Headlines about "Technology"

Gathered from the web by the editors at BenefitsLink.com.
Testimony of HHS Secretary Sibelius at House Committee Hearing on Healthcare.gov Status
The committee hearing is presented as a live webcast on Wednesday morning, October 30. A recording will be available thereafter. (House Committee on Energy and Commerce)

Statement of CMS Administrator to Congressional Hearing on Status of Healthcare.gov (PDF)
"The fact is that the [ACA] delivered on its product: quality, affordable health insurance. The tremendous interest shown in HealthCare.gov shows that people want to buy this product.... [I]t is important to remember that the [ACA] is much more than purchasing insurance through HealthCare.gov. Most Americans -- 85 percent -- already have health coverage through an employer-based plan, or health benefit, such as Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)." (Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)

A Startling Agreement on Who to Blame for Healthcare.gov
"Everyone at the Energy and Commerce hearing [October 24] came to an agreement on who caused the problems with HealthCare.Gov: Somebody else.... The result of the marathon hearing yielded a few notable tidbits. Contractors are more than happy to throw the federal government under the bus." (Ezra Klein in The Washington Post; subscription may be required)

Bipartisan Dismay Over Health Plan Woes at House Hearing
"Federal officials did not fully test the online health insurance marketplace until two weeks before it opened to the public on Oct. 1, contractors told Congress on [October 24]. While individual components of the system were tested earlier, they said, the government did not conduct 'end-to-end testing' of the whole system from start to finish until late September.... Lawmakers said they were dismayed because the contractors assured the committee on Sept. 10 that they, their computer systems and the online federal marketplace were ready[.]" (The New York Times; subscription may be required)

HHS Brings in Verizon to Help HealthCare.gov [Video]
"An informed source in the telecommunications industry said Verizon's Enterprise Solutions division has been asked by the Department of Health and Human Services to improve the performance of the HealthCare.gov site, which is a key component of the Affordable Care Act.... HHS office said Sunday the department would reach outside its government contractors to civilian companies that might be able to solve HealthCare.gov's problems more quickly." (USA TODAY)

[Guidance Overview] HIPAA: Health Privacy and Security 1.0 (PDF)
54 presentation slides from a February 12, 2013 webinar. Includes extensive coverage of the recently issued final regulations under the HIPAA privacy, security and enforcement rules and the HITECH Act, especially as they affect business associates. (Morgan Lewis)

Software Developers and Network Engineers: Why You Should Be Working in Health Information Technology
"Health care IT is a field in need of upgrades. Where many of America's businesses -- from retail stores to banks to telecom companies -- depend on interoperable network infrastructure and user-friendly interfaces, many doctors' offices, hospitals, clinics and medical laboratories across the U.S. still rely on legacy software and hardware. Some doctors still store patient files on paper, and write prescriptions by (illegible) hand. In an industry where lives are at stake every day -- and where governmental pressure for providers to adopt electronic record-keeping continues to mount -- outdated practices like these point to a serious need for bright minds with fresh perspectives." (Tech Republic)

IBM's Watson Could Be Healthcare Game Changer
"IBM announced the release of three new health care decision-support applications [which use Watson, IBM's 'cognitive' computing platform]. The three new applications include one for recommending cancer treatment options and two for reviewing and authorizing treatments and related health insurance claims.... The doctor uses touch navigation to browse the latest symptoms and test results. The decision support is delivered as a prioritized list of recommended tests and treatment regimens together with confidence scores and links to supporting research." (InformationWeek)

Participant Communications: A Strategic Differentiator for Health Plans
"As consumers begin to have more choice in their health insurance coverage, it is critical that health plans provide an excellent member experience to help drive loyalty. A targeted and impactful communication strategy can differentiate health plans and distinguish an organization from its competitors. Communications, therefore, should be a core part of a health plan's reform strategy, and health plans should consider who the target audiences are and how communications can influence bottom-line results (such as new member acquisition or increased retention)." (Deloitte Center for Health Solutions)

