Posted By Suzy Mage
January 11, 2013

A well-designed combination of wind energy, solar energy, and storage in batteries and fuel cells would be a cost effective way of meeting 99 percent of electricity demands by 2030, according to a recent University of Delaware and Delaware Technical Community College study.

Solar power is the energy generated from the conversion of sunlight into electricity, directly using photovoltaics (PV) in the form of solar panels. Wind power is the  generated from wind turbines; a device that converts kinetic energy from the wind into mechanical energy in the process known as wind power. Both of these power sources can be generated and then placed in batteries and fuel cells for storage.

One of the main critiques of both solar and wind power is that these are intermittent sources of energy, generating energy only when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining, respectively. This thus creates potential problems for utilities and grid operators who must keep the supply and demand for electricity in balance to meet the demands of the population, even when the conditions for these renewable energy sources are not ideal.

The authors of the study thought that a combined system of wind and solar may be the answer to this problem. Combining the the two resources in a single system would allow for a more efficient use of transmission lines and a more cost-effective way of generating electricity.

To test their theory, the research team developed a computer model to consider all of the combinations – 28 billion to be exact – of renewable energy sources and storage mechanisms. The combinations were simultaneously tested over four years of historical hourly weather data and electricity demands from 13 states, representing one-fifth of the country’s total electric grid.

The study, published in the Journal of Power Sources, used estimates of solar, wind, and general technology costs in 2030, leaving out government subsidies – since their future is unknown – to project the cost of renewables in 2030. The projected costs are about half of the current wind and solar costs and maintenance costs would stay the same.

When comparing this cost to the costs of fossil fuel use, which includes both the estimated fuel cost and the known negative externalities, including human health hazards caused by air pollution, they found that the combined solar and wind plants would be more cost effective than using fossil fuels.

This project isn’t the first to realize that a combination of wind power, solar power, and storage could be a cost-effective solution to meeting high energy demands. For example, California also made this realization last year.

Thanks to the combined legislation, policies, and citizen motivation, California became the top solar state in the country and solar power projects in San Diego has outreached any other city within the state. However, they still had to deal with the problem of solar power not being able to generate electricity all of the time. So in November 2012, California created its first wind and solar plant in the Tehachapi-Mojave region of Southern California, where the wind blows strongest at night while the sun is strongest during the day.

In the Tehachapi-Mojave region a 140-megawatt Pacific Wind farm was placed nearby a 143-megawatt solar power station in Catalina to create a hybrid wind-solar power plant. The power generated in this project will supply solar initiatives with renewable energy to use in residential areas and businesses. The Tehachapi-Mojave is just one example to support the findings of the joint UD and DTCC study.

By 2030, when fossil fuels are expected to increase in price and decrease in amount available, renewable sources will need to come into play in order to meet energy demands. It is important to design and implement the sustainable projects so that when the country is in need of energy, it will be readily available.

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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Posted By Amanda Guerrero
December 6, 2012

Brad Pitt medical collections TV seriesThe debt collection industry isn’t necessarily glamorous – yet, it caught the interest of Hollywood megastar Brad Pitt. Pitt’s production company, Plan B, is reportedly developing a TV series for HBO, tentatively called “Paper.” The show will center on the life of a single dad and ex-cocaine dealer trying to change his life around and stay out of prison by going into the debt collection business.

It likely won’t be medical collections the drama centers on, however, as a description of the show on Variety.com says that the main character will find that debt collection is just as cutthroat of a business as the one he’s trying to get away from.

The idea for the hour-long series comes from “Pay Up,” an essay by Jake Halpern that was featured in the New Yorker in 2010. The essay provides a glimpse into the life of an ex-con in Buffalo, NY who owns a small debt collection agency and works to recovers payday loans in order to provide for his five children.

The name for the TV series also comes from Halpern’s essay, which talks about “paper” – a term used in the collection industry to refer to debt that loan agencies and credit card companies have failed to collect on. These debts, ranging from medical collections to loans, are sold to collection agencies for cheap – and they are not usually easy to recover.

There is no official start date for the TV show yet, but it is known that Wells Tower is writing the project, and Pitt will be co-executive producing.

