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Welfare Plans Edition

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July 12, 2000

Small Business Says Affordable Healthcare Is Their Highest Priority on the National Agenda
Excerpt: "Small businesses are struggling to provide themselves and their employees with healthcare insurance and see curing this dilemma as their number one national priority, according to the latest American Express 'Voices from Main Street' survey." (Business Wire)

Mental Health Providers Ask: Does Accountability to Managed Care Come at Cost of Patient Privacy?
Excerpt: "A 1996 survey by the University of Illinois found that 35 percent of Fortune 500 companies access and use medical data in their employment decisions. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, a Maryland banker used medical records to identify bank clients diagnosed with cancer, and then the bank called in their loans." (Nashua [N.H.] Telegraph)

What Is a Digital Signature?
Excerpt: "But just what is an electronic signature? Despite the image it invokes, it's not merely a computerized picture of your written signature. In most cases it looks nothing like your signature. A digital signature is an electronic means of authenticating an online identity." ([Louisvile KY] Courier-Journal)

Pascagoula Mississippi Lawyers Pursue Class Action Suit Against HMOs
Excerpt: "The lawyer who headed the legal team that got Mississippi a $4.1 billion settlement from cigarette makers is pursuing the same shotgun approach in going after the nation's HMOs." (Associated Press)

President Clinton Names Leslie Beth Kramerich As Assistant Secretary for PWBA
Excerpt: "Ms. Leslie Beth Kramerich, of Arlington, Virginia, currently serves as both Acting Assistant Secretary of the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy in the Pension Welfare Benefits Administration at the Department of Labor, a position she has held since November, 1998." (President Clinton Names Leslie Beth Kramerich As Assistant Secretary for Pension And Welfare Benefits)

Link to New Issue of the Pension & Benefits Update Email Newsletter by Tax Analysts
July 10, 2000 issue (Tax Analysts, Inc.--see www.taxbase.org)

Unwilling to Play by HMO Rules, Some Mental Health Therapists Strike Out on Their Own
Excerpt: "Insurance companies' representatives said the employees who review claims don't order doctors around, but rather that itís a collaborative process." (Nashua [N.H.] Telegraph)

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