[Opinion] The Health Information Technology Scam
"[Two recent articles] indicate that [Health Information Technology ('HIT') has not lived up to expectations. Actually, it is quite a bit worse than that. The RAND piece is a sort of mea culpa for an earlier RAND 'study' that predicted $81 billion in annual savings if we adopted HIT ... This RAND piece was the main rationale for spending over $20 billion (in two years) on HIT, but rather than saving money, HIT seems to have cost more money because it made it easier to bill for more services, according to the [New York Times]. It may also be creating more errors and inefficiencies in medical practice." (John Goodman's Health Policy Blog)

Your Medical Records, HIPAA, and the Illusion of Privacy
"HIPAA is supposed to protect our private medical records from prying eyes, but there are many exceptions and gaps as Michael P. Kassner found out while doing some research." (Tech Republic)

The Rush to Digitize Patient Records Has Not Cut Costs
"It's possible that computerization may actually have increased spending. Between 2006 and 2010, Medicare payment to hospitals receiving federal dollars for electronic records grew faster than payments to hospitals that did not take advantage of the incentives ... What IT's boosters did not anticipate was how hard it would be to develop a truly 'inter-operable' system -- that is, one that enables various providers to access a patient's data no matter who created the record." (The Washington Post; free registration required)

RAND Walks Back Estimates of Savings from Advances in Health Information Technology
"RAND researchers are walking back a [2005] report ... estimating that the widespread adoption of healthcare information technology could trim more than $81 billion each year from the nation's healthcare tab through improved efficiencies. Instead, a new RAND analysis by a new team of researchers ... notes that seven years later, expectations about the safety and efficiency of HIT mostly have not been met, and annual healthcare spending has increased by $800 billion." (HealthLeaders Media)

Real-World Solutions for Your Health, Benefits & Wellness Programs
Hear what's working for senior executives at major employers including: American Express, Big Lots, Carlson, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Comcast, H-E-B, Intel, Leviton, Microsoft, NextEra Energy, Walgreens and Yahoo! Limited-time registration offer going on now. (Health & Benefits Leadership Conference)

Obtain Your Ethics CE Credit!
Understand the ethical issues facing employee benefit practitioners! Join ERISA attorney, John Griffin, Dec 6th. Click on the link to register. (ASC)

DATAIR! New Features - Flexible Pricing - Module Integration
Proposals, Testing, Administration, 5500s, 1099Rs, Plan Documents -- 401(k), New Comparability, 403(b), Non-qualified Plans -- (888) 328-2474 Sales@DATAIR.com www.DATAIR.com (DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.)

Are you frustrated with 8955-SSA or 1099 filings this year?
Ask ftwilliam.com about our fulfillment services. You do the preparation and then we will take care of the rest on your behalf. We will do all of the electronic filing and any printing and mailing necessary. Contact us for details: sales@ftwilliam.com (ftwilliam.com)

Industry Education Begins with RPF
Earn Your RPF Certificate and start your journey to a credential. RPF webcourses, texts and exams cover terminology, issues, and requirements for anyone starting the credential process or building a career. Start your journey today. (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA))

Advisors & TPAs: Don't Miss the NAPA/ASPPA 401(k) SUMMIT 2013!
Join us in exciting Las Vegas at Caesar's Palace and get the latest government and regulatory updates that affect you and find out why 1,300+ retirement plan professionals return every year. (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA))

Are you frustrated with 8955-SSA or 1099 filings this year?
Ask ftwilliam.com about our fulfillment services. You do the preparation and then we will take care of the rest on your behalf. We will do all of the electronic filing and any printing and mailing necessary. Contact us for details sales@ftwilliam.com (ftwilliam.com)

Advisors & TPAs: Don't Miss the NAPA/ASPPA 401(k) SUMMIT 2013!
Join us in exciting Las Vegas at Caesar's Palace and get the latest government and regulatory updates that affect you and find out why 1,300+ retirement plan professionals return every year. (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA))

Fast, Integrated, Affordable Form 1099 Software
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business -- ftwilliam.com offers web-based 1099 Software that will help simplify the 1099 preparation process. Need help with all that printing, mailing and e-filing? Ask about our Service Bureau. We'll take care of that for you. (ftwilliam.com)

The latest on employee benefit issues + Top IRS & DOL Speakers
Explore employee benefit issues with colleagues and local, regional and national government representatives from the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor! (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA))

DATAIR! Better Than Ever - Flexible Pricing - Superior Validation
Choose "Pension Reporter System" modules you need: EFAST2 5500/PBGC/SAR, 1099Rs, 5300s, FAS158 -- (888) 328-2474 Sales@DATAIR.com www.DATAIR.com (DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.)

