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Monday, 01 October 2012 11:16

Leading the future of health care

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There’s a revolution going on in health care, moving from a system of caring for the sick to improving each individual’s health and wellness. Today’s consumers are increasingly taking control of their health and collaborating as true members of health care teams — for the betterment of themselves and for their communities.To learn more about these changes, Smart Business spoke with Diana Hendel, PharmD, the CEO of Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Community Hospital Long Beach and Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach.How is the transformation progressing? A major goal of health reform is the ‘Triple Aim’ of improving the quality…
The U.S. economy has been volatile to say the least in the past few years, and tumult in markets across the globe is chipping away at companies’ already shaky confidence, which has stalled hiring.However, some industries are seeing orders or requests for service start to increase, which requires companies in these fields to try to keep up with demand using a pared-down work force. That’s where staffing agencies have been able to lend a hand.However, the impending implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is likely to have an impact on workers’ compensation benefits, a program for which…
Earlier this year, Steve Carter, president and CEO of ii2P, challenged small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) to take a look at investment decisions around their current support models. This month, he stresses the importance of adopting a strong sense of urgency to avoid upcoming challenges.“SMBs worldwide are projected to spend $1 trillion on IT by 2014. But unless something drastically changes, that spending could be like a heavy weight on a vessel headed into a perfect storm,” says Carter. “We want to stop, take a pause and not repeat history by spending money on technologies without really looking for a…
Employers — and subsequently, their employees — are becoming more savvy about the decisions involved in choosing and administering a health plan, often a business’s second- or third-biggest cost of operations. Just as safety initiatives can help reduce property and casualty insurance premiums, health insurance savings can often be achieved through self funding, says Mike Debo, senior sales and renewal executive at HealthLink.“By instituting wellness programs and encouraging routine physicals and post-condition care for not only employees but for covered dependents, employers can reduce premium and claims costs while increasing productivity,” Debo says. “Instituting wellness programs, encouraging routine physicals and…
Monday, 01 July 2013 16:14

Personal, local service

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Investing for the future, planning for retirement, saving for college, paying for healthcare needs. How do you get started? What should you invest in? Will you have enough to retire? Where do you begin? FirstMerit Financial Services, Inc. is a full-service investment broker dealer in Ohio and Pennsylvania and most recently in Chicago. FirstMerit Financial Services offers a full range of investment solutions. They’re dedicated to designing the best possible financial plan around your needs. Because when it comes to your financial goals — your goals are their goals. “In these tough economic times, there have been a lot of…
Thursday, 06 September 2012 11:21

Wellness Credits, What are they - Really?

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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $372 million to 44 various communities to help with the efforts of reducing obesity, smoking, increase physical activity and improve nutrition (HHS.gov, 3/19/10). It is uncertain if this American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has impacted the communities; and when the government grants were researched these amounts were earmarked for senior citizens. Today another award was released for 2012.Employer groups are hearing from various sources the importance of wellness, says Danone Simpson, founder and CEO of Montage Insurance Solutions. Carriers are offering to assist with wellness efforts and many add…
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 10:31

Wellness Credits, What are they - Really?

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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $372 million to 44 various communities to help with the efforts of reducing obesity, smoking, increase physical activity and improve nutrition (HHS.gov, 3/19/10). It is uncertain if this American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has impacted the communities; and when the government grants were researched these amounts were earmarked for senior citizens. Today another award was released for 2012.Employer groups are hearing from various sources the importance of wellness. Carriers are offering to assist with wellness efforts and many add as much as $44 in cost per year to the…
Friday, 31 August 2012 20:01

