Health care reform insurance rebates, retirement plan requirements top the lists of employers
The two time-sensitive issues that top the list of employers’ mind this month are healthcare reform insurance rebates and Department of Labor retirement plan fee disclosure requirements. The employers must follow the new laws that govern their responsibilities to the employees on complex issues. CliftonLarsonAllen LL has released the whitepaper namely Medical Loss Ratio Rebates on health care reform insurance rebates. The nation’s top 10 certified public accounting and consulting firms, CLA also uses its exclusive health insurance and penalty calculator and other resources to serve more than 2,300 employees with benefit plans and more than 4,800 healthcare clients nationwide.
Health insurer rebates
Some employers have already received rebates from insurers under new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requirements. The rebates satisfy a medical loss ratio standard that requires insurance companies in the individual and small group health insurance markets to spend atleast 80% of premium dollars on medical care and quality improvement. Employers who sponsor group health plans and receive MLR rebates should comply with DOL and Employee Retirement Security Act regulations in handling rebates.
DOL fee disclosures
In 2011, the DOL issued a new fee disclosure regulations designed to help the employees make informed decisions about their retirement plan accounts. Under ERISA, plan sponsors are required to receive the fee disclosures from their plan providers by July 1, 2012 and disclose the expenses and fees deducted from plan participants, accounts by August 30, 2012. The plan sponsors also have the responsibility to determine whether the plan fees are reasonable and the investment choices are in the best interest of employee plan participants.
CliftonLarsonAllen is a certified public accounting and consulting companies. It has been structured to provide clients with highly specialized industry insight. The company delivers its audit, accounting, tax, consulting and advisory capabilities from industry-specific perspectives.
5 mins with... Johannes Bhakdi, Quantgene
Quantgene is a US biotech company that uses AI and the cloud to do genomic testing. It was founded in 2015 to focus on cancer - integrating advanced genomics and molecular diagnostics systems with the cloud and AI systems.
CEO Johannes Bhakdi tells us Quantgene is the first COVID-19 testing company to fully integrate variant identification - we find out more.
Given the new Delta and Lambda variants, is the coronavirus mutating at a faster rate than most viruses?
The reason SARS-COV2 is mutating on a perceived higher rate is not that the individual viruses mutate at a higher rate, but that the base population infected with the virus is vastly higher. The absolute rate of global mutations is a direct function of how many people have the virus at any given point in time. Since this is a global pandemic, and tens of millions have been infected, we see more mutations.
That makes it more unpredictable, because any single mutation that has an evolutionary advantage - like the Delta variant - can then take over and spread even faster.
What is the usual process for testing and analysing viral mutations?
The most effective tool for analysing mutations is Whole Viral Genome sequencing. It allows you to read out the entire genome of the virus. Once the wet-lab sequencing is complete, we use this information to map it against what is called a "reference genome", meaning the classic SARS-COV2 genome. This allows us to then see any differences between the investigated sample and the baseline genome of SARS COV2.
We then use these differences to map them against a database of known mutations, like the Delta variant. That way we can see if we are dealing with any known variant, and if we have a new variant at our hands, as well as determine what this new variant does to the spike protein and how likely it is to be a problem with antigens and vaccines, based on the changed protein structure. This last step is not easy and not clear-cut, and there is some speculation into the determination of how problematic the mutated proteins are.
What does Quantgene do differently?
At Quantgene, we are focusing on solving problems for our clients - may it be employers, movie productions or governments. That means we ensure that our client gets the COVID protection they need in the fastest possible time frame and at the highest precision possible - mostly at or below market prices.
We are bringing together technologies like RT-PCR testing and mutation profiling/sequencing, as well as advanced bioinformatics and computational resources to ensure high-quality results are being delivered seamlessly.
We are also adding important components such as real-time cloud software and medical services to it. Simply put, we turn the COVID problem into a one-click seamless solution that works better than others, so companies and government clients don't have to deal with laboratories, medical or software providers who point fingers at each other and fail to deliver in time and with high precision. COVID is too dangerous and important to risk falling short.