5500 Filing: Easy, Efficient & Reliable
Experience the ease and reliability of 5500 filing with ASC! File up to 10 forms through our web-based 5500 system -- with NO obligation. Click on the link for more info and registration. (ASC)

Fast, Integrated, Affordable Form 1099 Software
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business -- ftwilliam.com offers web-based 1099 Software that will help simplify the 1099 preparation process. Need help with all that printing, mailing and e-filing? Ask about our Service Bureau. We'll take care of that for you. (ftwilliam.com)

Advisors & TPAs: Don't Miss the NAPA/ASPPA 401(k) SUMMIT 2013!
Join us in exciting Las Vegas at Caesar's Palace and get the latest government and regulatory updates that affect you and find out why 1,300+ retirement plan professionals return every year. (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA))

The most important thing you can do today -- Vote!
Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual -- or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country. (Samuel Adams in the Boston Gazette, April 16, 1781) (BenefitsLink.com)

What You Need to Know About PPA Restatements & More Webinar
This webinar will cover the PPA Volume Submitter (prototype format) document from head to toe. We will also touch on some of the new formats and plans that we will offer customers for PPA. Join to learn how ftwilliam.com will make life easier for PPA. (ftwilliam.com)

Real-World Solutions for Your Health, Benefits & Wellness Programs
Hear what's working for senior executives at major employers including: American Express, Big Lots, Carlson, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Comcast, H-E-B, Intel, Leviton, Microsoft, NextEra Energy, Walgreens and Yahoo! Limited-time registration offer going on now. (Health & Benefits Leadership Conference)

Learn the definition of business success at NIPA's 2013BMC
NIPA's 2013 Business Management Conference (BMC) will provide insight into the evolution of successful TPA business management. This one-of-a-kind event is an open forum for TPA business owners to examine industry developments and challenges. (NIPA (National Institute of Pension Administrators))

DATAIR! Smart By Design -- More Choices -- Less Cost
Proposals, Testing, Valuation, IRS/DOL/PBGC Forms, Plan Documents -- Includes Graded, 412(e)(3), Cash Balance, Combo Plans -- (888) 328-2474 Sales@DATAIR.com www.DATAIR.com (DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.)

Evaluating Your Third-Party Administrator: Are You Getting What You're Paying For?
November 2 -- live audio conference explores the key roles of third-party administrators, how to evaluate a third-party administrator and the key areas to be evaluated to ensure you are receiving what you are paying for. Discounted pricing for BenefitsLink readers. (Lorman and BenefitsLink.com)

5500 Filing: Easy, Efficient & Reliable
File up to 10 forms between now and January 15, 2013 through ASC's web-based 5500 system -- with NO obligation - and see just how easy it can be. Click on the link for more info and registration. (ASC)

Explore advantages and disadvantages of cash balance plans!
Cash balance plans are a critical facet of any plan consultant's knowledge base. Through this module, you will explore the advantages and disadvantages of a cash balance plan and how it works in combination with a defined contribution plan. (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA))

Web-based proposals -- Like NOTHING you've seen before.
PenEasy dramatically reduces the data input, expertise and cost needed to produce comparison illustrations for popular retirement plan designs. Web-based PenEasy requires no software installation and creates effective PDF output to clinch the sale. (BlazeSSI)

Industry Education Begins with RPF
Earn Your RPF Certificate and start your journey to a credential. RPF webcourses, texts and exams cover terminology, issues, and requirements for anyone starting the credential process or building a career. Start your journey today. (ASPPA)

Fast, Integrated, Affordable Form 1099 Software
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business -- ftwilliam.com offers web-based 1099 Software that will help simplify the 1099 preparation process. Need help with all that printing, mailing and e-filing? Ask about our Service Bureau. We'll take care of that for you. (ftwilliam.com)

