September 6, 2012 462 Views FDIC Stands by Its Community Bank Examinations Agents & Brokers Credit Unions FDIC Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-09-06 Krista Franks Brock After some community banks expressed concerns that FDIC examinations “”were being conducted without clear standards or consistent application of agency policies and procedures, which could discourage business growth and responsible lending,”” the “”FDIC””:http://www.fdic.gov/ conducted a “”report””:http://www.fdicig.gov/reports12/12-011AUD.pdf?source=govdelivery to review its examination process. [IMAGE]The FDIC reviewed examinations conducted over the past five years, ending December 31, 2011. Major findings of the recently-released report include that timelines for report completion often lengthens as institution ratings worsen, and while community banks can challenge the FDIC’s findings, these challenges are rare and even more rarely sustained. After completing its onsite work at a community bank or credit union, the FDIC generally takes between two and four weeks to submit an examination report for institutions rated one or two. For institutions rated three, four, or five, the FDIC often takes anywhere from six to nine weeks.[COLUMN_BREAK]This variance is attributed to “”the additional complexity and volume of deficiencies associated with troubled institutions,”” the intricacies required to validate a lower rating, and time spent with bank managers and other officials to come to a consensus before issuing a final report, according to the FDIC’s report. Compliance reviews generally take about one month to complete after conducting onsite work, according to the report. While the FDIC says it encourages questions throughout the examination process, institutions may request a formal review if they do not agree with the ultimate outcome of their examination report. Over the five years reviewed, the FDIC received 41 requests for review. However, only one was sustained, and three were “”partially sustained.”” FDIC officials report “”few requests for review are sustained because the applicable Director usually finds that the initial determinations are consistent with FDIC policy. If after a review, the institution still objects, it may appeal to the Supervision Appeals Review Committee. Community banks and credit unions filed a total of 23 appeals over the five-year period under review. Only one was sustained. The other 22 “”were either denied or lacked grounds for an appeal to the SARC,”” stated the FDIC in its report. The FDIC established new timeline goals in 2010 and 2011 and reports that it has met its targets thus far. The range between 90 days and 180 days, depending on the type of review and whether the institution in question is rated favorably or unfavorably. The FDIC also reports it has a framework in place to ensure consistency while considering the “”unique circumstances of each institution and the community in which it operates.”” in Data, Origination, Servicing Share
Almost a third of potential homeowners think they need to put down 20% or more as a down payment, according to a survey completed by Freddie Mac. Additionally, the GSE found that 30% of renters and nearly 25% of existing renters and existing homeowners don’t know how much lenders require. Around 70% of survey respondents who are planning to buy a home said that a 20% down payment would delay their homebuying decision, while almost 30% indicated they would never be able to afford a home.Using data from the National Survey of Mortgage Originations, Freddie Mac looked at where the money for down payments would be coming from for potential homebuyers. According to the Survey, the amount of buyers who would be paying from their own savings/inheritance/other assets declined since 2013, down to 70% from 79%. Another 31% of homebuyers used proceeds from the sale of another property, up from 23% in 2013, and 10% of home buyers used assistance or a loan from a nonprofit or government agency, up from 5% in 2013.From this data, Freddie Mac concludes that down payments can come from different sources and do not have to come only from personal savings, although the majority of consumers used their personal savings or investments for their down payment in recent years. Additionally, potential homebuyers may be mistaken about the 20% down payment. In 2018, the median down payment on a house was 13% for buyers overall, and 7% for first-time buyers according to the National Association of Realtors, meaning a down payment may not be as unaffordable as many believe.Many first time buyers are not only utilizing their family to assist with down payments, but with other aspects of the mortgage process. Freddie Mac notes that some young adults are receiving assistance from their parents in the form of co-signing the mortgage loan, especially for first time buyers. However, the percentage of young adult homebuyers with family co-borrowers remains small. How Young Buyers are Making Down Payments May 7, 2019 782 Views Down Payment Freddie Mac mortgage 2019-05-07 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination Share
