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American Psychological Association Survey Shows Money Stress Weighing on Americans’ Health Nationwide

Stress in America™ survey finds parents, younger generations and lower-income households have higher stress than others overall

WASHINGTON, February 4, 2015, While aspects of the U.S. economy have improved, money continues to be a top cause of stress for Americans, according to the new Stress in America™: Paying With Our Health survey released today by the American Psychological Association. According to the survey, parents, younger generations and those living in lower-income households report higher levels of stress than Americans overall, especially when it comes to stress about money.

“Regardless of the economic climate, money and finances have remained the top stressor since our survey began in 2007. Furthermore, this year’s survey shows that stress related to financial issues could have a significant impact on Americans’ health and well-being,” APA CEO and Executive Vice President Norman B. Anderson, PhD, said.

The survey, which was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of APA among 3,068 adults in August 2014, found that 72 percent of Americans reported feeling stressed about money at least some of the time during the past month. Twenty-two percent said that they experienced extreme stress about money during the past month (an 8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale, where 1 is “little or no stress” and 10 is “a great deal of stress”). For the majority of Americans (64 percent), money is a somewhat or very significant source of stress, but especially for parents and younger adults (77 percent of parents, 75 percent of millennials [18 to 35 years old] and 76 percent of Gen Xers [36 to 49 years old]).

A gap also appears to be emerging in stress levels between people living in lower-income (making less than $50,000 per year) and higher-income households that mirrors the growing wealth gap nationwide. In 2007, there was no difference in reported average stress levels between those who earned more and those who earned less than $50,000, with both groups reporting the same average levels of stress (6.2 on a 10-point scale). By 2014, a clear gap had emerged with those living in lower-income households reporting higher overall stress levels than those living in higher-income households (5.2 vs. 4.7 on the 10-point scale).

Stress about money and finances appears to have a significant impact on many Americans’ lives. Some are putting their health care needs on hold because of financial concerns. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans say that they have either considered skipping (9 percent) or skipped (12 percent) going to the doctor when they needed health care because of financial concerns. Stress about money also impacts relationships: Almost a third of adults with partners (31 percent) report that money is a major source of conflict in their relationship.

The report also uncovered good news about stress management. Americans who say they have someone they can ask for emotional support, such as family and friends, report lower stress levels and better related outcomes than those without emotional support. Unfortunately, some Americans say that they do not have anyone to rely on for emotional support. According to the survey, 43 percent of those who say they have no emotional support report that their overall stress has increased in the past year, compared with 26 percent of those who say they have emotional support.

On average, Americans’ stress levels are trending downward: The average reported stress level is 4.9 on a 10-point scale, down from 6.2 in 2007. Regardless of lower stress levels, it appears that Americans are living with stress levels higher than what we believe to be healthy — 3.7 on a 10-point scale — and some (22 percent) say they are not doing enough to manage their stress.

“This year’s survey continues to reinforce the idea that we are living with a level of stress that we consider too high,” Anderson said. “Despite the good news that overall stress levels are down, it appears that the idea of living with stress higher than what we believe to be healthy and dealing with it in ineffective ways continues to be embedded in our culture. All Americans, and particularly those groups that are most affected by stress — which include women, younger adults and those with lower incomes — need to address this issue sooner than later in order to better their health and well-being.”

To read the full Stress in America report or download graphics, visit the webpage.

For additional information on stress, lifestyle and behaviors, visit the APA Help Center webpage and read APA’s Mind/Body Health campaign blog. Join the conversation about stress on Twitter by following @APAHelpCenter and #stressAPA.

Methodology

The Stress in America survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association between Aug. 4 and 29, 2014, among 3,068 adults ages 18 and older who reside in the U.S. Because the sample is based on those who were invited and agreed to participate in the Harris Poll online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. To read the full methodology, including the weighting variables, visit the Stress in America Press Room webpage.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA’s membership includes nearly 130,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives.

 

 

SOURCE:

 

APA

http://www.apa.org

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Experienced financial professional shares reader-friendly guide to economics, finance

 In “The Most Important Lessons in Economics and Finance,” Dr. Anthony M. Criniti IV uncovers the time-tested secrets of wealth management

PHILADELPHIA – In “The Necessity of Finance” he laid a foundation, introducing readers to the characteristics of the economic and financial worlds. Now, after multiple requests, Dr. Anthony M. Criniti IV is back with a follow-up book, “The Most Important Lessons in Economics and Finance” (ISBN 0988459523), uncovering the most significant truths of these two important sciences.

