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Visit One News Page for Health Insurance news from around the world, aggregated from leading sources including newswires, newspapers and broadcast media. Search millions of archived news headlines. This feed provides the Health Insurance news headlines.

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    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has signed measures to help stabilize health insurance rates in the Maryland Health Care Exchange’s distressed individual market. Hogan signed measures Thursday to create what’s known as a reinsurance program. The exchange’s board will need to apply for a federal waiver to create the program. Hogan supports […] Reported by Seattle Times 1 day ago.

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    One of South Florida's largest health insurance companies, AvMed, was slapped with a ratings downgrade by A.M. Best, which characterized its balance sheet strength as "very weak." AvMed's Financial Strength Rating was downgraded to "marginal" from "fair." The downgrade is worrisome as companies in this category could have trouble meeting their long-term insurance obligations. It also downgraded the health insurance company's Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating to “b-” from “bb”, which is given… Reported by bizjournals 21 hours ago.

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    ASI has published the Best Places to Work list of top-ranked companies in the $23.6 billion promotional products industry annually since 2008.

    TREVOSE, Pa. (PRWEB) April 05, 2018

    The Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI) today announced the top 40 best places to work in the promotional products industry, with Counselor® magazine naming Ontario-based distributor Brand Blvd the industry’s number-one company.

    The 2018 Best Places to Work list of top-ranked companies in the $23.6 billion promotional products industry – published annually since 2008 by ASI’s Counselor magazine – is a mix of suppliers and distributors located throughout the U.S. and Canada. The winners were identified as top workplaces through in-depth employee surveys that rated companies in nearly 20 categories, including communication, office culture and work/life balance.

    Once again, small companies dominate the list, accounting for 12 of the top 13 firms in overall rankings. There are three companies from Canada, and Washington state has the most Best Places to Work companies with five.

    Following nationwide trends, ASI’s surveys found that industry employers are moving away from salary and focusing more on “lifestyle” benefits like flexible hours (especially in metro areas), along with team-building and corporate transparency. In the past, companies could dangle cheap health insurance costs as a perk, but now that those costs are on the upswing, investing in technology, the option to work remotely, mentoring, cross-training and interchangeable job roles are gaining favor as incentives and rewards. Cubicles are out and open spaces are in.

    “Achieving a work/life balance is more important to employees than ever, and more and more companies are responding by offering more meaningful perks, along with fun bonuses like Xbox lounges and dog-friendly offices,” said Counselor Editor-in-Chief Dave Vagnoni (@VagnoniASI). “The best cultures are built around people: both great employees and great leaders. They’re built on core values like respect, good communication and the opportunity for personal development.”

    Below are the top 10 companies on the 2018 Counselor Best Places to Work list:

    1. Brand Blvd – St. Catharines, ON
    2. Mac Mannes – Bethesda, MD
    3. ScreenBroidery – Indianapolis, IN)
    4. Harper + Scott – New York, NY
    5. Superior Printing & Promotions – Medford, MA
    6. The Next Trend Designs – Mississauga, ON
    7. Walker-Clay Inc. – Hanson, MA
    8. Bright Ideas LLC – Troy, VA
    9. College Hill – Pullman, WA
    10. Printable Promotions – Chicago, IL

    Click here for the complete list of 40 winning companies, along with profiles, photos and podcasts.

    Brand Blvd, of St. Catharines, ON, garnered high scores in every survey metric. The mid-sized distributor employs 25 staffers, plus the company’s owners – Shaun Lichtenberger and Chris Sinclair, who were named Counselor’s 2017 Entrepreneurs of the Year. The average age of a “Brandie” (the company nickname for employees) is 31. The company posted $8.1 million in sales in 2016, and grew by 12% last year.

    About ASI
    The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI®) serves a network of 23,500 suppliers, distributors and decorators in the $23.6 billion promotional products industry, which provides effective, affordable promo products typically given away by companies to help advertise their brand or event, or to thank employees and clients. For more info: Reported by PRWeb 19 hours ago.

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    BIRMINGHAM, Ala., April 05, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On Thursday, the Honorable David R. Proctor granted Plaintiffs’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and ordered that agreements among Blue Cross Blue Shield entities across the country to allocate markets and limit competition will be reviewed as per se violations of the Sherman Act.  Judge Proctor concluded: “Plaintiffs have presented evidence of an aggregation of competitive restraints…which, considered together, constitute a per se violation of the Sherman Act.”The litigation, originally filed in 2013, alleges that over 30 Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance companies have entered into agreements not to compete with each other for health insurance customers, both by allocating the markets in which they sell health insurance and capping the amount of unbranded health insurance they offer. Hausfeld represents a class of subscribers of health insurance alleging that these rules have artificially inflated premiums and decreased consumer choice in the market for health insurance. 

    In 2017, the parties briefed whether the challenged rules should be reviewed under a per se standard that would prevent Defendants from claiming procompetitive benefits for their agreements. Upon review of an extensive discovery record, including internal documents and Defendant testimony admitting the anticompetitive nature and purpose of the rules, Judge Proctor issued a 59-page decision agreeing with Plaintiffs that the rules must be accorded per se treatment. 

    “Our case alleges that, for decades, the Blue Cross Blue Shield system has operated as an illegal association of competitors trying to suppress competition in order to inflate their own profits at the expense of their customers,” said Hausfeld Chairman and Co-Lead Counsel Michael D. Hausfeld. “We look forward to taking our case to trial and achieving a nationwide injunction to stop these practices once and for all.”

    “Thursday’s order is a victory for the millions of subscribers of Blue Cross Blue Shield healthcare,” said Megan Jones, Hausfeld Partner and Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee member. “We are proud to have taken a step closer to opening up the market for health insurance to true competition, to the benefit of all Americans. We want there to be more competition for everything from chemotherapy to casts for subscribers in the U.S., and Thursday’s decision advances that goal.” 

    Hausfeld attorneys working on this case are Michael Hausfeld, Megan Jones, Michael Lehmann, Scott Martin, Arthur Bailey Jr., Swathi Bojedla, and Braden Beard.  The case is In re BCBS Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 13-cv-20000-RDP (N.D. Ala.).

    *For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:*

    Kelly Nguyen
    Hausfeld LLP
    (415) 744-2968

    *About Hausfeld:*

    Hausfeld is a leading global law firm with offices in Berlin, Boston, Brussels, Dusseldorf, London, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. The firm has a broad range of complex litigation expertise, particularly in antitrust/competition, financial services, sports and entertainment, environmental, mass torts, consumer protection, and human rights matters, often with an international dimension. Hausfeld aims to achieve the best possible results for clients through its practical and commercial approach, avoiding litigation where feasible, yet litigating robustly when necessary. Hausfeld’s extensive experience with alternative and innovative fee models offers clients a diverse menu of engagement options and maximum flexibility in terms of managing their cost exposure.

    Hausfeld is the only claimants firm to be ranked by the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners as a top tier firm in private enforcement of antitrust/competition law in both the United States and the United Kingdom. For more information about the firm, including recent trial victories and landmark settlements, please visit: Reported by GlobeNewswire 12 hours ago.

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    By Ryan McMaken*

    Ever since the early days of Donald Trump’s campaign, his immigration policy has been centered around spending big bucks on immigration enforcement. From his famous border wall to stepped-up federal deportation operations, few would describe Trump’s policies as laissez-faire, and most involve increasing the size and scope of government.

    But, there are other ways of addressing concerns around immigration, however, and they don’t all require spending taxpayer money.

    Here are four ways to improve immigration policy that don’t make government any bigger or more intrusive in our lives:

    *One: Free Trade, Always*

    One of the oddest and most counter-productive positions often taken by anti-immigration activists is opposition to free trade.

    What these economic nationalists fail to realize is that free trade, which increases prosperity for all countries involved, helps to reduce the incentive for migration in the first place.

    The economic benefits of free trade are apparent. Countries that liberalize their trade grow richer — and countries that restrict their trade impoverish their citizens.

    But there are sociological benefits to free trade as well. By engaging in trade, persons and communities can gain access to the capital, products, and services offered by others in other nations. In the context of US-Mexico relations, for example, this means that Mexican workers and consumers can benefit from Americans capital and entrepreneurial know-how without having to uproot their lives, move far away from family, and learn a new culture.

    In the context of foreign relations, free-trade advocates have long noted that if “goods don’t cross borders, armies will.” This is all the more true in the context of migration: “if goods and services don’t cross borders, migrants will.” And a wall won’t be enough to stop it.

    Unfortunately, many opponents of immigration don’t understand how trade works, and think it’s a zero-sum game in which one side gains at the expense of the other. Even worse, when opponents of immigration and trade succeed in their efforts to punish and prohibit trade, they succeed only in impoverishing all parties involved, while also creating the impetus for even greater flows of migration in the future.

    *Two: Restrict Welfare Programs*

    Last week, The Washington Post reported the Trump administration was planning changes to immigration policies which would penalize immigrants that receive government-funded benefits:

    Current rules penalize immigrants who receive cash welfare payments, considering them a “public charge.” But the proposed changes from the Department of Homeland Security would widen the government’s definition of benefits to include the widely used Earned Income Tax Credit as well as health insurance subsidies and other “non-cash public benefits.”

    Given that a sizable portion of taxpayer-funded benefits come in the form of non-cash benefits in the United States, this is a significant change. It’s also important to note that this is for legal immigrants, and not for illegal immigrants who are already technically barred from receiving most benefits.

    For legal immigrants collecting both cash and non-cash benefits, the proposed changes means welfare recipients will have a harder time maintaining legal residency in the US.

    Advocates for more immigration often point out that the proportion of immigrants that receive government benefits is not higher than the native-born population. That’s fair enough, but why subsidize immigrants at all?

    The Trump policy could be improved, though, by providing a way for immigrants to simply opt out of all government welfare programs. Moreover, any potential migrant who does agree to renounce all government benefits should be fast tracked to legal residency. Similarly, private families, firms, and non-profits groups need the flexibility to “sponsor” immigrants, and to guarantee that the immigrants in question will not collect government benefits.

    *Three: Don’t Confuse Citizenship with Immigration*

    One problematic aspect of the immigration debate is that it is often assumed that legal residents must also become citizens quickly.

    This is a bad assumption, and it does not follow that, just because a person lives in a country, that he or she must also be granted citizenship in that country. After all, citizenship is not a “right” in the way private property is, but is a type of administrative status that allows a person to more greatly influence the political system. Citizens, of course, can legally vote.