Napa Valley, CA—Meadowood Napa Valley is offering a romantic Rare & Collectible Wine Lovers’ Getaway through the month of April, Monday through Saturday. This special offer begins at $1,540 per couple and includes: • One night’s lodging in a guest room with a fireplace • A welcome glass of wine fireside in The Restaurant Bar with Restaurant Sommelier Rom Toulon • Dinner for two in The Restaurant at Meadowood featuring Meadowood’s Rare & Collectible Wine Lovers’ Menu created by Michelin Two-Star Chef Christopher Kostow & Rom ToulonTo reserve the Rare & Collectible Wine Lovers’ Getaway, please call 707-963-3646 or 800-458-8080.Menu: At the Bar Jonata, “La Flor de Jonata”, Santa Ynez Valley – 2006 Lobster Carpaccio Black River Osetra Caviar Le Reve, Domaine Carneros by Taittinger, Napa – 2001Cold Smoked Kampachi Rhubarb, Beet, Spring Onion Kongsgaard, “The Judge”, Napa Valley – 2005Sonoma Pousin Clam, Chorizo, Lemon Verbena Marcassin, “Blue Slide Ridge Vineyard”, Russian River Valley – 2003Roasted Sonoma Lamb Date Carpaccio, Cinnamon, Arugula Harlan Estate, Oakville – 2003Strawberries From the Garden Château D’Yquem, Sauternes, France – 1995About Meadowood Napa Valley: Meadowood is nestled among 250 private acres in the heart of Napa Valley, America’s premiere wine growing region. The estate is a center for social, cultural, and viticultural life in the valley and is known for its beautiful, natural setting, gracious hospitality, classic architecture and traditional pastimes including croquet, tennis, golf, swimming, hiking, bird-watching, fine dining, and the enjoyment of wine. Also a private club, Meadowood counts Napa Valley’s most prominent vintners among its membership. A Relais & Chateaux property, Meadowood is one mile east from downtown St. Helena and 18 miles north of Napa. For reservations or more information on Meadowood please call (800) 458-8080 or visit www
13Aug Rep. Webber asks attorney general to formally investigate gas price spike State Rep. Michael Webber is joining state Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, in calling on Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette to spearhead an investigation in regards to the gas price jump occurring in the Midwest United States.“This dramatic increase in price deserves a full investigation by a trusted Michigan official,” said Rep. Webber, R-Rochester Hills, who serves as a member of the House Committee on Energy Policy.An oil refinery in Whiting, Indiana – which is owned by British Petroleum (BP) – has reported a mechanical breakdown. As a result, gas prices in Michigan have jumped by an immense amount.The breakdown is expected to result in an approximately 80-cents-per-gallon spike in gasoline prices in coming weeks. There is currently no estimated time that prices will return to normal.“In Michigan’s improving economic climate, the necessity of this price spike must be questioned,” Rep. Webber said. “A thorough investigation conducted by Attorney General Schuette would accurately look into this matter and provide answers that Michiganders rightfully deserve.”The Michigan Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division can be reached toll-free at 877-765-8388.### Categories: Webber News
Categories: Kahle News 31Aug Rep. Kahle invites residents to in-district office hours State Rep. Bronna Kahle invites Lenawee County residents to join her for local office hours on Friday, Sept. 8 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Lenawee County District Library, 4459 US – BUS 223 in Adrian.“I enjoy the opportunity to connect with people in the community and hear what matters most to them,” Rep. Kahle said. “I look forward to listening to our neighbors, addressing their concerns and working through solutions for the people of Lenawee County.”No appointments are necessary to attend office hours. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Kahle’s office at (517) 373-1706 or BronnaKahle@house.mi.gov.
