April 7, 2009

NC employed, unemployed may both face no insurance

North Carolina’s unemployment rate reached 9.7 percent in January and it is likely to keep climbing for the rest of this year, which means the employer-subsidized health insurance coverage is going to be cut for tens of thousands of workers.

But thousands more who still work may lose their insurance anyway as small businesses have to choose between offering health care or laying off employees. Other workers may see deductibles rise so high they’ll only be able to use their insurance for catastrophic emergencies.

~News submitted by upthecreek

Source: CNBC

American Medical Association Announces 100 Layoffs

The American Medical Association is laying off about 100 workers, or 8 percent of its staff, to “offset declining revenues amid the ongoing economic downturn,” the Chicago-based national doctors group said this afternoon.

The staff cuts at the nation’s largest doctor group will trim “open and existing staff positions” at both its Chicago headquarters and Washington offices effective May 4, the AMA said. The AMA has about 1,200 staffers.

Source: Chicago Tribune

March 31, 2009

Walgreens clinics to offer free medical care for laid-off workers

Filed under: FYI,Healthcare,US — 7macaw @ 8:41 am
Tags: , , ,

Walgreens and Take Care Health Systems on Tuesday launched an initiative to offer free health care services to all of its current and future patients who lose their jobs after March 31 and have no health insurance.

The Take Care Recovery Plan offer applies to most services currently provided at the Take Care Clinics.
The plan includes treatment of:

• Respiratory Illnesses, such as colds, sinus infections, bronchitis and strep throat.
• Common Conditions, such as seasonal allergies and pink eye.
• Skin Conditions, such as dry skin, poison ivy, minor skin infections and burns.

Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

March 17, 2009

Kaiser to cut 860 information technology jobs

According to SFGate: “Kaiser Permanente is cutting 860 information technology jobs nationwide under a realignment that includes a $500 million deal giving IBM management duties at Kaiser’s medical records data centers.”

“The Oakland health maintenance organization, which has spent as much as $5 billion over the past five years building up its electronic records system, said Monday it has inked a seven-year deal with IBM to maximize the performance of its data processing units.”

“In a separate action, Kaiser is eliminating an additional 160 information technology jobs scattered across 30 locations as it pares back spending due to the impact of the economic downturn.”

“Of the 700 staffers affected by the IBM deal, 500 work at one of the California data centers, which are located in Pasadena, Corona, Napa, Walnut Creek and Irvine

~News submitted by Jack R.

February 9, 2009

Yet Another Scandal for ‘India’s Enron’ (Satyam Computer Services)

According to FoxNews: “Satyam Computer Services Ltd., the Indian tech giant at the center of a $1 billion executive fraud and a World Bank ethics scandal, is involved in yet another kind of debacle — this time at the United Nations’ public health arm, the World Health Organization (WHO).

At issue is Satyam’s role in the development of a $55.5 million global business management system for WHO, which was slated to become the master control for staffing, financial payments and procurement by the organization by an initial deadline of September 2007.

That deadline has long since passed, and instead, according to documents obtained by FOX News, the project is far behind schedule, wallowing in glitches that have deeply affected WHO operations, and, despite management claims to the contrary, likely to end up far exceeding its budget.

Moreover, according to the documents, in the push to get at least part of the system up and running by last summer, Satyam ignored the instructions of the software’s manufacturer, Oracle, for implementing the complex system; ran user tests that validated the system without “being able to replicate a real-life situation,” provided little or no training to WHO employees; and failed to adequately involve health care professionals who see the system as a vital tool, among a host of other failings.”

January 26, 2009

Pfizer to lay off tens of thousands

Filed under: Healthcare,pharmaceuticals,US — 7macaw @ 12:11 pm
Tags: , ,

Pfizer announced Monday that it has signed a deal to acquire the smaller drugmaker Wyeth for $68 billion, and tens of thousands of job cuts will follow.

Pfizer spokesman Ray Kerins said that two waves of job cuts would occur in 2009. In the first, Pfizer said it would cut 10% of its 81,900 staff – about 8,000 jobs.

Kerins said that Pfizer will launch the second round of job cuts once its merger with Wyeth and its 50,000 workers is completed in the third or fourth quarter. At that time, Kerins said Pfizer will cut 15% of the combined company’s 120,000 or so workers – about 18,000 more job cuts.

Source: CNN Money

January 16, 2009

Blue Cross to lay off 1,000

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan announced major cutbacks today, including a workforce reduction of nearly 1,000 employees by the year’s end, cutbacks to executive pay and compensation, and a reduction in discretionary spending by 25 percent, the nonprofit health insurer confirmed in a press release this morning.

The state’s largest insurer will also seek to raise rates across all of its individual lines of insurance, which combined cover about 300,000 Michigan residents.

Source: The Detroit News

January 5, 2009

Cigna Cuts 1,100 Jobs, Expects Charge of $40 Million

According to Bloomberg: “Cigna Corp. (NYSE:CI), the health insurer whose shares fell 69 percent last year because of investment losses, said it will cut about 1,100 jobs and take a fourth-quarter after-tax charge of $30 million to $40 million for 2008.”

December 22, 2008

UTHSC to lay off 200 workers

As Memphis Business Journal reports, “The University of Tennessee Health Science Center has reported it will lay off 200 workers beginning Jan. 7, according a recent filing with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The layoffs are expected to be complete by the end of March, according to the filing. The employees are not part of a collective bargaining agreement.”

December 17, 2008

Aetna to cut 1,000 jobs in cost-cutting move

Filed under: Healthcare,Insurance,US — DF @ 12:52 pm
Tags: , ,

According to IHT: “Health insurer Aetna Inc. says it will eliminate 1,000 jobs, or about 2.8 percent of its work force, to reduce costs.”
“Aetna — the third-largest U.S. health insurer — employs 36,208 people. It has about 37.2 million members.
The company said last month it would cut staff and reduce costs as it deals with the U.S. recession and job losses, which is swelling the ranks of the uninsured.”

Teleflex to cut 150 jobs

According to Reuters: “Diversified manufacturer Teleflex Inc said it would cut about 150 net positions and take related charges, as it tries to address an expected continued weakness in the marine and industrial markets.

The company expects related charges of $10 million to $12 million before income taxes by the end of 2009, of which about 50 percent would be non-cash. It sees a charge of about $2 million for the fourth quarter.”

“Teleflex operates in medical, aerospace, and commercial segments”.

December 2, 2008

Biolase trims costs with 20 percent job cut

According to Forbes: “Dental-laser company Biolase Technology Inc. said Tuesday it cut quarterly costs by $2 million, or 20 percent, as the company continues cutting jobs domestically.

The Irvine, Calif., company said it is in the process of cutting 20 percent of its U.S. work force and is reviewing cost-saving measures at its international subsidiaries.”

November 21, 2008

University of Texas Medical Branch begins laying off 3,000 positions

According to The Daily News: “The University of Texas Medical Branch campus, where a chorus of ambulance sirens once was constant and thousands of workers conducted the daily business of keeping a 550-bed hospital running, was somber and quiet Tuesday as the first of 3,000 people learned they no longer had jobs.
Most had worked at John Sealy Hospital, where workers will take the brunt of the massive cut.
Many had never worked any place except the medical branch.
Some who had held out hope their jobs would be spared sat in disbelief at the news. Others, minutes after being dismissed, attended classes to brush up their job-seeking skills.

Then, there were those who didn’t yet know. They waited in dread to enter rooms where their supervisors would deliver the news.

The University of Texas System regents last week authorized cutting up to 3,800 full-time equivalent positions after Hurricane Ike devastated the island campus that had employed 8,000 people.”

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