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Nestle set to buy Pfizer's infant-nutrition business

Posted: April 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm


GENEVA Swiss food and drink giant Nestl announced a deal Monday to acquire Pfizer's infant-nutrition business for $11.85 billion in a bid to boost sales in emerging markets.

The company, based in Vevey, Switzerland, said the acquisition would "enhance its position in global infant nutrition" because 85 percent of the Pfizer Nutrition unit's sales is in emerging markets, many of which have large, fast-growing populations.

The deal would particularly help Nestl to boost growth in China and maintain its position as one of the world's largest sellers of infant formula.

It is subject to regulatory approval, however, and Nestl, which already sells so much infant formula, may face some antitrust hurdles to complete the deal.

Nestl shares fell 2.8 percent to $60.87 on the Zurich exchange Monday.

The maker of Nescafe, Haagen Dazs and Jenny Craig said it estimated that the Pfizer unit's 2012 sales would bring $2.4 billion.

"Infant nutrition has been at the heart of our company since it was founded in 1866," Nestl chief executive Paul Bulcke said in a statement. "Pfizer Nutrition is an excellent strategic fit and this acquisition underlines our commitment to be the world's leading nutrition, health and wellness company."

Nestl's offer beat a rival joint bid by Groupe Danone and Mead Johnson Nutrition for the infant-nutrition business, which Pfizer had put up for sale in July along with a separate animal-health business unit.

Pfizer, the world's largest drugmaker, has been shedding its noncore businesses as it moves to focus on developing new prescription drugs.

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Nestle set to buy Pfizer's infant-nutrition business

$11.9 billion for baby food? Nestle pays up for Pfizer Nutrition

Posted: at 1:12 pm


Swiss food and nutrition giant Nestle will shell out $11.9 billion to buy Pfizers nutrition unit, which owns baby food brands such as SMA and Promil.

The division is expected to reel in $2.4 billion in sales this year and gets 85% of its revenue from emerging markets, whose large and rapidly growing populations are a key target for Nestle.

The Pfizer infant formula business is the fifth largest in the world, according to research group Euromonitor International, ranked behind Nestle, Mead-Johnson Nutrition Co., Groupe Danone and Abbot Laboritories.

Nestle, which last year ranked as the most profitable corporation in the Fortune Global 500, owns infant product brands Gerber, Cerelac and Nan.

Last week, the company said that its first quarter sales were up 7.2% to 21.4 billion Swiss francs, or $23.3 billion. Growth was up 3.1% in developed markets such as North America, where expansion slowed dued to weak consumer sentiment and higher pricing for products such as frozen foods.

But in emerging markets, sales were up 13%.

As anticipated, 2012 is already confirming itself to be a challenging year, said Nestle Chief Executive Paul Bulcke in a statement. In many developed markets where consumer confidence is low, the trading environment is subdued whilst in most emerging markets, conditions remain dynamic and rich in growth opportunities.

Overall first quarter Nestle Nutrition sales, including infant formula and cereals, grew 5.8% to reach 1.9 billion Swiss francs, or $2.1 billion. Even slower or declining birth rates in developed markets didnt dampen dynamic growth in Asia, Africa and Latin America, the company said.

Infant nutrition specifically is a very attractive category, both high-value and high-growth, said Nestles head of nutrition Kurt Schmidt in a conference call with analysts. The nearly $30 billion market is growing at 10% as affluence and awareness increases abroad, helping to boost product premiumization and diversification.

Bulcke, in the conference call, said the Pfizer nutrition unit has a very strong brand portfolio. It has very good R&D capabilities, it has a very good geographical presence, and it actually helps to enhance our competitive advantages.

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$11.9 billion for baby food? Nestle pays up for Pfizer Nutrition

Fitness Technologies Introduces 8 Hour 100% Waterproof Action Digital Cameras & …

Posted: at 1:12 pm


Uwater3X Action Camera Line Provides Full HD Video up 60 FPS DX Line of Extreme Dive Lights Illuminate the Seas up to 2700 Lumens at 100 Meters Underwater

Patent-Pending Cameras/Lights for Scuba Diving, Boating, Biking, Surfing, & Outdoor Use - Uwater Cameras Mount to DX Dive Lights & Helmets

Hackensack NJ - Fitness Technologies Inc. http://www.FitnessTechUSA.com, a leading provider of waterproof products, announced today the first line of full-day 8 hour Uwater Action Cameras and DX Extreme Dive Lights rated at 100 Meters underwater. Indestructible, scratch & impact proof, the DX Extreme Dive Lights are the most durable action gear in the industry.

To be introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held in Las Vegas, January 10-13, 2012, by Fitness Technologies Booth #3018, the Uwater HD Action Cam line includes the patent pending UwaterHD3X all-metal extendable 100% waterproof camera rated at 30 Meters (no case needed), the UwaterHD55 camera with 60 Meter waterproof casing, and the UwaterHD77 all-weather camera. The Uwater3X line of action cams provides up to 8 hours of continuous use for a full day of documenting action sports photos or video.

