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Marie
Name: marie
Email: marie@newwavemktg.com
Site: http://www.newwavemktg.com/
Biography: An experienced writer with an eye for marketing, Marie provides specialized content on a variety of subjects.
Marie
 
Posted By Marie
December 12, 2012

Food safety lab Northland LaboratoriesDecember 11, 2012 (Northbrook, IL) – Food safety laboratory Northland Laboratories is proud to report outstanding results on their annual customer satisfaction survey, which offers insight into their customers’ experience with the lab.  The survey was taken by clients at their locations in Northbrook, IL and Green Bay, WI.

Northland Laboratories is an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited food testing facility that offers an extensive variety of testing services for the food industry.  Their testing programs include food safety / microbiology testing and consulting, nutrition labeling, food chemistry analysis, and shelf life and challenge studies, and sensory research.  Northland also offers food sensory analysis to evaluate a product’s market potential through its Northland Sensory Insights division.

Northland takes a customer-centered approach that’s strongly focused on providing excellent service and building long-term relationships with their clients.  This allows them to provide testing options that meet their clients’ needs and provide them with a consistently positive experience.  The survey results strongly reflect the success of their approach – 91% of the 150 respondents ranked the trust of their relationship with Northland as either “above average” or “well above average.”  96% rated their overall level of satisfaction with Northland as “satisfied” or “highly satisfied,” and 97% also claimed that they were either “likely” or “very likely” to recommend Northland to a friend or colleague.

Also highly ranked were Northland’s quality of work and test results (ranked “above average” or “well above average” by 89%).

“The exemplary results of our annual survey point out the level of dedication and commitment Northland Laboratories provides towards servicing its clients,” says D.J. Alwattar, President of Northland Laboratories.  Customer comments on the survey also reflected the success of their client-centered approach.  “The longer business hours have been a huge benefit to us,” writes one respondent.  “Keep up the great service and work,” comments another customer.  “Really enjoyed working with this team.  [It] made my job easy.”

About Northland Laboratories
A leading testing facility for the food industry, Northland Laboratories (http://www.northlandlabs.com/) offers high-quality microbiology and chemistry testing with a strong customer service outlook.  By offering accurate results with fast turnaround and treating each client with discretion, Northland is able to build long-term relationships with their clients.  Their company values and commitment to providing quality services to their clients earns them consistently positive reviews.

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Marie
 
Posted By Marie
November 19, 2012

Center for Human Reproduction - IVFNovember 19, 2012 (New York, NY) – There is no evidence that recent technical improvements in preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) improve IVF pregnancy chances, according to a paper just published online in the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics1. The review, by two fertility specialists from New York’s Center for Human Reproduction (CHR), raises important questions, as this “new” PGS is actively marketed to patients as “proven” and “established” to increase IVF success rates.

In the late ‘90s, PGS was widely utilized in IVF in attempts to improve pregnancy chances. The assumption was it could eliminate genetically abnormal embryos before implantation, thereby raising implantation and pregnancy rates, and reducing miscarriage rates. For a number of years, thousands of women worldwide underwent PGS under this premise, until a number of investigators, including the authors of this new report, demonstrated that, in practice, PGS actually reduced IVF pregnancy rates, at least in older women. By 2008, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and other authoritative bodies declared PGS ineffective in improving IVF outcomes.

In recent years, a number of important technical improvements were introduced to PGS, which, unquestionably, improved the accuracy of determining chromosomal abnormalities in embryos prior to transfer. Under the assumption that these improvements would finally confirm the widely held opinion that PGS will improve IVF pregnancy rates, a “new” form of PGS is now, once again, aggressively marketed by commercial interests.

After a thorough review of published studies and ongoing registered clinical trials, the paper concludes that there is no evidence that this reintroduction of PGS to IVF improves pregnancy rates. “As we already pointed out in 2008, evidence suggests that the real reason why PGS was ineffective in its first introduction and, likely, remains ineffective in its current reincarnation, is the wrong patient selection, and not the techniques utilized,” explains Norbert Gleicher, MD, Medical Director and Chief Scientist of CHR. “Until we better identify appropriate patient populations for PGS, new techniques are unlikely to benefit patients and, as previously, may actually reduce IVF pregnancy chances.”