Defending & Managing ERISA Litigation -- Oct. 29-30, NYC
Advanced forum brings together leading in-house counsel and outside defense attorneys to engage in developing winning litigation strategies and overcoming new and emerging theories of liability from the plaintiffs' bar. BenefitsLink discount code: BL 200 (American Conference Institute)

401k Professionals: Get your Qualified 401(k) Administrator Credential!
Work in some aspect of retirement plan administration? Want to specialize in the administration of 401(k) plans? The QKA credential is for you! Get your Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) Credential and show that you're serious about your career! (ASPPA)

Fast, Integrated, Affordable Form 1099 Software
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business -- ftwilliam.com offers web-based 1099 Software that will help simplify the 1099 preparation process. Need help with all that printing, mailing and e-filing? Ask about our Service Bureau. We'll take care of that for you. (ftwilliam.com)

Join Sutherland for a Free Webinar -- October 23 -- Register Now
We will provide an overview of the 3 components of the EPCRS program, including when to determine if self-correction is appropriate versus when a filing should be made with the IRS and methods for identifying and correcting common plan errors. (Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP)

DATAIR! More Choices -- Better Guidance -- Less Cost
Documents, SPDs, Amendments, Administrative Forms ... 401(k)/Profit Sharing, 403(b), DB and Cash Balance Plans... (888) 328-2474 -- Sales@DATAIR.com -- www.DATAIR.com (DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.)

West Coast Defined Contribution Conference ? San Francisco Nov. 4-6
Free registration for qualified plan sponsors. Sponsored by Pensions & Investments - learn how to develop a defined contribution plan that helps ensure your participants lifetime income. (Pensions & Investments)

SWBA / IRS Employee Benefits Conference for Practitioners and Plan Sponsors
Staying up to date in the challenging world of employee benefits has never been more critical for benefits professionals and plan sponsors. Changes in regulations, technology, workforce and the economy continue to influence company benefits. Stay informed. (SWBA (SouthWest Benefits Association))

Convert now for PPA. We've done the work and thinking for you!
Step 1. FREE batch plan conversion, Step 2. Batch Amendment and Batch Notices for plan maintenance, Step 3. Batch restate plans in just a few minutes with the click of a button! Contact us for details and live demonstration sales@ftwilliam.com. (ftwilliam.com)

Defending & Managing ERISA Litigation -- Oct. 29-30, NYC
Advanced forum brings together leading in-house counsel and outside defense attorneys to engage in developing winning litigation strategies and overcoming new and emerging theories of liability from the plaintiffs' bar. BenefitsLink discount code: BL 200 (American Conference Institute)

Qualified Plan Distributions -- Avoid Common Mistakes!
Failure to understand the rules regarding qualified plan distributions can result in plan disqualifications and claims from participants and beneficiaries. Join Charles Lockwood, Oct 18th, as he clarifies this important topic. (ASC)

The latest on employee benefit issues + Top IRS & DOL Speakers
Explore employee benefit issues with colleagues and local, regional and national government representatives from the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor! (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) and the Council of Independent 401(k) Recordkeepers (CIKR))

DATAIR! Better Than Ever - Flexible Pricing - Superior Validation
Choose "Pension Reporter System" modules you need: EFAST2 5500/PBGC/SAR, 1099Rs, 5300s, FAS158 (888) 328-2474 Sales@DATAIR.com www.DATAIR.com (DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.)

Join Sutherland for a Free Webinar -- October 23 -- Register Now
We will provide an overview of the 3 components of the EPCRS program, including when to determine if self-correction is appropriate versus when a filing should be made with the IRS and methods for identifying and correcting common plan errors. (Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP)

Convert now for PPA. We've done the work and thinking for you!
Step 1. FREE batch plan conversion, Step 2. Batch Amendment and Batch Notices for plan maintenance, Step 3. Batch restate plans in just a few minutes with the click of a button! Contact us for details and live demonstration sales@ftwilliam.com. (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business / ftwilliam.com)

2012 Q&As: EEOC Meeting with ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, May 10, 2012 (PDF)
5 pages. Topics addressed include Enforcement Activity; Dependent Providing HRA Data; GINA Enforcement; ADA and Pregnancy; ADA Definition of Major Life Activity; Wellness Plans and Dependent Incentives; and Wellness Plans and Financial Incentives. (Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, American Bar Association)