DX Dive Lights with First Internal Triple-Action Rotational Switching Design

Also at CES, Fitness Technologies will introduce their new patent pending UwaterDX Line of fully rechargeable Extreme Dive Lights with a 3/8" Polycarbonate luminous super bright lens at up to 2700 lumens for the darkest underwater excursions up to 100 Meters or for night-time outdoor use. The DX line of lights can be mounted to the Uwater action cams to illuminate underwater for scuba diving, boating, or other waterproof use. Featuring the first internal triple-action rotational switching design with no external parts, the DX line is unlike other brands that use magnetic switching which tend to rust in salt water over time. Employing an internal electronic cycle rotation switch for water-tight activation, the DX line is completely safe for life with no potential accidental activation or malfunctions.

The UwaterDX line also features Radial Heat Sink Technology, invented by aircraft engine manufacturers to remove the heat engines generate thus increasing its efficiencies. The DX line's Radial Heat Sink is so effective that it enables the powerful U.S. made CREE LED power source to operate not only in the water, but also outside water using air for cooling. In addition to about 17% output improvement, the DX Radial Heat Sink significantly increases operating life.

Uwater Action Cam Features: o UwaterHD3X: all metal design, machined aluminum, 100% waterproof underwater to 30 Meters without a case, 5 Megapixels 720P, 30 FPS, includes 32GB card, single button operation, rechargeable, extendable to 8 hours runtime.

o UwaterHD55: extra light-weight at 3 ounce, 100% waterproof to 60 Meter underwater case, 8 Megapixels, 720P/1080P, 60 FPS, includes 32GB card, 1.5" Color TFT LCD, Standard Tripod Mount, Rechargeable.

o UwaterHD77: 5 Meters underwater without a case, 5 Megapixels, 720P/1080P, 60 FPS, includes 32GB card, 1.5" Color TFT LCD, standard Tripod Mount, Rechargeable.

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Fitness Technologies Introduces 8 Hour 100% Waterproof Action Digital Cameras & ...

Feel the fusion of fitness in the design district

Posted: at 1:11 pm


Do you do the same boring cardio workout day after day?

If you are looking for a way to break out of your normal routine or you just want to add a little spice to your workouts, Fusion Fitness might be the perfect solution.

Founder of Fusion Fitness Lander Peerman created this unique workout, which combines speed, strength and stretching all in one hour long class.

Peerman has always been an active person and interested in health and fitness.

After graduating from the University of Texas, she became involved in a womens fitness program in Austin.

I loved the concept of womens group fitness and focusing on small group training, she said.

When Peerman moved to Dallas, she did not have any luck finding a similar workout.

I wanted to burn tons of calories with a cardio routine but also stay toned and lean with resistance training and pilates core training, she said.

Not surprisingly, Fusion Fitness was born shortly after.

Sorry guys, but this class is for girls only.

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Feel the fusion of fitness in the design district

Fitness First In Better Shape After Debt Deal

Posted: at 1:11 pm


Debt-laden Fitness First is set to confirm a deal that will ensure its survival but at significant cost to its private equity owner.

Under the agreement with lenders, it is understood that the global leisure chain's debts of more than 600m will be wiped out, leaving BC Partners with a much reduced holding.

Two funds, which had snapped up almost 80% of Fitness First's debt pile, will effectively take control of the business under the plan.

Oaktree and Marathon have reportedly agreed to inject 100m to help restore the company's fortunes and guarantee its immediate future.

However, a restructuring that could be demanded by the funds could result in some of its 140 UK gyms being closed and job losses among the 1,000 staff.

The Daily Telegraph reported that while Fitness First's chief executive Chris Stone had agreed a three month waiver agreement on its 18m quarterly rent bill, gym closures were more likely if lower terms could not be negotiated.

It also reported that a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) had not been ruled out as a potential move to eliminate heavy rent costs.

Fitness First, like many leisure companies, has been hurt by the squeeze on consumer spending of the past few years.

A third of properties in its UK portfolio are understood to be unprofitable.

It employs 13,000 staff at 430 gyms worldwide.

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Fitness First In Better Shape After Debt Deal

The Knot Presents First-Ever Bridal Fitness Program: Bridalicious® Boot Camp

Posted: at 1:11 pm


NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Nearly every bride wants to lose weight for her wedding; in fact, according to The Knot Health & Fitness Study, a not-so-surprising 84% of brides plan to get in better shape for their weddings. TheKnot.com, the #1 online wedding planning resource, today announced that it is now offering a fun, comprehensive and healthy fitness solution to help brides get in the best shape of their lives for their big day and beyond: Bridalicious Boot Camp by The Knot, in partnership with certified fitness trainer and bridal fitness expert Doug Rice.