“These new techniques, indeed, further complicate considerations about patient selection,” adds David H Barad, MD, Director of Clinical ART and Senior Scientist at CHR. “With the “new” PGS, embryos have to remain in culture for 5-6 days after fertilization, which many embryos of lesser quality do not survive. Some of these embryos would still lead to pregnancy if transferred on day-3, as in routine IVF cycles.” He continues: “Reported higher pregnancy rates with the ‘new’ PGS are misleading because they exclude patients who started IVF cycles but never made it to embryo transfer.”

The paper concludes that the “new” PGS still has to be considered “experimental” and patients should be advised accordingly. “Patients should be aware that PGS is not in any way proven to better pregnancy chances, and may actually do the opposite in some patients,” warns Dr. Gleicher.

1Gleicher N and Barad DH. A review of, and commentary on, the ongoing second clinical introduction of preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) to routine IVF practice. J Assist Reprod Genet 2012; epub ahead of print. (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10815-012-9871-2/fulltext.html)

 

About Center for Human Reproduction
The Center for Human Reproduction (CHR
, https://www.centerforhumanreprod.com/), located in New York City, is a leading clinical fertility and research centers in the world, having contributed many important innovations to the treatment of infertility. As “fertility center of last resort,” CHR routinely treats women from all over the world, with during 2011 over half coming from outside the New York tri-state area, approximately a quarter from overseas. Dr. Gleicher and Dr. Barad are available for further comments.

Contact:
Communications Manager
Center for Human Reproduction
212-994-4400 x.4491

 

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Marie
 
Posted By Marie
November 15, 2012

Center for Human ReproductionNovember 15, 2012 (New York, NY) – Direct perfusion of the endometrial cavity with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) improves the thickness of the endometrial lining in IVF patients with too thin endometrium even after treatments, according to a new study just published online in the medical journal Human Reproduction(1).

In the study, 21 women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles at the Center for Human Reproduction (CHR) in New York City successfully expanded their initially inadequate endometrium after uterine perfusion with G-CSF. Specifically, in the 5 days between G-CSF perfusions and embryo transfers, patients increased their endometrial thickness from 6.4 ± 1.4 mm to 9.3 ± 2.1 mm. The result offers confirmatory evidence to an earlier, smaller report by the same research group on the positive effects of G-CSF on IVF patients with treatment-resistant, thin endometrium.

In natural menstrual cycles, endometrium develops on its own in preparation for embryo implantation. In IVF cycles, endometrium of at least 7 mm at the time of embryo transfer is considered necessary to achieve superior pregnancy rates. When endometrium is too thin and does not respond to conventional treatments, embryo transfer is often cancelled and embryos are frozen for transfer in a later cycle.

“Treatment-resistant thin endometrium is a fortunately rare, but frustrating, problem in IVF,” explains Norbert Gleicher, MD, Medical Director and Chief Scientist of CHR, the lead author of the study. “Affected patients, until now, at minimum, faced treatment delays and, not infrequently, if their endometrium could not be improved even in subsequent cycles, had no choice but to use a gestational carrier (surrogate).”

David H Barad, MD, MS, Director of Clinical ART and Senior Scientist at CHR, and another senior author of the study, adds: “This is why when in 2011 we reported our initial four cases in the literature, patients and colleagues took notice. One can still transfer embryos into the uterus with endometrial thickness under 7mm, but pregnancy chances will be very low. G-CSF perfusions really offer affected patients the opportunity to drastically improve IVF pregnancy chances.”

1Gleicher N et al. A pilot cohort study of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor in the treatment of unresponsive thin endometrium resistant to standard therapies. Hum Reprod 2012; (http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/10/17/humrep.des370.abstract)

 

About Center for Human Reproduction (CHR)
Located in New York City, CHR (
http://www.centerforhumanreprod.com/) is a leading clinical fertility and research center in the world, having contributed many important innovations to the treatment of infertility. As “fertility center of last resort,” CHR treats patients worldwide, with, during 2011, over half coming from outside the New York tri-state area, approximately a quarter from overseas. Drs. Gleicher and Barad are available for further comments.

