Managed Care HMOs

Don’t know what HMO stands for? Health maintenance organizations are managed care programs.

In terms of affordable health insurance, health maintenance organizations (HMO), which are managed care programs, assist people to stay in good health. At least that is the idea behind them.

Put another way, the philosophy of HMO insurance plans is that if a person stays healthy and maintains that health, they will prevent disease. The care provided by the HMO will help people stay well. Staying well means rising health care costs will be controlled.

When insurance plans like HMOs were first launched on the market, people who opted to buy affordable health insurance paid a fixed monthly premium that was prepaid. What those people got in exchange for affordable health insurance was access to health care offered by a certain network of providers that included clinics, hospitals and other medical care providers. This meant that although people were getting affordable health insurance, they were restricted to using “only” the procedures, benefits and doctors, etc. that belonged to the network.

HMOs were initially implemented by the government in 1973 to get rid of individual insurance plans and offer affordable insurance to everyone who wanted it. When they first came out, companies were buying individual health plans for workers.

Over time it looked like the better deal would be to get businesses to buy subsidized low cost health plans for employees and not expensive individual ones. Seeing a great opportunity, insurance companies started pressuring physicians to join HMOs. Fact is, doctors were told if they didn’t join, the insurance companies would see to it that they’d take their patients away with cheaper health care through the HMO. The threat worked and many joined the HMO plan to save their practices.

The more things change, the more they don’t always change for the better. What happened with HMOs is that every time a doctor renewed with them, the rules were changed and got stricter and stricter, mandated that they see more patients and get more services pre-approved. HMOs used to be the cat’s pajamas, but by the end of the 1980s and with a stack of unpaid and denied claims, people began to leave HMOs in droves.

The interesting thing here is that denied claims were denied because of bad investments the insurance companies made, not because of the claims themselves. The insurance companies invested in real estate, and when the boom went bust they couldn’t cover HMO claims. Unfortunately over time it became an almost “ritual” for HMOs to deny claims. So much so, that today it seems to be a part of the way they do business.

Thankfully, a new breed of attorneys has begun chasing HMOs for those denied claims; claims that include medical malpractice (med mal), bad faith and even wrongful death. In a nutshell, this boils down to the HMO may be sued if an individual dies due to the HMO denying cover for necessary medical treatment; for denying valid claims and for med mal perpetrated by an HMO doctor. In most states, government regulators are also tweaking their laws that govern HMO plans.

The Brangus Breed

Brangus breeders are typically held in very high regard by the rest of the cattle breeding community. This is because Brangus cattle offer the best of both worlds, combining several of the most desirable characteristics found in two popular breeds into one, resulting in an animal that can be adapted to a variety of uses. The cattle breeding industry runs on the availability of high-quality animals which are capable of meeting a number of criteria, so in order for breeders to be successful in the field, they need to prove themselves capable of rearing and caring for healthy, fit specimens.

As its name suggests, the Brangus is a hybridization of the Angus and Brahman breeds. It possesses numerous traits found in both types of cows, and so it’s widely sought after and there are many breeders that specialize in raising Brangus cattle alone. The ideal Brangus cow possesses a genetic stabilization of roughly five eighths Angus and three eighths Brahman. Brahman heifers are widely recognized for their tendency to be excellent mothers to their young, and the Brahman breed as a whole tends to be highly resistant to diseases. Angus cows are wonderful in terms of fertility and their ability to produce milk, and they are also very popular with breeders of beef cattle because of the quality of their meat.

Because of all this, the livestock produced by Brangus breeders usually manages to strike a very healthy middle ground. It’s often recommended that individuals just getting into the business of breeding cattle start with Brangus cows because of their specialized genetics. Since it’s important for breeders to keep their herd as healthy as possible, Brangus cattle are also beneficial given their general resistance to heat, high humidity and ticks. Like Brahmans, Brangus heifers have been known to have very positive maternal instincts and will usually take very good care of their young.