Catergories : Accounting, Business, Health Care IT tags : , ,
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Posted By Guillermo
October 24, 2012

Legal Web Experts Logo

October 24, 2012 (San Diego, CA) – Legal website design specialist Legal Web Experts is announcing its leading design, custom programming, and marketing services in Latin America and Canada. Legal Web Experts has recently launched a new site for Latino legal marketing (http://www.legalwebexperts.com/ESP/) and also offers services in French.

The Legal Web Experts Spanish website was officially launched on September 10, 2012. The new site is part of an expansion initiative by Legal Web Experts’ parent company, internet marketing agency New Wave Web and Marketing, which launched its own Spanish-language website the same day as well as a Spanish site for its other subsidiary Medical Web Experts. The Latino and French-focused site follows the company’s commitment to help Hispanic and French law firms expand their client bases, engage users and succeed in the digital age.

With nearly ten years of experience in custom programming and web design, Legal Web Experts has put together a completely bilingual website design and marketing team to tackle a variety of Hispanic and French legal marketing services – including translation services in French and Spanish; bilingual website design; Hispanic and French internet marketing; search-engine-friendly design; Hispanic and French custom logo design; Latino legal marketing, French legal marketing; Latino and French market analysis services, and more.

By offering a unique approach for each client, the company is able to consider each client’s needs, budget and overall goals to guarantee successful results. “We find there is less competition for Spanish keywords than English keywords in the United States, so the costs of getting to the top of Google are lower. That, combined with the same conversion rate, leads us to experience a higher ROI,” says John Deutsch, President and CEO of New Wave Web and Marketing.

About Legal Web Experts 
Legal Web Experts was founded in 2003 by John Deutsch as a subsidiary of New Wave Enterprises LLC. Specializing in providing web solutions for law firms, Legal Web Experts aims to provide customers with highly effective websites and time-tested internet marketing services that meet each client’s specific needs and budget. For more information, visit http://www.legalwebexperts.com/.


Guillermo Piñon
Legal Web Experts 

Posted By Jeana Brookes
October 17, 2012

An unprecedented case was brought to the Florida Supreme Court this month to hear arguments in a child custody case involving two lesbians who had a child together through in vitro fertilization (IVF). In the IVF process, one woman was the egg donor and the other woman accepted the egg and physically birthed the child.

The IVF procedure is one which an egg is fertilized in a laboratory and then placed inside a woman to birth. Many lesbians who want to have a child use reciprocal IVF. In reciprocal IVF, one woman donates the egg and the other woman carries the egg until pregnancy. This option allows both women to be physically involved in the pregnancy and both experience an emotional connection as a mother to the child.

This fight has been on going for over four years, ever since the couple broke up and the woman who accepted the embryo donation refused to let her ex-partner see the child. The woman who birthed the child is legally allowed to refuse her ex-partner from seeing their child. When the couple split, the county the couple resided in gave full custody to the woman who birthed the child. The judge, citing the Florida state law that states that egg donors relinquish all parental rights, said that the woman who donated the egg had no rights to mother the child.

The woman who donated the egg is claiming that she was not a donor as contemplated by the state law and thus should have equal parental rights to the child. Her lawyers are arguing that the law was initially created for heterosexual couples that use egg donation from a third party. Several same-sex civil rights groups have made statements that current state laws regarding egg or sperm donations infringe upon the equal-protection rights of same-sex couples.

In Florida, a case like this has never been heard before. It is the first dispute involving two same-sex partners using IVF to have a child together. This case will help define motherhood.  The outcome of the trial is yet to be determined. However, one thing is sure, that IVF NY centers – and other states that allow same-sex marriage – will be watching developments closely to see how this case may affect similar future issue in theirs.

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Posted By Amanda Guerrero
October 11, 2012

A new reality TV series will pit a team of rogue debt collectors against unsuspecting debtors. Will patients in medical collections meet Hale Storm’s fury?

Producers are currently trying to find a network for “Dead Beat Busters,” a reality TV show thought up by Hale Storm, who also stars in the Science Channel series “JUNKies.” For “Dead Beat Busters,” Storm and two other guys (his “muscle”) will confront debtors to try to get them to pay up.