The Bridalicious Boot Camp by The Knot package includes:

Brides these days are going to extreme measures in an effort to look their best for their weddings, which is why weve partnered with Doug Rice to offer a healthy and safe way to get in shape, said Carley Roney, cofounder and editor in chief of TheKnot.com. I have personally taken Dougs classes, and his workouts are incredible. We wanted to make sure every bride had a chance to be trained by such a motivating trainer in such a fun way.

In addition to the DVDs, TheKnot.com is providing brides with additional fitness, motivational and nutritional tools. The site updated its community message boards to offer brides an opportunity to get bonus tips and have their top questions answered by fitness guru Doug Rice on its weekly Fitness Fridays feature on the community boards and Twitter. Plus, there are interactive areas where the community of brides getting in shape together can help one another through the process.

About TheKnot.com

The Knot is the nation's leading wedding resource, reaching over a million engaged couples each year through the #1 wedding website, TheKnot.com; The Knot national and local wedding magazines; and The Knot books (published by Random House and Chronicle). The Knot is the flagship brand of XO Group Inc. (NYSE: XOXO - News) (http://www.xogroupinc.com), formerly The Knot Inc., a global media and technology leader devoted to weddings, pregnancy and everything in between, providing young women with the trusted information, products and advice they need to guide them through the most transformative events of their lives.

About Doug Rice

Doug Rice has been working with brides in his Bridalicious Boot Camp workout classes since 2005, when he launched the program in Los Angeles, and has helped thousands of brides shape up and slim down for their wedding day. He is a certified fitness trainer.

Note to editors: Doug Rice and editors from TheKnot.com are available for interviews and segments. Please contact Stephanie Fraiman for more information.

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The Knot Presents First-Ever Bridal Fitness Program: Bridalicious® Boot Camp

Research and Markets: Fitness & Slimming In India (2011-15): An Industry In Good Shape

Posted: at 1:11 pm


DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Dublin - Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/pxvsq5/fitness_slimming) has announced the addition of the "Fitness & Slimming Industry In India (2011-15)" report to their offering.

Indian Fitness & Slimming Industry constitutes about 8% of the wellness market. Presently, the fitness industry is in its nascent stages. The industry is fairly fragmented since the majority of the market appears to be dominated by a large number of mom-and-pop gyms. Organized fitness services account for merely 25% of the overall fitness industry.

Trends in the Industry:

- Franchising

- Beyond Tier I

- Burgeoning Investments

- Innovative formats

- Training Trends

The Indian Fitness & Slimming Industry is set to ride high with all levers in place. Growing disposable income of the people coupled with rising awareness of a healthy body augur well for the Industry. Significant changes in lifestyle related to lack of physical activity and increased consumption of fast food among both affluent and working class population has led to greater need for healthy lifestyles.

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Research and Markets: Fitness & Slimming In India (2011-15): An Industry In Good Shape

Fitness First jobs at risk after debt deal with lenders

Posted: at 1:11 pm


Fitness First, the beleaguered gym company, has struck a deal with its lenders to wipe out all of its debt. However, the deal is likely to see shareholders left with no money and job losses in the UK.

The company will announce on Tuesday morning (NasdaqGS: TUES - news) that its new chief executive, Chris Stone, has signed a three-month waiver agreement with Fitness First's main creditors. This will immediately save it from having to pay its 18m quarterly interest bill. But it is understood that the deal is more substantial than just a temporary reprieve and will see the equity of its main shareholder, BC Partners, nearly wiped out. The company will end up with zero debt on its balance sheet and controlled by its lenders.

In recent months so-called vulture funds, which specialise in buying up distressed debt, have been circling Fitness First, which has 560m of debt. Oaktree and Marathon have acquired 77pc of the company's debt for an estimated 55p in the pound.

The two funds have agreed to cancel the debt and inject 100m into the business, putting the company back on its feet, it is understood.

However, it is likely that Oaktree and Marathon, in return for restoring the health of the balance sheet, would insist on a fairly radical restructuring at the company, which in Britain has been hit hard by consumers' disposable income being squeezed. In Australia, its biggest market, the chain has also been hurt by rivals, though in some countries, notably Germany, the company is still expanding profitably.

An estimated third of the company's gyms in the UK, where it has 142 outlets, are unprofitable. If the company cannot renegotiate a lower rent with its landlords it is likely the company will have to close gyms. A company voluntary arrangement, which could wipe out its rental bills, has not been ruled out.

Fitness First employs well over 1,000 staff in this country, and though it has a naturally high staff turnover redundancies are likely.

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Fitness First jobs at risk after debt deal with lenders

Department of Health and Human Services: Minority Health Blogger Townhall – Video

Posted: at 1:11 pm


24-04-2012 17:25 The Department of Health and Human Services holds an townhall to highlight what the health care law, the Affordable Care Act, is doing to improve the health of racial and ethnic minorities, and help achieve health equity for all Americans.

