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September 19, 2002 - 7,276 subscribers
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IRS Announces Mileage Rates for Automobiles in 2003
Excerpt: "The Internal Revenue Service today announced the optional standard mileage rates to use for 2003 in computing the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving expense purposes.... The standard mileage rate for the use of a car for business purposes is 36 cents a mile for all business miles driven, down from 36.5 cents a mile in 2002." (Internal Revenue Service)

HHS Issues Report Showing Dramatic Improvements in America's Health Over Past 50 Years
Excerpt: "This 430-page report takes an extended look at trends in fighting illness, chronic diseases, and mortality going back to 1950. The report presents the latest findings from health surveys and other sources in 147 tables and 28 graphs and charts. The publication examines where Americans get their health care and how much it costs." (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics)

Quality of Health Plans Better, But Room for Improvement Remains, Report Says
Excerpt: "Health care quality for millions of U.S. residents insured through managed care Medicare, Medicaid or commercial plans has improved substantially, according to a new National Committee for Quality Assurance report ... The annual report ... examined the performance of 271 managed care plans that voluntarily submitted information on quality of care, access to care and member satisfaction." (

Mental Health Parity Opponents Raise Concerns About Legislation
Excerpt: "Patients would receive better mental health care in 'consumer-driven' health plans that allow more direct control over health care dollars than under federal parity mandates, opponents of a proposed mental health parity bill said ... at a National Center for Policy Analysis forum, CongressDaily reports ..." (

House Democrats Trying To Gather Support To Move Generic Drug Bill to Floor
Excerpt: "House Democrats plan to force a floor vote on generic drug legislation by launching a discharge petition, a 'rarely used tactic,' AP/Long Island Newsday reports." (

One Family Member's Lack of Insurance Affects Entire Household, Study Says
Excerpt: "If even one member of a family does not have health insurance, it can adversely affect the entire household, according to a study released Sept. 18 by the Institute of Medicine, the Boston Herald reports. The study, based on 2001 Census Bureau information, found that 58 million people living in the United States either do not have health insurance or live in a family in which someone is uninsured." (

House Ways and Means Committee Approves Voluntary Medical Error Reporting Bill
Excerpt: "The House Ways and Means Committee on Sept. 18 approved a bill (HR 4889) that would establish 'confidential, voluntary data banks' to store and study medical error data and help error-prevention efforts, CongressDaily/AM reports ..." (

House Democrats Circulate Petition To Force Vote on Generic Drug Bill
Excerpt: "While House Democrats will formally file a discharge petition on Sept. 19 to force a floor vote on generic drug legislation that has stalled in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Republican sponsors of the measure are opposing the effort, CongressDaily/AM reports ..." (

Bipartisan Interest Expands Scope of Health Insurance Tax-Credit Proposals
Excerpt: "The wild card ... may be how serious conservatives are about seeking to break down the employment-based system. 'There are some Republicans who really seem to have this agenda,' [policy analyst Lynn] Etheredge explained.... Three myths also dog debate about the shortcomings of employer coverage. The first is that most of the working uninsured are employed in tiny mom-and-pop establishments ... The second myth is that the employment-based system is already coming apart at the seams ..." (Health Affairs)

Georgia Regulators Release HMO Complaint Rankings
Excerpt: "The rankings are based on the number of 'justified' complaints-- those filed with the Insurance Department's Consumer Services Division in which the insurer is judged at fault." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Signing Bonuses for Execs Coming Under Scrutiny
Excerpt: "The latest aspect of executive pay to come under the microscope: upfront payments to newly hired chief executives that are averaging $ 15 million each, according to a study released Tuesday. These so-called golden worlds are a twist on the signing bonus, which has been around for decades ..." (Los Angeles Times via the Society for Human Resource Management)

Option Expense Rules Seen Within a Year
Excerpt: "Financial Accounting Standards Board will decide within a year whether companies in the United States will have to treat stock option grants to employees as expenses, the head of the group said [on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2002]." (Bloomberg News via New York Times; free registration required)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad

Senior DC Plan Consultant\Administrator
for Simpkins & Associates
in TX

Corporate Director of Benefits and Compensation
for Multi Billion-Dollar Food and Beverage Manufacturer
in CA

Retirement Services Administrator
for Dubuque Bank and Trust Company
in IA

Health and Welfare Consultant / Sr. Manager
for Ernst & Young LLP
in DC, MD, PA, VA

Business Development Officer
for Stanton Trust Company

Account Executive
for Lockton Companies
in MO

Retirement Plan Sales and Marketing
for JNBA Financial Advisors, Inc.
in MN

Newly Posted Webcasts (Post Yours!)

The State of Health Care Quality: 2002
on September 18, 2002
presented by

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)

Health Care Law and Litigation: Access to Care and Technology
in DC
October 31, 2002
ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association Committee on Continuing Professional Education)

20th Annual Advanced ALI-ABA Conference on Life Insurance Company Products
in DC
November 14, 2002
ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association Committee on Continuing Professional Education)

Newly Posted Press Releases

District of Columbia's First Employee Benefit Captive
(Watson Wyatt Insurance and Financial Services)

MassMutual Retirement Services Launches Program of DB Enhancements: More administrative ease for sponsors, better tools and information for participants and retirees
(MassMutual Retirement Services)

(Alexander Hamilton Institute)

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