    Lessening this connection between residency and citizenship would also lessen political pressure to use the power of the state to further curtail migration of workers. After all, much of the fear behind mass-migration situations — both in the US and elsewhere — stems from the fact that native-born residents realize it is exceptionally easy in many cases for new residents of the obtain citizenship — and thus voting rights. For most legal immigrants in the US, for example, five years of residency is all that is required. In some cases, such as for immigrants married to citizens, only three years of residency is required.

    Rather than seeking to expand citizenship, states ought to look to expand private property rights for migrants so that citizenship becomes largely irrelevant. Besides, a migrant who is secure in his employment and possessions has much less motivation to participate in the political process. As Ludwig von Mises noted in his own commentary on immigration, the more laissez-faire a political system is, the less relevant politics becomes to our daily lives.

    *Four: Recognize that Government Enforcement Is a Mess*

    When it comes to enforcing immigration laws and regulations, the US government acts with all the precision and competence it does in veterans’ health care and mail delivery.

    In what Lew Rockwell has called “the tragedy of immigration enforcement” federal immigration regulation often takes the form of federal agents raiding private businesses, seizing private property, and regulating private contracts between employers and employers. Agents also threaten entrepreneurs with draconian fines and jail terms.

    The end result is the destruction of capital and a disincentive for employers to hire anyone. As Rockwell notes, this only encourages more criminality:

    If mainstream employers are afraid of lifetime jail terms, they will not hire. And that leaves only marginal employers to pick up the slack. These include drug operations, fly-by-night underground businesses, gray markets, prostitution rings, and other things from the seedier side of life.

    Or the result could be no employment at all, which means turning to crime itself. In other words, these efforts attempt to stop the best part of immigration and enhance the worst. For this we can thank the government.

    Moreover, the immigration quotas set by federal policymakers are purely arbitrary numbers pulled out of the air. Federal planners have no idea what the correct number of immigrants is, or what kind of immigrants are best suited for the work force. Only private employers and entrepreneurs can know this.

    Even worse are current efforts to implement “E-Verify” as an anti-immigration measure. As a sort of governmental “permission to live” database, E-Verify can be used to deny private-sector employment and housing to persons who don’t receive the proper government “OK” for private contracts and transactions. Needless to say, the potential for abuse is alarming.

    Increasing Federal power to centrally plan the activities of workers, employers, and others will bring with them all the downsides we’ve come to expect from government regulation.

    Ultimately, a good question to ask ourselves is whether or not a proposed immigration-related policy increases the power of the state, or shrinks it.

    All too often, the assumed “answers” lie in more government spending, more government agents, more laws, more rules, and more regulation. In fact, there are numerous options that can be implemented in the process of lessening the power of the state. And that is a good thing in itself.

    *About the author:*
    * *Ryan McMaken *(@ryanmcmaken) is the editor of Mises Wire and The Austrian. Send him your article submissions, but read article guidelines first. Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado, and was the economist for the Colorado Division of Housing from 2009 to 2014. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

    This article was published by the MISES Institute Reported by Eurasia Review 11 hours ago.

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    The case arose out of the insolvency of the Kentucky Health Co-op, a non-profit health insurance company. Reported by Mondaq 8 hours ago.

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    Achievement demonstrates patient experience leader’s continued commitment to data security & privacy

    BETHESDA, Md. (PRWEB) April 06, 2018

    Mytonomy announced that the company has completed its SOC 2 Type 2 Audit for its Patient Experience Cloud® platform in accordance with attestation standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The independent service auditor’s report focuses on three controls pertaining to security, availability and privacy.

    The SOC 2 report provides assurance to Mytonomy and its customers that the company has designed and implemented effective security controls as it relates to retrieval, storage, processing and transfer of data, as defined in the SOC 2 standards.

    “Mytonomy is bringing the power of cloud-based software and modern microlearning video to health providers. They are entrusting us with the effective delivery of patient education as we are integrated into their existing health IT environments. Our customers and partners deserve the trust and security that this audit validates,” said Vinay Bhargava, Mytonomy co-founder and President. ”I am proud to see Mytonomy join industry cloud leaders such as Amazon Web Services and that have prioritized SOC-2 Type 2 compliance.”

    The venture-backed company is applying modern, cognitive learning principles to healthcare to drive longitudinal patient activation and engagement through its Patient Experience Cloud® platform. This leads to better clinical outcomes and lower costs for healthcare systems.

    Mytonomy acts as a business associate under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). SOC-2 audits may only be performed by a licensed CPA Firm. Auditwerx, a division of Carr, Riggs & Ingram Capital, LLC, performed as the service auditor for Mytonomy.

    About Mytonomy
    Mytonomy is the leader in patient experience cloud solutions that leverage microlearning and behavioral science to drive better health outcomes and lower costs. By applying cognitive learning principles to healthcare, Mytonomy promotes longitudinal patient activation and engagement through its Patient Experience Cloud® software platform that can be accessed from any device, anywhere, at any time. Mytonomy delivers data-driven, personalized information at scale across the care continuum. Mytonomy is venture-backed, and the founders are former executives from Google, Oracle, and the FDA. Visit Reported by PRWeb 7 hours ago.

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    On March 30, 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill intended to provide individuals with more privacy protection from their health insurance companies. Reported by Mondaq 6 hours ago.

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    STAMFORD, Conn., April 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Independence Holding Company (NYSE:IHC) today announced that it is launching Connect Plus and adding it to its leading portfolio of affordable alternatives to Affordable Care Act (“ACA” or “Obamacare”) plans.  Connect Plus will launch in 22 states, on, as well as through other preferred distribution partners, on April 20, 2018.  This first-of-its-kind temporary medical plan provides coverage for certain pre-existing conditions up to $25,000 to consumers who qualify, subject to a deductible and coinsurance. Short term limited duration (“STM” or “short-term medical”) plans are much more affordable than ACA plans because, as an underwritten product, not everyone qualifies for coverage. In addition, STM plans do not cover claims for pre-existing conditions.  For example, with a traditional STM policy, a person receiving post-surgical physical therapy for an injury incurring before the effective date of the STM plan or who has asthma that incepted before the effective date of the STM plan, would qualify for a policy, but these particular conditions and any claims associated with them would be excluded because they arose prior to the effective date of the STM plan. Under the innovative Connect Plus product, both the physical therapy and the asthma described above and certain other pre-existing conditions would be covered, assuming the person passes the underwriting questions.  For those who do qualify, coverage for up to $25,000 in certain pre-existing conditions is an important enhancement.

    David Kettig, President and Chief Executive Officer of IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc., commented, “Connect Plus is an important addition to our portfolio of affordable health insurance options.  IHC offers the following “core” products: Connect Lite (STM for the budget-minded), Connect (STM for those not concerned with pre-existing condition limitations), Connect Plus (our enhanced STM offering), Care Access (first dollar indemnity coverage for hospitalizations) and Fusion (Care Access coupled with a high deductible STM product which provides both first dollar coverage for hospitalizations and peace of mind for large expenditures).  We couple our core products with well-priced ancillary coverages, including: MetalGap (an affordable coverage for both accidents and critical illnesses), dental, vision, Rx discount card and telemedicine.  In addition, we also sell group and individual limited medical for those who are interested.”

    “Health insurance must always strike a balance between coverage that is affordable but may not be available to everyone and ACA plans that are available to all during open enrollment but are unaffordable to many. IHC is a leader in bringing innovative and affordable products to the marketplace for those who qualify for underwritten products.  We are delighted to introduce Connect Plus as an enhancement to our industry-leading portfolio of affordable health insurance products. The rule proposed by the Trump Administration that would change the maximum duration of short-term medical policies to less than 12 months, as opposed to the current maximum duration of less than three months, together with the repeal of the individual mandate penalty effective January 1, 2019 as part of tax reform, will have a positive impact on the future of our Company.”

    *About The IHC Group*

    Independence Holding Company (NYSE:IHC) is a holding company that is principally engaged in underwriting, administering and/or distributing group and individual specialty benefit products, including disability, supplemental health, pet, and group life insurance through its subsidiaries since 1980.  The IHC Group owns three insurance companies (Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York, Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc. and Independence American Insurance Company), and IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc. (IHC SB), a technology-driven full-service marketing and distribution company that focuses on small employer and individual consumer products through general agents, telebrokerage, advisor centers, private label arrangements, and through the following brands:; Health eDeals Advisors; Aspira A Mas;; and  IHC creates value for insurance producers, carriers and consumers (both individuals and small businesses) through a suite of proprietary tools and products, all of which are underwritten by IHC’s carriers or placed with highly rated insurance companies.

    *Forward-looking Statements*

    Certain statements and information contained in this release may be considered “forward-looking statements,” such as statements relating to management's views with respect to future events and financial performance. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical experience or from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, economic conditions in the markets in which IHC operates, new federal or state governmental regulation, IHC’s ability to effectively operate, integrate and leverage any past or future strategic acquisition, and other factors which can be found in IHC’s other news releases and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. IHC expressly disclaims any duty to update its forward-looking statements unless required by applicable law.

    *CONTACT:  Loan Nisser*
    *(646) 509-2107*
    * * Reported by GlobeNewswire 1 hour ago.

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    Workers with health insurance through their employers received $2.6 billion in treatment related to opioid abuse or overdoses -More-  Reported by SmartBrief 1 day ago.

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    The integration of Connecture’s front-end shopping platform along with Dynamic’s back-end enrollment technology provides seamless end-to-end processing of Medicare Advantage applications.

    IRVINE, Calif., and BROOKFIELD, Wis. (PRWEB) April 06, 2018

    Connecture, Inc. (OTCQX: CNXR), a provider of web-based information systems used to create health insurance marketplaces, and Dynamic Healthcare Systems, a leading provider of enterprise-wide solutions for health plans and health systems participating in Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and Marketplace programs, today announced they have entered into an agreement to offer national and regional health plans in the U.S. more robust capabilities in managing their Medicare Advantage enrollment and fulfillment processes.

    The integration of Connecture’s front-end shopping platform along with Dynamic’s back-end enrollment technology provides seamless end-to-end processing of Medicare Advantage applications: from intake of the beneficiary’s application and confirmation of their eligibility with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), to enrollment in the plan and production and shipment of the welcome packets and ID cards.

    “As regulatory changes and other market dynamics continue to impact the Medicare landscape, carriers are working hard behind the scenes to ensure their members have access to coverage that best fits their particular needs and financial situation,” said Jeff Surges, president and CEO of Connecture. “Our goal is to make that experience – both from the payer and member perspectives – as simple and meaningful as possible, and in Dynamic, we’ve found a like-minded partner that complements those efforts.”