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Department of Health and Human Services: Minority Health Blogger Townhall - Video

Catholic Health East and Accretive Health Announce a Strategic Partnership to Drive Revenue Cycle Standardization and …

Posted: at 1:11 pm


NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. & CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Catholic Health East and Accretive Health (AH - News) today announced that Accretive Health has been chosen by Catholic Health East to be the health systems revenue cycle operating partner. Accretive Health will work with Catholic Health East to enable the system to achieve greater standardization of its revenue cycle work processes, generate improvements in revenue cycle yield and enhance patient satisfaction.

With $4.4 billion of net patient revenue, Catholic Health East is a multi-institutional Catholic health system that operates across 11 eastern states from Maine to Florida. Catholic Health East selected Accretive Health as its revenue cycle operating partner following a rigorous evaluation of several alternative solutions for achieving its revenue cycle goals. Under the terms of the agreement, Catholic Health East and one of its Regional Health Corporations have agreed to utilize Accretive Healths services. Other Regional Health Corporations will have the opportunity to enroll in the services provided by Accretive Health over time.

"We selected Accretive Health because of its co-management model, which supports our commitment to preserving jobs in the communities we serve; its unique model that leverages process and technology excellence; its collaborative approach focused on mutual success; and its willingness to invest in our capabilities. This new partnership will help us build on the high levels of support we provide to our Regional Health Corporations and achieve efficiencies across our network, said Jennifer Barnett, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Catholic Health East. As a system, we are committed to both quality and operational excellence in everything we do, and we see this partnership as another key step in that direction.

We are honored to have been chosen to partner with Catholic Health East, one of the largest health systems in the United States, said Mary Tolan, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Accretive Health. We embrace partnerships with leaders who are committed to setting the standard for quality, innovation, and operational excellence. We look forward to partnering with Catholic Health East as it continues in its mission of being a transforming, healing presence within the communities it serves.

About Catholic Health East

Catholic Health East (CHE) is a multi-institutional Catholic health system, co-sponsored by eight religious congregations and Hope Ministries, a Public Juridic Person within Catholic Health East. Based in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, the System provides the means to ensure the continuation of the Catholic identity and operational strength of the Sponsors health ministries, which are located in 11 eastern states from Maine to Florida. The System includes 35 acute care hospitals, four long-term acute care hospitals, 26 freestanding and hospital-based long-term care facilities, 12 assisted-living facilities, four continuing care retirement communities, eight behavioral health and rehabilitation facilities, 31 home health/hospice agencies and numerous ambulatory and community-based health services. Catholic Health East facilities employ more than 60,000 full-time employees as partners in ministry. Catholic Health East is the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care servicesranked by number of visitsin the nation, as well as the nations leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of programs.

About Accretive Health

Accretive Health partners with healthcare providers to help them more effectively manage their revenue cycles, strengthen their financial stability, and improve the quality of care they provide while reducing overall healthcare costs.Our people, processes and sophisticated integrated technology complement our clients existing resources to enhance results for patients, physicians and staff.For more information, please visit http://www.accretivehealth.com.

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Catholic Health East and Accretive Health Announce a Strategic Partnership to Drive Revenue Cycle Standardization and ...

The wrong debate about health care costs

Posted: at 1:11 pm


By Geoff Colvin, senior editor-at-large

FORTUNE -- The central mystery in America's health care crisis is a simple question: Why don't people take better care of themselves? Like many simple questions, it leads into deep waters. It demands that we confront a profound new reality about health. Most important, it requires us to reframe the debate over paying for health care.

That debate will rage when the Supreme Court issues its ruling on Obamacare in June. But that case isn't really about health care; it's about the limits of federal power. Regardless of the ruling, we'll still have to stop America's unsustainable health care cost trends. And most of the debating will be over the wrong question.

Our thinking on health care policy is premised largely on a reality that prevailed for nearly all of human history: that ill health is a curse that can be visited upon any of us at any time. It is that, of course. But that notion is no longer the right premise for thinking about health care costs in developed economies. At the beginning of the 20th century, the top causes of death in the U.S. were communicable diseases -- flu, tuberculosis, curses that could strike any of us. Today the top causes of death are noncommunicable diseases that result mostly from the way we live -- coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes, some cancers. Medical researchers call them lifestyle diseases.

What's important from a policy perspective is not just that these diseases cause the most deaths, but also that they cause the most spending. The great majority of America's staggering $2.6 trillion health care tab (as of 2010) was spent treating lifestyle diseases. While we rightly worry about health care costs rising 8% or 9% a year, we spend well over 50% of our costs on diseases caused mostly by the way we choose to behave.

