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Category Archives: Human Resources

Hostile Workplace – The Specifics of FMLA Regulations

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FMLA regulations or The Family and Medical Leave Act is requiring covered employers to give a non-compensated leave of absence to their employees for reasons such as an illness; delivering a child; or caring for members of the family.

The FMLA is applicable to employers who have more than 50 existing employees; they are required to grant a qualified employee up to a maximum of 12 weeks of uncompensated leave. Here are the more specific legal reasons that an eligible employee can present:

• For assignment with an employee of a child for foster care or adoption • A serious health condition which warrants for a continuous treatment by a health care professional • Incapacity and treatment of more than 3 calendar days; incapacity could also encompass prenatal care or pregnancy • Two times or more treatments within the month (specifically 30 days) of incapacity • Requirement to be cared for by a health care professional on at least a single occasion which resulted into a continuous treatment • A health condition beyond the employee’s control such as contracting an illness whether it’s short-term or long-term • Having a chronic illness which warrants for periodic visits by a health care provider for at least twice annually • Episodic incapacity reasons such as diabetes, asthma or epilepsy • Conditions which may require multiple treatments which is already inclusive of the recovery period • Restorative surgery for injuries or accidents • Undergoing treatments for cancer such as chemotherapy or radiation or the performance of dialysis • The FMLA regulations also cover conditions such as recurring illnesses or even morning sickness • Inpatient care or the requirement of a health care professional to admit the employee to the hospital for immediate care.

If the listed illnesses or conditions require FMLA regulations to be applied, then these conditions, on the other hand, are not covered since they are not classified as serious conditions:

• Common cold • Influenza • Headaches (other than migraine) • Ear aches • Minor ulcers • Upset stomach (which can include loose bowel movement) • Routine dental problem • Orthodontia concerns • Periodontal diseases

The FMLA regulations are there to protect both the employer and employee. Since it is recognized that even machines need to rest or have to undergo repairs at times, then so it is with employees-they can file for a leave of absence for as long as their conditions require it.

[ad_2] Source by Daniel M. Tolpert

Waivers to Affordable Care Act

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Currently thirty or so companies and organizations, from the fast food giant McDonald’s (115,000) to Maverick County (1), have applied for and received waivers excluding them from the current healthcare legislation/requirements. These entities will not be required to adhere to the minimum annual benefit level which is included in low-cost health plans. These plans are primarily often used to cover part-time or low-wage employees, and will affect over a million people nationwide.

While for most of these waivers will not have much effect on most of us, it is important to be aware of their existence. It is fast becoming a reality that a new employment inquiry might well be; “Does your current healthcare plan adhere to the Affordable Healthcare Act guidelines?” As a consumer it will be even more important to understand your current or prospective employer benefits programs. While the minimum benefit level is currently the primary reason for waiver application, there are sure to be other portions of the legislation that will need to be addressed. Many of these factors may not directly affect the consumers, others however like the “minimum annual benefit” is a major component of a consumer’s healthcare package.

Below is a list of the current organizations receiving waivers to date with an approximation of the number of people to be affected. These waivers are for one year but many see them expanded to at least 2014. Waivers are currently being applied for, so there are sure to be additions to this list as implantation of the various aspects of the Affordable Healthcare Act proceed.

  1. Aegis 162
  2. Aetna 209,423
  3. Allflex 34
  4. Allied 127
  5. Baptist Retirement 127
  6. BCS Insurance 115,000
  7. CIGNA 265,000
  8. Cryogenic 19
  9. Fowler Packing Co. 39
  10. Greater Metropolitan Hotel 1200
  11. GS-ILA 298
  12. Guy C. Lee Mfg. 312
  13. Health and Welfare Benefit System 41
  14. Health Connector 3,544
  15. HealthPort 608
  16. I.U.P.A.T 875
  17. Jack in the Box 1,130
  18. Local 17 Hospitality Benefit Fund 881
  19. Maritime Association 500
  20. Maverick County 1
  21. Metro Paving Fund 550
  22. PMPS-ILA 15
  23. PS-ILA 8
  24. QK/DRD (Denny’s) 65
  25. Reliance Standard (varies) Varies
  26. Sanderson Plumbing Products, Inc. 326
  27. Transport Workers 107
  28. Tri-Pak 26
  29. UABT 17,347
  30. UFT Welfare Fund 351,000

The Obama administration does not see the need to grant these waivers as a flaw in the new health care reforms rather they see as it as a way to ease implementation. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs; “This is about implementing a bill correctly,” he said, to ensure that “as reform ramps up, we protect consumers and don’t put them at the mercy of health insurance companies.”