Natasha Ashton: Blink and it's grown

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Every entrepreneur dreams of going big, fast. However, few recognize that the dream of rapid growth can, if managed incorrectly, turn monumental momentum into inexorable inertia. The fact is, whether a business ultimately succeeds or fails comes down to how well the CEO plans for growth — especially rapid growth.As CEOs of a company that has experienced 2,200 percent growth in revenue during a three-year period, with a workforce that feels as if it is multiplying faster than cells divide, my husband Chris and I have learned that having the best product in the marketplace helps but can’t guarantee long-term…
Sue Schick is well-versed in the art of the uphill battle.Two years ago, she was named CEO of the commercial business line in UnitedHealthcare’s Pennsylvania and Delaware region. It was a unique assignment. UnitedHealthcare is one of the pillars of the health insurance industry, with a strong presence and widespread brand recognition in numerous markets around the county.But in Schick’s 1,044-employee unit, the company was a relative newcomer, broaching the Pennsylvania/Delaware region less than a decade prior.“We have only been here seven or eight years, so we don’t have the widespread brand recognition yet,” Schick says. “One of the big…
At some point in the past few years, it hit Rick Dawson: He had hundreds of experts working in his business, but no one was really working on the business.The president and CEO of Bal Seal Engineering Inc. had 450 employees around the world. Just about all of them were performing at a high level, helping to vault the industrial solutions company into an era of growth, while most businesses were dealing with the effects of the recession.“That has been the good news for us,” Dawson says. “A lot of businesses have been struggling, but we have been growing at…
Robin Raina acknowledges that the last four years provided a stern test to his prudent leadership throughout the last 13 years as he turned Ebix Inc. into a highly profitable, efficient company designed to weather tough times.The recession hit the insurance industry hard, putting many insurers out of business and forcing many others to tighten their belts drastically. As a result, companies that supply goods and services to the insurance industry felt the pinch too.The Atlanta-based supplier of software and e-commerce services to insurers, weathered the storm better than most. Ebix made it through — not unscathed but a stronger,…
Friday, 31 August 2012 20:00

Matt Hlavin, Thogus Products Co.

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Matt Hlavin was named president of 62-year-old Thogus Products Co. in 2009 and has led the custom plastic injection molding company to new heights with an innovative hand and open mind. Hlavin introduced cutting-edge technology in 2009 by purchasing two Stratasys rapid prototyping machines and creating a rapid prototype and manufacturing (rp+m) division within Thogus.Today, rp+m houses all Stratasys machines, the first Object 3D Printing machine and an Object Connex500 machine. The latter is the first to appear in a Northeast Ohio company that is available for public use. These innovations in technology have transformed Thogus from a stereotypical manufacturing…
Friday, 31 August 2012 20:00

Movers and Shakers

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Governor John R. Kasich announced that Western Reserve Partners LLC’s founder and managing partner, Ralph Della Ratta, has been appointed to serve as a member of the Kent State University Board of Trustees.Della Ratta’s term began July 13, 2012, and will end May 16, 2021. Aside from his involvement with Kent State, Della Ratta is also active in numerous local and national organizations, including University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital National Leadership Council, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the 50 Club of Cleveland. He is also a board member of Olympic Steel Inc.,…
Employees are a company’s greatest asset. They are the driving force behind creating new ideas, developing products and cultivating a work environment that is both profitable and enjoyable. Yet, one of the greatest challenges a company will face is hiring and retaining the right people.Every organization wants to hire the right employee every time. A high success rate happens only when you have a workplace culture that attracts the attention of the best candidates. The key to attracting and retaining the best employees is to create an attractive but competitive compensation package, combined with a flexible, challenging work environment, opportunities…
When focusing on the day-to-day operations of your business, it’s easy to overlook planning for its future. And if your adviser doesn’t bring it up, you may never put a plan in place. However, having a well-thought out succession plan can ensure that your business continues after your retirement or death.“It’s always a delicate conversation to have,” says Michael Dreveniak, vice president and wealth market leader with First Commonwealth Advisors. “Nobody wants to talk about when they are no longer here, but this is something that you have to do.”It’s crucial to have answers for two questions, he says —…
Transparency in health care means allowing consumers to have both cost and quality information for services delivered by health care service providers. In health care, this kind of information has been largely invisible and unknown to consumers, including employer groups. Many believe this lack of information is a factor in high health care costs.In recent years, both health plans and employer groups have been supportive of the concept that directly engaging consumers in decision-making can help to reduce costs. And, in order to engage consumers, they must be informed about costs and quality of services.“Transparency enables consumers to compare both…
Friday, 31 August 2012 20:12

