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FAQs About the Affordable Care Act Implementation Part II
Excerpt: "Like the FAQs the Departments issued on September 20, 2010, these FAQs answer questions from stakeholders with a view to helping people understand the new law and benefit from it, as intended."
(U.S. Employee Benefits Security Administration)
IRS Guidance on the Expanded Adoption Tax Credit and Foreign Adoptions
Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: This guidance resolves the handling of prior-year adoption credits in a way that is very friendly to taxpayers. While the need for paper documentation of the credit, and therefore the need for paper tax return filings, is somewhat cumbersome, the guidance does offer a flexible assortment of substantiation options for claiming the credit for domestic adoptions that are not yet final."
(Employee Benefits Institute of America)
How Best to Accommodate ACOs (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "On October 5, 2010, [CMS], the [FTC] and [HHS] jointly hosted a workshop with participants from different segments of the healthcare industry to gather opinions . . . regarding integrating hospital and physicians into accountable care organizations ('ACOs') and related implications on antitrust, anti-kickback, Stark and civil monetary penalty laws."
(Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP)
'Crowdsourcing' Offers New Way for Doctors to Seek Treatment Advice
Excerpt: "Crowdsourcing refers to the process of developing a group consensus by pooling ideas from a broad community, often over the Internet. Physicians can crowdsource by posting a medical question online and seeking input from thousands of medical professionals."
(California HealthCare Foundation)
HHS Suggests Flexibility in Application of Medical Loss Ratio Standards to Certain Health Plans, Including 'Mini-Med' Plans
Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: While the MLR standards do not apply to self-insured plans, they do apply to all insurance coverage (including otherwise grandfathered coverage). As the January 1, 2011 effective date approaches for compliance with the MLR standards and with no regulations yet issued, this HHS statement seems to be intended to provide some comfort to employers and insurers that the agency will take a reasonable approach to implementation."
(Employee Benefits Institute of America)
What Changes in Survival Rates Tell Us About U.S. Health Care
Excerpt: "[The authors] speculate that the nature of our health care system -- specifically, its reliance on unregulated fee-for-service and specialty care -- may explain both the increased spending and the relative deterioration in survival that we observed. If so, meaningful reform may not only save money over the long term, it may also save lives."
(Health Affairs via Physicians for a National Health Program)
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Benefits in General; Executive Compensation
IRS Sets 2011 Blended Meals and Incidental Expenses Rates for Transportation Industry
Excerpt: "The blended M&IE rates are available to employers directly involved in moving people or goods . . . . They provide a level at which employers in the transportation industry may reimburse their employees for expenses. Employers whose employees travel frequently also may use the rates. They are intended to simplify recordkeeping for such employers, since their employees may travel during a single payroll period to many locations with different M&IE rates."
(Thompson Publishing Group Inc.)
Mandated Clawbacks Will Create New Tensions Between Executives and Boards
Excerpt: "Virtually all publicly traded companies must rewrite their clawback provisions, many of which were developed in response to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) but don't go as far as required by Dodd-Frank. Where previous law called for clawbacks after 'acts of commission' by executives, the new law mandates clawbacks from executive officers regardless of whether the acts that led to the restatement were within their control."
SHRM Working on 'Cost Per Hire' Metric
Excerpt: "[A report] said a draft standard is now being reviewed by members of SHRM's Staffing and Workforce committee and will then be submitted to the American National Standards Institute where it can be deemed official."
Tennessee High Court Denies Benefits for Widow of Murdered Employee
Excerpt: "The Supreme Court of Tennessee has denied a claim for workers' compensation benefits by the widow of an employee whose murder at his workplace is unsolved. The state's high court agreed with lower court decisions that the employee's death was the result of a neutral assault and that the 'street risk' doctrine was inapplicable because the employer's premises were not open to the public."
LEGO Earns Kudos from Working Moms
Excerpt: "For the sixth straight year, Enfield-based LEGO Systems has made the 'Working Mother Magazine 100 Best Companies' list. The company has been recognized for its high approval rating among employees, generous family leave and flexible working conditions."
Wellness Programs and Employee Ownership
Wellness programs can significantly reduce health care costs while improving employee well-being, commitment, and productivity. While there are many variations on these programs, several key practices have emerged. There are also legal requirements for these programs. This issue brief features articles by leading experts on these issues as well as several detailed ESOP company case studies. The Web page for the brief features a lengthy excerpt to read.
(National Center for Employee Ownership)
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