Those looking for quality beef cattle should turn their attention to Brangus breeders because of this breed’s speedy weight gain, along with the fact that Brangus carcasses tend to lack excessive amounts of fat. In addition to this, they make potentially excellent show cattle because of their many superior genetic and physical attributes.

Brangus breeders are relatively easy to locate online. The business of breeding this type of cattle is very lucrative and it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes of looking around before you find several trustworthy breeders to buy from. Just make sure that once you have a list of prospects, you weigh the pros and cons of each to make the best decision.

Start Your Own Expedite Business

The transportation sector is one of the few industries that are expected to grow by at least 2% in the coming year. That makes for great opportunity for those that want to break free from the pack and start their own business.

What will you need?

First you will want to obtain your business license and operating authorities or as most call them running rights.

Why do I need running rights?

You will need your running rights so you are able to transport goods. The government requires that you obtain licensing as well as the companies you do business with. Without the required running rights you will not be able to start-up your business. For more information on the running rights needed to start-up your business please visit 411 Transportation Solutions link located at the bottom of this page.

The next step would be insurance.

You will need to insure your vehicle(s) and purchase cargo liability insurance. Be sure to shop around for the best prices. The rates are coming down and if you decide to hire owner operators you may want them to purchase buy down insurance. Buy down insurance is a great idea. It cuts down the cost of your insurance deductible in case of an accident. When I started up an expedite company I had every driver purchase this insurance and I payroll deducted the cost from them each month. I would definitely suggest looking into this, it is always better to be safe than sorry and it is inexpensive. If for some reason you do have an accident in the first year of starting up your business you do not want to have to close the doors because your insurance deductible was two high.

How much will this cost me to start?

Starting up your business doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You can start-up your company for as little as two thousand dollars or less. Here’s how. Start your business up from home; use your own computer, internet and your own vehicle. If you already lease a vehicle be sure to change it into your companies name so you can right it off at the end of your business year as well as your internet, phone and so on. You will need to purchase a printer/fax machine; you can find these for cheap at your local store. Next is a phone line, this is very important since this will be your businesses life line. I suggest products like magic jack where there is one low fee for the year that is very cheap. Once your business is running and you are making profit then you may want to find a shop or office to run your business from and put in a more sophisticated phone system. The bulk of your start-up cash will be obtaining your running rights and insurance. The way to save money is to apply for your authorities yourself or buy a business package that supplies everything you will need. If you go to a consultant it could end up costing you anywhere from a thousand dollars and up!

Where will I find loads?

Start with the contacts that you already know; dispatchers and companies that you have delivered for. Your current or last employer may not like it but most likely they started out the same way. If you don’t have any contacts start with load boards. There are many areas that you can find freight; here are a few. Load boards; there are many out there some are free or offer free trials. You can also contact load brokers, send them your information and make sure you let them know where you have vehicles located to haul goods. Contact other carriers as well and post your vehicle(s) online so businesses know what is available.

Important Things You Should Know About ACP Panels

Aluminum composite panel, abbreviated as ACP panel, is basically a structure of three layers. As the low-density core is inserted between two thin skin layers, it is sometimes called sandwich panel. The skin layers are aluminum sheets and the low-density core is a non-aluminum core. The sandwich setup enables ACP panels to be perfect for mechanical uses. It stands out from the other metallic panels for excellent mechanical performance at minimal weight. Sandwich panels have extensive uses for their high rigidity.

For years, Aluminum composite panels have been used to manufacture both military aircraft and civilian aircraft. Nowadays, these are used in racing cars, ship buildings and custom architectures. A modern civil aircraft can include up to 5-15% composite panel. The percentage may increase up to 50% in new Boeing 7E7 aircraft. The light-weight and optimum durability would make this aircraft outstanding. Due to a number of great features, the ACP panels can be utilized in different areas.

The acceptance and success of composite technology in the automotive and aviation industry have made it attractive to the other industries looking to have the best benefits of it. Here ACP panels have been taking a significant place. The Aluminum composite panels are lighter than steel.

