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Bottom Line: So a little over a week ago I shared the information that the first notices from the State of
The notices went out last week and if eligible you should have received by last weeks’ end. If you received an envelope from the AG’s office, open it and review. It should have a minimum amount you will receive (the average is around $2000). Fill out and mail the claim for back or follow the online instructions. If you don’t file your claim, you won’t receive payment.
Now I mentioned that the amount would not be less than the amount cited to you in the notice… If fewer than 100% of the claims are received then the amount will be increased.
Big changes to Medicare hit today for hospitals:
Bottom Line: If the health care reform law (Affordable Care Act) remains law, we’ll continue to see new pieces of it come up from time to time as it’s completely fazed in. Such is the case today as a change in Medicare policy with hospitals could impact the care that those on Medicare receive.
The regulation that goes into play today will penalize hospitals if patients on Medicare return within 30 days. Right now about 20% of Medicare patients do return within 30 days and 67% of all hospitals will be subject to Federal penalties as a result. The penalty is 1% of Medicare reimbursement right now and eventually 3%. That means the average penalty would be $125,000 initially and about $400,000 per hospital over the course of time.
Its unclear how this could impact care (other than raising costs of hospital care for everyone else to compensate for the extra penalty) but it’s worth watching because of the incentive of hospitals to keep Medicare patients from returning until a month passes.
Amazon enters a new business line (without fanfare) small business lending:
Bottom Line: Amazon does sell its own stuff but more often than not it’s a gateway for other companies to sell through Amazon. Many companies that do sell through Amazon are small businesses that are local to specific communities. Amazon recently had the idea to help small businesses help Amazon.
One of the big complaints by small businesses is a lack of access to capital (loans). Amazon is getting into the direct lending model for small businesses that do business through Amazon.com. While all of the specifics haven’t’ been outlined, Amazon has a process to apply for credit and will determine to accept (or not) and controls the interest rate and terms of repayment. The initial loan offers have been at a 13% interest rate.
Small business loans are always more expensive then personal loans so 13% isn’t as high as it may seem but I would advise trying to secure a loan elsewhere before you go through this avenue. Many small business loans carry a tag of 9 or 10% currently.
Men are from Mars & women are from Venus - it applies to economists as well:
Bottom Line: So as researchers were trying to figure out what the biggest cause of widely different economic forecasts, was – they stumbled on a surprise of sorts. Perhaps the biggest difference in economic forecasting is the gender of the economist. Just as men and women can see the world much differently, it applies to the economy as well.
A majority of female economists believe the Government could do more still to stimulate the economy and generally should play a large role in economic involvement. Female economists also see the Government as having an important role in healthcare, labor, etc. In other words many female economists tend to favor economic models that are in-line with Democrats and their view of the economy.
Meanwhile a majority of male economists share the opposite point of view. Less regulation, less Government stimulus, less involvement in healthcare, etc. In other words most male economists favor models that are in line with Republican viewpoints.
As an aside it’s interesting with this in mind that as I studied under two economists I found value from the male professor but actually walked out on and dropped the economics course taught by the female economist…
Kodak to end inkjet consumer business:
Bottom Line: Kodak’s bankruptcy situation is actually more than sad to me; it’s actually creating a conflict for me. Kodak, which was just about the only digital camera manufacture, leaves me in a lurch because I try to always buy American and buy local. Aside from that consideration there is another looming issue.
If you own a Kodak printer or would consider buying an inkjet from them in the future, well you’re out of luck. Kodak, if it does make it out of Bk will target the business market exclusively.