    “Connecture’s shopping technology is considered the gold-standard in the Medicare market,” said Brooks Corbin, CEO of Dynamic Healthcare Systems. “Providing access to their capabilities along with our back-end administrative system helps our payer clients deliver an improved member experience, increase operational efficiency, and reduce the likelihood of errors and compliance issues.”

    About Connecture
    Connecture, Inc. (OTCQX: CNXR) is a leading web-based consumer shopping, enrollment and retention platform for health insurance distribution. Connecture offers a personalized health insurance shopping experience that recommends the best fit insurance plan based on an individual’s preferences, health status, preferred providers, medications and expected out-of-pocket costs. Connecture’s customers are health insurance marketplace operators such as health plans, brokers and exchange operators, who must distribute health insurance in a cost-effective manner to a growing number of insured consumers. Connecture’s solutions automate key functions in the health insurance distribution process, allowing its customers to price and present plan options accurately to consumers and efficiently enroll, renew and manage plan members.

    About Dynamic Healthcare Systems
    Dynamic Healthcare Systems provides comprehensive solutions to health plans and health systems participating in Medicare Advantage, Managed Medicaid, and Marketplace programs. Dynamic’s solutions help its clients optimize revenue and quality through the utilization of Dynamic’s rich analytics that identify areas for potential improvement, help maintain compliance through ongoing enhancements aligned with CMS regulations, and enhance operational efficiency through fully integrated solution utilizing a centralized database and integrated workflows. Headquartered in Irvine, California, the company offers comprehensive software solutions, managed services, and professional services. For more information, visit or call 949.333.4565.

    Media Contacts:

    Jeff Hyman
    Channel Marketing & Media Director, Connecture

    Kristen Coleman
    Media Relations, Dynamic Healthcare Systems
    949.333.4565 ext. 180
    press(at) Reported by PRWeb 19 hours ago.

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    THE INSURANCE AND THE IoT REPORT: How insurers are using connected devices to cut costs and more accurately price policies This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

    Insurance companies have long based their pricing models and strategies on assumptions about the demographics of their customers. Auto insurers, for example, have traditionally charged higher premiums for parents of teenage drivers based on the assumption that members of this demographic are more likely to get into an accident.

    But those assumptions are inherently flawed, since they often aren't based on the actual behaviors and characteristics of individual customers. As new IoT technologies increasingly move into the mainstream, insurers are able to collect and analyze data to more accurately price premiums, helping them to protect the assets they insure and enabling more efficient assessment of damages to conserve resources.

    A new report from BI Intelligence explains how companies in the auto, health, and home insurance markets are using the data produced by IoT solutions to augment their existing policy pricing models and grow their customer bases. In addition, it examines areas where IoT devices have the potential to open up new insurance segments.

     Here are some of the key takeaways:

    · The world's largest auto insurers now offer usage-based policies, which price premiums based on vehicle usage data collected directly from the car.
    · Large home and commercial property insurers are using drones to inspect damaged properties, which can improve workflow efficiency and reduce their reliance on human labor.
    · Health and life insurance firms are offering customers fitness trackers to encourage healthy behavior, and discounts for meeting certain goals.
    · Home insurers are offering discounts on smart home devices to current customers, and in some cases, free devices to entice new customers.

    In full, the report:

    · Forecasts the number of Americans who will have tried usage-based auto insurance by 2021.
    · Explains why narrowly tailored wearables could be what's next for the health insurance industry.
    · Analyzes the market for potential future insurance products on IoT devices.
    · Discusses and analyzes the barriers to consumers opting in to policies that collect their data.

    To get your copy of this invaluable guide to the IoT, choose one of these options:

    1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> *START A MEMBERSHIP*
    2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> *BUY THE REPORT*

    The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of insurance and the IoT.

    Join the conversation about this story » Reported by Business Insider 15 hours ago.

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    These designer tips are ideal for your kitchen The kitchen is undeniably one of the most important rooms in a home as it is the area where the family congregates, meals are prepared, and guests are hosted so make sure you are making this space beautiful and lively.

    In order to have a perfect kitchen, Mikita Laad Gupta, Interior Design Lead at Bonito Designs and Shinijni Chawla, Interior Expert at give out five tips that can help you in designing your ideal kitchen

    *Space Planning:* Space planning is one of the most important factors when it comes to a kitchen, as it is the most function-intensive space in a home. Keep in mind the ‘work triangle' for the key functions of a kitchen, i.e. the Refrigerator, hob and sink, as well as the number of people who would be using the kitchen at a given time.

    Another aspect that people often ignore is toe space under the kitchen counters, so make sure there is enough space provided when you design a kitchen skirting so that a person can comfortably stand at the counter for long periods of time. The more specific and organized the kitchen is, the better it will function, so try incorporating custom kitchen accessories instead of providing empty cabinets, such as a designated place for aprons, gloves, wash clothes, etc.

    *Countertop:* Granite was considered as one of the most conventional materials for a kitchen countertop due to its hardness and durability. However, now that time and technology has changed, don't hold yourself back from trying some new materials in countertops like Engineered Quartz and Corian, to name a few. They are available in a variety of color options, are durable and of good quality, and can be also very economic.

    *Dado:* A beautiful dado can enhance the look of the whole kitchen as it is visible at eye level throughout the kitchen most of the time. Experiment with a wide variety of materials now available for very different looks, such as lacquered glass for pops of bright, glossy colour, ceramic tiles with myriad interesting patterns, or even the same quartz you used as a countertop for a homogenous feel.

    *Light:* Lighting often gets neglected in the kitchen area, despite its functional requirement. In addition to overhead lights, make sure you provide ample lights beneath the upper cabinets for specific tasks in order to provide proper illumination for your work spaces. Lights can also be provided inside the cabinets with sensors for their operation, for both functional and aesthetic purposes.

    People often have this notion that false ceiling is not for kitchen spaces, but with the proper ventilation and chimney placement, it can be used beautifully to provide uniform lighting in the kitchen.

    * Appliances:* In today's times, no kitchen is complete without the appropriate appliances. Spend some time doing research on the wide variety of appliances available, and make a list of your required appliances before designing the kitchen.

    Make sure you only choose appliances based on your particular needs and usability, as other than the basics, not all appliances are for everyone. Place the appliances in your kitchen layout based on the frequency of their use.

    *Catch up on all the latest Mumbai news, crime news, current affairs, and also a complete guide on Mumbai from food to things to do and events across the city here. **Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates*

    A few days ago, we had previewed an Indian Ocean concert in these pages. In the conversation we had consequently had with Amit Kilam, the band's drummer, he had revealed a crucial plan they have. "We are going to release several singles over the next year, because we are questioning the relevance and importance of cutting an album all at one time. Even though you put a lot of effort into a full-length record, no one's really buying anything and people anyway end up listening to just one or two of the tracks. So, we want to lay more emphasis on every song as it goes by. And in today's day and age, it's easier to release more material over a longer time span than putting everything into one album," he had reasoned.*Rohan Ganguli*

    It made for a talking point. Has the digital medium really sounded the death knell for albums? Are full-length records on their way to becoming musical dinosaurs? Or, despite the abundance of streaming services on offer, is it possible for physical records to co-exist alongside? These questions aren't exactly new. They have been cropping up ever since CDs were more or less tossed into the dustbins of digital history around three to four years ago. But then a mini-resurgence of vinyls took place, and the focus shifted back to the old-school joy of listening to an entire record. That spotlight, though, didn't last long, since the spike in vinyl figures wasn't anywhere close to what is needed to sustain market interest in the format. So, we are now back to the same question. What does the future hold for full-length albums?*Ambika Nayak*

    *Single reason*
    Dhruv Jagasia, whose company manages Indian Ocean, tells us, "Let's look at the avenues through which music is now being consumed. Most discovery of music today happens on YouTube, at least according to the statistics I have at my disposal. But there is no chance of releasing an album through YouTube, right? The other platform where music is being consumed is streaming sites. Now, any song that is longer than six and a half minutes is categorised as an album on iTunes. And every Indian Ocean song is usually seven minutes long. So, when you are going to classify my tracks as an album anyway, what will I do releasing a record?"*Dhruv Jagasia*

    Jagasia continues, "In such a case, if I am putting in all my financial resources - which, by the way, we still have to conjure up on our own - it makes sense for me to invest that money over a period of time, and record songs one by one. And then the dissemination of the songs can also be over a length of time. So, I will release one song, allow it to sink in, let people talk about it, maybe attach a video, build a PR campaign around it, and three months later, repeat the same routine. It's just more bang for your buck."

    The logic he is offering, then, makes for sound financial sense. It also helps save on another precious commodity apart from money - time. But here's the thing. As a musical product, a single is equivalent to fast food, while an album is a slow-cooked meal that can be consumed at leisure. It also gives a complete picture of what is going through an artiste's creative mind, instead of offering just a brief glimpse into his thoughts.

    Rohan Ganguli, 37, is a guitarist. He was a member of The Supersonics, a disbanded rock 'n' roll outfit that came out with two massively acclaimed albums. He now has his own jazz outfit, called The Rohan Ganguli Quartet, which finished recording its debut album only three days ago. He tells us, "I am quite traditional, and I come from the headspace where if you want to enjoy what a band is doing, you can't just listen to a little bit and then hope for the best for later on. You have to see the whole picture, which is normally revealed only when you hear the whole album. You then get a clear idea of what the band is thinking. With just one song, you are only getting an idea of a bigger picture. And why should the listener be limited to that?"

    Ganguli adds, however, "Ever since smart phones entered the picture, it's been a completely downhill ride for albums. Firstly, time is a lot more precious and concentration spans have become shorter. And since you are totally attached to your phone, which is a complete device, you also end up listening to music on it most of the time. But no one has the inclination to listen to 40 minutes or one hour of an album on a phone. You would rather check Facebook or do whatever else that people do. So, the effort you put into an album is not going to be appreciated, or acknowledged even, since no one has that kind of time anymore."

    *Modern talking*
    So, what we have here is even someone who considers himself to be a "traditional" musician accepting that it might be time at some point to sing a dirge for full-length albums. A large part of that possibility, however, depends on how the future generation of musicians approach their craft. Ambika Nayak, a 20-year-old singer who fronts a band called Kimochi Youkai, says, "I have been advised to release singles first and then put them together as an EP, and that's what we are planning to do. Actually, a lot of musicians my age are thinking the same way, because a song definitely gains more traction if you are putting it out as a single."

    So, what hope does that ultimately leave for full-length albums? Jagasia sums it up. "Just think about that question for a second. Do you want us to start living in caves all over again? Technology today has reached such a point that if you keep hankering after vinyls only, then don't fly in planes anymore. Don't put your AC on. Just sit at home. See, when you use the word "hope", you are talking about something bad or wrong that you are hoping against. But there is nothing wrong in the way modern consumption patterns are. So what's the point of crying or fighting over it? It's just a sign of the times."