Categories: Kesto News,News State Rep. Klint Kesto, co-chair of the House C.A.R.E.S. Task Force, today announced the panel’s findings to serve as a guide to improve specialized veteran, substance abuse and mental health services in Oakland County and across Michigan.Kesto, who also chairs the House Law and Justice Committee, said the recommendations will improve care in Michigan’s criminal justice system, including improved training for first responders, better services to victims, enhanced court and diversion programs, and additional treatment during and after incarceration.“We went into this process determined to come up with real reforms, not just rhetoric,” said Kesto, of Commerce Township. “I’m extremely pleased with the results. We’ve developed some cutting-edge ideas that will allow our state to be smarter on crime without increasing the burden on taxpayers, while also helping so many of our fellow residents touched by mental health and substance abuse issues.”The bipartisan House C.A.R.E.S. Task Force was initiated by House Speaker Tom Leonard with a focus on five key elements: Community, Access, Resources, Education and Safety (C.A.R.E.S.) to explore which programs were successful and where vulnerable residents are lacking in care and resources. The panel held over a dozen public meetings and site visits across Michigan from July to October 2017, including a hearing at the Oakland Community Health Network in Auburn Hills on Aug. 29.Today’s release of the report was the next step in the process to improving services with Kesto already submitting legislation based on the Task Force’s findings.“We found that there are a lot of quality mental health programs and professionals in Michigan, but we must do better for our citizens,” Kesto said. “I was pleased to get the ball rolling with timely legislation and I look forward to reviewing any bills inspired by the hard work we put in last summer. We’ll get this done because Michigan is counting on it.”The full report is available to review at www.house.mi.gov/CARES. 17Jan Rep. Kesto announces House C.A.R.E.S. Task Force report
Legislator casts important vote as House approves landmark legislationState Rep. Pamela Hornberger today joined fellow House members in approving a bipartisan plan to reform Michigan’s broken no-fault system.The plan guarantees lower personal injury protection (PIP) rates for all drivers in Michigan, who now have the highest average car insurance premiums in the nation – twice as high as neighboring states. The bill offers personal injury coverage options, fights fraud and abuse, and addresses medical costs.“This plan is a huge win for the people of Michigan,” said Rep. Hornberger. “We’ve listened to their concerns and produced this complete overhaul of our state’s unfair and broken auto insurance system.”Michigan’s costs are high largely because it’s the only state mandating unlimited lifetime health care coverage through car insurance. The House plan allows those currently using the coverage to keep it, and those who want it in the future to continue buying it – while providing more affordable options.The plan:Guarantees lower rates for all Michigan drivers;Gives drivers a choice on car insurance policies;Stops price gouging on medical services for car accident victims;Combats fraudulent claims to help lower costs.The sweeping legislation now advances to the Senate for consideration.##### Categories: Hornberger News 09May Rep. Hornberger helps move car insurance reform into the fast lane
Share17TweetShareEmail17 Shares August 2, 2014; Lexington Herald-Leader Over the last few months, we have watched stories about nonprofits that have resisted being included in living wage requirements. These stories of two men who made sacrifices to ensure more equity can help us consider another way. They also provide a image that stands as a polar opposite and a rebuttal to the typical U.S. mega-rich billionaire hero.Not only did Raymond Burse, the interim president at Kentucky State University, request a $90,000 pay cut in order to raise the wages of 24 employees who made less than $10.25 an hour, but the school’s board of regents also approved the request. The second act may be even more important than the first.KSU Board of Regents Chairwoman, Karen Bearden, said “President Burse has asked the board to pay 24 employees who are currently earning less than $10.25 per hour the amount necessary to bring their salaries to $10.25 per hour, and this amount would be reduced from the base pay salary that this board would pay him.” Burse now makes $259,744 instead of $349,869.Burse is not, apparently, the first president of a university to make this move. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, at Hampton University, William R. Harvey, the president, donated more than $100,000 so that low-wage workers there would make at least $9 per hour. And, again according to the Chronicle, “This is not the first time the Harveys have donated money to support wage increases at the private, historically black university in Hampton, Virginia. They donated $45,000 to support a five-percent wage increase for staff members earning less than $7 an hour in 2006, and $166,000 in 2011 to increase minimum staff wages to $8 an hour. The most-recent donation will cover higher wages through the end of the current fiscal year, after which they will be included in the university’s budget.” Harvey is, no surprise, one of the longest-sitting university presidents in the country.Back to Kentucky. Burse says he understands that he cannot make the institution work without those workers, some of whom are making as little as $7.25. “It takes everybody on this campus to do what we need to do to improve it,” Burse said. “I want everybody on the team to be involved and this is one way of showing employees on the lower end of the pay scale that they are important as well.”