Day: January 4, 2018

Need a knee replacement? It costs $46974 at one Minnesota hospital and $6186 at another – TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press

The data show only hospital facility fees, not physician services, drug costs or patient rehabilitation. Patients and employers pay more with these costs factored in.

But insurance and hospital advocates said that while the study contains new information, it shows only one piece of the complex puzzle behind rising health care costs in Minnesota and across the nation.

Schowalter added that the state did not include what government programs like Medicare and Medicaid pay hospitals for procedures. Those rates are negotiated or set by the government and can have an impact on what hospitals charge consumers.

Minnesotans could pay up to eight times more for certain medical procedures depending on the hospital they choose, but it’s hard to know which facilities offer the most affordable services.

That’s the take away from a report released Wednesday by the Minnesota Department of Health aimed at making health care costs more transparent. Researchers examined the wide range of prices Minnesotans pay hospitals for four procedures — hip and knee replacements and normal and C-section births.

The cost fluctuation for a hip replacement was almost as large, a difference of more than six times between the most affordable and most expensive. Normal and C-section births had cost swings of four and nearly five times, respectively.

Schowalter, president of the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, agreed that the state report looked at a small part of the drivers of growing health care costs. Patients already have other resources to measure provider costs and can often get more information about the expense of certain procedures from their insurer.

“This is eye-opening information for the purchasers of health care,” said Carolyn Pare, who leads the Minnesota Health Action Group, a coalition working to improve health care costs and outcomes, in a statement.

Advocates for health insurers and hospitals say the state analysis has limited value because it only looks at hospital costs when patients often receive ongoing services when they have a condition that requires a medical procedure.

‘Bright’: Is Will Smith’s Character a Bright? – Comicbook.com

Right now, it’s implied that Ward could be the prominent lead in magical ability, which would create a nice role-reversal for the sequel. If Ward is a “one in a million” human oddity, then he may end up being even more discriminated against than Jakoby was. Wouldn’t that be ironic…

Given how fast Bright moves, a lot of viewers may come away a bit confused about the overarching mythology of Bright, why it’s so important to the revelation’s of the movie’s finale, and the implications for the now-confirmed Bright sequel.

The first question at hand is: Is Will Smith’s character, Daryl Ward, actually a Bright? And the answer is: kind of.

As legend tells, Jirak was an unblooded Orc farmer who rose up to unite the Nine Armies against the Dark Lord, and founded the Shield of Light. Jirak was said to be the embodiment of some yet-to-be-specified Orc prophecy, which Jakoby will seemingly now manifest.

So is Ward a Bright? Yes, but not just any Bright. He’s something more, and we have yet to discover the full depth of what it means to be a human Bright.

The Bright sequel already has a lot of story to cover, but one of the main pieces of intrigue will be seeing how Ward and/or Jakoby fare, once their respective magical abilities begin to manifest. The pair have already been targeted by everyone form fellow cops to various Orc gangs for their interspecies partnership: so how will the same forces react if/when it’s discovered that both Ward and Jakoby are potential walking WMDs.

2017: Odds of 95 to 1 More Likely to Die in Chicago than US Military, Murder Rate Still Lower Than New Orleans … – The Hayride

According to data produced by the Chicago Tribune and Department of Defense, in 2017 there were 664 homicides in Chicago (down from 762 in 2016), and 37 casualties in the U.S. military worldwide. Death totals were calculated in Chicago from Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2017; military deaths Jan. 1-Dec. 22, 2017.

Jackson’s murder rate is 31.08, compared to the state’s rate of 9 percent:

Chicago’s murder rates was lower due to the difference of its sheer population size. Its ranking was #25, with a murder rate of 17.5. Other southern states’ rankings include:

2017 was a record-breaking year for Chicago homicides. On average 1.8 people were murdered every day (mostly by the use of an illegal firearm.) From 2001-2016, more people were murdered in Chicago than the total number of U.S. military killed in Afghanistan and Iraq combined: 7,916 murders in Chicago compared to 6,888 U.S. Military casualties. (U.S. troops have been in Afghanistan since October 2001, and in Iraq since March 2003.)