    Summer is around the corner and we're all ready to let our hair down. However, did you know during this sunny period your hair is at great risk to heat damage? Protect your hair against the summer heat by keeping it healthy, strong and damage free with these tips by the hair maestro Asgar Saboo.

    *Shield! Protect! Cover!*
    Not only is your skin susceptible to UV rays and sun burn, but those precious locks are under attack as well. The rays from the sun not only cause heat damage to your hair but they also suck up all the moisture out of it, making it weak and wild. So what’s the solution you ask? Cover up! Use a nice scarf or a stylish hat to safeguard those luscious locks in order to retain its moisture and for it to remain healthy.

    *Drown it in Conditioner*
    Just like the skin on your body needs moisturising, the hair on your scalp needs some hydrating love too. Therefore, the easiest way to get healthy and hydrated hair is by using leave in conditioners, they're quick, efficient and simple, all it takes is just one application and your hair is completely protected for the day. But, if you have some extra time on your hands, coconut oil and apple cider vinegar are also great natural products to give your hair that bright boost.

    *Surrender the Straighteners*
    As the weather itself is already hot and humid, adding an extra amount of heat on your hair will just exacerbate the dryness and make the condition of your hair worst. Consequently, the ideal solution is to let your hair fall natural for the season, so put down those hairdryers and let your hair air dry for the summer.

    *Embrace the Grease*
    We all feel the need to wash our hair instantly when the oil on our scalp takes charge and greases up our entire hair. But during the summer season, it’s best to let your hair marinate in the natural oils for a while. The more you wash your hair, the extra oil it will produce, which plays the role of a catalyst to the never ending vicious cycle of washing your hair. Hence the path to success in this case is dry shampoo, dab a little on your scalp and watch the oil get sucked up. This will be the best way to stop the excessive oil production and will stop the frequent hair washing.

    *Say No to Chemical Products*
    During the summer your hair is constantly trying to protect itself from the weather, therefore the last thing it needs is more damage from the products you are using. As many times we use products without realising the severe consequence it can have on the quality of our hair. Thus it is always important to read the core elements that are used to make the product in order to avoid any excessive damage.

    *The Only Way Is Up*
    It's tempting during the summer time to let our hair down and to let loose. But in order for us to reduce the heat damage we have to keep our hair tied up! The pony tails and the hair buns are the perfect styles for the season, as they keep your hair out of the sun and away from the rays, which means less exposure and consequently less damage.

    *Hair care products*

    *Banish the Split Ends*
    It's all about that trim! Over the course of the summer your hair can develop a lot of split ends due to the excessive heat from the weather, as a result it can cause excessive damage and unnecessary breakage. Thus the best way to deal with the problem is by trimming the ends and giving your hair that breath of fresh summer air it deserves.

    *Sleep, Eat, Gym, Repeat*
    Similar to the way your skins health is highly contingent on your diet and lifestyle, the core strength and condition of your hair is also dependable on your health and diet. Therefore to get that extra shield to protect your hair, it's important to have a healthy lifestyle and to be one step ahead of the enemy that is heat damage.

    *Embrace your natural colour!*
    It's always fun to try out new and fun colours on your hair, but hair colouring during the summer is a big NO! The heat will eventually cause the colour to fade quicker and will result in extra damage.

    *Also Read: DIY Tips For Healthy Hair At Home*

    With the soaring temperatures, it is becoming increasingly hard and hot to keep your home cool. Lesser trees, more artificial cooling machine consumption which releases more harmful air, more wagons to emit fuel emissions to contribute in such a global social issue are some of the reasons behind the rise in the temperature.

    It is high time to go the organic way and adapt to the nature's call for the change. We can keep our indoors - offices, homes, and schools - cool and clean with a number of natural ways. While these tips will help you get the temperatures down, they will also help in generating a pollutant free environment for a sustainable future.

    Here are the tips:

    *1. Plant air-purifying, less water-requiring plants:* Sowing such plants will help in keeping your space cool and clean. Aloe Vera, while is well known for its medicinal benefits, also keeps surrounding temperature low and helps in protecting the house from overheating.

    A strategically placed snake plant can do wonders for your breathing issues. This plant does not take oxygen away like most plants do. On the other hand, it emits oxygen, keeping your bedroom cool and fresh, according to Harpreet Ahluwalia, founder and principal designer at Earthly Creations.

    Areca Palm tree acts as a natural humidifier as it removes benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air. Ficus tree or Fig tree improves air quality and keeps the air temperature cool. Fern is one of the most effective air-purifying plants, declared by NASA itself. Golden Pothos is a great plant as it requires little light and care, and it will keep your air cool and purified.

    *2. Keep your blinds and curtains shut:* Closing the blinds and shutting the curtains can essentially prevent your space from overheating. The shade will prevent your home from becoming miniature greenhouses, trapping all the heat inside your place. Better yet, invest in blackout curtains, suggests Rishabh Singodiya, Director, Shree Krishnam Group. Blackout curtains can block sunlight completely, naturally insulating the spaces.

    *3. Cover small air vents with wet clothes: *Singodiya continues that covering up small vents and openings with clothes dipped in ice cold water can do the trick as well. While this trick will give off faux sea breeze, it will also turn the blast of hot air from small openings to pleasurable, cool ones.

    *4. Let the night breeze in: *It is suggested to let the light breeze of cooler evenings and nights inside your house for proper ventilation. This trick will air the house while simultaneously pushing the hot, humid day air out.

    *Catch up on all the latest Mumbai news, crime news, current affairs, and also a complete guide on Mumbai from food to things to do and events across the city here. **Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates*

    Millennials as a group believes in living for the present. They are clued in about social media and online trends, are tech savvy and comfortable using mobile apps for almost everything, whether it be ordering food or a cab ride to online banking and investment. With the availability of EMIs and easy financing, cost is no longer an issue when making a purchase. Patanjali Somayaji, co-founder of the Walnut App, lists seven tips for millennials to ensure they maintain the standard of living they are used to:

    *Track spends and bill payments smartly, set a budget*
    Using apps that track spends makes this very simple. Not only are spends displayed and managed automatically, the app also shows upcoming bill reminders for credit cards and other utilities. Setting a budget ensures there is no overspending.

    *Save at least 10 per cent of salary every month*
    Living on the edge, or from one salary to the next, is not a good idea, and each month, it is prudent to set aside at least 10 per cent of the salary towards savings as soon as it is credited. This can be an SIP in an equity fund or debt fund, or even a Fixed Deposit, depending on risk profile.

    *Explore different investment classes*
    While most families in India have grown up with the belief that a Fixed Deposit is the only way to invest, there are many other options available, right from equity and debt mutual funds and stock markets to gold, real estate, art and so on. Appetite for risk should always be factored in before choosing any of these options.

    *Get a health insurance cover*
    "Live for the moment" seems glamorous, but an accident or medical emergency can lead to a financial disaster and impact lifestyle. When young, there are lesser chances of pre-existing diseases and so premium is much lower and this should be utilised to get a Rs 5 lakh or even a Rs 10 lakh cover.

    *Get tax planning in order*
    Avoid waiting till February or March, by planning tax saving investments from April itself when the financial year begins. Once salary details are known, check tax liability and how much tax can be saved by exploring all avenues available. If planning to invest in Public Provident Fund (PPF) or tax saving mutual funds, start contribution early and monthly. For mutual funds, set up a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP), so the money is invested each month and not a large outflow later.

    *Keep an emergency fund*
    Loss of job, an accident or illness etc cause a strain on finances, even with health insurance. Once monthly spend pattern is known, this emergency fund should take care of living expenses and upcoming commitments, and be easily accessible.

    *Stick to the plan*
    All plans can go waste if they exist only on paper; so self discipline is extremely important to ensure all spends are tracked, and investments are completed as planned.

    *Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. **Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates*

    It's yesterday's news that Australian test cricketers Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have paid a heavy price for a mistake they made at their workplace. The mistake is willful ball-tampering. The workplace, in this case, is a playing field. Their professional career lies in tatters now. It will be 12 months before Smith and Warner - now former captain and vice-captain of the Australian cricket team - are allowed to wear the baggy green cap again. And this is despite the fact that they have both made tearful apologies for their unscrupulous actions. They have both unreservedly admitted their guilt.

    That admission, however, has changed the narrative of the story. Up until then, complete indignation was the overriding reaction to their cheating, which is the only word that can be used to describe their behaviour. But when Smith, and then Warner, broke down before the world's media while asking for forgiveness, they were accorded a certain level of sympathy. We saw the two tainted men express regret for the pain they had brought to their fans, country and family. "To see the way my old man's been, and my mum - it hurts," confessed Smith. And when it was his turn, an equally inconsolable Warner said, "I want to apologise to my wife and daughters. Your love means more than anything to me."*Cameron Bancroft. Pics/AFP*

    It's a terrible situation for them, and Bancroft, to be in. But, making a mistake in a professional capacity is something that happens to the best of us. The question is, how does it impact who we are as human beings? What is the healthiest way to deal with such a scenario? And what course of action should we take to make up for the error, be it as a subordinate who has made it or as a boss tasked with reprimanding his juniors?

    *Spot the error*
    That depends entirely on the nature of the error, says psychotherapist Banani Ghosh. There are essentially three types of mistakes, she adds. One is genuine, where the person concerned has made the gaffe unwittingly. Another is willful, where the wrongdoer enters a situation completely aware that what he or she is about to do doesn't conform to acceptable norms of integrity. And the third type of mistake is when it's committed on someone else's instructions. All three, Ghosh says, evokes different responses.

    She says, "When a person is making a genuine mistake, he is not aware of what the consequences of his actions will be. So when the error is brought to his notice, his usual response is to say sorry to his superiors. But when the mistake is intentional, the person has complete knowledge of the possible repercussions. So he goes about the situation in such a way that he can hide his actions, hoping he is not caught. But getting caught is bound to happen eventually. And in that scenario, it is usual for the person to get defensive."

    Often, she adds, the mistake can be so severe that it can lead to the culprit being handed the pink slip. "The main psychological impact in such cases is severe guilt. But what also happens is that when word spreads about the sacking, the person concerned can get into severe depression. He then starts justifying his mistake. But if his alibis are rejected, the depression can turn into a complete breakdown. That, in turn, can lead to something as drastic as suicide. This isn't necessary, of course. It depends completely on the person's mental constitution. But what I have also seen is people turning extremely violent. This is because they have not been able to maintain the image that they had tried to build in their personal life. And violence is thus a way for them to salvage their sense of power. I have seen this happen mostly with men, however. Women, on the other hand, tend to become really withdrawn in such cases."