“They are the people that do the physical labor on this campus on a daily basis. They are the ones that make it look good. I think they deserve to be rewarded,” Burse said. “We live in some very tough times and we want to make certain that they know we, the board and myself, care about them and want to do the very best by them.”—Ruth McCambridge Share17TweetShareEmail17 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesSeptember 16, 2014; Baking BusinessOperating in 60 countries and with 11,000 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants and 7,300 Baskin-Robbins restaurants, Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. has just committed to source only 100% sustainable palm oil in the United States by 2016. The sustainability must be fully traceable to the mill by the end of 2015 and to the plantation by the end of 2016.Still, the Union of Concerned Scientists, which has been pushing the sustainable palm oil agenda with corporations, says this commitment does not go far enough. “In recent years, dozens of major companies have committed to buying more deforestation-free palm oil,” reads UCS’s statement. “Last March, UCS scored commitments from 30 top companies and Dunkin’ Brands received a failing grade, largely because the company did not address palm oil procurement across its global supply chain.” Calen May-Tobin, an analyst with UCS’s Tropical Forest & Climate Initiative, states:“America might run on Dunkin’, but the company needs to address the 59 other countries in which it operates, too. Dunkin’ is clearly feeling the heat from American consumers, but their response is not quite what their consumers are demanding. “It’s a good sign that Dunkin’ is willing to improve sourcing for its U.S. locations; it should adopt the same requirements globally. The company says it’s going to consider doing so, but in the meantime, tropical forests are still getting fried. The fast food sector is woefully behind other industries when it comes to sourcing sustainable palm oil. Dunkin’ is taking this issue seriously and more fast food companies should follow in its footsteps. At the end of the day, though, this is literally a half-measure.”Dunkin’ Brands said it worked with several nonprofit organizations to develop its responsible palm oil supply plan, and intends to continue to work with the organizations to help it meet its goals. For a look at another company’s less positive interactions with an attempt to deal with problems with palm oil, you can see the NPQ newswire about Greenpeace and Nestlé here.—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares December 31, 2014; ThinkAdvisorThere has been substantial momentum in the LGBTQ movement over the last several years, and a new report by the organization Funders for LGBTQ Issues shows that there is a substantial increase in the funding of causes associated with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues. The following highlights the momentum behind the funding of the U.S. LGBTQ community in 2013:Increased Giving: There were “4,152 grants to organizations and programs focused on LGBTQ issues, totaling $129 million, a 6.3 percent increase over 2012.” Additionally, grantmaking for LGBTQ issues grew by 6.3 percent while foundation funding in general grew by 5.6 percent. Total LGBTQ grantmaking in 2013 amounted to $144.8 million—including re-granted dollars, detailed below. The report outlined that over the past decade, foundation funding for LGBTQ issues had grown by more than 250 percent while general foundation funding grew by less than 75 percent during the same period.Growth in Re-granting: Foundations granted $15.7 million to public foundations and other intermediaries, a $3 million increase from 2012. Twelve percent of LGBTQ funding was re-granted through an intermediary or funding collaborative, which, the report stated, demonstrated “an exceptional degree of collaboration and coordination among LGBTQ funders.”Funding Focus: Advocacy “continued to be the most funded strategy in 2013, representing 48 percent of all funding.” Direct services increased by five percent to 18 percent.The top funder of LGBTQ causes was the Arcus Foundation at $16.8 million, while the organization Freedom to Marry was the largest funder (without re-granting) at $3.6 million. The top 20 funders of LGBTQ organizations and programs funded 78 percent of all LGBTQ funding, with 331 foundations and corporations making grants to LGBTQ organizations.The Northeast continued to be the most funded region relating to LGBTQ causes, at nearly $20 million, with New York receiving nearly of half that funding. The Mountain region of the United States received the least amount of funding, just under $3 million. Wyoming received just $25K for the funding of LBGTQ issues. As it happens, Wyoming was ranked the least tolerant state by the Daily Beast, with ratings that incorporated issues relating to the LBGTQ community.While the above is encouraging, there is still a lot of growth to be had amongst funders. Of the approximately $55 billion foundations are estimated to have granted in 2013, only 0.2 percent went to LGBTQ organizations and programs.