine what that will mean for your Local Business! How many more customers do you want coming to you every single day? every single week? every single month?What will it do for your Local Business when you have your online market domination plan in place?If you have a Yellow Pages ad, you are already spending marketing money. What is your return on that investment???Every search engine result page can present only the most relevant web pages that fit into the limited space on one page. Only an elite few Local Businesses can possibly be seen there.Do your own homework. Look for yourself. Do a search using keywords that your best customers will use to find your Local Business.Which Local Businesses are on the first search page? How many Local Businesses are on the first search page? Is that your biggest competitor there in A. or B. in the Local Business Results? Are your best customers going to your Competitors because they find them — NOT YOU — in the search results?As you see, nobody can possibly do a credible job placing more than six Local Businesses in your market on Google page one. Furthermore, when you consider your goal is to have multiple links to your Local Business on that same Google page one, you must carefully consider the sales hype of typical SEO geeks! There can be only one Number One — will it be you and your Local Business?

Internal Crisis Communications

Why effective internal crisis communication is importantYour employees are perhaps your most important ‘stakeholders’ during a crisis. Poor internal crisis communications can undermine all your efforts to manage a crisis externally, and the lack of trust, low morale, employee turnover and poor customer relations that result can compound the issues you face.So see your employees as your front line to the world. Keep them informed, up-to-date and involved in your organization’s response to the crisis. Read on for some ideas for internal crisis communications – before, during and after a crisis.Good employee communications can avoid a crisis in the first place.Crises seem to come from nowhere. However, very often they are the result of bad practices or issues which have been smoldering for some time. Your leadership team may not have known about them but your employees almost certainly will have.Remind people at least once a year about the policies and processes your organization has in place. For example, tell them about your health and safety, security and financial policies and processes and what they should do if they have an issue.Raise the profile of important messages. Digital signage on screensavers is a great visual way to raise the profile of important messages. Think legal compliance, financial compliance, health and safety… A compliance desktop alert is another useful way to ensure employees read and acknowledge important messages. And an on-line forum that allows anonymous posts can let employees ‘blow the whistle’ and bring smothering issues to the surface so that you can address them before they become a crisis.Planning is the key to effective internal crisis communication.Set up internal crisis communications channels.Make sure your internal crisis communications channels are in place before the crisis hits. The middle of a crisis is not the time to be asking your IT team to set up a new discussion forum or be training your employees to use a communications channel.Make sure the internal crisis communications channels you choose are easy to use, effective and simple to activate and manage.Have a range of internal crisis communications channels available to communicate during a crisis, not just one. Depending on the nature of the crisis, some channels may not be effective so build in some redundancy.These are some crisis communications channels you may consider using:Desktop alerts can be a fast way to get messages to employees who use computers.
Message reporting tools can show which employees have read the messages and identify ‘gaps’ in your coverage. These gaps may indicate that your computer network is down in a particular area and that you need to find other ways to communicate with some employees. Back up these desktop alerts with digital signage on screensavers, and use desktop newsfeeds to update employees on progress.
Set up ‘sleeping’ discussion forums and blogs in advance, target the employees you want to reach and the rights you want to give them (e.g. view, read, comment), and choose moderators. Then just click to activate the discussion forum or blog when you need it. As soon as an employee posts a comment, your moderator will receive a desktop alert notification. You can activate other communications channels quickly too (e.g. desktop alerts, desktop newsfeeds and digital signage on screensaver), to make employees aware that these discussion forums and blogs are available.Use social media to listen to your employees.Some organizations shy away from setting up social media channels internally as they are concerned they will turn into an ‘on-line complaints desk’. This can be a valid concern. However, you cannot turn off employees’ dissatisfaction just by refusing to hear it and many crises start as small, smoldering problems that people have chosen to ignore. Social media are a good way to bring these issues to the fore. While they may create more work in the short term, they will let you keep a finger on the internal pulse and respond to issues early.Set up target audiences in advance.Use an internal communications solution that lets you target the employee groups you communicate with.Connect people in advance and help them collaborate.Use an internal crisis communications solution that lets you set up a crisis management team as one of your target messaging groups. So when your emergency strikes, you can communicate with the crisis team quickly and easily. You can also set up, in advance, a secure discussion forum for the crisis team to use to share ideas during the crisis. Both features will help you respond to the crisis quickly.Carry out scenario planning and plan messages ahead.Set up different messages in advance, target them to the relevant employees and store them without publishing them. So when a crisis hits, you can update the relevant messages and publish them to your targeted employees within minutes, using a range of channels: digital signage on screensavers, desktop alerts, desktop newsfeeds, discussion forums and blogs.When a crisis hitsMake and communicate decisions quickly.Fast, effective decisions are critical during a crisis. But making the right decision at the right time often means bringing together busy people in different time zones. An online discussion forum can help here. Set it up in advance and activate it quickly when you need to. Use the targeting, security and authentication features to restrict access. Delete or archive the messages when you no longer need them.As soon as you have made your decisions, tell your employees. If they understand your decisions, and the reasons for them, they are likely to get behind them. An approval desktop alert can helpful here, particularly if one or more people needs to approve messages before they go out. Use the recurrence settings to get quick sign-off. This will help you finish messages and push them out to employees in a timely way.Tell your employees first.Whenever