    *A social thing*
    The crux of the problem, Ghosh continues, lies in skewed societal upbringing. "Say, you have made a mistake but you are not sure about it, as it can be sometimes. As your superior, I should then tell you, 'Look, I think that you might have made a mistake here.' But that's not how we talk. We say things straight up. 'You have made a mistake, you have done this thing wrong.' Our upbringing has been such that we have been taught to not do things that will make people point a finger at us. That is the sort of strange education that society gives us. For instance, when a child is crying, we don't normally ask him or her, 'What's happened to you, why are you crying?' Instead, we say, 'Don't cry, what will people say?' So, we end up looking at ourselves through society's eyes, and maintain an image that we build."

    That image has now cracked for the three Australian cricketers. But their tears, Ghosh tells us, might not be born out of sorrow or guilt alone. "See, we don't know whether they had been tampering balls earlier or not. But we do know that they did it this time voluntarily. They might have done it before and got away with it. And they might have thought, 'Okay, we will get away with it this time too.' But they did not. And what they did was aimed at winning something, it was meant to hurt someone else. But now, they are forced to admit defeat. That has led to them facing a sense of humiliation about themselves. They are now forced to look at themselves in the mirror and ask, 'Is this who I really am?' So, the imaginary image they had built for themselves, an image that was born out of fantasy, is now shattered. And that's what they are not being able to deal with."

    *'My employee's mistakes are regular, but genuine'*
    An accountant on Abhijeet Chakravarty's team for his solar panel business is known to make regular mistakes. Chakravarty says, "In fact, I had to have a severe word with him just two hours ago, since he made an accounting error while filing my taxes. But the only reason I was harsh with him is because he was not ready to accept his mistake, and made excuses after I had pointed it out. This person wouldn't have been able to keep his job in any other company. But I didn't fire him because he is an old man, and won't be able to find another job. Also, the mistakes he makes might be regular, but they are genuine. I also would have been forced to sack him had his errors led to losses for the company. But that hasn't happened yet, thankfully."

    *'My boss hurt my confidence'*
    Pooja Sinha Roy is a brand consultant. She tells us that she once got the name of a client wrong in a presentation. This led to a sticky situation with her boss, who wasn't the easiest person to deal with. "My first response was to apologise profusely to the client. And I got him a free ticket to a conclave as a way to make up for it. But my boss hauled me up. Everything was fine eventually with the client. But my boss told me, 'Next time, let's not make the mistake of giving people free things,' without understanding that the 'free thing' ultimately helped us save the client. Plus, my boss had gone through the presentation thrice herself, and she didn't catch the error. I hoped that in a situation like this, she didn't hurt my confidence and self-esteem," Roy says.

    There are fans, and then there are those who determine the course of their lives after factoring in their heroes. Mehul Gohil is among the latter. In January this year, the 34-year-old video production and social media professional from Mumbai experienced the same flutter of the heart he had felt seven years ago when he decided to pack his bags and head to Jodhpur with fellow Christopher Nolan fan (we'll stick to "fan" for practical purposes) Ryan Pereira after learning that the filmmaker was in the Blue City to shoot a few sequences for The Dark Knight Rises.*The T-shirt designed by community members*

    Gohil remembers sitting in the blazing May sun for hours on end before the duo managed to meet crewmembers of the film's production unit. They watched Nolan from a distance as he shot at Mehrangarh Fort, but all attempts to meet their hero remained futile. What they did do was hand over the memorabilia - posters, letters and pictures - they had lugged along with them to the unit production manager, who promised to pass them on to the man. And he did, for a month after the shoot was wrapped up in India, Pereira received a gracious satellite call from none other than Nolan himself to thank them for coming down to Jodhpur and the gifts.*Christopher Nolan arrived in Mumbai on Thursday. He is seen here with his children and Shivendra Singh Dungarpur. Pic/Bipin Kokate*

    This time, however, is different. "Chris is on our soil, in Mumbai itself!" says Gohil with childlike excitement. Ever since he gathered from social media about Nolan's visit to the city, he has kept track of the Film Heritage Foundation's (FHF's) Facebook page. The organisation's work in film preservation and restoration was noticed by Nolan, and he is in Mumbai to discuss the future of the medium of film - which he shoots his movies on, as opposed to the more popular digital medium - with FHF co-founder Shivendra Singh Dungarpur and one of Britain's premier artistes Tacita Dean. To engage Mumbaikars with celluloid, the foundation organised a film reel hunt in the city, and Gohil is one of the six winners, who will be in the audience for the discussion on Sunday.

    *Mehul Gohil (left) and Ryan Pereira (extreme right) with the production unit in Jodhpur in 2011. Gohil's photographs from the shoot went viral as they were the first to emerge on the Internet*

    "I had always been a fan of Batman, the character, but the 1997 movie, Batman and Robin, was a disaster and I knew that a remake was due. It was when the first production images of Nolan's Batman Begins started surfacing in 2004-05 that I felt it was going to be different. When I watched the movie, I was blown away. It was compelling stuff that had the true essence of Batman; the way it should have been all along," says Gohil.

    He went on to co-found the official The Dark Knight Rises Community page on Facebook with Pereira and Lester Fernandes, which has close to 10,000 fans, including famous YouTubers from across the globe. The group has designed its own T-shirt, and members happily wear one when they go to watch a Nolan movie, which could even take them out of their city. Gohil, for instance, has travelled with fellow fans to Hyderabad to watch Nolan's films in IMAX technology, in which "they are best enjoyed". That the community's seriousness about Nolan's work has been noted was established when Warner Bros India ended up inviting a few members, including Gohil, for the official premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Mumbai.

    With Nolan in his backyard, what does Gohil hope for? "We have made a short film for Chris called Knights of Nolan, which we hope to give to him," says Gohil, as he returns from the FHF office after handing over a DVD of the film to be passed on to Nolan, just in case. "I was at the airport to drop my parents yesterday, and I saw Mr Dungarpur there. I knew he must have come to receive Chris, and I stood there with an A-4 size paper, saying 'Welcome, Chris'. Chris saw my little note as he came out with his family and smiled. Perhaps the universe is conspiring!" he says. "All we want is a few minutes with him, and thank him for what he has done for us. Then we can get on with our lives."

    Get acquainted with the colourful culture of vibrant Rajasthan through their handicrafts which can easily find a spot in your house, say experts. Shailander Kumar, founder of, and owner of home decor boutique store Jaipur Pink, Sunita Burad have listed down a few home decor products from Rajasthan:

    · *Blue pottery:* Each piece of the glazed pottery is hand-painted and hand-moulded beautifully in the form of tableware and home accessories by artisans of Jaipur.
    · *Kishangarh Shaili handicrafts:* These hand-painted art pieces narrate the stories of the past and depict varied events and sceneries with detailing and precision laid on individual features of men and women. Storage boxes, furniture and trays painted in this art style can add character to your living space.
    · *Block prints:* Enchanting floral patterns and vibrant colours are hand block printed on fabrics with utmost care and precision by artisans of Bagru. The traditional process that has been practiced in Rajasthan for over 500 years now can be seen in the form of home linens, diaries and much more.
    · *Pichwai paintings:* The Pichwai paintings are an age-old traditional art of Rajasthan, portraying lord Krishna in varying moods, postures and attires. Accentuate your walls with the unique masterpieces.
    · *Hand embroideries:* The painstaking and intricate embroideries of danka and gota patti find their origin in Rajasthan. Danka is a 400-year-old craft while gota patti is known to be crafted on royal clothing centuries ago. The age-old handworks are now crafted on contemporary looking quirky cushions and homeware.

    *Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. **Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates*

    This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

    Flaunt your ethnic wear in different styles, and drape saris in unique ways this spring season. Nishant Malhotra, founder of, and Krina Panjwani, brand head of Indian Ink, have listed a few styles for you to experiment with:

    Thakur Bari style is one of the oldest and traditional ways of wearing a sari. For this style of draping, you will need a long fabric enough to cover all sides. It looks beautiful and royal with Banarasi fabric if draped nicely.

    · Sari-cum-dupatta style is one of the stunning ways of draping a sari. Wear it with long brocade jacket blouse and drape your sari pallu like a dupatta.
    · Butterfly style, also known as the Bollywood style of wearing a sari, gives a magnificent look to the woman if worn with Banarasi fabric.
    · Wearing a long slit top with a lehenga or sleeveless jacket with it, is a beautiful fusion dress. Even side slit top can be worn over a lehenga.
    · The half casual drape looks elegant if styled in Banarasi sari fabric and carried with off-shoulder blouse.
    · Cape style is like draping dupattas like a poncho or cape covering the back and shoulders. It makes the dupatta look graceful. It can be carried in all types of fabrics but looks lovely if styled in Banarasi fabric.
    · Shimmery and wrinkled fabric is the latest trend which has been incorporated in the Indian as well as in the western wear segment. One piece maxi dresses to Indian kurtis with capes and palazzos to saris, crinkled metallic fabric is just the thing for the spring season.
    · It is neither too bulky nor a regular, substandard fabric, but a unique mix up that elucidates elegance and style within a reasonable range.
    · The moment you thought that the indigo colours would be out of fashion, Indian trend setters have brought it back with a bang. Anarkalis with palazzos and saris have dominated the market again. Captivating floral prints with subtle imprints of birds in yellow, cream and red can give an exquisite look to the entire ensemble.
    · Sheer organza has conquered and taken over other trendy textiles like raw silk, chanderi, cotton and brocade. While other materials are still being used explicitly, sheer organza has been a rage amongst the fashion bigwigs. Dresses, delicate jackets, saris, tunics, dupattas and anarkalis in sheer organza look utterly rich and are easy to carry.

    *Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. **Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates*

    This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

    Handcrafted from natural ingredients, KFC's Double Trouble Lip Balms will be available in a combination of two flavours - Yellow American Mustard and Red Sweet Chilli - in one compact case, said a statement.

    Commenting on the launch, Lluis Ruiz Ribot, CMO, KFC India, said "We have always had fun experimenting with our food and introducing unique flavours. This time while working on new flavours, our chefs came up with this distinct combo that was so unique and irresistible that we named it the Double Trouble."

    "We decided to have some fun and make this amazing flavour combination available to consumers in a potable lip balm format. These 'Double Trouble' balms are so 'lip smackin' good' that consumers will find themselves reaching for it again and again."