Dr. Criniti knows that reading these principles alone is not enough to master them; after many years of experience in the financial field, he knows that you must incorporate the lessons into your life while making the decision to take control of your own wealth—a process that can take a long time. But this helpful guide provides the best place to start, particularly for advanced level students and professionals who have already read “The Necessity of Finance.”

Through incorporating and summarizing the teachings of some of history’s top contributors to these two sciences, Dr. Criniti draws upon a wealth of experience to pass these lessons on to the next generation of practitioners in the worlds of economics and finance.

“I give these lessons to you from the bottom of my heart, with the best intentions, to reveal the secrets of two of the most important sciences….Mastery may take decades, but choosing not to try to master your own wealth can result in harsh consequences, as noted in my previous work,” says author Dr. Criniti.

The Most Important Lessons in Economics and Finance” is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other channels.

About the Author:

DR. ANTHONY M. CRINITI IV is a former financial consultant and a current professor of finance at several universities. He earned a PhD in applied management and decision sciences, with a concentration in finance. A native of Philadelphia, he has also received many financially related designations, including CHFC, CLU, REBC, and RHU. Dr. Criniti is an active investor and has traveled the world studying various aspects of finance. He is also the author of the acclaimed finance book, The Necessity of Finance. Finally, Dr. Criniti has just released his new book, The Most Important Lessons in Economics and Finance.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Dr. Anthony M. Criniti IV

E-mail               info@learn-about-finance.com

Web:                https://learn-about-finance.com/

REVIEW COPIES AND INTERVIEWS MAY BE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

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Robert Half Global Survey Reports on Financial Services Hiring Environment

Recruiting Difficulties, Retention Concerns Emerge as Common Themes

  • Nearly nine in 10 (89%) financial services executives surveyed globally find it either somewhat or very challenging to find skilled financial services professionals
  • Globally, 83% of institutions are either somewhat or very concerned about losing top performers to other opportunities
  • Demand is strongest for financial services professionals with accounting and finance expertise, operations support experience

TORONTO, April 30, 2013, Already faced with a changing regulatory landscape globally, the financial services sector may have yet another challenge: finding and keeping good employees. In a recent Robert Half study, nearly nine in 10 (89 percent) executives surveyed in seven countries reported recruiting difficulties, and 83 percent said they are concerned about losing top performers to other opportunities.

The survey was developed by Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm, and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on responses from 1,100 financial services executives, including finance directors, chief financial officers and chief operations officers, across seven countries: Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“While some areas within financial services institutions have seen cutbacks, other more profitable product lines are receiving further investment which has resulted in additional hiring,” said Neil Owen , global practice director of financial services recruitment for Robert Half . “This is creating challenges in finding the requisite staff to capitalize on emerging opportunities. Competition for the industry’s top talent continues to intensify for middle-office and support roles, particularly accounting and finance, as well as operations positions.”

Recruiting Challenges

Eighty-nine per cent of executives surveyed said it is very or somewhat difficult to find skilled financial services professionals today. Talent shortages are especially acute in Hong Kong, where 95% of respondents cited difficulties. Even in France, which had the lowest level of difficulty, 82% of executives reported recruiting challenges.

When asked how challenging it is to find skilled financial   services professionals

Very
challenging
Somewhat
challenging
Net
challenging
All countries 33% 56% 89%
Hong Kong 38% 57% 95%
Singapore 49% 45% 93%
Germany 36% 55% 91%
UK 29% 62% 91%
Canada 28% 62% 90%
US 30% 54% 84%
France 15% 67% 82%

Added Owen, “Institutions around the world need staff who can manage fundamental business needs, drive profitability and ensure compliance mandates are met. Building a team with these skills has become increasingly difficult as firms face situations in which the demand for skilled professionals often outweighs the supply”.

Employers’ Retention Worries

With the hiring environment improving for financial services professionals who can fill roles in areas such as accounting and finance, operations support, revenue generation, and risk and compliance, employers around the globe are worried about losing their best and brightest to other opportunities. Eighty-three percent of financial services executives are at least somewhat concerned about their ability to hang on to top performers this year, the survey found.

The greatest worries appear to be in Hong Kong and Singapore, where 93% and 92% of respondents, respectively, cited concerns about losing good employees. In the seven countries surveyed, at least 76% of respondents expressed some level of concern.