—John BrothersShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares February 19, 2015;The GuardianWe all know them: Organizations that are made up of collections of things. Universities comprising multiple departments and schools. Multi-service centers with twenty or thirty programs, all functioning relatively independently. These can sometimes be hard to corral. Charities large enough to house several departments often silo those departments so that they work almost as separate entities within a whole. This may cause many types of organizational problems, including hampering the way the outside world understands the organization.So what is to be done? Should you try to force everyone to get on message? Find a tag line that fits the whole and insist it be attached to all communications? Exercise tight control? Or maybe you could think about it another way. Something has to knit the whole together to make the parts sing in harmony to the community—find that and work with it. Creating a concordant voice in a multiple-part organization has more to do with everyone’s knowledge of, and commitment to, the whole song as well as their particular parts than with any structural changes or imposition of voice.This short article in the Guardian errs a bit in addressing communications and branding as the way into a larger problem of disintegration, which occurs over time and can get very firmly anchored, and that can be very thorny. In the end, this requires recommitment of the organization’s participants to a central mission and value proposition. That’s something that cannot be forced, but must be crafted; it is the form within the rock that needs to get sculpted.In a way, the article belies its own message by addressing the solution as integrated communications rather than an integrated organization. But it does provide some useful cautions in a set of myths about how to approach that sense of unity/harmony. The myths are:“To achieve integration, we’d have to restructure the whole charity.” Structural change is not necessarily needed. In fact, cultural change is more effective. If all departments collaborate and commit to shared objectives, any disconnection between departments will be eliminated. Sherine Krause, executive director of fundraising, communications, and policy at Action for Children, says, “Structure is just one part of the issue. It’s much more about the way you work together.”“We can’t do this because we haven’t got a massive budget.” Similar to the first myth, large advertising budgets are not necessary. If the entire organization is working together and focused on the same mission, the amount of an organization’s budget will be most effective. Basically, the charity will get the “biggest bang for the buck.”“This doesn’t apply to me, my audience is different.” Debbie West, head of fundraising and direct response at Good Agency, said, “Audiences do not classify themselves through their transaction. They care about the cause and the impact they will have, and often embrace multiple ways of supporting it.” In other terms, do not ever assume that someone is not a part of the organization’s audience. Each department working together has the potential to bring in donors and supporters from a wide range of demographics.“But we’ve got completely different objectives, so our messages will be very different.” If each department is a part of the same organization, then everyone is working toward the same mission. While teams will have different objectives to meet, the overall goals of the organization will be consistent—and so should the communications plan.In September 2005, NPQpublished an article that explained:“Without planning, our work too often functions in crisis-response mode and, as a result, tends to be scattered in its effect. When work is scattered, capacity never builds, nothing feels solid, and staff and members become demoralized. Just as an organization’s strategic plan clarifies its program goals and distributes resources to match group priorities, an accompanying communications plan helps an organization plan systematic communications work.”So, ensuring that all staff and volunteers understand and are passionate about the organization’s mission is the strongest tool in being able to put out a consistent, effective message to the community.—Erin Lamb and Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share114TweetShare7Email121 Shares“Strong Beginnings – Pre-K Graduation – Friday, June 11, 2010 – Vicenza, Italy – CYSS – FMWRC – US Army.” Credit: U.S. ArmyMay 18, 2017; New York Daily News, “Opinion”Universal Pre-K is widely viewed as an important part of the nation’s efforts to give all children, particularly those raised in poverty, a quality education that will allow them to flourish in their adult years. But is it so important that early childhood educators should be subsidizing the cost of its expansion?Preschool programs can be expensive to operate, and funding remains an obstacle. Often missed in the discussions of whether taxes should be increased or funds diverted from other programs in order to create new Pre-K classes is the question of whether early childhood teachers should subsidize the cost of their own programs.Low salaries have been a hallmark of early childhood education. Ruth McCambridge, in a previous NPQ story, referenced a study by UC-Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, which found,Early educators are among the lowest-paid workers in the country. The median hourly wages for child care workers range from $8.72 in Mississippi to $12.24 in New York. Nationwide, the median