Net neutrality fight heads to California capital – San Francisco Chronicle

And while Lewis generally applauded Wiener’s bill, he said the controversy might only be fully settled if Congress decides to overrule the FCC.

“Net neutrality is essential to our 21st-century democracy,” Wiener said in a press release. “We won’t let the Trump-led FCC dismantle our right to a free and open Internet, and we won’t let them create a system where Internet providers can favor websites and services based on who pays more money.”

The battle over controversial net neutrality rules that were overturned in Washington last month moved into Sacramento on Wednesday.

State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, introduced a bill to require telecommunications companies doing business in the state to guarantee equal Internet access. The bill is a reaction to last month’s Federal Communications Commission decision to revoke nationwide net neutrality regulations.

For instance, the FCC has yet to publish its final ruling on net neutrality, although that is expected any day. However, that final ruling is also expected to include a provision that preempts any state-enacted net neutrality rules.

Chris Lewis, vice president of the consumer rights group Public Knowledge, noted that Internet companies could also challenge any state law like California’s in court. Conversely, the FCC’s ruling is also expected to be challenged in court by net-neutrality proponents, including the attorney generals of several states including California.

Car Sales In 2017 Weren’t Great And The Future Is Looking Scary – Jalopnik

You get the idea. December was a rough month, the year itself was only moderately better than the year before, if it was at all, and the brands with a ton of SUVs and trucks are king right now. One can’t presume record-topping monthly and yearly car sales would last forever, because how could it? Eventually demand for new cars was bound to taper off.

I don’t mean to make this seem like total doom and gloom. I don’t foresee the global collapse of the auto industry—not yet. More than likely 2018 will be a down year, but barring any disasters the car business should weather everything just fine.

But when you consider both the rising interest rates and how December closed out, it does raise some eyebrows. Nearly all automakers posted sales declines last month, and most analysts expect sales to drop even further this year to below 17 million or less.

Let’s look at how some individual companies did:

But it’s the disasters—a sudden spike in gas prices, economic downturn after people got car loans they couldn’t afford, climbing interest rates, nuclear holocaust—that has me concerned. The situation feels like a powder keg waiting to be lit, and the auto industry over the past few years has staked its future on those “record monthly car sales” that cannot possibly last forever.

How Texas’ crop of college hoops coaches built the deepest lineup of teams in years – Fort Worth Star Telegram

“We have all these facilities, so when we get a kid to come to a football game early on and spend some time with us, they see how good our facilities are on the basketball side.”

In Dixon’s view, top-end talent isn’t the only way to build a program.

Most schools in Texas devote more resources to their football programs, but many of the basketball coaches believe that a strong football program doesn’t really represent the competition.

In order to bring in all this coaching talent, almost all of these schools have had to shell out big dollars. This season Smart, Drew, Kennedy, Jamie Dixon, Beard, Kelvin Sampson and Jankvoich will earn almost $8.5 million combined.

Texas Tech’s double-digit victory against No. 10 Kansas in Lawrence probably surprised plenty of college basketball fans across the country.

“I don’t claim to be an expert because I wasn’t recruiting Texas over the past 30 years, but my take is that there are some more under the radar players,” he said. “Guys that play on the smaller AAU teams and aren’t on the sneaker circuit can become very good players too.”

Florida, Southeast seaboard hit by frosty storm – The Mercury News

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A winter storm warning extended from the Gulf Coast in Florida’s “Big Bend” region all the way up the Atlantic coast. Forecasters said hurricane-force winds blowing offshore on Thursday could generate 24-foot seas. Coastal flooding, downed trees and power lines were possible along the East Coast.

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Forecasters warned of frost bite and hypothermia in Chicago, where wind chills of minus 35 degrees were predicted, Atlanta hospitals reported a surge in emergency room visits for hypothermia and other ailments as temperatures plunge well below freezing.

The coastal city that hasn’t seen measurable snowfall since February 2010 was expecting up to 2 inches of snow and sleet Wednesday. Dump trucks spread sand on bridges and major streets ahead of the storm and police closed a major causeway and several bridges because of ice.