 

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Catergories : Health Care, Infertility, OB/GYN, Womens Health tags : ,
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Marie
 
Posted By Marie
October 24, 2012

New evidence about the FMR1 gene and ovarian agingOctober 23, 2012 (New York, NY) – A new study presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) in San Diego, CA, offers further evidence that the fragile X mental retardation 1 gene (FMR1 gene) may play an important role in controlling  women’s fertility life cycles.

The study, conducted by researchers from the Center for Human Reproduction (CHR), a leading fertility center in New York City, and the Medical University of Vienna in Austria, compared the age of menarche (start of menstruation) and the number of CGG tri-nucleotide repeats on the FMR1 gene. Among the 222 women studied, a significant relationship was identified between the age of menarche and CGG counts. Specifically, women with at least one FMR1 allele with CGG counts higher than 34 were more likely to reach menarche after age 13 compared to women with CGG counts on both FMR1 alleles below 34.

The FMR1 gene has long been associated with neuro-psychiatric conditions, but only in recent years it has been shown to have controlling effects on women’s ovarian function. While for neuro-psychiatric risks, the FMR1 gene is considered normal up to CGG repeats of 55, the CHR investigators defined CGG counts between 26 and 34 as normal (norm) in regards to ovarian function, with CGG counts higher than 34 being defined as high and those lower than 26 as low. In a number of prior publications, the same group demonstrated genotypes and sub-genotypes of the FMR1 gene to be statistically associated with different ovarian aging patterns and IVF pregnancy rates.

“This study revealed that women with at least one high FMR1 allele tend to start their reproductive life later than women with low or norm alleles,” explains Norbert Gleicher, MD, Medical Director and Chief Scientists of CHR. “The finding further strengthens our hypothesis that the FMR1 gene has a significant influence on how a woman’s ovaries reach maturity, and then decline with age, defining her reproductive life cycle over her lifetime.”

Further studies are needed to better define how to predict a woman’s reproductive potential as she moves through life, based on FMR1 genotypes and sub-genotypes. Currently, prediction of female reproductive potential is difficult, and often impossible. Utilization of FMR1 genotypes and sub-genotypes may potentially open up new opportunities.

About Center for Human Reproduction
The Center for Human Reproduction (CHR, http://www.centerforhumanreprod.com/), located in New York City, is one of the world’s leading fertility centers. Because of its worldwide reputation as “fertility center of last resort,” CHR has a worldwide patient following among women with DOR, whether due to advanced age, or due to premature ovarian aging (POA). Dr. Gleicher is available for further comments.

Contact:
Communications Manager
Center for Human Reproduction
212-994-4400 x.4491

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Marie
 
Posted By Marie
October 2, 2012

Though the lack of a free universal healthcare system in the United States is a cause for criticism for some, for others it’s a fair and justifiable way to save hardworking American taxpayers from being indirectly strapped with other peoples’ medical debt.  Opponents of universal healthcare often argue that there IS a way to receive free care with a guarantee not to be turned away: visiting a hospital emergency room.Emergency roomas and healthcare debt

While there’s a high degree of truth the widely-held idea that a person cannot legally be denied care at an emergency room facility, there’s also a high degree of misinterpretation.  There are a number of factors at play in determining whether a person can receive care at an emergency department without being able to pay – and the fact that they were unable to pay does not mean that they’re not going to wind up dealing with healthcare debt collection.


What is really means to be “guaranteed” emergency care

Yes, it’s true that legally – in certain situations – a person cannot be turned away from an emergency room because of an inability to pay.  However, there are restrictions on what conditions can be treated by an ER doctor as well as which conditions are allowed to be turned away due to the patient’s lack of financial resources.  Conditions that cannot be turned away include only

  1. Acute medical conditions that would cause death, serious harm, or serious organ damage if not treated immediately.
  2. Labor in pregnant women.