More: 5 ways to healthier employees

If Americans behaved just a little differently, our health care costs could settle down to a sustainable growth rate that matches the economy's growth, or could even fall further. We don't need a nation of triathletes. If we would smoke and drink a little less, walk a little more, eat a few more vegetables and fruits, and lose some weight, the effect would be far more dramatic than most people suspect. "More than 90% of type 2 diabetes, 80% of coronary artery disease, 70% of stroke, and 70% of colon cancer are potentially preventable" by that combination of moderate behavior changes, reports Harvard epidemiologist Walter C. Willett. In other words, by making realistic changes that are entirely within our own control, we could end the crisis of unsustainably rising U.S. health care costs. Which brings us to that simple question: Why don't we?

The answer isn't so simple. Partly it's economic -- we bear ever less of the costs of our unhealthy behavior. In 1960 we paid 56% of our personal health costs out of our own pockets; in 2010 we paid 14%. Yet that can't be the whole explanation; we know from the findings of behavioral finance that we aren't purely economic beings.

Social acceptability plays a role. "I got pilloried in the New York Times three years ago when I talked about not hiring obese people," says Dr. Delos Cosgrove, CEO of the Cleveland Clinic. "Now it's okay to talk about it." For legal reasons he can't refuse to hire the obese, but if he could, it would send a message: Being obese isn't okay.

The most distressing answer to the question is that many of our bad behaviors are addictive. Smoking is highly addictive. Alcohol is addictive for many people. Some researchers now go much further, suggesting that today's processed, calorie-dense foods -- "hyperpalatable," the researchers call them -- may be addictive for some people. Researchers at Yale, using functional MRI scans, find that some people's brains respond to a chocolate milkshake like drug addicts' brains respond to drugs.

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The wrong debate about health care costs

Kantar Health Expands National Health and Wellness Survey Into Russia

Posted: at 1:11 pm


NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire -04/25/12)- Kantar Health, a leading healthcare-focused global consultancy and marketing insights company, today announced the expansion of the National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS) into Russia. NHWS is the largest global database of self-reported patient insights in the healthcare industry.

"Russia has a rapidly changing healthcare environment, where the unmet needs of patients remain high, so it's an attractive growth opportunity for pharma companies," says Gina Isherwood, Regional Brand Director with Kantar Health. "Russia is also quite different from established countries in Western Europe and other emerging markets. By collecting data directly from Russian patients, NHWS helps companies gain an understanding of the Russian patient and the Russian healthcare market and how they differ from patients worldwide."

Survey responses were collected directly from Russian patients and represent the adult urban population. Topics covered include health status, attitudes, behaviors and outcomes among other unique information specific to Russia's healthcare market.

The NHWS provides broad coverage of healthcare, with results projected to the population to deliver prevalence information in more than 165 conditions. NHWS includes information for patients who are diagnosed, undiagnosed yet symptomatic, untreated and for patients treated with prescription and/or over-the-counter medications.

Kantar Health conducts NHWS annually in the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America. NHWS provides disease-specific measures that help healthcare clients:

About Kantar Health (www.kantarhealth.com) Kantar Health is a global, evidence-based decision support partner to the world's leading pharmaceutical, biotech, device and diagnostic companies. Our 700+ staff act as catalysts, working closely with customers to drive distinctive decision-making that helps them prioritize product development and portfolios, differentiate their brands and ensure product profitability after launch. We are unique in that we bring together clinical, medical and methodological expertise, commercial/marketing know-how and proprietary data. It is this rare combination, together with our unparalleled stakeholder reach, that enables us to mobilize incisive, imaginative and timely ROI-driven solutions, empowering clients to deliver better healthcare options to their customers.

With offices in over 40 countries, we excel at solving technically or logistically challenging projects around the world and across the product lifecycle, combining on-the-ground know-how and global and national proprietary data to quickly identify value drivers. As part of WPP, we can also incorporate highly innovative thinking from outside the industry into our solutions.

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Kantar Health Expands National Health and Wellness Survey Into Russia

ISO an affordable backup to employer-based health coverage

Posted: at 1:11 pm


We know that most people get their health insurance coverage through their jobs or through a family members employer. But a report just released by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute found that the percentage of the population with employment-based health benefits has been declining, most recently because of the recession.

Paul Fronstin, author of the report and director of the institutes Health Research and Education Program, said his research found that fewer employers are offering health coverage, fewer workers are eligible for it and fewer employees are taking advantage of the benefit because its too costly.

What we are seeing is this steady and slow erosion in employment-based coverage, Fronstin said. Weve been seeing changes for the better part of a decade.

Consider these findings:

Between 1997 and 2010, the percentage of workers offered health insurance by their employers decreased from 70.1 percent to 67.5 percent, and the percentage of workers covered by those plans decreased from 60.3 percent to 56.5 percent.

Many people arent qualifying for health coverage because they work part time. Two-thirds of workers not eligible for their employers health plans reported that they worked part time in 2010, up from half of workers in 1997.

Between 1997 and 2010, the percentage of workers who declined coverage because they said it was too expensive increased from 23.2 percent to 29.1 percent.