    The twist to these KFC flavours has been created using completely organic ingredients. The lip balms will be available on sale from April 1 to April 5 online.

    *Catch up on all the latest Mumbai news, crime news, current affairs, and also a complete guide on Mumbai from food to things to do and events across the city here. **Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates*

    This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever Reported by Mid-Day 7 hours ago.

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    Big corporations — giant retailers and health insurance companies — are teaming up to become your doctor. Reported by 6 hours ago.

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    Those with private health insurance are set to pay $177 more for their premiums. Reported by Brisbane Times 3 hours ago.

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    Humana Inc. joined a potent group of health care companies to look into creating a massive database of provider information with blockchain technology. Louisville-based Humana (NYSE: HUM) has partnered with UnitedHealthcare and Optum — both subsidiaries of Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) — as well as New York City-based health insurance service provider MultiPlan Inc. and Seaucus, N.J.-based laboratory diagnostics firm Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE: DGX) in the venture.… Reported by bizjournals 5 days ago.

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    Reported by SeekingAlpha 5 days ago.

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    Rizwan Hussain is currently Managing Director of Takaful Pakistan Limited. He recently acquired a majority stake in the company. Prior to this acquisition, Rizwan has served at key positions at EFU General Insurance Limited. He managed several functions at EFU, both insurance and Takaful sales with major areas of interest being marketing, strategy formulation, corporate account management, risk underwriting and claims management. He has more than 30 years of experience as a seasoned professional in risk mitigation. He was promoted to the position of Executive Director at EFU in 2007. He is MBA and a Certified Director from PICG. Over the years he has attended various training programs in Insurance, Takaful, Marketing and Strategic Management. He has participated as key note speaker in several local and international conferences and has conducted trainings on Insurance, Bancassurance, Takaful and Bancatakaful.

    Following are excerpts from an exclusive interview with Rizwan Hussain.

    *Takaful Pakistan was the Platinum sponsor of World Islamic Finance Forum (WIFF) organized by IBA-CEIF. What prompted you to take this step?*

    * Rizwan Hussain:* Takaful Pakistan is the Platinum Sponsor of World Islamic Finance Forum (WIFF) arranged by IBA-CEIF. I am a strong believer in Pakistan and have the faith that if right impetuses are provided the country’s GDP growth rate can be boosted. I also believe that Takaful operators and insurance companies not only help in risk mitigation, but these are among the top investors of capital market. This faith prompted Takaful Pakistan to play a role in the efforts to make Pakistan truly ‘Global Hub of Islamic Finance by 2025’.

    I envision and sincerely believe that, Pakistan, being the most promising and emerging Islamic Finance Market, has all the fundamental ingredients such as welcoming consumers and corporates, conducive regulatory and supervisory environment, learned and competent Shariah Scholars and committed professionals.

    *Insurance penetration is very low in Pakistan, what are the key reasons for this?*

    *Rizwan Hussain:* Despite steady growth in the recent years, the key reasons for Pakistan being the country with third lowest insurance penetration and density (both life and non-life even in the emerging markets, just two levels above Nigeria and Bangladesh) are lacking mandatory insurance requirements particularly in motor and health insurance. The area of liability / specialty insurance is almost ignored by majority in domestic market, hence, leaving risks on the table.

    Also inflexibility towards online resources for insurance penetration and digital distribution channels for turning up the volume is one of the reasons of low insurance penetration in Pakistan.

    *How would you compare the mind set of individuals and corporate entities?*

    *Rizwan Hussain:* On one hand, individuals are more inclined towards carrying on the risk at their own, as it has been a traditional approach and depending on the value of the asset or the capacity of the individual to spare funds for the loss occurring due to the event that may or may not happen.

    On the other hand, at the corporate level, the nature of business and stakeholders’ interest are to be looked after by the top management. The impact of loss could be huge and catastrophic for the value chain partners therefore, in majority cases, insurance becomes mandatory for corporate entities.

    *Risk mitigation is a must, but even Takaful operators have not been able in convincing the people at large to insure their immoveable properties?*

    *Rizwan Hussain:* Convincing people beyond their religious beliefs and traditional approach together become a difficult task and requires more rigorous approach from Takaful operators in terms of their performance, making people comfortable and giving them confidence by offering excellent services and professionalism. Educating the philosophy, essence and genuineness of Takaful should be the main areas to focus for Takaful Operator to increase Takaful penetration. Loyalty of customer and trust towards the conventional insurers, due to their presence in the industry for longer time with strong financial and service record, is also challenging for Takaful Operators.

    *In case of any natural disaster the economic losses run into billions but claims filed are minuscule. What is being done for the creation of awareness about the benefits of getting properties insured?*

    *Rizwan Hussain:* Majority of people are not insured under private or government insurance schemes, as many developed countries have launched government insurance schemes for disaster/catastrophic situations and build reserves on their behalf.

    *It is believed that only those factories are insured, which have borrowed and offered properties as collateral. What is the percentage of factories being insured out of sweet will?*

    *Rizwan Hussain:* The obligatory insurance imposed by the institution in such type of transaction forces them to acquire insurance cover. However, the percentage of those obtaining insurance cover at their “sweet will” is very low. Who and to what extent the insurance should be taken is decided by individuals/ entities as per their own risk evaluation expertise, premium payment capacity, but above all understanding of the quantum of damages in case on any eventuality. Reported by Eurasia Review 15 hours ago.

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    Now, students to get power for confirming Std XI admissions Students going into Std XI, the power to finalize a college of your choice is now in your hands. In order to control fraud by colleges who confirm admission of students before the betterment round, the deputy director of education is bringing in the new system, wherein the student has to confirm the admission by clicking on the 'proceed to admission' button in the system.

    *The new system*
    This new system is in the making after the deputy director's office received several complaints about colleges confirming admissions without informing the candidate. As per the old practice, once a college is allotted to a candidate through the online system, only the college had the option to confirm the admission. This was expected to be done after the candidate submits his/her original documents to the college. A confirmed admission could not be cancelled.

    "We are working on this new system so no college takes advantage of any student. A few miscreants took advantage of the confirmation button given only to colleges. But this new button for students is expected to put an end to the issue, as no college will be able to confirm admission unless the student gives a green signal," said a senior official from the department of the deputy director of education, Mumbai. The officer added that a meeting will be held in a few days to finalize the new system, before opening it for all.

    *Parents welcome move*
    Parents have welcomed the move. "No college will be able to take advantage of the confirm admission option now," said Sai Sawant, a parent. Another parent, Nilesh Maru, said, "Earlier, there was a chance of a candidate with average scores getting a college in their area through the system. Through this, any unwanted college can be allotted. But thankfully there is a chance of betterment."

    Two Amritsar businessmen were cheated of Rs 10 lakh by three men in Mumbai last week; the Colaba police have arrested one of them and are on the lookout for the other two. Officers suspect it may be an interstate gang that cheats people under the guise of business deals. The police arrested one Edvin Pinto, 53, on Friday for allegedly cheating Amit Baldevraj, 42, and his business partner Piyush Mahajan, both of whom make plastic granules.

    *Deal struck...*
    Baldevraj told the police, "A year ago, a man who identified himself as Asif had contacted me and said he could get me plastic scrap for cheap as he had contacts at Mumbai port. I didn't have the money then, so I refused. He called me again on April 4 (2018), and this time, I said yes."

    Baldevraj and Mahajan landed in Mumbai and booked themselves in a five-star hotel in *Colaba*. Asif and another person came to meet them there. When Baldevraj said he wanted to buy plastic scrap worth R10 lakh, Asif told him he would have to pay in cash. The businessman told him he could transfer the money into his account via RTGS and he (Asif) could find someone to give him (Baldevraj) the cash.

    An officer said, "Asif said he knew someone (Pinto) who could give him Rs 10 lakh cash, and took the two businessmen to a bar to meet the person." Pinto arrived with a huge plastic bag full of cash and told Baldevraj that he would take Rs 10,000 commission for this, which the latter agreed to. Pinto then gave him the number of his son's bank account, into which Baldevraj transferred the money with the help of his friend in Amritsar. He showed the debit message from his bank to Pinto, but the latter said he would wait for a confirmation from his son and then hand over the cash.

    *...and cancelled*
    In the meanwhile, Asif left and called Baldevraj after sometime to tell him that the seller had cancelled the deal, said the police, adding that the businessman told Pinto to come with him to his bank, so that he could deposit the Rs 10 lakh cash back into his own account. Pinto, however, kept delaying, saying he was still waiting to hear from his son. Getting suspicious, Baldevraj asked Pinto to show him the money; inside were wads of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes, but Baldevraj thought the notes looked fake.

    He and Mahajan caught hold of Pinto and, with the help of a local, got in touch with the Colaba police, who arrived at the spot and took all of them to the police station. Dr Manojkumar Sharma, DCP zone I, told mid-day, "When our officers checked the note bundles, they found colour Xerox copies of Rs 2,000 notes, children bank notes and blank paper. A case was immediately registered against the accused, and Pinto was arrested on the spot.""We have frozen the bank account in which Pinto had made Baldevraj transfer the money. There are crores in it. Pinto is in police custody till April 12. We are searching for Asif and his friend," said another officer.

    *Rs 10k*
    Commission the accused took from the victim

    *Also read: Man tries to implicate kin in fake currency case, booked*

    A sleep-deprived ambulance driver seriously injured a heavily pregnant woman and five of her relatives on Sunday after his drowsiness led to the toppling of the vehicle on the Eastern Express Highway. The woman Sankila Mustak Ahamad, 45 is eight months pregnant and in a critical condition at Sion hospital. Her relatives are being treated at Rajawadi hospital. The incident occurred around 7 am yesterday near the Anand Nagar Octroi Naka in Thane East, when the ambulance was on its way to Mumbai from Malegaon.

    *Leaving Malegaon*
    According to an officer from Kopri police station, six family members left from Malegaon around 12 am on Saturday, because Ahamad, who has a cardiac problem suffered from a blood pressure issue. Malegaon civil hospital officials asked the family to immediately take her to JJ hospital.

    "They had taken an ambulance from the local civil hospital. Five others family members who accompanied the woman have been identified as Mustak Ahamad, Sukur Shaikh, Alida Abdul Rafik, Mohammad Shabab. The driver has been identified as Akil Ahamad. He felt sleepy in the morning and could not control the ambulance, which led to the vehicle crashing into the divider and toppling. The injured were immediately taken to the Rajawadi hospital." The driver is also being treated at Rajawadi hospital.