“Did you ever work all week on a job and when it is time to collect your pay check, your boss is no where to be found? Do friends owe you money, from back in the day and you still haven’t seen a dollar from him/her? Did you recently hire someone to do a job, instead they took the money and ran? Leaving you broke and with no work to show for it… Look no further,” says a message on deadbeatbusters.com. If so, the website advertises a number people can call: 1-855-DBEAT-38. With medical collections agencies receiving bad press recently as a result of aggressive collections tactics, can a TV show of this nature be good for the collections industry?

Like a lot of things on reality TV, we’re sure a fair share of the action on “Dead Beat Busters” is going to be staged. How else will producers get around the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and out debtors on TV? Real or not, putting something like this on TV will do nothing to improve the image of real collectors, most of whom don’t deserve the bad rap.

A few interesting things to note:

  • Storm and his crew are going to drive around in a hearse.
  • The license plate on the hearse will read “PAYUPNOW.”
  • According to an article on NYDailyNews.com, Storm says he thought up the idea for the show with revenge in mind. “I’ve probably lost a half-million dollars in the forty years I’ve had my sign business,” said Storm. “People look for any excuse not to pay you. I know I’m not alone and it has to end.”

Producers are currently trying to find a network for the TV series, which means it isn’t a done deal quite yet. Whether or not the show gets picked up, here’s to hoping that innocent people’s debts don’t get exploited for Storm and company’s benefit.

Have you heard any other incredulous stories about medical collections or debtors getting taken advantage of? Share them with us.

Posted By Amanda Guerrero
October 3, 2012

Check mark - medical collections tipsWhether it is working with a medical collection agency or carrying out billing efforts in-house, healthcare professionals know that collection calls are crucial to the stability of their organizations’ accounts receivables. This is because, in order for a medical business to stay afloat, physicians must get paid for services rendered. Making collection calls, however, can be daunting for inadequately trained collectors. By following these tips from experienced healthcare debt collection professionals, employees will be able to feel at ease dialing patients and can successfully collect on past due accounts.

  1. Make sure you are talking to the right person: The first and most important step when making a collection call is verifying that the person you are speaking to is authorized on the account. To confirm that you are speaking to the correct person, ask them to verify demographic information, such as address or date of birth.
  2. Let the patient know who you are and where you are calling from: As soon as you verify that you are talking to the correct person, identify yourself and let the patient know where you are calling from. It is important that the patient knows this from the get-go.
  3. Request that the patient pays their bill in full: Before you offer to negotiate a payment plan, inform the patient of the amount of money they owe, and ask them to pay their bill in full. Asking a question such as, “How will you be paying this today?” can be much more effective than, “How much are you able to pay?” At this time, you should also inform the patient of the different methods of payment that your organization accepts: “For your convenience, we accept checks and all major credit cards.”
  4. Take on the role of ‘problem solver’: A patient might offer excuses about whey they are unable to make payments; however, your job is not to focus on why the patient cannot pay. Instead, you should act as a problem solver and focus on what you can do to help the patient pay their debt. If you suggest a monthly payment, and the patient claims the amount is too steep, offer to help with budgeting and have them walk you through their monthly expenses. Reaching a compromise with the patient will be more beneficial to both parties than if you take an all-or-nothing stance.
  5. Make a note of what you and the patient discussed: Once you reach an agreement with the patient, ask them to repeat the specifics about when they plan to pay and how much. Let the patient know that you are documenting this information in your system. For example, “I am making a note that you will be making your first monthly payment on the 15th.” Not only will this information be stored in your system for future reference, but it reinforces to the patient that you will be expecting a payment from them on that date as promised.

For more healthcare debt collection tips and revenue cycle resources, visit www.arlogix.com.

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.

Posted By Tim Ruben
October 1, 2012

solar panel san diegoCalifornia’s state subsidy program made to encourage the sale and use of solar panels will likely disappear for San Diego solar panel owners by the end of this year, while in Southwest Riverside County it will be around until 2013.

The California Solar Initiative, launched in 2007, provided a declining scale of subsidies to people who bought solar panels for their homes or businesses.

“We all of us need to applaud the designers of the California Solar Initiative program,” Walker Wright, director of government affairs for SunRun, a solar company, told the North County Times. “It truly is the ultimate success story of the design of a solar program that is thinking ahead.”