wage is $9.77. Preschool teachers fare somewhat better: wages range from $10.54 in Idaho to $19.21 in Louisiana. In contrast, the median national wage for kindergarten teachers is $24.83. Nearly one-half of childcare workers (46 percent), compared to 26 percent of the U.S. workforce, are part of families that participate in at least one public assistance program, such as Medicaid or food stamps.Earlier this year, New York City began expanding preschool opportunities, with the goal of enrolling every three-year-old child. The city estimated it would need an additional $700 million to serve the estimated 5,700 children ($123,000/child) for this expansion. Even in a city as rich and liberal as New York, this is difficult to fund and those costs depend on keeping salaries down.According to Dave Nocenti, writing in the N.Y. Daily News, the disparities between similarly trained teachers in public kindergartens and in publicly funded preschools operated for the city by nonprofit organizations range from 32 percent to 113 percent, depending on their years of teaching.In the public schools, lead classroom teachers with master’s degrees and state certifications earn a starting salary of $60,704. Those with 10 years of experience earn $82,995, and those with 20 years of experience earn $101,550…[Universal PreK] teachers with identical credentials—a master’s degree and state certification—get paid a starting salary of $50,000, with minimal longevity increases. Teachers with 10 or 20 years’ experience earn only $51,000 and $51,700, respectively. Even worse, the certified master’s-level teachers of two-year-olds and three-year-olds…make even less. Their salaries start at $46,000, and those with 20 years’ experience earn just $47,700.Early Childhood Teachers work a 12-month school year for these salaries, as compared to the 10-month school year for their elementary school–based colleagues.New York’s approach mirrors the national situation: Keeping early childhood educators’ salaries low does make funding easier. It leaves teachers, policymakers, and the public with an ethical dilemma that pits the welfare of teachers against the needs of the children they are trained to teach—one noted in earlier NPQ coverage: “A major goal of early childhood services has been to relieve poverty among children, yet many of these same efforts continue to generate poverty in the predominantly female, ethnically and racially diverse ECE work force.”Too many teachers are leaving the field in order to support their own households, resulting in a shortage of qualified, experienced early childhood personnel. “The result,” Nocenti writes, “has been a severe shortage of certified teachers…and the teachers who remain—who are mostly women of color—are left wondering why the city is treating them like second-class citizens by refusing to approve salaries on par with those of their public school counterparts.” Turnover rates are also high. creating an unstable educational environment in classrooms where educational quality requires stability.Can we find a way to meet the needs of both children and their teachers? If we think quality matters when it comes to our children’s education, we must.—Martin LevineShare114TweetShare7Email121 Shares
Share7Tweet16ShareEmail23 SharesBy Office of the attorney general of California [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsApril 18, 2018; California HealthlineXavier Becerra, California’s attorney general, has ordered three hospitals to meet their nonprofit commitments after the group petitioned to have their contribution requirements reduced. This brings to a conclusion an issue that began in February of this year.Under California law, the attorney general can set charity requirements for nonprofit hospitals as they merge or are purchased by another nonprofit or for-profit hospital. This is on top of the IRS requirement that all nonprofit hospitals provide some, unspecified level of free or reduced-cost care in order to maintain nonprofit status.The hospitals in question—Mission Community Hospital, Emanuel Medical Center, and University of Southern California’s Verdugo Hills Hospital—were in each case ordered to pay $1.7 million or more in order to meet their state-mandated charitable contributions.Advocates for healthcare access for low-income Californians marked the attorney general’s decision as a victory. According to reporter Pauline Bartolone, Jen Flory, a policy advocate for Western Center on Law and Poverty, said the denial letters show that “Becerra understands there are still ‘unmet needs’ for financial assistance for people who have high-deductible plans or can’t afford their out-of-pocket costs.” Flory went on to note that hospitals can do more through outreach to help these patients understand their options for payment.The argument put forward by the hospitals was that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) had sufficiently reduced the number of uninsured to the point where it was inefficient to spend limited resources in assisting a dwindling pool of needy. It seemed unnecessary to allocate money that could be used in other areas to a problem that ACA was helping to solve. These monies could be spent on new equipment, more staff, better working conditions, and so forth. Ultimately, the attorney general did not buy the hospitals’ argument and denied their request.The California law makes it one of 20 states that afford attorneys general or some other regulatory agent the power to intervene in the sale of nonprofit hospitals. The legislation