And workers whose employers do not offer health benefits are more likely to go without any insurance. In 2010, half of all workers whose employer did not offer health benefits were uninsured, up from 44.1 percent in 1997.

While it is possible that these trends will change with a rebound in employment rates, even when the unemployment rate fell between 2002 and 2005, it did not appear to have an impact on employer sponsorship of health plans, Fronstin wrote.

He said that estimates presented in his report could serve as a base line to measure the future impact of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on employment-based health benefits. Given all the misinformation and criticism about the health-care law, we certainly need a nonpartisan base line.

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ISO an affordable backup to employer-based health coverage

Health Management Announces 1st Quarter 2012 Results

Posted: at 1:11 pm


NAPLES, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Health Management Associates, Inc. (NYSE: HMA - News) today announced its consolidated financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012.

Key metrics from continuing operations for the first quarter (all percentage changes compare the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2011) include:

The tables accompanying this press release include reconciliations of consolidated net income to all presentations of Adjusted EBITDA (which is not a GAAP measure) contained in this press release. Those tables also reconcile earnings per share on a GAAP basis to those amounts presented in this press release and contain disclaimers and other important information regarding how Health Management defines and uses Adjusted EBITDA.

For continuing operations at hospitals operated by Health Management for one year or more, referred to as same hospital operations, net revenue in the first quarter increased $71.2 million or 5.7%, to $1.326 billion compared to the same quarter in the prior year. Adjusted EBITDA from same hospital operations grew 6.6% to $264.0 million, representing 19.9% of net revenue, as compared to $247.7 million and 19.7%, respectively, for the same quarter a year ago. Same hospital Adjusted EBITDA includes $4.6 million of Medicare and Medicaid HCIT incentive payments, offsetting government program payment reductions. Declines in both uninsured admissions and flu-related volume contributed to a 4.2% and 0.2% decline in first quarter same hospital admissions and adjusted admissions, respectively. Had uninsured and flu-related volumes been the same as last year, first quarter same hospital admissions would have declined 1.6% and same hospital adjusted admissions would have increased 2.4%.

Health Management had another great quarter and a great start to 2012, with revenue up 18.4% year over year, said Gary D. Newsome, Health Managements President and Chief Executive Officer. Our operating strategy continued to generate strong results in the first quarter as we managed our resources relative to the volume and acuity of our patients. We believe that there are further improvement opportunities in our hospitals as we continue to affect change in our processes and systems in emergency room operations, physician recruitment and market service development. In addition, our partnership development pipeline continues to be extremely active.

Health Managements provision for doubtful accounts, or bad debt expense, was $201.3 million, or 11.9% of net revenue before the provision for doubtful accounts, for the first quarter compared to $172.1 million, or 12.1% of net revenue before the provision of doubtful accounts, for the same quarter a year ago.

Uninsured self-pay patient discounts for the first quarter were $299.7 million, compared to $225.7 million for the same quarter a year ago. Charity/indigent care write-offs were $22.7 million for the first quarter, compared to $21.4 million for the same quarter a year ago.

The sum of uninsured discounts, charity/indigent write-offs and bad debt expense, as a percent of the sum of net revenue before the provision for doubtful accounts, uninsured discounts and charity/indigent write-offs (which Health Management refers to as its Uncompensated Patient Care Percentage) was 26.1% for the first quarter, compared to 25.0% for the first quarter a year ago, and 25.4% for the quarter ended December 31, 2011. Health Management believes that its Uncompensated Patient Care Percentage provides key information regarding the aggregate level of patient care for which it does not receive payment.

Cash flow from continuing operating activities for the first quarter was $62.1 million, after cash interest and cash tax payments aggregating $52.8 million. Our cash flows in the first quarter do not reflect the benefit of our Tennova acquisition as we had not received our Medicare tie-in notices as of March 31, 2012. Health Management received the tie-in notices in early April 2012, and we expect to bill and collect the backlog of Tennova Health accounts receivable by the end of the second quarter. Health Managements total leverage ratio was 4.1 and interest coverage ratio was 4.0 at March 31, 2012, well within its debt requirements.

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Health Management Announces 1st Quarter 2012 Results

Keego Harbor's Center for Optimal Health and Wellness is all natural

Posted: at 1:10 pm


Leigha LaRosa (left) and Dr. Joanne Sandler-Goldberg of Center for Optimal Health and Wellness.

Joanne Sandler-Goldberg, M.D. recently opened The Center for Optimal Health and Wellness, a holistic medicine practice in Keego Harbor.

Dr. Goldberg has set up an office within Back to Wellness, a massage therapy salon at 2900 Orchard Lake Road.

in an effort to provide patients with natural approaches to their health concerns, Sandler-Goldberg works with Leigha LaRosa, owner of Back to Wellness. LaRosa is a licensed myo-therapist and has been practicing clinical and oncology massage for many years.