When asked how   concerned they are about losing top performers
Very
concerned
Somewhat
concerned
Net
concerned
All countries 31% 52% 83%
Hong Kong 40% 53% 93%
Singapore 50% 42% 92%
Germany 21% 66% 87%
Canada 22% 62% 84%
UK 24% 59% 83%
US 29% 48% 77%
France 21% 55% 76%

“A combination of factors, including heightened demand for skilled specialists in financial services, the growing need for regulatory expertise and operational changes taking place in the sector, may exacerbate current retention challenges,” Owen said. “Employers will need to focus on competitive compensation, progressive perks and rewarding career paths to keep their best people.”

About Robert Half
Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company has more than 350 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at www.roberthalf.ca. Follow Robert Half on Twitter at twitter.com/RobertHalf_CAN, and gain insights on the latest financial hiring and salary trends at www.roberthalf.ca/salarycentre.

SOURCE:

Robert Half Canada

 

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Maverick new book details complexities of finance

Professor Anthony M. Criniti IV offers a fresh look at the science of wealth management in “The Necessity of Finance”

PHILADELPHIA – In “The Necessity of Finance” (ISBN 0988459507), Dr. Anthony M. Criniti IV breaks down the complex details of the financial world into easy-to-digest terms any layman can understand and even master. Finance is a completely separate field from economics and as such, Dr. Criniti sets out to explain real-world topics that investors and “financialists” need to inculcate into their ideological portfolio.

Global wealth accumulation is at its highest levels ever. There are more billionaires and oligarchs living today than at any other time in human history. Yet as the American and global financial system has come under critical scrutiny in recent years, consumers and ordinary citizens are seeking answers about the world of finance. Why is money important? Is it merely ink and paper or digits on a computer screen. Why does finance matter? How might we come to understand its many intricacies which act as a multi-dimensional jigsaw puzzle? The answers will both interest and surprise readers.

“Most of the major theories developed in finance were created by economists, physicists, mathematicians, etc. Finance, although highly interrelated with many other subjects, is a separate field of study that is often confused with others,” says Dr. Criniti. “With world wealth accumulating to its highest point in history, the necessity to understand this subject is more crucial than ever.”

Readers will learn what the difference between money and wealth is and will find answers to many of life’s financial questions. What is risk and return? What kinds of investments exist? What are the different techniques for selecting investments? And what role does ethics play in finance? The author has created a true page-turner able to clarify the definition, purpose and goals of both finance and economics while exploring financial concepts in a straightforward manner.

The Necessity of Finance” is available for sale online at Amazon.com.

About the Author:

Dr. Anthony M. Criniti IV is a former financial consultant and a current professor of finance at several universities.  He earned a PhD in applied management and decision sciences, with a concentration in finance. A native of Philadelphia, he has also received many financially related designations, including CHFC, CLU, REBC, and RHU. Dr. Criniti is an active investor and has traveled the world studying various aspects of finance. He is also the author of the acclaimed finance book, The Necessity of Finance and the newly released The Most Important Lessons in Economics and Finance.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Dr. Anthony M. Criniti IV

E-mail:                                 info@learn-about-finance.com

Web:                                    https://learn-about-finance.com/

REVIEW COPIES AND INTERVIEWS ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

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118 Experts Predict Annual Home Value Growth To Exceed Pre-Bubble Rates Over Next Five Years

Survey Benchmark Changes; Path of U.S. Zillow Home Value Index Predicted to Show Cumulative 22 Percent Increase Through 2017

SEATTLE, March 18, 2013, A nationwide panel of more than 100 professional forecasters expects home values to end 2013 up an average of 4.6 percent and rise cumulatively by 22 percent, on average, over the next five years, according to the first quarter Zillow® Home Price Expectations Survey. Additionally, a majority of panelists indicated support for policies that would allow certain underwater homeowners to refinance at today’s low rates.

The survey of 118 economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists was sponsored by leading real estate information marketplace Zillow, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z) and conducted by Pulsenomics LLC. This is the first survey edition that utilized the U.S. Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI)[i] as the reference benchmark for the panel’s home price expectations[ii].

