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Welfare Plans Edition

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July 13, 2000

Integrated Benefits: Who Has the Key to the Health Care Data Warehouse?
Excerpt: "[H]ealth care data warehousing isn't a pie-in-the sky concept. It's already in use and it's a trend that's primed for explosive growth. Employers are motivated by the fact that productivity loss dwarfs their out-of-pocket benefit costs. They're clamoring for ways to reduce absenteeism, delay the onset of chronic illness, and get injured workers back on the job as quickly as possible, even if it means spending more money for better health care." (insure.com)

Making Employees "Partners" In Your Business
Excerpt: "Most owners and managers try to keep their workers in the dark about the financial side of the business. The idea here is that employees need to focus on their own tasks and not stick their noses into management issues. Bad idea." (Dreamlife.com)

Compensation Proves to Be the Best Motivator for Sales Workers
Excerpt: "Company-sponsored gym memberships don't make job-seekers' pulses race. A company car won't drive them from their current jobs. Private cubicles don't draw them in. What really sells sales workers on jobs is the compensation plan that determines what they have to do to make the most money." (Dallas Morning News)

Gore Calls for Patients' Bill of Rights
Excerpt: "Gore supports a bipartisan patients' measure that passed the House and is near a majority in the Senate. Sixty of the 100 senators, however, must agree to bring up a measure for a vote." (FoxNews.com)

Massachusetts HMOs Say New Reforms Could Hurt Consumers
Excerpt: "The bill also requires HMOs to pay for care that a doctor deems medically necessary, as long as it's covered by the patients' plan. While HMOs say they give doctors broad leeway, they work with them to determine what is medically necessary. If that power is taken out of their hands, costs could rise, industry leaders say." (Boston Herald)

7th Cir: Offer Of Severance Package To One Employee Did Not Constitute A "Plan" Under ERISA
Excerpt: "The offer of a severance package to one employee terminated following a merger did not constitute an informal "plan" within the meaning of ERISA entitling other employees to the same severance benefits. This was the decision of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Sandstrom v. Cultor Food Science, Inc." (Spencernet)

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