For example, a person with a severe bowel-obstructing colonic tumor can’t be turned away to have the tumor removed as an emergency procedure after it has become a life-threatening problem.  However, the care necessary to cure their cancer would never be covered – and by the time the tumor is at this serious a stage, the patient is not likely to survive cancer treatment anyway.

Someone IS paying – even if it’s not the patient

The healthcare provided for patients with emergency conditions DOES cost something, and hospitals need to rely on medical collections in order to keep financing patient care.  According to a study by the American Hospital Association, hospitals in the United States lost over forty billion dollars in 2012 due to unpaid patient medical debt.  Hospitals, just like any other company or organization, need financing to run – and since United States taxes don’t cover their expenses (the way taxes and government money fund hospitals in countries with universal healthcare systems), they need to get money from patients in order to run.  A law covering emergency care doesn’t erase hospital debt or offer security for patients; it simply transfers debt.

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Marie
 
Posted By Marie
September 17, 2012

Electronic medical record systems provider Cyramedx parters with HSTSeptember 17, 2012 (Miami, FL) – Electronic health record systems provider Mountain Medical Technologies, Inc. – developer of CyramedX™, one of the country’s leading ASC EHR systems – is announcing a new partnership with practice management software company HST.  By integrating CyramedX™ EHR with HSTpathways™, the new union is able to produce the most advanced enterprise solution for ASCs currently on the market.

CyramedX™ ASC EHR (formerly offered through SourceMedical as SourcePlus EHR) is a highly functional and extremely successful EHR system designed for implementation at ambulatory surgery centers.  HIPAA-compliant for 2011/2012, it is known as one of the easiest and quickest systems to deploy with regards to implementation and training.

“[The HST] product is easy-to-use,” says Philip Keane, CEO of Mountain Medical Technologies, Inc.  “It’s cutting-edge, and the deployment and training that we provide give excellent support where the client is key.  Our companies are almost identical in their respective business styles and philosophies and have a similar level of commitment.”

New products provided by Mountain Medical Technologies, Inc. and HST will be available as either a true cloud or a client-server solution.  The union looks to provide the ASC market with a range of new, highly customizable options for practices interested in implementing EHR as well as improving business management and office functions with a high-end practice management system.

 

About CyramedX
CyramedX is a 2011/2012 HIPAA-compliant and ONC-ATCB certified EHR system.   Developed by Mountain Medical Technologies, Inc., its unique 3D graphic user interface replicates the look and feel of a traditional paper system – allowing practices to preserve their current workflows without disruption to staff or patient throughput.  Claiming that “if you can use an ATM, you can use CyramedX,” users appreciate its easy implementation and training process resulting in an extremely higher than average user retention rate of over 90%.  Combined with HST Pathways Practice Management System, CyramedX™ provides all of the management tools required to improve office functionality, increase practice revenue, and decrease overhead.  Visit http://www.cyramedx.com/ for more information.

About HST
HSTpathways™, the flagship practice management software system offered by healthcare IT developer HST, is recognized for its ability to enable ambulatory surgery centers streamline and improve the business aspects of their medical clinics.  Solutions offered by HSTpathways™ include patient accounting and collections, accounts receivable (A/R) control, workflow management, claims and statement processing, scheduling, supply chain and informatics management, and a range of other functional tools. HST is well respected for its strong and complete management reports and data mining features.  Visit http://www.hstpathways.com/ for more information.

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Marie
 
Posted By Marie
September 13, 2012

New breast and ovarian cancer breakthrough from the CHRSeptember 12, 2012 (New York, NY) –BRCA1/2 gene mutations, widely associated with breast and ovarian cancer risks in women, are, in principle, lethal to human embryos, according to new research conducted by three teams of researchers from the Center for Human Reproduction (CHR) in New York City, the Medical University Vienna in Vienna, Austria, and the Medical University Graz, Graz, Austria. BRCA1/2-positive embryos will only survive when also carrying a specific FMR1 gene genotype.