possible during a crisis, communicate internally before you spread the word externally. Open, timely communication with your employees will help build trust and make them willing to represent your organization and support the way it is handling the crisis.Communicate face-to-face.Face-to-face communication can be one of the most effective ways of communicating during a crisis. However, small, personal gatherings tend to be more appropriate than large ‘town hall’ meetings. Use a RSVP desktop alert tool to offer different session times and gather employees’ questions and concerns before the meetings.Listen to your employees.Use a popup staff survey tool to ‘temperature check’ and gather employees feedback quickly and easily as you respond to the crisis. Deliver your survey onto the desktop of the employees you target and repeat and escalate the message, to encourage employees to reply.Employee discussion forums let you gather qualitative feedback. Employees may be reluctant to disagree openly with the way you are managing the crisis but, if you let them voice their opinion online (anonymously, if needed), they are likely to be more candid. You may not want to hear some of their comments but they will give you a valuable point-of-view.Offer answers to employees’ questions.An interactive Q&A forum can be a simple, effective way to provide answers to concerned employees. You may not be able to predict all the questions they may have, as the situation may be changing fast, so use this online forum as an evolving FAQ.Manage ‘data deluge’.'Information overload’ is a problem in most organizations at the best of times. During a crisis, managing this issue is more critical than ever. Employees may become confused about where to find correct, up-to-date information and important messages may be buried in the deluge of data.Shield employees from low value, mass internal communications. You may wish to defer all communication that is non-critical. Or consolidate ‘lower value’ updates into a ‘one-stop magazine’.Managing information overload helps increase the chances that employees will notice your internal crisis communications. An acknowledgement desktop alert also lets you check whether employees have read and acknowledged important messages. Use the up-to-the-minute reporting tools to see which messages employees have read and where you may need to use other channels to get your message across.Make sure your leaders are seen to be leading.The more visible your executives are during the crisis and the more open they are about what is happening, the better. An executive blog can be an effective way to communicate during a crisis and show the executive team leading from the front. If face-to-face meetings are not possible, video can be a fast, personal alternative.Involve your line managers.Employees will look to their direct manager for information about the crisis and what it means for them. So make sure you give your managers the information they need. The urgency of the crisis may force you to update employees directly, rather than ‘cascading’ information through your managers in the way you usually would. However, there are other ways to support your managers. Consider using a discussion forum for them to ask questions and share concerns. Or set them up as a targeted group and use tools like desktop alerts and RSS feeds delivered onto the desktop to remind them about the important role they play in leading their employees through the crisis.Keep your messages short and simple.Crises breed concern and concern breeds short attention spans. So keep your messages short and simple. Use simple terms, short sentences and features like headings and bold type to highlight your main points.Repeat messages using a range of internal communications channels.A crisis can be a crazy, distressing time. Different people absorb information in different ways and at different times, so repeat your important messages regularly, using a range of channels. For example, consider using:
Desktop alerts for fast ‘cut-through’;
Face-to-face meetings, information hotlines and discussion forums to communicate, listen and give more context;
Screensavers, desktop feeds and e-mag articles to remind and reinforce;
Helpdesks, Q&A spots and the intranet for more information;
SMS messaging and audio-conferencing for employees without computers.Focus on employee well being.Some crises put employees’ health and safety at risk. Addressing this risk should be a high priority. Until you can reassure employees that your organization is taking appropriate steps to deal with the crisis, they are unlikely to be able to focus effectively on anything else. The Swine flu pandemics have been recent examples.Screensavers can be a great way to focus on the precautions the organization is taking and to encourage employees to ‘do their bit’. Highly visual messages help reassure employees that the organization is prepared.Focus employee discussion internally.Due to social media, messages can now spread faster and wider than ever before, both inside and outside your organization. They can be subjective, distracting, hard to manage and inaccurate. In fact, social media can spread panic as effectively as they reassure.One way to limit the negative effects of social media is to provide your own social channels and to restrict their use to within your organization. While this will not stop employees posting on external sites, it will reduce this and concentrate the debate inside your organization. Any external postings employees do make are more likely to be accurate and support the organization’s response to the crisis.Use secure internal social media channels that let employees have their say in a way where you can follow the postings and correct any misinformation. Unlike email which can end up in the hands of people outside your organization, be sure to use channels that are designed to keep internal messages exactly that – internal.After the crisisGet back to ‘business as usual’ as soon as you can. Focus your internal communications back on the things that matter to your organization – your strategy, how you are performing, new projects, the good work your employees are doing.Recognize how your employees have contributed during the crisis.Use screensavers, posters or the staff magazine to thank your employees and profile those who have played an important role in dealing with the crisis.Lighten upIf you have been controlling some of your channels more strictly than usual during the crisis (e.g. moderating social media more closely or editing internal communications more tightly), lighten up on the controls.Wipe the slate clean.Remove old messages that only serve to remind employees of the difficult time your organization has been through. Replace visual messages, remove old discussion forums or archive old posts. Your focus needs to be on the present and the future, not the past.Learn from the crisis – and start planning for the next one.Every crisis brings opportunities to learn. So take the time to review. What worked well? And what could you have done better? Use this information to refine your internal crisis communications plan. Review your scenarios, update your draft messages, improve your internal crisis communications channels.

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