recognizes the possibility that the overall availability of nonprofit-supported healthcare will be reduced in the event of a nonprofit merger, sale, or conversion to for-profit. It is simple enough to imagine why: If there once were two nonprofit hospitals, and now there is only one hospital, that’s a 50-percent reduction in available nonprofit hospital services. That argument extends further to nonprofit hospitals converting to for-profit hospitals. The law works as a tool to maintain a certain level—presumably the status quo—of charity-provided healthcare in the event of a reduction in supply.Interestingly, it might have a dampening effect on the efficiency-enhancing mergers of nonprofit hospitals. Consider, for example, two nonprofit hospitals operating within the same market. If these two hospitals were to merge operations, they might see a positive efficiency gain. However, if the attorney general were to impose charitable contributions that outweigh those efficiency gains, the hospitals might not merge after all. Worse still, consider the possibility that one of those hospitals isn’t viable without the merger. The imposition of a charity threshold might lead to the market losing a hospital altogether. Ideally, the attorney general will take this into account, but it is an important consequence that requires thorough analysis.In this case, the mandates likely will not bankrupt any of these three hospitals. Hopefully, their work in outreach and reduction of healthcare costs for low-income patients will improve the quality of life in the area. Even further, let’s hope that gain in quality of life is greater than the opportunity cost of using the money elsewhere.—Sean WattersonShare7Tweet16ShareEmail23 Shares
Sky Deutschland has extended its distribution partnership with NBC Universal in a deal that will see the launch of Syfy HD and Universal 13th Street HD on its network from January 17.NBC Universal has also extended its existing output deal with Sky for the distribution of subscription pay TV and video-on-demand rights to movie premieres on Sky’s movie channels and Sky Anytime and Sky Go VOD and TV anywhere services. Exclusive movie premieres on Sky will include Les Miserables, Anna Karenina and Oblivion.The two new HD channels will be included in the Sky World package. Sky said it would add further HD services from NBC Universal in the course of 2013.
Kathrein TechnoTrend will exhibit at ANGA COM on Stand B19, Hall 10.2 Kathrein TechnoTrend, the company formerly known as TechnoTrend Görler, will debut its new Broadcom chipset-based TT-smart device range at ANGA COM. The new receiver portfolio with modern design ranges from DVB and IPTV Zappers with embedded Conax, Verimatrix, Irdeto and Nagravision CA systems and CI+ modules over hybrid receivers and DVRs with own and third party middleware, to OTT and cloud-based solutions.According to Kathrein TechnoTrend, the company’s open-API middleware Phoenix enables the company and its middleware provider partners to adapt to specific customer requirements.The company’s new smart TV platform, which was implemented in cooperation with Foxxum, a specialist in smart TV solutions, gives access to over 250 apps.In addition, Kathrein TechnoTrend is offering newly integrated solutions for video-on-demand, catch-up TV und IP streaming.At ANGA COM, Kathrein TechnoTrend will also show its home networking solutions for multiscreen and multi-device applications, such as live TV streaming or uPnP applications.“Our new generation of high-performance devices is combining our own know-how as receiver developer with the special expertise of our system partners to generate new value and business opportunities for our operator customers,” said Volker Belz, chief sales officer of Kathrein TechnoTrend. “By a strict and consistent technical standardisation and integration of efficient middleware combinations, we are offering very attractive and powerful CPE solutions for network operators of any size and any environment. Thereby, flexibility to customer requirements, sustainable quality and – of course – price are our highest priorities.”
Over-the-top box maker Roku has launched a new family of streaming players.The new Roku LT player will be available in the US while the Roku 1 and Roku 2 players will be available in the US, Canada, the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The flagship Roku 3 player which launched in the US in March is now also available in all of these countries.The Roku LT, Roku 1 and Roku 2 players give consumers a range new features and along with the Roku 3 provide access to the Roku Channel Store which features a selection of streaming entertainment currently running at more than 1,000 channels in the US and at more than 450 channels each in Canada, the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, according to Roku. The Roku LT supports 720p video while the Roku 1 can play back up to 1080p HD video.“These new players bring useful improvements at existing prices – just in time for the holidays,” said Jim Funk, SVP of product management, Roku. “We’re giving customers more value for their money by adding a headphone jack for private listening and dual-band wireless to the Roku 2, and support for 1080p HD video to the Roku 1. We are excited to bring these and other great features to our new line-up which provides a better TV experience across every price point.”Separately Roku has also partnered with Technicolor-backed US OTT service M-Go, providing the service on the Roku LT, Roku 1 and Roku 2 players.