In the case of an interior decoration, it plays an important role. The PVDF coating on it makes it durable and resistant to elemental attacks. Their unique flexibility allows you to use these in columns, interior walls, aeroplanes, partitions, rail coaches, false ceilings, noise-barrier walls, escalator cladding and many other places. Besides, you can use it for exterior designs. It will surely beautify your exterior. This is why using an Aluminum composite panel in factory buildings, petrol pumps, sports stadiums, outdoor homes, bus stands, shopping centers, vehicles, airports, and bridge cladding are always good. For its flat polished look, it is used as signage. The glittering quality always draws onlookers’ attentions.

Cautious for buying ACP panels

At the time of buying these, you should be very careful. There are some companies using plastic panels and selling them as ACP panels. Therefore, at the time buying these, you need to scratch on them. It will help you test the originality. Besides, there are a few low-quality aluminum panels sold by dishonest sellers. They sell low-quality panels with the name of ACP panels. Therefore, you should check the alloy quality before buying these from a store. If you have a specific need, you can check the alloy mark written on the panel.

9 Obstacles That Keep You From Achieving Your Goals

While you may have spent a lot of time working on your goals for the next year, there are plenty of things that are going to get in your way to achieving them.

Before we go any further let’s establish the use of language here. Goals can be substituted with objectives, targets, outcomes, achievements, resolutions, aims, ambitions and any others you can think of. For the purpose of this report, the writer will use Goal.

How often have you started off the year, or next phase of your development with good intentions, and some goals of what you want to achieve, only to find that somehow you never see to achieve them? What I will cover in this article is the 9 biggest obstacles that will get in your way. I will take each one in turn and explore what is behind it, why it is there, and more importantly the action you can take to put it to one side.

What I will also do is evidence this be using the responses of a survey conducted with Sole Traders, and owners of Small and medium Enterprises (SME’s), identifying the challenges they face in the coming year.

Although there are arguably hundreds of potential obstacles, 9 appear most commonly.

1. Lack of information

2. Lack of skill

3. Limiting beliefs

4. Well being

5. Other people

6. Own motivation

7. Time

8. Money

9. Fear

Why have a Goal?

If you needed more reason do set your own goals, in a study conducted on students in the 1979 Harvard MBA program, only three percent of the graduates had written goals and plans; 13 percent had goals, but they were not in writing; and 84 percent had set no goals at all.

Ten years later, the findings revealed that 13 percent of the class who had goals were earning up to 84 percent compared to those who had not set any. For the three percent who defined their goals and wrote them down, they were earning on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent put together.

Some set goals that are too general. These are, in reality, fantasies common to everyone. Goals, on the other hand, are clear, written, specific, and measurable.

What is a Goal?

Other names that are used, explore others use of language. Why do we have them? Different types of goal – towards/ away from.

Some goals are called away from goals. These are usually framed in the negative. Here are a few examples.

o I don’t want to smoke anymore

o I don’t want to be unfit

o I don’t want to be overweight

o I don’t want to be broke

Now let’s reframe them in the positive

o I am a non smoker

o I am fit and health

o I am at my ideal weight

o I can cover my bills

Notice the difference. They are stated in the positive and take on the assumption that you have achieved it already. By assuming “as if” your behaviour changes so that you are acting like to have already achieved what you wanted to do. What a great feeling to have even before you have got there. It also bolsters your motivation.

So now we have determined if our goal is towards something, or away from something. We have now stated it in the positive. This however is still not a very well detailed goal. We will now look at how we can make it more specific.

An ideal goal should be expressed in the positive, be time bound and specific. You may also like to consider, how will you know when you have achieved it, what will it feel like, what will the people around you be like? What will you do to celebrate it?

A goal must be time bound. When do I want to have achieved it? If that’s when I want to achieve it, then when must I start? What is the first step I need to take? Who should I tell? Should telling that person be the first step? What skills or knowledge do I need to acquire along the way?