In a paper just published in the prestigious online medical journal PLoS ONE1, the researchers examined the distribution of FMR1 genotypes and sub-genotypes amongst women with BRCA1/2 mutations and in a control population of infertile women. Unexpectedly, almost all the 99 carriers of BRCA1/2 mutations demonstrated a specific FMR1 genotype, the so-called “lowFMR1 allele, defined by less than 26 CGG triple nucleotides. In contrast, over 300 controls presented with a normal distribution of FMR1 genotypes and sub-genotypes.

The authors note that the most likely explanation for such a skewed distribution of FMR1 in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers is embryo lethality of BRCA1/2 in humans; only embryos carrying the “lowFMR1 allele are “rescued” from this embryo-lethality.

“We were very surprised by these results,” says David H. Barad, MD, MS, Director of Clinical ART and Senior Scientist at CHR, a senior author of the study. “Since approximately 25% of all women have low FMR1 genotypes, this observation, if confirmed, can greatly impact current cancer screening methods for BRCA1/2-associated cancers in women, and greatly reduce costs.”

“These findings also potentially explain the long-unexplained ‘BRCA-paradox,’” notes Norbert Gleicher, MD, Medical Director and Chief Scientist of CHR, and another senior author of the study. “BRCA-paradox” refers to the fact that BRCA1/2 mutations are anti-proliferative in embryonic tissue but proliferative in cancer tissues. Dr. Gleicher continues: “Confirmed, these findings could mean that ‘lowFMR1 alleles desuppress the antiproliferative activity of BRCA1/2 in both tissues, in embryonic tissues allowing the embryo to survive, while in cancers having the negative effect of allowing cancer to proliferate. This, of course, could open major therapeutic options for improving embryo growth and inhibiting cancer growth.”

An Appellate Court recently reaffirmed Myriad Genetics’BRCA1/2 patent. Because of unusually high testing costs for BRCA1/2(ca. $3,000), breast cancer screening and ovarian cancer screening are currently recommended only for women with strong family histories of breast and ovarian cancers. This study suggests the possibility that much less costly FMR1 testing may be able to, at least partially, replace BRCA1/2 testing as a primary screening test.  The FMR1 test application utilized in this research is pending U.S. patents, and has been licensed to Women’s Laboratory Corporation, LLC, NY, NY.

1Weghofer et al, BRCA1/2 mutations appear embryo-lethal unless rescued by low (CGG n<26) FMR1 sub-genotypes: Explanation for the “BRCA paradox”? PLoS ONE 2012;http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0044753

Drs. Barad and Gleicher are available for further comments in New York City. Dr. Weghofer, Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Vienna University, Visiting Associate Scientist at CHR and another senior author of the paper, is available for further comments from Vienna, Austria.

 

About the Center for Human Reproduction (CHR)
CHR (http://www.centerforhumanreprod.com/) is a leading international fertility center in New York City with worldwide reputation as “fertility center of last resort.” The reported study is only the most recent in a series of published papers by CHR investigators, for the first time linking the FMR1 gene in women to reproductive outcomes, but is the first paper linking the gene to female cancer risks.

Contact:
Communications Manager
Center for Human Reproduction
212-994-4400 x.4491

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Marie
 
Posted By Marie
September 4, 2012

Healthcare revenue cycle management tipsWe may be approaching the final quarter of 2012, but there’s still time to review your hospital or practice’s finances thus far this year and begin to formulate a plan for improving your income.  Managing your healthcare revenue cycle the right way can help you maximize collections, increase revenue, and save time spent managing patient accounts in the office.

Increasing healthcare debt collection and boosting revenue is often much simpler than you may expect, and working with consultants or a healthcare accounts receivable partner can help organize your efforts more than any other tactic.  The following tips are some of the most common and broad-reaching strategies for improving your hospital collections.