    *Case against driver*
    Vidya Thakur, superintendent, Rajawadi hospital said, "The pregnant woman is in a serious condition. She is a cardiac patient and we have shifted her to Sion hospital. Other family members have minor injuries and will be discharge soon." Kopri inspector D Bhadane said, "We have registered case against the driver, we are taking statements of everyone. Soon we will make an arrest in the matter."

    *Also read: Seven killed in Maharashtra as driver falls asleep ramming into a truck*

    A golden jackal was found dead in a road accident on the Eastern Express Highway between Mulund and Airoli on Sunday morning. "The carcass was totally crushed and is in the custody of the Mumbai Range of Thane Territorial Wing for further action," said a senior officer from the state forest department.

    A protected species (under schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972), the golden jackal is known to frequent mangroves in search of crabs and other creatures. Mulund and Airoli have mangroves. Last month, animal welfare officials rescued a male golden jackal from Godrej Creekside Colony, a residential complex near the mangroves in Vikhroli.

    With outstretched arms, a group of doctors from the Malad Medical Association (MMA) on Sunday donated two stainless steel stretchers to the Malad station. This kind act was inspired by a gruesome sight one of the doctors, Dr Sanjeev Maniyar, witnessed a severely injured man being taken to the ambulance in a rusted stretcher.

    Maniyar saw the man on the Malad station platform around two weeks ago, when he was on his way home. "Being a doctor, I couldn't stop myself when I saw the injured person on the platform. When I went near him, I saw him bleeding and lying on a rusted stretcher, which is harmful for an accident victim. The rust can get mixed with the blood that can lead to further complications. I was completely stunned at the pathetic condition of the stretchers," said Maniyar.

    Following the incident, Maniyar who is the president of the MMA, decided to donate two stainless steel stretchers to the station. "We held a meeting with doctors from the association and decided to donate it for the welfare of the passengers. We have given stainless steel stretchers as they won't get rusted," he added. The doctors paid around '1,40,000 in total for the stretchers. mid-day reached out to Ravinder Bhakar, CPRO of Western Railway, but he remained unavailable for comment.

    Delhi police detained Telugu Desam Party workers who attempted to protest near Narendra Modi's residence. The protestors were demanding a special category sttus for Andra Pradesh. 

    The decision to protest was taken after TDP lawmakers met at Rajya Sabha member and former Union minister Y S Chowdary's residence in the morning to chalk out the next course of action. The lawmakers were detained on their way to the PM's residence.

    "Twenty MPs are sitting at Tughlak road police station. Police will allow all MPs to go after sometime. They were detained from Bhinder Point near Air Force Station, while they were marching towards the PM's house," a police officer said.

    TDP lawmaker Jayadev Galla said, "The PM is the person to take decisions on the special status. He has to fulfill his promises and that is why we want to raise our demands with him." Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met the lawmakers "in solidarity" at the police station.

    "We condemn their detention and fully support demand for special status of AP (sic)," he said in a tweet later. The TDP withdrew its ministers in the Union cabinet and walked out of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) after the Centre denied the special status to Andhra Pradesh.

    *(With inputs from agencies)*

    *Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. **Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates*

    The Rs 1 clinics were opened to tend to the poor, but apparently beggars don't count. After failing to get treatment there, an ailing beggar died on the doorstep of the clinic in Titwala on Friday. A friend of the deceased, who would manage to scrape together Rs 30 a day, found him lying outside the clinic.

    While clinic doctor Harishankar Tiwari said, "The beggar never approached us for treatment. How would we know that he is not well?", the friend alleged that Chandumama, 65, was lying outside the clinic for two days, and yet, no one bothered to check on him.

    "When I went near him on Friday, he did not respond. So, I called up the police, who took him to a hospital, where he was declared dead," said Ganesh Zol, 36, a construction worker in the area.

    "It was my routine to give a rupee to mama before heading to work. I don't have parents, so I used to take care of Chandumama's food at times. On Friday, as usual, I reached Titwala station and saw Chandumama sitting near the clinic. I gave him some rice and left for work. When I came back from work in the evening, I found him sprawled and unconscious. The clinic was closed, so I called an RPF officer for help."

    *Police says*
    ASI Vidyanand Jadhav of Titwala police said, "No one from the clinic came to check on him. He was quite visibly malnourished. So many people frequent the station and adjoining area, where he was found. It is sad that not a single person, including the clinic doctors, thought to help him."

    Guarding the king of fruits proved to be very costly for a 65-year-old, who paid for it with his life. The Virar police have arrested four people from *Palghar* district for murdering Paltu Rajbhar, who had been hired a month back, to guard the mango trees at Laxmi Farm House at Usgaon in Bhatane.

    Police said in the one month, Rajbhar had befriended several people of the village, along with the four accused, Vinod Baswant, 28, Vilas Jadhav, 20, Rajesh Baswant, 43, and Santosh Padwale, 33. They all live close to the farm, and are daily wage labourers. They often met Rajbhar over a cup of tea.

    *Stoned to death*
    On the night of March 29, the four accused reached the farm in a drunken state. A police source said they started pelting stones at the trees to steal mangoes, but Rajbhar caught them. He identified Vinod when he pointed his torch at him. Scared of getting caught, they started pelting stones at Rajbhar, who soon fell down unconscious. Police said the accused then crushed his head with a big stone, instantly killing him. They then wrapped his body in a cloth and mat, and threw it near a river by the farm. They then fled.

    Jayant Bhajbale, Sub-divisional police officer, said the day after the incident when Arvind Patil, the owner of the farm arrived, he found the door of Rajbhar's house broken. He checked inside but found everything intact, nothing was stolen. "He then looked for Rajbhar on the farm but he was nowhere to be seen. He then went to Rajbhar's relative's house and inquired about him, but they were also clueless. On the evening of March 30, Patil filed a missing complaint with Virar police," said Bhajbale.

    Rajbhar's family too was worried and started looking for him after Patil met them. They inquired with several people. While searching the locality, they found a decomposed body lying near the river. They immediately informed the Virar police who registered an FIR for murder.

    *Accused return*
    In the subsequent investigation, police learnt about the four accused who had gone missing since the incident. On April 7, after getting a tip-off that they were back, the police arrested them from their houses. "All were booked under Sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) and 34 (common intention) of IPC. They were produced before court and remanded in police custody," said Bhajbale.

    *Also read: Delivery man stabbed multiple times; 2 arrested*

    Was there an attempt to derail the 'drug overdose' line of diagnosis given for *Indrani Mukerjea*, who was brought to JJ hospital unconscious late on Friday night? This concern is being raised after a constable to whom Indrani's urine sample, along with her gastric lavage (stomach wash) sample, was entrusted to be taken to Kalina forensic lab for toxin screening, returned to the hospital, saying the urine sample had leaked, asking for another.*Indrani is undergoing treatment in JJ hospital’s Critical Care Unit. File pic*

    A senior doctor said, "We had sealed the samples and preserved them in the refrigerator at Critical Care Unit (CCU) (where Indrani is admitted). On Saturday, a constable, S P Rathod, visited the CCU around 8.15 am, and the samples were handed over to him."

    Two hours later, Rathod returned and informed the on-duty doctor that the urine sample had leaked. The doctor told his superiors, who had already directed the previous night that multiple samples be preserved, and hence, the hospital had the same. This time, however, the doctors called another policeman, sub-inspector Rupesh Patil, to take the samples.

    *Extra precautions*
    One of the doctors at JJ hospital treating the murder accused said, "Indrani's blood, urine and stomach wash (gastric lavage) samples were collected and sent for laboratory testing to the Kalina forensic lab. It was insisted that the samples also be sent to Hinduja hospital for toxin screening."

    Extra cautious after constable Rathod's fiasco, doctors refused to hand over the second set of samples meant for Hinduja hospital directly to the police personnel, and made a doctor accompany the policeman taking those. The Byculla jail administration has released R15,000 for carrying out the required tests.

    Interestingly, last time (in October 2015), Kalina forensic laboratory reports on toxins had come negative, but Hinduja hospital reports had confirmed the high presence of benzodiazepines, a class of drugs used for treating anxiety. It was later learnt that she had been prescribed medication for depression. Just like last time, this time too, Indrani is under the care of Dr Wiqar Shaikh, professor of medicine and head of unit V.

    *Also read: Indrani Mukerjea drug overdose: What happened inside Byculla jail*


    *Report findings*

    As reported by mid-day, a patch of pneumonia was spotted on Indrani's right lower lobe in an X-ray done on Saturday night. A CT scan was done last afternoon, and the report confirmed aspiration pneumonia. She has been put on antibiotics.

    Also, a committee of internal experts - Dr Sanjay Surase, superintendent, JJ hospital; Dr Vidya Nagar, professor and head of Department of Medicine; Dr Kamlesh Jagiasi, associate professor, neurology; and Dr Shaikh - set up has submitted a one-page report on Indrani's condition and line of treatment. The report, which will be sent to Byculla Jail officials, has confirmed that Indrani is being treated for a drug overdose and aspiration pneumonia.

    Indrani, who regained consciousness yesterday, after 36 hours of admission, was visited by a female official from the British High Commission office to know about the UK national's condition and treatment. A senior IPS officer said, "We will have to initiate an inquiry into the happenings. Once test reports come, we will get a better clarity on whether a probe is needed."

    *Doctors' worry*
    Serious concerns have been raised about this happening with Indrani for the second time. While highly-placed prison officials downplayed the issue, saying they have not received any report from doctors treating her and that the test reports too are yet to confirm the same, a treating doctor said, "We are firm about our diagnosis. Indrani was brought in unconscious. We have removed the toxins from her system, and there has been an immediate improvement in her health. That itself establishes that it is a case of drug overdose."

    A senior doctor said, "The jail administration claims it gave Indrani medicines under direct supervision of the jail guard. The police need to probe the entire timeline and what she had outside. We don't know if she had tablets outside or inside the jail; she was unconscious an hour after going to sleep at 9 pm."

    *Rs 15k*
    Amount Byculla jail administration is spending on Indrani's tests

    *36 hours*
    Time it took Indrani to regain full consciousness

    *Also read: Doctors confirm medicine overdose in Indrani Mukerjea's case, police to launch probe*

    Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is out of action for the next few months. He needs a kidney transplant and will need to recuperate without having to worry about work. His job is critical because every governmental decision has financial implications. It is his bureaucracy's job to disburse funds through the necessary rules and orders; as it is, his ministry hasn't been doing a good job of it going by the amount of unutilised funds.

    It isn't the babus' fault - there's not much they can do if their political masters announce a health insurance plan for 10 crore families without providing any details, for instance. Even if the bureaucrat is a bright spark and comes up with options of how they will fund it without allowing private healthcare to exploit the plan for its own profit, then he needs a political master to choose the option. Jaitley will not be able to apply his mind to these and many other things in the coming future. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, therefore, needs a new finance minister.