Survey respondents predicted home values will rise another 4.2 percent on average in 2014, before moderating somewhat to annual appreciation rates between 3.6 percent and 3.8 percent for 2015, 2016 and 2017. On average, panelists predicted home values to rise 4.1 percent annually from 2013 through 2017, exceeding the pre-housing bubble (1987-1999) average annual appreciation rate of 3.6 percent. This is the first time the predicted average annual growth rate for the next five years has surpassed pre-bubble levels since the survey’s inception three years ago.

“The panel is quite bullish on home prices near-term, considering a pre-bubble average appreciation rate of 3.6 percent per year,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. “That said, their expectations are a bit shy of the home value gains of 5.5 percent that we saw in 2012, implying some moderation in the pace of gains. The panel expectations are consistent with continued strong home value growth this year fueled by tighter-than-normal inventory of for-sale homes and robust demand attributable to high affordability and a stronger general economy.”

The most optimistic quartile[iii] of panelists predicted a 6.1 percent increase in home values in 2013, on average, while the most pessimistic[iv] predicted an average increase of 3 percent. Through 2017, panelists predicted cumulative home value changes of 22 percent, on average. Expectations for cumulative home value change projections ranged from 34.2 percent among the most optimistic quartile to 11.7 percent among the most pessimistic, on average.

GSE Wind-Down Period and Refinance Options For Underwater Borrowers

The first quarter 2013 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey asked the panel to indicate their view of a reasonable timeframe for “winding-down” government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; and to weigh in on the debate over the merits of providing new refinancing options to underwater homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments.

The majority of panelists (59 percent) indicated that a reasonable and appropriate timeframe for winding-down the GSEs is within the next five years. On the opposite ends of the spectrum, 13 percent suggested a timeframe within the next two years, and 10 percent said they believe a period of more than 10 years is sensible.

Existing proposals that would facilitate refinancing of certain underwater borrowers include the Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act of 2012, sponsored by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), and the Rebuilding Equity Act sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). The majority of respondents said they supported these types of policy initiatives.

“More than four of every five supporters of these refinancing proposals said they believe that borrowers who have demonstrated an ability to make their payments in recent years would pose little or no incremental risk to taxpayers if they refinanced. Two-thirds of supporters said they believe that the lower monthly payments would create a significant stimulus for the economy,” said Terry Loebs , founder of Pulsenomics LLC. “But the 41 percent of panel respondents who do not support these plans also hold strong views. More than two-thirds of them said they believe that rewriting loan contracts is bad policy in general, and that lowered monthly payments for borrowers ultimately translate into taxpayer and investor losses.”

Additional details regarding this portion of the survey are available at www.pulsenomics.com.

This is the 17th edition of the Home Price Expectations Survey. It was conducted from Feb. 22, 2013 through March 7, 2013 by Pulsenomics LLC on behalf of Zillow, Inc.

For full survey results and graphics, please visit Zillow Real Estate Research or www.pulsenomics.com.

About Zillow:
Zillow, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z) operates the largest home-related marketplaces on mobile and the Web, with a complementary portfolio of brands and products that help people find vital information about homes, and connect with the best local professionals. In addition, Zillow operates an industry-leading economics and analytics bureau led by Zillow’s Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. Dr. Humphries and his team of economists and data analysts produce extensive housing data and research covering more than 350 markets at Zillow Real Estate Research. Zillow also sponsors the quarterly Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey, which asks more than 100 leading economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists to predict the path of the Zillow Home Value Index over the next five years. The Zillow, Inc. portfolio includes Zillow.com®, Zillow Mobile, Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, Zillow Rentals, Zillow Digs™, Postlets®, Diverse Solutions®, Buyfolio™, Mortech™ and HotPads™. The company is headquartered in Seattle.

Zillow.com, Zillow, Zestimate, Postlets and Diverse Solutions are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc. Buyfolio, Mortech, HotPads and Digs are trademarks of Zillow, Inc.

About Pulsenomics:
Pulsenomics LLC is an independent research and consulting firm that specializes in data analytics, new product and index development for institutional clients in the financial and real estate arenas. Pulsenomics also designs and manages expert surveys and consumer polls to identify trends and expectations that are relevant to effective business management and monitoring economic health.

[i] The Zillow Home Value Index is the median Zestimate® valuation for a given geographic area on a given day and includes the value of all single-family residences, condominiums and cooperatives, regardless of whether they sold within a given period. It is expressed in dollars, and seasonally adjusted.
[ii] Previously, the survey benchmark was the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index (single-family properties, not seasonally-adjusted). For a summary comparison of the survey benchmarks prepared by Pulsenomics, please click here.
[iii] Based on the 25 percent most optimistic panelists in terms of cumulative home price change through 2017.
[iv] Based on the 25 percent most pessimistic panelists in terms of cumulative home price change through 2017.