Paul A. Larkins: Achieve peak performance

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Every organization has a culture, whether it is purposefully created or not. A great culture, when combined with great operations, contributes to a healthy, productive work environment that spurs employees to reach their peak performance.Culture is multifaceted. It is unique to each organization and grown organically, which makes it difficult to define. That said, culture is best described as the personality, character and soul of a company. It includes the concrete aspects of work life, such as compensation, benefits and career development, as well as the non-concrete characteristics formed through employee and leadership attitudes, behaviors and values.Culture is also an…
The Supreme Court ruled in June that health care reform is constitutional and upheld the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in its entirety. As a result, health care reform will continue to be implemented as planned and provisions that are already in effect will continue, says Jessica Galardini, president and COO of JRG Advisors, the management company of ChamberChoice.“The individual mandate requiring individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty is the major component of the law. Because the court upheld that mandate, it did not need to decide whether other provisions of the law are constitutional,” says…
Does your company have alignment between its mission, its vision and its strategy? If you don’t, you may want to ask yourself if everyone on your team is on the same page as to what those terms mean to your business.Maybe you’re like a former client of ours who knew that having a clearly stated and motivating mission was important, but wasn’t sure what a “mission” was or how to lead his team to either create one or uncover the one they were already living.It may be that “mission” is not something that motivates you as a leader. It’s perfectly…
Over lunch, a CFO recently shared the difficulties C-level management face since the enactment of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) with Kathleen M. Marcus, Shareholder at Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth and Chair of its Compliance and Corporate Governance Practice Group. He spoke of joining a company whose books and compliance policies are “a mess” and his struggle to put the company on the right path without alienating the team.“In recent years, SOX and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act have put a new emphasis on compliance programs,” says Marcus, a former Enforcement attorney with the SEC.SOX effectively requires a…
Long before the Supreme Court upheld health care reform, health care organizations had begun implementation of substantial changes, moving from a system of caring for the sick to one focused on improving each individual’s health and wellness. Today’s consumers are increasingly taking control of their health and collaborating as true members of health care teams — for the betterment of themselves and of their communities.To learn more, Smart Business turned to Barry Arbuckle, Ph.D., president and CEO of MemorialCare Health System and past chair of the California Hospital Association.How is reform impacting health care?One area that health care reform is…
Recently, a company with 55 locations — a good solid credit tenant — was looking for space in Northeast Ohio. There were three potential locations, and in two of the cases, the landlord was not willing to spend money on tenant improvements. Therefore, the owner of the third property got the deal.“Oftentimes, we see tenants and landlords butting heads on improvements, but really, at the end of the day, most deals get done with some sort of compromise between the parties,” says George J. Pofok, CCIM, SIOR, senior vice president at CRESCO Real Estate. “On the other hand, there also…
When Dr. Hansen Chang’s medical practice began to grow, he needed to double his office space. Chang, who shares his practice with another physician, opened his medical office 15 years ago as a place where patients could receive expertise in both Eastern and Western medicine.Within a decade, the two physicians, board certified in internal medicine and acupuncture, had grown the medical practice to six full-time employees, with a patient load of 10,000.“Our practice was expanding and we were looking to move from a smaller office to a larger location 10 miles away in Berkeley Lake,” says Chang.Along with the need…
Dealing with the daily responsibilities of running a business can distract an owner from the big picture. To take some of the burden off of CEOs running small and mid-sized companies, Professional Employment Organizations offer services that handle outsourced aspects of daily business, including recruiting, payroll, workers’ compensation, risk and safety management, and training and development.However, selecting the right PEO for your company requires thoughtful consideration. And J. Richard Hicks, CEO of HR1 Services Inc., says that working with a PEO requires cooperation and commitment.“This is really a partnership to help streamline and make your company more cost and time…
It has been three years since the recession was officially declared to have ended in mid-2009. However, even with that declaration, the national unemployment rate remains at more than 8 percent and full-time hiring is sluggish at best. There has been an increase in hiring during the years since 2010, but it has not been enough to replace all the jobs lost during the downturn.“There is so much uncertainty surrounding such things as the cost of health care, taxes, foreign markets and the availability of capital, which has left many companies afraid to make full-time offers of employment,” says Melissa…
When it comes to hiring, staffing agencies are the experts. They know what it takes to create lasting employment relationships and can find a qualified full-time candidate quickly and efficiently, saving you the hassle of wading through hundreds of applications, says Rachel Ferguson, a recruiter with The Daniel Group.“Agencies have a database of applicants they’ve screened and know what potential candidates are looking for in a company, job type and pay,” says Ferguson. “A recruiter will save you time and money, working to place the right candidate quickly so you don’t have to repeat the process if an applicant doesn’t…
The Pension Protection Act and recently passed pension legislation amounted to hundreds of pages of regulations affecting 401(k)s and other retirement plans. The size and heft of these laws speak volumes about the complexity and difficulty of administering retirement plans.In addition, the Department of Labor has increased the number of retirement plans that it audits. DOL statistics show an estimated 70 percent of retirement plans audited in 2009 and 2010 were fined, received penalties or had to make reimbursements for errors. During this time period, the DOL collected $1.08 billion in corrections, reinstatements and fines.“Fortunately, business owners who provide retirement…