The creators of the California Solar Initiative originally wanted the program to last through 2016, but California’s solar-panel purchases far outpaced predictions and the program will be forced to end early than expected. But industry experts say the program has helped the San Diego solar market grow to the point where it can stand on it’s own, without state subsidies.

The California Solar Initiative allocated its funds for the commercial and residential sectors. The subsidy began at $2.50 per installed watt, or $12,500 for a typical 5-kilowatt home installation. As residential solar purchases accelerated, the program’s subsidy dropped through a series of 10 levels.

The end of the program is not expect to hurt solar sales, installers and program officials said. For Southern California Edison, the subsidy for residential customers is at level 8, or 35 cents a watt, which would pay $1,750 for a 5-kilowatt system. Edison’s program lags both SDG&E and Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

According to industry experts, solar panel costs have fallen faster than the subsidy diminished. One homeowner told the newspaper, he installed a 6-kilowatt system on his house in 2007, when the program launched. His panels cost $9.32 a watt, or $55,000 for his 6-kilowatt system, and he received a $2.50 a watt subsidy, or $15,000. His cost was $40,000. As of this week, his company would install an equivalent system for $5.40 a watt, or $32,400, and no state subsidy.

In 2011, solar leases made up 76 percent of all installs in SDG&E territory and 82 percent of installs in Edison territory. Also, new factors have come into play in the solar industry. Experts say third-party-owned solar leases have taken the market from traditional solar installations.

Solar companies in San Diego county say they are not worried about losing the subsidy. Many find the extensive paperwork necessary to apply for government help, too complicated and tedious, for the small amount of money it supplies.
Under a traditional solar deal, a homeowner purchases solar panels and then is paid back when their panels produce more power than they use. The payback is typically around 7 years, Gordon said.

Yet many point to the data and oversight that come with the program application as one of the California Solar Initiative’s strengths. The California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates utilities and the program, is considering extending the program by making some administrative changes. Preserving the database is one of the key arguments for finding a way to keep the program up and running, even at low levels of subsidy.

Posted By Amanda Guerrero
September 27, 2012

What to do when a medical collection agency contacts you about a late relative’s medical bills.

Sad girl thinking about healthcare debt collectionWhen a spouse or loved one dies, the last thing you need is to be fielding calls from a medical collection agency about your deceased relative’s unpaid bills. Yet, collectors rarely put an end to their healthcare debt collection efforts just because a patient has passed away. In fact, some agencies even train their collectors on how to talk to grieving relatives. Interesting enough, surviving relatives are not always legally obligated to pay the outstanding debts of their deceased relatives.

Whose responsibility is it? When a person dies, their debts are typically paid off with money from their estate, which is composed of all of the assets owned by the deceased. In order for a collection agency to obtain money from a debtor’s estate, they must file a claim with the probate court. The person executing the estate will then pay as many of the deceased’s bills as possible with the available assets. If there is no estate, or if the money in the estate is not enough, collectors will usually end up writing off the patient’s debt.

What if a medical collection agency insists that I pay the bill? In some cases, collectors will try to collect from a patient’s surviving relatives at all costs. If the deceased person had a life insurance policy, for example, the agency might continue their healthcare debt collection efforts against the life insurance beneficiary. This person might even pay the bill because they think they are obligated to do so. In reality, life insurance money belongs strictly to the beneficiary and cannot be confiscated by bill collectors. In fact, in most cases, once a person dies and their estate has been liquidated, their surviving relatives do not have to pay any of their outstanding bills.

If you are receiving frequent phone calls regarding a dead spouse or other relative’s medical debts, remember that there are laws that protect you against harassment from creditors. To find out what your options are, talk to a consumer attorney. Many offer free consultations.

The mission of New Wave Enterprises has and will always be very simple: deliver a quality custom solution to every client within budget. Founded in 2003 by John Deutsch the company was originally known as New Wave Marketing.
We then incorporated under New Wave Enterprises LLC. Around this same time we founded Medical Web Experts and Legal Web Experts as subsidiaries. We pride ourselves on staying true to our ethics by being honest and fair to our clients.
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