SOURCE:

Zillow, Inc.

 

 

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J.D. Power and LMC Automotive Report: Strong New-Vehicle Sales in February Drives Robust Selling Rate

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Feb. 22, 2013, The new-vehicle retail selling rate in February remains above 12 million units—stronger than it was a year ago—as the auto industry recovery continues, according to a monthly sales forecast developed by J.D. Power and Associates’ Power Information Network® (PIN) and LMC Automotive.

Retail Light-Vehicle Sales
February new-vehicle retail sales are expected to come in at 931,100 vehicles, which represents a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 12.1 million units, a decline from the robust 13.1 million SAAR in January, but stronger than the 11.7 million SAAR in February 2012. Retail transactions are the most accurate measurement of true underlying consumer demand for new vehicles.

“All signs of the industry’s health are positive right now,” said John Humphrey , senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “Average transaction prices are up, incentives are stable, leasing is at a healthy level and newly redesigned models continue to make an impact on the marketplace.”

“Demand is increasing, but the automakers deserve credit for doing a much better job of keeping alignment of production and demand.” said Humphrey. “This has led to new-vehicle transaction prices that are averaging nearly $1,000 more in February than the same period in 2012 while incentives have remained relatively flat year over year.”

Total Light-Vehicle Sales
Total light-vehicle sales in February 2013 are projected to reach 1,176,200 units, a seven percent increase from February 2012 and the fourth consecutive month with the selling rate at or above 15.2 million units. Fleet share is expected to remain at the January level of 21 percent.

J.D. Power and LMC Automotive U.S. Sales and SAAR Comparisons

February 20131

January 2013

February 2012

New-Vehicle Retail Sales

931,100 units2

(9% higher than February 2012)

822,018 units

887,924 units

Total Vehicle Sales

1,176,200 units

(7% higher than February 2012)

1,041,982 units

1,147,761 units

Retail SAAR

12.1 million units

13.1 million units

11.7 million units

Total SAAR

15.2 million units

15.2 million units

14.4 million units

1Figures cited for February 2013 are forecasted based on the first 14 selling days of the month.
2The percentage change is adjusted based on the number of selling days in the month (24 days in February 2013 vs. 25 days in February 2012).

Sales Outlook
The outlook for 2013 continues to improve, as the selling pace remains robust. In fact, LMC Automotive is increasing its 2013 U.S. forecast for total light-vehicle sales to 15.3 million units from 15.1 million units. The increase is split between fleet and retail light-vehicle sales, with the outlook for retail increasing to 12.5 million units from 12.4 million units.

“The current fundamentals that are driving strong vehicle sales—pent-up vehicle demand and a stable, recovering economy—are expected to get a boost by additional positive factors this year,” said Jeff Schuster , senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive. “An expected recovery in the housing market, and 50 percent more new-model launches combined with an increase in lease maturities should keep light-vehicle sales climbing throughout the year.”

North American Production
North American light-vehicle production in January 2013 finished at more than 1.3 million units, seven percent higher than in January 2012. Production in Mexico has increased by nearly 21 percent from January 2012 on higher General Motors, Ford, and Volkswagen volumes related to newer launches. U.S. vehicle production has grown by nine percent from January 2012, while Canadian production has declined by 13 percent during the same period.

Vehicle inventory levels in early February increase to a 74-day supply, compared with 59 days in January. A higher level is typical in February. However, at the current selling rate, inventory levels are expected to rebalance within the next month or two. Overall, there are nearly 3.1 million units currently available on dealer lots or in transit—an increase of approximately 600,000 units from February 2012.

LMC Automotive’s forecast for North American production remains at 15.9 million units for this year, a three percent increase from 2012.

“The current inventory situation and production plan for 2013 suggests that there is enough volume to support the expected increased level of demand, and there remains little risk for an overbuild environment,” said Schuster.

About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company providing forecasting, performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies
The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), a financial intelligence and education company, signed an agreement to sell its McGraw-Hill Education business to investment funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, LLC in November 2012. Following the sale closing, expected in early 2013, the Company will be renamed McGraw Hill Financial (subject to shareholder approval) and will be a powerhouse in benchmarks, content and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. The Company’s leading brands will include: Standard & Poor’s, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, Crisil, J.D. Power and Associates, McGraw-Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company will have approximately 17,000 employees in more than 30 countries. Additional information is available at www.mcgraw-hill.com.

