(End) Allen J Hinkle, MD, who has developed acclaimed medical quality and cost management programs for several of the region’s largest and most respected health plans, has joined Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont as it Chief Medical Director. Dr. Hinkle has responsibility for the Plan’s Medical Services Division, and will lead its overall medical cost management programs.“Allen is recognized across the industry as an innovator in helping health plans and employer groups manage their medical costs and improve the overall quality of health care,” said Don George, BCBSVT’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are delighted that he has agreed to bring his experience and his leadership skills to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont.”Dr. Hinkle, who is a board certified pediatric anesthesiologist, most recently served as senior vice president and chief medical officer at Tufts Health Plan, a Massachusetts-based managed care company. He redesigned Tufts’ medical management strategies, achieved significant medical cost reductions and led major improvements in the quality performance of the plan.Prior to joining Tufts in 2004, he served as vice president of health care quality and innovation for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts (2001-2004), and as chief medical officer and senior vice president at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Hampshire (1995-2000). Using clinical data to identify and address practice pattern variations and working with providers to implement “best practices” processes, he achieved significant cost reductions and quality improvements at each plan.“As a small, locally based health plan, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont has the opportunity to build on the well integrated medical cost management programs that it has in place and work closely with the state’s health care providers to achieve even better results for its customers and members,” Dr. Hinkle said.“It also is engaged in a pioneering partnership with Vermont state government to expand the BluePrint for Health program and improve the way health care is delivered to people with chronic conditions. This is an exciting time for the state and for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont, and I’m thrilled to be part of the team here.”Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is the state’s oldest and largest health insurer, providing coverage for about 160,000 Vermonters. It employs over 350 Vermonters at its headquarters in Berlin and branch office in Williston, and offers group and individual health plans. More information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is available on the Internet at www.bcbsvt.com(link is external). Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent corporation operating under a license with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.Source: BCBSVT. 5.6.2010
The Colombian armed conflict, in which other guerrillas, paramilitary groups, and drug trafficking organizations have also taken part, has resulted in over 3.7 million people displaced, 600,000 deaths and 15,000 missing persons over nearly 50 years. Two wounded guerrillas were captured and taken to hospitals, where they are receiving medical treatment. Also, the military operation resulted in the seizure of “three rifles, two pistols and an undetermined number of ammunition,” he added. Four guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were killed, and two others were injured on April 30 during a bombing conducted by Colombian authorities over the jungle of Caquetá department, southwest Colombia, the Army informed. On the morning of April 30, the Colombian Air Force bombed a camp of FARC’s “Teófilo Forero” column, located in a rural area in San Vicente del Caguán municipality, General Germán Giraldo, commander of the Army’s 6th Division, stated. The FARC, the main guerrilla group in the country, are holding a peace negotiation process the government of Juan Manuel Santos in Cuba, since the end of 2012, without agreeing on a bilateral ceasefire. By Dialogo May 02, 2013
After a decade-long battle the UK pension fund of bankrupt Canadian telecoms company Nortel Networks is to exit the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) due to a £550m (€628m) windfall from the group’s liquidation.The payment will bring the total recoveries for the scheme to £1.2bn, according to the Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan’s trustee board.The trustees said today they would seek a full insurance buyout of the fund to ensure members received benefits higher than they would have received had the scheme entered the PPF, the UK’s lifeboat fund for defined benefit schemes.Members would be offered the opportunity to transfer out of the scheme – which is not possible in the PPF – or to take a “pension increase exchange”, which involves individuals sacrificing future inflation-linked uplifts in exchange for a higher nominal annual benefit. “Preliminary discussions have been held with a number of insurance companies to obtain indicative quotations which will be firmed up as members make their decisions re options,” the trustees said. “The [board] expects to choose an insurance company late summer 2018.”The scheme has been in the PPF’s assessment period since Nortel went bust in 2009. Since then the trustees and the PPF have worked to secure cash and assets from the liquidators of Nortel in the US and Canada.In 2016 a landmark legal ruling put the company’s pension funds on a par with bondholders. The UK scheme was Nortel’s biggest single creditor.“The opening and middle game period have come to an end after nine long years and we have reached the beginning of the end.”David Davies, chair, Nortel Networks UK Pension PlanJonathon Land, head of PwC’s pensions credit advisory practice and an adviser to Nortel’s UK pension trustees, said the ruling was a “turning point in the scheme’s fortunes”.“The trustees should be very proud of their achievements and this excellent result,” Land added. “They could easily have stepped back when the group entered insolvency, but instead were determined to have an equivalent seat at the table to other stakeholders and secure a better outcome for the schemes’ members.“It is particularly pleasing that the many years of hard work will enable extra money to be placed into the pockets of pensioners, who helped to generate Nortel’s assets.”David Davies, chair of the trustee board, said: “In chess parlance, the opening and middle game period have come to an end after nine long years and we are now in the end game – we have reached the beginning of the end.”The scheme said it expected to exit the PPF’s assessment process formally in October.A spokesperson for the PPF said: “We have been closely working with the trustees and other parties since 2009 to reach an outcome that was in the best interests of scheme members and our levy payers. During this time Nortel pension scheme members have had the reassurance that they have been protected by the safety net of the PPF.“We are pleased that a settlement was agreed that provided sufficient recoveries to offer members benefits above PPF compensation levels and ensure no claim on the PPF.”The Nortel UK scheme had a buyout deficit of more than £2bn at the time of the insolvency, and catered for 40,000 members. The trustee board pursued litigation in Canada, the US, France and the UK to secure recoveries from the so-called “lockbox” of Nortel assets, worth an estimated $7bn.
Go back to the e-newsletter >Santa Barbara has a lot in store for culinary explorers during epicure.sb, a month-long celebration of the South Coast’s culture, cuisine and libations taking place now through 31 October.Last week, in the “Quickfire Cooking Challenge with Cat Cora” — a signature epicure.sb event — three contestants waged culinary battle at Santa Barbara Public Market. Blogger Marla Meridith won the competition, judged by celebrity chef Cat Cora and TravelZoo senior editor Gabe Saglie, with her tasty red curry.The foodie festivities continue with exclusive taste experiences, events and promotions at Santa Barbara-area restaurants, tasting rooms, attractions and hotels inspired by the seventh annual epicure.sb theme, “the perfect pairing.” With close to 60 businesses participating this year, visitors can enjoy a different epicure.sb experience every day through the end of October.Still to come are some of the region’s most popular epicurean festivals, including the Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival (17 October) and the Santa Barbara Beer Festival (17 October). Others not to be missed include:Culinary Adventures:Bike and Beer Tour (daily in October, USD$159): Santa Barbara Adventure Co. offers up the perfect pairing for beer lovers who like to stay active – a bike and beer tour.“Everything Blueberry” Tasting (daily in October, USD$10 to USD$20): Fresh farm-picked blueberries, blueberry jam and syrup, blueberry port wine and blueberry sorbet at Cebada Wines.Tamales and Tequila Tasting: “Secrets of a Tamale Chef” (25 October, USD$30): In this special class held downtown, Chef-Owner Richard Lambert of Santa Barbara Tamales To-Go teaches the techniques he uses to make his award-winning tamales and salsas. Attendees will be served three samples, each paired with a variety of Tequila Alquimia, a cognac-like sipping tequila.Go back to the e-newsletter >