[ad_2] Source by Lee Estrada

Health Reform Bill – Impact on Medical Device Industry

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There were not any easy choices in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”)as amended by the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act (“HCEAR”), except perhaps the opportunity to stick it to the perpetually tanned Rep. John Boehner (R.Ohio), by imposing a 10 percent excise tax on tanning salons using ultraviolet lamps. The Congress did impose a 2.9 percent excise tax on the sales of medical devices which is expected to raise $2OB in revenues to fund the expanded coverage of health care reform. (The original proposal was for $40B.) (See section 9009 of the PPACA and section 1405 of the HCEAR) In addition new rules on proof of safety first and the implementation of “effective research” requirements are expected to further raise the cost of doing business in the Medical Device field.

One of the hallmarks of American health care has been the speed at which innovation in medicine reach the market. Americans are early adaptors of new technology. The hunger for new cures and new technology has been a significant driver of health care costs as well as a spur to faster, better and safer interventional products. The Edwards Laboratory heart valve replacement through catheterization being tested by the FDA is such a transforming device.

The imposition of greater regulatory oversight and the imposition of an excise tax that is expected to reduce manufacturer profits by a sixth could substantially restrict start up medical device company access to capital and substantially consolidate and compress the industry, not to mention limit public access to medical innovation. The tax will go into effect in 2013 and will be imposed on everything from defibrillators to bed pans. Fortunately some medical products have been spared. Condoms, eyeglasses, contact lenses, tampons and hearing aids are spared, but stents, valves, insulin pumps and the like will be impacted. The industry will reap the benefit of greater coverage and therefore greater sales, but it is staring at its own looming excise tax “donut hole” in its profits as American health care undergoes its overhaul. Expect a lot of lobbying to kill off this tax before 2013.

[ad_2] Source by Gregory Piche

Cost of Sickness Leave – Absence Management

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Sickness leave is a benefit of an employee, which is granted for the recovery of an injury or sickness, and is in the form of paid leave. Since the nature of sickness is unpredictable, it is not possible to clearly define the level of sickness leave. An employee who is absent for three weeks following an operation would not be considered in the same way as someone who has had three days off for a fever.

It is essential to consider each case separately taking into account the particular circumstances. Maintaining good levels of attendance is essential in terms of efficiency in an organization. Good attendance contributes to the organisations ability to deliver a high quality service. Effective management of sickness leave can reduce absence levels to the mutual benefit of both individuals and the organization.

The cost associated with sickness leave, paid to an employee using sick leave benefits is termed as “sickness leave cost”. Sickness leave affects an organization in many ways ie:-

– Direct impact on the profit of an organization due to his/her absence.

– The potential anarchy caused in the team due to the unavailability of the resource in the team.

– Efficiency, time management and quality of work, thus the absence of an employee will affect the team and this in turn will affect the profit of the company.

The cost and benefits of sickness leave

Providing sickness leave to employees can cost the company a substantial amount of money. This includes paying employees who are at home and are unwell to attend work or employees who cannot attend work due to caring for a family member. Another major problem is the replacement of workers since their replacement will also cause some additional labor charge to an organization.

Against these costs, there are substantial benefits to society and business such as:-

– Employees will come back to work fit and well, and will be more productive since they will recover more quickly when staying at home.

– Improved health, job satisfaction and loyalty will help to improve the employee’s retention.

– Employees who stay at home due to illness will not infect other employees which will reduce absenteeism and increase the productivity.

Even though many of the employers generally allow “sickness leave” taken by the employee for non-health related reasons, this sickness leave abuse will adversely affect the profit of an organization.

How to reduce sickness leave cost

There is no quick solution to manage and reduce sickness leave. Keeping additional resources in the team is one method to reduce the cost since this will help to replace the affected employee easily. Another method of reducing cost is the proper management of sick leaves. Proper management will reduce the unauthorized sickness leave and simultaneously will reduce the cost.