Goal size, is the goal too big to achieve? If so then breaking it down into smaller bite sized pieces may be the right approach.

How serious are you about this goal. On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being low and 10 being high), how committed are you to this goal? If your answer is less that 7 you are unlikely to follow it up completely. What would you need to do to this goal to move it from a 7 to an 8?

Now that you have really defined your goal you are ready to go. Aren’t you? So what’s stopping you?

I will take each one of the potential obstacles in turn, and elaborate.

Lack of Information

Information can have one of two effects. With too much you can be overwhelmed, and can stop you from making a decision or taking the next steps. With too little information you are not able to put things into perspective, or look at the bigger picture. Identifying where you have gaps in your knowledge, and including this as part of your goal will move you closer to achieving it. There are several ways to obtain new information. Research, planned reading, listening to CD’s, DVD’s on a specific topic or networking with individuals who have the knowledge to share with you.

Lack of Skill

In order to move forwards you may have to pick up skills along the way. This need not be an enormous challenge. As part of your goal setting, understanding what skills you need to acquire, and how you will acquire them will form steps of your plan. This does not necessarily mean that you need to enrol on a course, although that is a great idea. Other alternatives such as on-line study, planned reading, shadowing a colleague in the workplace, or seeking advice from a friend can also help you obtain the skills you need.

Limiting beliefs

We all have a set of beliefs by which we live our lives. These are set in our subconscious at an early age. Sometimes these beliefs can hold you back and limit your ability to achieve you goals. Some common examples may be familiar to you.

Indecision or Procrastination- should I do one thing or another? This often results in you doing nothing. The limiting belief manifests itself as “I am not able to make decisions”. Unable to make progress or stuck – when a way of working is no longer effective, you continue to use it and often forms a comfort zone, the limiting belief here could be ” I can’t/ won’t change”. Often people will state that “I don’t deserve to be successful”, or “that shouldn’t work for me”. Here we are seeing self sabotage and not valuing themselves and their own ability. These are only a few examples, but listen out for them and notice how many times you hear yourself saying things like this.

Well being

Despite your best efforts, there may be times when you are simply not able to pursue your goals. A sudden illness or injury can put set you back. When this happens you need to be realistic. Beating yourself up will not help, nor simply giving up. Take a little time to re assess your goal and consider what your options are now. How important is it that this goal is achieved within the original timeframe. Also consider how else you goal can be pursued, and who can help you during these times.

Other People

Quite often the people that are closest to us fear us achieving our goals. For them this means that you may change and that will also mean change for them. They may not be aware how important your goals are to you. If the people you share your time with for example family, friends, colleagues to not understand and support your goals, there is a chance that you may be influenced by this. If these people are adverse to change then they may well sabotage you plans.

Own Motivation

Although you may see out with the best intentions, after a while the novelty may wear off or there are other distractions. This may be down to a number of factors. Perhaps the goals that you set were too large, and needed to be broken down into smaller manageable chunks. Perhaps you are not getting the results, and need to consider what you doing that is are preventing you from moving forward. After continued effort you may feel that the goal is now actually something that do don’t want, or at least the outcome.

In this case the goal needs to be reassessed. If it requires modification because circumstances have changed, then change it. If it no longer serves you, then don’t waste your energy following up on something just because you started it.

Time

We all live in a world where we don’t seem to have enough time. Many of us are “time poor”, which means that we do not manage our use of time to get the best results. Quite often I hear from the people around me “I just don’t have time to do x”. How true is this statement really? Have we taken on too much, overcommitted ourselves and are embarrassed to say no? Perhaps, but I have another view.

If we approach our use of time without any structure we may just leap from one thing to another in no particular order. Without priority we will move from one thing to the next urgent thing.

There is also the aspect of distractions. This can be distraction from others who do not have the same aspirations as you. There is the distraction of telephone calls and emails. Quite often we busy ourselves with those things that are nice to do, but do not take us any further forward to achieving our goals.