Sandler-Goldbergs practice will focus on holistic methods for both men and women who experience a variety of health problems as they age that are not necessarily disease related, such as female and male menopause, osteoporosis, depression, weight gain, lack of energy, irritability and inability to sleep.

Too often, people are told that their lack of energy or not feeling like their old selves is just a normal process of aging, and they are then given a pill to treat their symptoms, said Sandler-Goldberg. However, it doesnt get to the underlying reason they are having the symptoms in the first place, so the problem persists.

She said there are

holistic therapies available that can actually help treat a patients underlying problem, and help people feel better and improve their quality of life.

With our holistic medical options such as Bio-Identical hormone replacement or optimizing ones nutritional status with pharmaceutical-grade vitamins or supplements, we can often help men and women take control of the aging process and improve their health span Sandler-Goldberg added. Often times, one can decrease or even avoid taking medication and use natural alternatives instead which may decrease the potential for serious side effects.

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Keego Harbor's Center for Optimal Health and Wellness is all natural

Redskins would love longevity from RGIII

Posted: at 1:10 pm


WASHINGTON The Washington Redskins have spent 27 years trying to find a replacement for Joe Theismann.

Not since Theismann's career ended with a broken leg in 1985 have the Redskins had a quarterback they could reliably count on as a reliable winner for the better part of a decade. He started 113 games from 1978-85, taking Washington to two Super Bowls. He remains the franchise career leader in completions, attempts and yards passing.

"It amazes me when I look at it and I think all about these years," Theismann said. "We have been looking for somebody the franchise can say 'OK, going forward, he's going to be our guy and let's put people around him."'

Mark Rypien did hold down the fort for a while, making double-digit starts in five straight seasons, but since then it's been a nonstop carousel. Twenty-one players have started at quarterback for the Redskins in the last 19 seasons, everyone from lofty draft picks (Heath Shuler, No. 3 overall in 1994) to players signed off the street in midseason (Tim Hasselbeck in 2003).

Robert Griffin III is the latest can't-miss hope. Then again, so was Shuler. And Jason Campbell. And Donovan McNabb.

But there does seem to be something truly special about the Heisman Trophy winner from Baylor. He's got charisma. He's got an arm. He's got mobility. He's got smarts. He seems well-grounded with parents who both served in the military, but he also has a sense of fun. He wore Superman socks to the Heisman ceremony in December, and there's no telling what footwear scheme he'll choose for his return this week to New York, where he's expected to be selected No. 2 overall by Washington.

"It'll be interesting to see what he wears," said his mother, Jacqueline.

"We've told all our kids that whatever you choose to do in life, make sure that it's something that you love doing," she said. "Because you will enjoy getting up and going to work every day. If you do something that you don't like and it's not fun, then it's time for you to make a change."

(Page 2 of 2)

It can be said that the Redskins are taking that advice in their own way. Football has not been very fun in Washington, so it's time for some change.

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Redskins would love longevity from RGIII

AgriLife Research: Dairy study to determine how breed and herd longevity are related

Posted: at 1:10 pm


Public release date: 24-Apr-2012 [ | E-mail | Share ]

Contact: Dr. Pablo Pinedo ppinedo@ag.tamu.edu 806-677-5600 Texas A&M AgriLife Communications

AMARILLO - Texas AgriLife Research is trying to help the dairy industry determine how breed and conformation affects dairy cow longevity.

Dr. Pablo Pinedo, AgriLife Research ruminant animal health scientist in Amarillo, is conducting a study funded by the American Jersey Cattle Club Research Foundation after producers have noticed a decline in longevity of dairy cows worldwide.

"Today's high involuntary culling rates are a concern on dairy farms from both an animal well-being and an economic point of view," Pinedo said.

While Holstein herds have been predominant in Texas and New Mexico, large cheese-processing plants in the northern Texas Panhandle and in Eastern New Mexico have prompted the use of Jersey genetics, increasing the number of large, pure Jersey and multi-breed herds in those areas, he said.

In his study, Pinedo intends to use Jersey, Holstein and crossbred cattle all under the same conditions in the same operations to provide what he characterized as "a unique opportunity to analyze and compare the dynamic of culling in different breeds."

The objectives of this study are to:

"We hope our results will help dairy producers implement efficient strategies to manage critical points affecting cow survival," he said. "This information will also provide a precise comparison on the productive life between Jerseys and Holsteins under the same conditions, supporting the decisions process regarding the future replacements."

Pinedo said this information should serve dairy producers throughout the region, assisting them in making rational and cost-effective management decisions when selecting cows and sires for improved survivability.

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AgriLife Research: Dairy study to determine how breed and herd longevity are related

Dairy study to determine how breed and herd longevity are related

Posted: at 1:10 pm


Home > News > Latest > Dairy study to determine how breed and herd longevity are related AgriLife Communications | Updated: April 24, 2012

AMARILLO Texas AgriLife Research is trying to help the dairy industry determine how breed and conformation affects dairy cow longevity.