To avoid the majority of the company’s sickness leave problem, it would be useful to have a system in place to track all employee’s sickness which will help the company to find out how the employees use their leaves. This will help them to eradicate the problem of abusing the sickness leave and hence control the cost.

[ad_2] Source by Jayne Bettles

The Pros and Cons of the Affordable Healthcare Act

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The objections to the Affordable Healthcare Act (AHA) are really not about its goals, that everyone should have healthcare, but how the government achieves those goals. The center of the controversy is about the total cost of reform. The present regime told us before it was instituted that it was going to be more comprehensive and you would pay less. Without even reading the bill they sold us that as fact.

Cons

The truth is it will cost more, way more because the AHA includes pre-existing conditions and expanded inclusions of healthcare that was not covered before. For example, Magnetic Resonance Imaging(MRI) has three times more devices in the USA per capita as in other developed nations. The widespread use of these advanced medical devices would be expensive if millions more had access to them, thus driving up prices. The main objective of AHA is to insure everyone in America; inevitably costs will be driven up. The spending of $899 billion on healthcare while cutting Medicare pretty much guarantees its success.

Twenty one new taxes will be created from the AHA that will mean more money for the government to run the system but less money in your pocket.

PROS

The good news is everyone in the USA will be able to receive healthcare, even with pre-existing conditions, providing the same access to our healthcare system that the presently insured now have.

One hundred fifty three new federal agencies will be created manned by thousands of government employees that will control over 25% of the economy. This large expansion of the federal government will be good for people that get hired (average pay now for employees is $72,000) and will certainly contribute to the paying of new taxes.

Controlling Costs of the AHA

The regime in D.C. so far has not been able to control medical costs which is a secondary goal of AHA and is much likely to not be achieved in the long term because it has not to this date been able to reach this objective. America is now spending 17% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on healthcare alone; a level that is almost double that of the OECD average and more than twice what it was in 1980 when it stood at 9%. In 1980 the feds accounted for 25% of the nation’s healthcare spending, while today it has sharply risen to 45% and will continue to grow as the Baby Boomers continue to retire and move into the system.

Big Pharma

I must point out countries like Canada & Britain with national healthcare benefit from the medical innovations and new drugs that emanate from America’s capitalistic system. Medical companies and Big Pharma make their money off the American consumer only to sell their newly conceived products overseas at much cheaper prices to state run systems.

AHA Monster

The AHA is putting extreme pressure on the federal budget; Medicaid & Medicare at this date account for 21% of the feds total outlays. What is in the hopper now is to cut back Social Security disability payments and entitlements (like food stamps), cut in half unemployment insurance paid out, and rid the federal system of overlapping programs. Clearly this is a good thing; the system should become more cost effective and will need to if they plan to implement this monster to get it up and flying.

Higher Cost Comes With More Benefits

By imposing expensive arrays of new mandates and regulations on the insurance industry like new rules for insurance companies rejecting people (or charging them more) because of pre-existing conditions that the industry calls a “guaranteed issue”, this will also drive the cost up.

No Caps

Not allowing caps on benefits per year on treatment costs will also drive cost up. The insurance company will then be on the hook for a catastrophic health condition needing to cover the beneficiary’s expenses no matter what the cost.

Other Problems

The paperwork involved for doctors will be almost a full time job leaving many with too much bureaucratic red tape and very little time for patients. This is already causing many doctors and healthcare professionals to move on to a different career with less stress and an adjusted attitude.

Insurance Companies Support AHA

1. The new law gives insurers as many as 30 million new prospects for customers, assuming all states participate in Medicaid expansion. This large market (as large as the population of Canada) will be compelled to buy the industries product. Ones that cannot afford it will be given help from the feds to purchase what they need making them the ideal customer. 2. Insurance companies still remain free to pass on the increased cost to the consumer in the form of higher premiums, co-pays and deductibles. If they increase too much, however, they could be prevented from selling insurance through the exchanges that may become a major problem in the making.

Conclusion

Congress stands to benefit from the AHA being fully implemented because they are already aware of what companies stand to gain with this law they created. With their insider knowledge Congress stand to make millions by becoming shareholders in companies that will profit big time from this law. My question to you is, you didn’t think it was about you did ya?

[ad_2] Source by Gary Kent Boyd