DOL Announces Online Filing Tool for Plan Sponsors to Report Service Providers That Fail to Comply With Fee Disclosure Rule
"The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration announced today that plan sponsors seeking fiduciary relief for a service provider's failure to comply with the department's plan-level fee disclosure rule will be able to use a new online filing system, replacing the option of electronically sending notices to a previously established email address. The online filing tool will better assist plan sponsors who file electronically by ensuring that all required information is submitted, and providing immediate confirmation that notices have been received by the department. 'The revised submission procedures should provide plan sponsors a greater level of confidence that their requests for fiduciary relief have been received and will be efficiently processed and reviewed,' said Assistant Secretary of Labor for EBSA Phyllis C. Borzi." (Employee Benefits Security Administration)

Hackers Steal, Encrypt Health Records and Hold Data for Ransom
"The Surgeons of Lake County, located in the affluent northern Illinois suburb of Libertyville, revealed last month that hackers had burrowed deeply into its computer network, infiltrating a server where e-mails and electronic medical records were stored. But unlike many other data breaches, the hackers made no attempt to keep their presence a secret. In fact, they all but fired a flare to announce the break-in, taking the extreme step of encrypting their illicit haul and posting a digital ransom note demanding payment for the password. The doctors turned the server off and notified the authorities, refusing to pay." (Bloomberg Tech Blog)

Safeguarding Patient-Generated Health Data on Mobile Devices
"This paper discusses the factors that should be considered when protecting patient-generated health information created on or shared through mobile devices. It also recommends strategies for securing patient health information on mobile devices and implementing technical safeguards to ensure general device security." (Center for Democracy and Technology)

[Guidance Overview] Implementing Health Reform: A Final Exchange Blueprint
"The Final Blueprint also gives greater attention than did the Draft to regulation of web-based brokers. Although web-based brokers can play an important role in bringing enrollees to the exchange, consumer advocates have expressed concern about the role web-based plan chooser tools can play in shaping consumer decisions. The Blueprint calls for close oversight of web-based brokers." (Health Affairs Blog)

One Doc's Prescription For Hassle-Free Health Care: Email-Accessible Physician Groups
"Sherpaa is just trying to make health care more affordable and more accessible. So it's 24/7 email and phone access to a group of doctors. And 70 percent of the time, we solve the problem over the phone or the Internet. And the other 30 percent of the time, we have a group of about 100 handpicked specialists here in New York that we think are great.... The estimate's about 70 percent of all office visits are unnecessary with - if you just have good communication. But the issue is doctors get paid to see you in the office. They don't get paid to communicate with you." (National Public Radio)

[Official Guidance] Text of HHS Notice of Proposed Information Collection for Various ACA Implementation Measures
ACA measures to be implemented include [1] Qualified Health Plan (QHP) Certification; [2] Eligibility Determinations and Enrollment for Employees in the Small Business Health Options Program; [3] Eligibility Determinations and Enrollment for Small Businesses in the Small Business Health Options Program; and [4] Eligibility Determinations for Insurance Affordability Programs and Enrollment through Affordable Insurance Exchanges, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program Agencies. Excerpt: "Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including any of the following subjects: (1) The necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden." (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

SPARK Institute Releases Version 2 of Best Practices Document for 403(b) Data Sharing Between Sponsors and Vendors (PDF)
"This Best Practices document sets forth certain best practices for the transmission of remittance and census data between employers or employer representatives and vendors, and identifies a basic file layout convention for 403(b) and related retirement plans.... Version 2.0 includes additional data fields, clarifies certain usage issues and includes certain other changes. Version 1.0 will become obsolete on February 1, 2013, the effective date of Version 2.0, and, therefore, it will be necessary for users of the prior version to reprogram their systems." (The SPARK Institute)


The links shown above have been gathered from the web by the editors at BenefitsLink.com. Each article's publisher is shown above in parentheses. Opinions expressed in each article are those of the article's publisher, not necessarily those of BenefitsLink.com, Inc. or any web site that displays these headlines in a "frame." You should contact the listed publisher for copyright information about any particular article or to inquire into the right to use the article in any manner.