Conditional access and interactive TV technology provider Kudelski Group and Cisco have signed a multi-year patent cross-license agreement for patents under which the pair will license their respective patent portfolios to each other with certain restrictions. As part of the agreement the parties have resolved all pending litigation between them. Cisco will pay Kudelski Group an up front, lump sum payment.“As it has done throughout its 60+ year history, the Kudelski Group continues to invest heavily in innovation and the development of intellectual property,” said Joe Chernesky, senior vice-president of intellectual property and innovation at The Kudelski Group. “This agreement with Cisco represents further validation of our intellectual property portfolio while enabling a new area of collaboration between the two companies.”
Liberty Global-owned Swiss cable operator UPC Cablecom is to make triple-play standard for all subscribers and is also to include multiscreen TV and its app allowing user to make smartphone calls at fixed network rates with its basic offering. From the beginning of next year, the cable operator will add a phone connection in all connected households at no extra costs. UPC Cablecom will offer 65 unencrypted channels, including 36 in HD and 170 radio stations, 2Mbps internet access, free fixed telephony and its smartphone app allowing the telephone connection to be used with fixed network rates on a smartphone, together with over 60 TV channels available via app or online in addition to access to its video library, in the basic offering.The operator has struck a deal with the Swiss price regulator, Stefan Meierhans, enabling it to increase the price of its basic service by €0.90 to CHF29.95 (€24.73).“Thanks to the considerable upgrade of our basic connection we are now meeting our customers’ most important needs in all areas: television, Internet and telephony. And now the cable connection is also becoming mobile,” said Eric Tveter, CEO.
BT TV has begun offering buy-to-keep movies on multiple devices in addition to the set-top box, claiming to be the first UK TV platform operator to do so, and has launched its own TV everywhere service, making pay TV channels on the service available via multiple devices.BT said that films purchased on a BT TV YouView or Vision+ set top box are automatically available for customers to watch on smartphones, tablets or PCs at no extra cost.The TV everywhere service will be offered as a free add-on to BT’s extra box service, which costs £5 a month, and will allow customers to watch a selection of general entertainment, kids and BT Sport channels, on a range of devices including Apple and Android smartphones and tablets as well as laptops and PCs.Using the new BT TV App for smartphones and tablets, customers can also record programmes from their TV guide on all of the TV channels on their YouView+ set-top box while they are out of the home.BT TV’s buy-to-keep films include recent blockbusters and a selection of catalogue movies from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Entertainment One UK, NBCUniversal and Disney. Titles available for purchase in HD and SD include 12 Years a Slave, Divergent, Despicable Me 2, Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.“BT TV was the first TV platform to offer buy-to-keep movies. Now we’re the first to offer these movies digitally on multiple devices. We believe customers will increasingly choose digital ownership given its freedom and flexibility and the ability to create your own personal movie library. Meanwhile our TV Everywhere service allows families to enjoy some of their favourite channels around the home and on the move,” said Alex Green, director of BT TV.
Content from Discovery and Hasbro US joint venture is set to disappear from Netflix’s US line-up as the parties have failed to strike a renewal deal, according to various US reports.The failure of Discovery, which owns 60% of the Discovery/Hasbro joint venture, formerly known as The Hub and now rebranded as Discovery Family, and Netflix to strike a new deal means that shows including My Little Pony, G.I. Joe, Chuck and Friends and Transformers: Rescue Bots will likely disappear from the subscription video-on-demand platform in the US from February 2. However, movies My Little Pony: Equestria Girls and Transformers Prime, which are not part of the expiring deal, will remain on the platform.Shows from other Discovery channels disappeared from Netflix in October after the pair failed to strike a renewal deal. In December, Discovery announced its first partnership with Hulu. There has been some speculation that the channel provider could launch its own OTT service to distribute its content in the US, or strike a deal with Amazon.The loss of the Discovery/Hasbro content is a further blow to Netflix’s efforts to make headway in the kids market. In 2013 Netflix failed to strike a new deal with Viacom, losing Nickelodeon content. The platform still has deals in place with Disney and DreamWorks Animation.