    He also needs a new information and broadcasting minister. Smriti Irani is an unparalleled disaster if you go just by last week's attempt to regulate accreditation of correspondents who are deemed guilty of manufacturing or disseminating fake news. It caused an uproar for its transparently cynical attempt to further control the news. Not that the news needs much control these days – the electronic media is completely slavish to the government and the ruling party's ideological prejudices.

    If there is an embarrassing expose of BJP chief Amit Shah's son's puzzling jump in income, the media starts discussing Congress president Rahul Gandhi's latest tweet (for some reason, his tweets, despite their civility compared to pre-2014 Modi's tweets, are judged as the barometer of his political suitability). And if question after question emerges into the alleged cover-up of the death of Judge BH Loya, who died while hearing the case in which Shah was a conspirator, newspapers quickly look the other way, lest they catch the plague of truth-telling and fact-checking.

    Modi rescinded Irani's order. To some it would appear staged – that Modi intends to bring in some order or legislation at some point to combat fake news, and that his was just a trial balloon to gauge the opposition, so that it can be managed accordingly.

    Don't be fooled with having the Press Council or the press accreditation bureau or the broadcasters' regulatory bodies be the ones to judge the cases of those guilty of proliferating fake news, or that they will give a veneer of fairness or independence to this exercise. Modi does not have a democratic bone in his body. Regulating so-called fake news is but a step away from the burning down of the Reichstag.

    However, if we were to go by the events themselves and not read into the meaning behind them, then Irani committed a serious blunder and should be replaced. Modi would need a new I&B minister. Then there is railways minister Piyush Goyal and his links to a defaulting private firm, for which the Congress party demanded his resignation. Briefly, Goyal was chairman of Shirdi Industries during 2008-2010, during which time it got a R258 crore loan from a consortium of banks led by the Union Bank of India.

    The company's sister concern lent a few crores to a company headed by Goyal's wife Seema. And to top it all, the banks were persuaded to take a haircut of most of the loan amount. "A loot of public money," is how Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad described it.

    It isn't just that the Prime Minister had promised "na khaoonga, na khaane doonga", but also Goyal has been a dud of a minister despite all and sundry touting him as some sort of wunderkind. The banking system has the largest amount of non-performing assets (NPAs), but the second largest is in the power sector and this happened while Goyal was the power minister.

    As a result, India has overcapacity in power, but the power companies are unable to collect past dues and debts, and is thus sinking further in debt. For impropriety and incompetence, Goyal ought to go. That would leave another Cabinet vacancy.

    It has been clear from the start that Modi's cabinet is filled with talentless wonders - and he prefers it that way. The people in the BJP who could have contributed ideas and experience to governance are all sulking on the sidelines. Modi nonetheless has to enact a cabinet reshuffle, even a minor one. But how can he, worried as he is about the Dalit backlash against his party, and the tough fight he has to join, sooner or later, in Karnataka? Modi must learn that sometimes jumlas are no substitute for actual governance.

    *Aditya Sinha's new book will be out in May. He tweets @autumnshade. Send your feedback to*

    A little over a week ago, we, like most Christians in the city, were in last-minute shopping mode for Easter. No, this wasn't for a swish outfit to wear for the service but a sprint to the neighbourhood cold storage to source meat and fish for the grand feast that had to be prepped at home after the fasting period of Lent.

    Now, don't get confused by the term 'cold storage' in this context. In fact, it's quite the contrary of all imagery that comes to mind. This particular establishment, Eat Well [how very apt, no?] has been a part of our growing up years, when it was just that – a cold storage. A big challenge indeed, especially if it happened to be located in the vegetarian-dominated suburb of Mulund. Today, it's a buzzing community hub for all things edible, fresh and local, outgrowing its earlier definition.

    A day before Easter, when we dropped by the shop, it was milling with activity. After sourcing our picks for the home luncheon, we chatted with the owners, the Phadnis brothers on the change in eating habits of the suburb. Much to our surprise, we learnt that pork was the leading meat choice by a long distance. Apparently, after the clampdown on beef, the meat-eater's palate has also had a shift, we were told.

    Talk moved from pork and its calorific components, like bacon and ham to the other end of the spectrum – healthy eating. In the middle of all the feasting and whiff of freshly baked cakes, Easter eggs and loads of homemade goodies sourced from home chefs around the suburb, neighbouring Thane and even far-off Bandra, we listened intently about the emergence of a growing population of new-age chicken loyalists who plumbed for the treated and cured kinds, and swore by their daily calorie intake. Fish also seemed to be a hot favourite among this tribe. Fresh catch of pomfret, mackerel, rawas and prawn from Sassoon Dock and Thane's popular fish market, were the big draws, while (bland) basa seemed to be the preferred pick for newly converted pescitarians.

    All of this, in veggie-happy Mulund. We were smiling. It was a turnaround and how. From the days when one had to make do with just the basic few cold cuts, and fish from the local fish market and the odd monthly trek to either Crawford Market or Bandra for the 'good stuff', this was a mini food revolution that we were witnessing in the farsan and fafda loving suburb. Don't get me wrong, if you're wondering whether the savoury pastime has taken a backseat. Step into any of the suburb's vintage kirana stores and farsaanwallahs, and you'll be stumped with the variety. We'll have to save that discussion for another column.

    All in all, our visit to Eat Well on a cheery Saturday morning was a fascinating study, one where cosmopolitanism was in full flow – from the polka-dotted dress sporting Goan aunties scanning their pork cuts and the Maharashtrian kakas keen on 'fakth Baramati chicken' to the Gujju gym-freaks shopping for all things lean. More power to such neighbourhood gems, where community and food are on song.

    *mid-day's Features Editor Fiona Fernandez relishes the city's sights, sounds, smells and stones...wherever the ink and the inclination takes her. She tweets @bombayana. Send your feedback to*

    *Catch up on all the latest Mumbai news, crime news, current affairs, and also a complete guide on Mumbai from food to things to do and events across the city here. **Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates* Reported by Mid-Day 11 hours ago.

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    Sureify and HumanAPI partner to incorporate Electronic Health Record data into the life insurance distribution, purchase and engagement experience

    SAN JOSE, Calif. (PRWEB) April 09, 2018

    This week at The Life Insurance Conference in Chicago, IL, Sureify, the digital bridge between life insurers and consumers, and Human API, the largest patient-centric health data network, announced a partnership to incorporate EHR data from Human API into the Sureify product suite. This collaboration will enable Sureify to further improve the life insurance buying process and empowering insurers to better engage with millions of policyholders.

    As Sureify continues to grow its ecosystem of data sources to improve the customer experience, Dustin Yoder, Sureify CEO, commented “Sureify is on a mission to digitize the entire life insurance experience into the Lifetime platform and become the life insurance platform of the future. Simplified, direct access to health records plays a pivotal role in accomplishing this which is why integrating Human API into our platform is a major milestone and a great opportunity for life insurers.”    

    Through the integration of the HumanAPI and Sureify platforms, life insurers can further streamline the digital policy quoting, underwriting, and distribution processes to improve the consumer buying experience and speed of purchase. By leveraging this combined solution during the application process, life insurers can make real-time risk decisions and connect the consumer with the right policy at the right time. As a further advancement and emerging opportunity, the real-time electronic medical record data from Human API and Sureify’s inforce policy engagement solution also allows an insurer to engage with policyholders in a more personal way throughout their lifetime post-sale.

    Human API CEO and founder, Andrei Pop, commented, “At Human API, it’s our mission to empower consumers by allowing them to have better access and control over their health data. Partnering with Sureify helps bring our vision to the life insurance industry by allowing carriers to create better customer engagement strategies and buying experiences for customers.”

    With the collaboration, insurers will be able to take advantage of these enhanced features, advantages and benefits of the Sureify Lifetime platform:· Sophisticated & cost effective underwriting: The medical information pulled through Human API and pushed into the Sureify platform will allow for more effective automated cloud-based underwriting solutions to evolve as the industry moves away from traditional manual medical data analysis during the underwriting process.
    · Streamlined buying process: The consumer health record data gleaned during the application process can be used in lieu of timely and costly third party medical exams allowing insurers to reduce drop off rates and customer acquisition costs.
    · Improved customer engagement: The Amazon’s and Google’s of the world are shaping consumer expectations as it relates to customer experience and engagement. This is because they know their customers better than anyone else. The collaboration with Human API will give Sureify customers access to a similar level of real-life customer health and medical record intelligence information.  This, combined with Sureify’s ability to orchestrate a high volume of hyper-personalized digital interactions gives insurers the platform to engage with their customers in a way that meets and even exceed their increasing expectations. Thus, insurers are able to improve persistency and increase customer lifetime value while maintaining high customer satisfaction and loyalty ratings.
    · Advanced Analytics and Insight: The Sureify Lifetime platform takes this data and makes it actionable for insurers through their carrier panel product offering via a safe and secure enterprise platform solution. The tool allows insurers to stratify their populations, analyzing medical data from Human API alongside additional disparate IoT source data, wearables, social determinants, behavioral data and provides the carriers with business intelligence, analytics, and AI to better understand their population and how to deliver products that meet the consumer demands of the digital age.

    The new collaboration between Sureify and Human API will be showcased in booth 223 at The Life Insurance Conference on April 9-11 in Chicago, IL.

    About Sureify
    Sureify the global life insurance industry’s leading digital acquisition, engagement, retention and consumer behavior analytics platform. Sureify’s LifeTime product suite provides solutions for omni-channel online electronic policy application, purchase and distribution; post-purchase engagement via health challenges, rewards programs, and personalized content delivery. The Sureify carrier panel enables our customers to glean powerful insight and business intelligence from their policyholder population by tracking policyholder health behavior through IoT devices, wearables, sensor and behavioral data. Insurers can make this data actionable through our robust analytics tools, stratify their population, asses risk and target policyholders with the right messaging at the right time when they’re ready to buy or simply to solicit valuable customer feedback, have conversations with consumers and build strong brand loyalty like never before. To learn more visit

    About Human
    API Human API is the largest patient-centric health data network. The Human API platform retrieves, analyzes, normalizes, and delivers unique clinical data and wellness information on consumers from our network of over 35,000 unique integrations spanning 250M+ consumers. Today we’re powering industry leading applications built by fast-growing startups and Fortune 500 companies in the healthcare provider, clinical research, health insurance, life insurance, pharmaceutical, and a digital health verticals. To learn more, visit Reported by PRWeb 8 hours ago.

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