  1. Set up a policy of insurance authorization.  Insurers will often reject claims for tests and services scheduled before the pre-certification/authorization for it was confirmed.  Set up a system – such as assigning a number to a procedure once it has been authorized as a prerequisite for having that procedure scheduled.
  2. Verify claims submission.  Most insurance carriers send two levels of confirmation reports – an initial report to confirm that the report was received electronically, and a second report that will require verification from the physician.  Check for this second report and handle all verifications immediately to avoid losing out on revenue from claims submitted online.
  3. Encourage eligible patients to enroll in a care compensation program.  Often, the number of patients eligible for Medicaid but not enrolled eats a significant hole into healthcare debt collections.  Their bills may remain on the ledger unpaid when they could easily be handled by Medicaid in a reasonable amount of time.  Though it takes up staff time to audit such cases (and patients are often wary of the stigma attached to collecting Medicaid), it’s a very direct way to handle certain unpaid bills from clients not in a position to pay.
  4. Dig deep.  What you’ve read above are a number of small issues that arise, but they’re often part of a larger problem: an entire revenue cycle management system gone wrong.  Working with an expert can help your healthcare organization rethink its whole structure and uncover systemic problems leading to inefficiencies in the way your hospital or practice collects debt.

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Marie
 
Posted By Marie
August 24, 2012

Medical collections agency AccretiveAccretive Health, one of the largest healthcare debt collection companies in the United States, has been at the center of a torrid legal battle during most of 2012 over questionable collections practices.  The company will be required to pay 2.5 million as a settlement to the Attorney General’s office of Minnesota and will be forbidden from doing business with any hospital within the state during the next two years.  This includes accounts with three hospitals that they currently have as clients.

A report released by Minnesota State Attorney General Lori Swanson this April on Accretive’s medical collections techniques listed a number of extreme tactics, including:

  • Setting patients up with “financial counselors” who were actually third-party Accretive debt collectors without financial counseling licenses.
  • Placing debt collectors in hospital emergency rooms.
  • Pushing patients to pay for their treatment before even receiving it.
  • Discouraging patients from accepting medical care if they weren’t sure that they could pay.
  • Focusing their efforts on patients in cancer treatment units and labor/delivery wards.

In January, news broke that an unencrypted laptop belonging to an Accretive employee had been stolen the previous July.  The laptop was later revealed to have contained sensitive personal information and medical records for 23,500 people, and the employee reportedly was not authorized to have access to this information.  The state took Accretive to court on this issue as well, claiming that the company should reveal what precise information the laptop contained and how Accretive was using it.  Accretive insisted that the suit was baseless, as no patients have been defrauded or harmed as a result of the missing information.

A medical collection agency has a financial responsibility to its clients, but this line of work also comes with a social responsibility to patients.  It’s important to balance performing one’s job efficiently and correctly with treating other people involved with the respect they deserve – a mainstay of healthcare work that Accretive failed to comply with.  The Accretive lawsuits serve as an excellent example of the importance of choosing a healthcare debt collection agency whose policies and strategies fall in line with the goals of the healthcare facility that hires them.

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Marie
 
Posted By Marie
August 23, 2012

Solar panels and installation in San DiegoIvanpah, California is about to gain fame and a serious following among alternative energy proponents.

Located about 250 miles north of San Diego in southwestern California’s Mojave Desert region, Ivanpah is a scarcely populated area that’s becoming home to the what’s officially the world’s largest solar energy project as of 2012.  The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (abbreviated to Ivanpah SEGS) is reported to be halfway completed as of August 2012, and the facility is well on its way to setting a landmark for clean energy and job creating in the United States.

The project is slated for completion in 2013, and it’s created over two thousand jobs in the community.  Project planners predict that the plant will multiply the amount of solar power currently produced across the United States by two by utilizing towers designed for maximum electricity production capabilities.

The power produced by the plant will be sold to two southern California power giants: PG&E and Southern California Edison (SCE).  So while this is a fantastic step forward for the widespread adoption of solar energy use (and something for southern California residents to be proud of), the average homeowner interested in adopting alternative energy for their house will need to look into their own ways of getting solar power.  For more options in solar energy San Diego homeowners/business owners can look into rooftop solar panels – this offers a way to produce energy at home and can completely eliminate a family’s electricity bills.  Similar to the Ivanpah plant, excess power produced by the panels is sent back to the local power company’s grid and the homeowner can be credited for the power they produced.

For more information, visit San Diego solar installer Solaire online.

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