Money

Money is a common reason for not pursuing your goal. Usually it is the lack of money that stops you. When you hear someone say “I can’t afford it” or “I just don’t have the money”. These statements are usually offered up without much hesitation.

While I agree that it may well be true to some extent, what alternatives have they really explored and how else could the money be found? If you are really serious about achieving this goal, what lengths would you go to in order to find the money (legally)!

Let’s turn this around and look at it from another perspective. What is it costing you to not have that goal in your life right now? For example being in that bad relationship or enduring bad health. If in achieving this goal it was going to get you that next job, or mean that you would get that 10% performance bonus at work, what efforts would you go to?

Fear

What do I mean by fear? There are the more straightforward examples. If you need to do something that takes you right outside of your comfort zone for the first time, which may well install fear into you.

Then there is the fear of failure. What will those around you think if you don’t achieve you goal. How will you face them and maintain your integrity. Better to quit now that to see it through right? That way no-one will be able to judge me.

Another type of fear is the fear of success. What if I actually do it, and people find out I am a fraud? Is this goal something that I really want anyway? Self doubt comes into play and you try to talk your self out of it.

What evidence supports this in a business context?

In a recent survey conducted with Small and Medium enterprises (SME’s) and sole Traders they were asked what they viewed as the biggest challenges facing them in 2010. All of those surveyed reported that they were partially successful in achieving their goals and objectives in 2009. 33% of these goals were significant, and the reasons for not achieving them were down to ill health, not asking for help, and lack of confidence in the economy amongst others.

Many of these goals were being carried on into the following year, some people carrying forward all of their goals. When asked what they were going to do in order to achieve those, 66% reported that they would try something different, and 33% would look for assistance.

So what is stopping these business people from moving forwards? Well from the sample surveyed the leading factors were Lack of skills, lack of knowledge, Health, Fear (of success/ failure) and Limiting beliefs.

Those that responded that they would look for assistance; it was equally split between others in their trade or profession, approaching a business coach, or contacting specialist suppliers. From those three options, certainly looking at what your competitors are doing may give you some clues. After all if someone in our sector is being successful look at what they are doing. Likewise specialist suppliers may be useful if the understand you goals and aspirations. However they may have another agenda, after all they are in business too.

However neither of these two approaches are focused on helping you achieve your goals, and neither of them hold you accountable in working towards them. This is where a Business coach can prove particularly valuable. They will assist you in defining and developing you goals, identify what is stopping you and develop strategies to help you deal with those obstacles when they come along.

The Business coach will also challenge you to check if you are working on goals that move you towards what you want, and keep you accountable to those goals. As a Sole Trader or SME often there is no one around with whom you can share your goals with, and discuss them.

One of the common objections to using a Business coach is the perceived cost, often saying “I can’t afford that” or it’s “too expensive”. It is sometimes useful to look at this from another perspective. What is it costing you not to use a Business coach? If you can attach a value to achieving each goal then the services of an effective Business coach can be quickly calculated.

Let’s go back to the survey respondents for a moment. Two of the challenges identified were lack of skills, and lack of knowledge. Suppose for a moment if a Business coach could help you identify what these gaps were, how to close them and then how to apply them to your Business what would that be worth? You may think that you can go it alone, but consider for a moment how would you clearly identify those gaps in skills or knowledge? How long would it take you? Which direction would you go? For example

Summary

In this report I have explained what a goal is and why it is important to have them. I have identified 9 obstacles that can potentially stop you from achieving those goals. These are:

1. Lack of information

2. Lack of skill

3. Limiting beliefs

4. Well being

5. Other people

6. Own motivation

7. Time

8. Money

9. Fear

I have evidenced how these manifest themselves, in a business context for Sole Traders and SME’s, and looked at what strategies can be can be applied. And finally I have discussed how a Business coach may support the achievement of those goals.