Dr. Pablo Pinedo, Texas AgriLIfe Research ruminant animal health scientist in Amarillo, is studying dairy cow longevity in a herd of Jerseys, Holsteins and their crosses that are being fed and maintained under similar conditions. (Texas AgriLife Research photo) Dr. Pablo Pinedo, AgriLife Research ruminant animal health scientist in Amarillo, is conducting a study funded by the American Jersey Cattle Club Research Foundation after producers have noticed a decline in longevity of dairy cows worldwide.

Todays high involuntary culling rates are a concern on dairy farms from both an animal well-being and an economic point of view, Pinedo said.

While Holstein herds have been predominant in Texas and New Mexico, large cheese-processing plants in the northern Texas Panhandle and in Eastern New Mexico have prompted the use of Jersey genetics, increasing the number of large, pure Jersey and multi-breed herds in those areas, he said.

In his study, Pinedo intends to use Jersey, Holstein and crossbred cattle all under the same conditions in the same operations to provide what he characterized as a unique opportunity to analyze and compare the dynamic of culling in different breeds.

The objectives of this study are to:

- Describe the dynamics of culling risk of Jersey cows considering age, stage of lactation, milk yield, reproductive status, herd milk yield and herd size.

- Explore associations between culling dynamics and breed traits such as udder conformation, foot and leg, body depth, etc.

- Identify management related risk factors.

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Dairy study to determine how breed and herd longevity are related

Sitting Time Correlating with Mortality Independently of Exercise

Posted: April 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm


Here is a large statistical study that claims a correlation between time spent sitting and mortality rate that exists independently of the well known correlations between level of physical activity and mortality rate. More exercise means a longer life expectancy while more sitting means a lower life expectancy even after considering that those who sit more often are most likely exercising less.

Sitting Time and All-Cause Mortality Risk in 222,497 Australian Adults:

We linked prospective questionnaire data from 222,497 individuals 45 years or older from the 45 and Up Study to mortality data from the New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages (Australia) from February 1, 2006, through December 31, 2010. Cox proportional hazards models examined all-cause mortality in relation to sitting time, adjusting for potential confounders that included sex, age, education, urban/rural residence, physical activity, body mass index, smoking status, self-rated health, and disability.

The association between sitting and all-cause mortality appeared consistent across the sexes, age groups, body mass index categories, and physical activity levels and across healthy participants compared with participants with preexisting cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus. ... Prolonged sitting is a risk factor for all-cause mortality, independent of physical activity.

This is not the first study to propose this correlation, of course. There are a range of others from past years. One has to wonder what the mechanism is here, however - my suspicion is that it actually does all come back down to the level of physical activity in the end. In these massive studies the level of exercise and activity is reported by the participants. A person who stands and works is going to be somewhat more active than a person who sits and works, even though that time may not be categorized as physical activity, or reported differently.

Exercise is much like calorie restriction - the effects are so large in comparison to other factors we have easy access to that they are likely to creep into any study.

You might look at a recent study on activity and Alzheimer's disease that was one of the few to use measuring devices rather than reports of activity. One point that emerges is that a fair degree of ongoing low level activity and exercise won't be classified as such by the participants of study without machine measurement. Housework, taking out the trash, the small increase in energy expenditure from standing while waiting versus sitting while waiting, that sort of thing repeated day in and day out. How much you are sitting really does sound a lot like a proxy for how much activity you are undertaking when you are doing things that most people don't really count as activity.

Source:
http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/rss_feed.cfm

Peroxisomal and Mitochondrial Genes Important in Determining Longevity

Posted: at 3:50 pm


Researchers continue to investigate the genetics of natural variations in aging, such as those that can be generated through diet (e.g. calorie restriction) in mice: "Dietary interventions are effective ways to extend or shorten lifespan. By examining midlife hepatic gene expressions in mice under different dietary conditions, which resulted in different lifespans and aging-related phenotypes, we were able to identify genes and pathways that modulate the aging process. We found that pathways transcriptionally correlated with diet-modulated lifespan and physiological changes were enriched for lifespan-modifying genes. Intriguingly, mitochondrial gene expression correlated with lifespan and anticorrelated with aging-related pathological changes, whereas peroxisomal gene expression showed an opposite trend. Both organelles produce reactive oxygen species, a proposed causative factor of aging. This finding implicates a contribution of peroxisome to aging. Consistent with this hypothesis, lowering the expression levels of peroxisome proliferation genes decreased the cellular peroxide levels and extended the lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans. These findings show that transcriptional changes resulting from dietary interventions can effectively reflect causal factors in aging and identify previously unknown or under-appreciated longevity pathways, such as the peroxisome pathway."

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22509016

Source:
http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/rss_feed.cfm

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