“It was very neat to see. It had been since the early ’90s since we got any snow like that,” said the 41-year-old hair salon owner. “I made a snowball and threw it at my dad.”

In Tallahassee, Florida, Michigan transplant Laura Donaven built a snowman 6 inches tall. The city tweeted that snow fell there for the first time in 28 years.

In central Florida, the state’s largest theme parks announced that water attractions such as Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay and SeaWorld’s Aquatica were closed. Temperatures are running well below normal for this time of year, and the lows are expected to hover right around freezing.

Forecasters warned that conditions could worsen, especially in the Northeast.

Agent’s Take: Jimmy G has 163000 reasons to root for Patriots; other playoff paychecks – CBSSports.com

Players on teams with wild-card byes (Eagles, Patriots, Steelers and Vikings) are essentially working for free for the week since they will not receive payment. The additional rest and home-field advantage in the divisional round are supposed to make up for the lack of money.

Garoppolo is missing the postseason for the first time in his four-year career because of a surprising midseason trade to the 49ers, who were winless at the time. But he can still increase his postseason money total with a deep playoff run by New England. Because of the way playoff money is allocated, Garoppolo will get $163,000 if the Patriots repeat as Super Bowl champions.

Jimmy Garoppolo went to the playoffs with the Patriots in each of his first three NFL seasons. He made a total of $419,000 in those playoffs. 

Wild-card round: Division winners: $28,000. Wild cards: $26,000.
Divisional playoffs: $28,000
Conference championship game: $51,000
Super Bowl: Winning team: $112,000. Losing team: $56,000.

For a player like Jaguars wide receiver Jaydon Mickens, who spent a few weeks on the practice squad before a promotion to the 53-man roster, winning the Super Bowl would be more meaningful financially than to most of his teammates. Mickens, who slept in his car outside EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville during his practice-squad stint to save money, is making $329,682 this season. That’s his combined practice squad and 53-man roster salaries. The additional $219,000 would be almost two-thirds of his 2017 season pay.

Players typically receive their entire salary over the course of the 17-week regular season. For example, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan made slightly more than $925,000 per week during the regular season since his base salary was $15.75 million. He will receive $26,000 for Atlanta’s wild-card playoff game, just like backup quarterback Matt Schaub and the rest of his teammates. Schaub didn’t see action in the regular season and won’t in the playoffs barring unforeseen circumstances. Postseason money for wild-card and divisional playoff games is pretty much on par with the weekly pay of a player making the $465,000 first-year player minimum salary ($27,353 per week).

NFL contracts rarely contain performance bonuses, either incentives or salary escalators, for a player’s or his team’s performance in the playoffs. Peyton Manning made back the $4 million pay cut he took in 2015 when the Broncos won Super Bowl 50. There are a couple of bonuses hanging in the balance during this season’s playoffs.

Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin has a chance to receive payment from two different teams in the playoffs, also because of the final category. He will be getting at least $26,000 for being on the Bills. He played eight games with the Panthers before being traded to Buffalo. Tight end Clay Harbor was the only player to collect playoff money from two teams last year. He was briefly with the Super Bowl champion Patriots before joining the Lions, who were eliminated in the wild-card round.

Garoppolo’s potential $163,000 is because of the last category. He was with the Patriots for eight games before the trade. His current 49ers teammates Cassius Marsh and Sheldon Day, both defensive lineman, are in the same situation. Marsh played in nine games while with New England before he was released. Day was with the Jaguars for 10 games before his release. Others in line for full payment under the fourth criteria because of a conference championship or Super Bowl appearance by former teams include free-agent defensive tackles Roy Miller and Jerel Worthy, because of time spent this season respectively with the Chiefs and Bills.

Quantifying the treatment goals of people recently diagnosed with schizophrenia using best–worst scaling – Dove Medical Press

Quantifying the treatment goals of people recently diagnosed with schizophrenia using best–worst scaling
Dove Medical Press
Treatment goals were assessed via a validated best–worst scaling instrument, where participants evaluated subsets of 13 possible treatment goals identified using a balanced incomplete block design. Participants identified the most and least important