About LMC Automotive
LMC Automotive, formerly J.D. Power Automotive Forecasting, is the premier supplier of automotive forecasts and intelligence to an extensive client base of automotive manufacturer, component supplier, logistics and distribution companies, as well as financial and government institutions around the world. LMC’s global forecasting services encompass automotive sales, production and powertrain expertise, as well as advisory capability. LMC Automotive has offices in the United States, the UK, Germany, China and Thailand and is part of the Oxford, UK-based LMC group, the global leader in economic and business consultancy for the agribusiness sector. For more information please visit www.lmc-auto.com.

Media Relations Contacts
John Tews ; Troy, Mich.; (248) 680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com
Emmie Littlejohn ; LMC Automotive; Troy, Mich.; (248) 817-2100; elittlejohn@lmc-auto.com

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates or LMC Automotive. www.jdpower.com/corporate www.lmc-auto.com

SOURCE: J.D. Power and Associates

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Moving Forward: Payers Weigh in on Priorities for 2013 and Beyond

The Managed Care Executive Group and HTMS survey demonstrates that health plans are optimistic and believe opportunities exist in post-reform era

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 15, 2013, The Managed Care Executive Group (MCEG) and HTMS, an Emdeon company, today jointly issued their fourth annual report examining critical issues, priorities and challenges for regional health plans in the post-reform era. The report, titled “Moving Forward: Payers Weigh in on Priorities for 2013 and Beyond,” is based on a survey of 75 health plans.

A highlight of this year’s findings was the health plans’ general optimism despite recent industry challenges. According to the survey, 82 percent of payers saw opportunities for their companies related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“A common public perception is that health plans oppose reform,” said Ferris Taylor, strategy and planning director for MCEG and president of Armored Online. “Our findings show that sentiment is not the case. Only 13 percent of the health plans surveyed believe the ACA to be wholly negative for their business. Rather, organizations see opportunity for growth as the market changes.”

Full survey results will be shared during a webinar to be held at 3 pm ET on February 19, 2013. MCEG and HTMS executives will present results regarding how payers are handling operational issues, such as the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR), and challenges presented by the ACA, including participation in state health insurance exchanges (HIX). To register for the online event, visit http://www.htms.com/industrypulse.php.

Overwhelmingly, health plan respondents listed cost containment as their number one priority for 2013. Other continuing trends, such as participation in HIXs, accountable care and health information exchanges, appear to be stronger industry forces. In contrast to the 2012 report, administrative mandates were not a key focus for health plan respondents in the 2013 survey, likely due to the recent ICD-10 implementation deadline extension to October 1, 2014, and the transition to HIPAA 5010 that occurred last year.

Not surprisingly, growth also remained a key payer focus. “Health plans responding to the 2013 survey unanimously listed member retention and growth as their top operational objectives,” said Nancy Wise , vice president of strategic consulting for HTMS. “We believe that current industry drivers, including accountable care and the state HIXs, present opportunities for payers to expand their member base.”

To download a copy of “Moving Forward: Payers Weigh in on Priorities for 2013 and Beyond,” or to view previous research reports, visit http://www.htms.com/industrypulse.php.

About The Managed Care Executive Group

The Managed Care Executive Group (MCEG) is a national organization that provides a forum for the open exchange of information, innovative ideas and experience among senior health plan leaders. MCEG was formed in 1988 to create a comfortable forum for the exchange of ideas, the development of valuable peer relationships and the opportunity to explore the innovation that will transform organizations and the industry. Its 24th Annual Forum begins March 10, 2013. Register at www.mceg.net.

About Emdeon

Emdeon is a leading provider of revenue and payment cycle management and clinical information exchange solutions, connecting payers, providers and patients in the U.S. healthcare system. Emdeon’s product and service offerings integrate and automate key business and administrative functions of its payer and provider customers throughout the patient encounter. Through the use of Emdeon’s comprehensive suite of products and services, which are designed to easily integrate with existing technology infrastructures, customers are able to improve efficiency, reduce costs, increase cash flow and more efficiently manage the complex revenue and payment cycle and clinical information exchange processes. For more information, visit www.emdeon.com.

SOURCE: Emdeon Inc.

 

 

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