Gender pay gap: the day women start working for free – Washington Post

Gender pay gap: the day women start working for free – Washington Post

Here’s the pay gap for every occupation, arranged by how many women do each job, with highest share of women at left and the highest share of men on the right. A comprehensive 2009 study by Paula England of New York University, Asaf Levanon of the University of Haifa in Israel and Paul Allison of the University of Pennsylvania used census data from 1950 to 2000 to confront two views used to explain the observed decrease in median earnings as women entered a field: queuing and devaluation. The first view, known as queuing, says that as the pay for a profession drops, the job becomes less attractive. It says that the perceived worth of a job depends on which of the two sexes holds it, that society views professions occupied mostly by women as of less value —and so do employers; hence when women start filling a job, its value decreases. The study suggests that it is devaluation that explains the drop in pay as more women enter a profession. Here’s how much median earnings for each job changed, for men and women , from 1960 2015: But the U.S. is an anomaly among developed countries, with no federally mandated parental paid leave. In Canada, mothers have 17 weeks, paid at half rate; in Spain and the Netherlands 16 weeks, in Germany 14, in Mexico 12, all fully paid; and 39 in the United Kingdom, although paid at a 30 percent rate on average, so the equivalent to 12 weeks. And in a 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center, more than half of the respondents thought children were better off if the mother stayed home, 34 percent believed they’d be as well off if she worked. Here’s how the weekly median earnings change from shortest to longest workweek: Women are just now more likely than men to have a bachelor’s degree, so the education level did explain part of the pay gap for older women, but not that much —the Glassdoor study stated that education and experience account for less than 15 percent of the ‘explainable’ gap. So while it’s true that the gap is wider for women older than 35, it is not altogether gone for women who are younger and more educated. Here’s the breakdown by age bracket: What this all hints to is that the causes of the gender gap are many and more nuanced than just individual choices or corporate discrimination. Only by recognizing the complexity of the variables that play into the gap can companies and the government enact policies to root out the deeper causes of those disparities, instead of alleviating its symptoms. About this story Data was compiled using microdata from IPUMS USA for the pay gap by occupation, for the historical change in earnings by share of women in the job, and for the breakdown by education and by workweek. We used decennial census and American Community Survey 5-year data because is the most comprehensive, despite not being the most up to date, and used people who had worked most of the year. More stories “How can I make more?” And other questions you didn’t know to ask about work and money A national survey by the Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation finds 6 in 10 women and one-third of men call themselves a feminist or strong feminist, with roughly 7 in 10 of each saying the movement is empowering. That explains part of the difference in pay between men and women, but not all of it. And even though most economists agree that after adjusting for age, education, experience and other variables there’s still an unexplained gap, there are voices who argue that the gender pay gap is a myth.Pay gap deniers purport that women’s choices, rather than discrimination, cause the pay gap between women and men. But those choices are actually consequences of the social forces at play.Also, women of color get hit twice: they suffer the effects of the gender wage gap plus those of the race wage gap. Here is when women in varying occupations would start working for free, based on the wage gap in that field: Or search for your profession here: Industry and occupational sorting into ‘female’ and ‘male’ jobs accounts for the largest portion of the ‘explainable’ part of the gap. In 2016, the job search engine Glassdoor did an analysis using half a million self-reported salaries and found that, for their data, occupational sorting accounted for about half of the pay gap.

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Conservative site funded project that led to Trump dossier

Conservative site funded project that led to Trump dossier

At that point, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBlumenthal: Trump-tied data firm reaching out to WikiLeaks ‘significant’ Tillerson eliminates key State Department sanctions office: report Intel Dem: What’s in dossier more important than who paid for it MORE’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee picked up funding of the project.The project until that point had focused on researching multiple Republican presidential candidates and was not looking at collusion with Russia, according to the Free Beacon.The former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele also became involved after the publication stopped funding the project and went on to compile the dossier, which is sometimes known as the "Steele dossier.""Representatives of the Free Beacon approached the House Intelligence Committee today and offered to answer what questions we can in their ongoing probe of Fusion GPS and the Steele dossier," the publication’s Editor in Chief Matthew Continetti and Chairman Michael Goldfarb said in a statement. "The Free Beacon had no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele."The committee confirmed that the publication came forward."The Washington Free Beacon has issued a statement asserting that it had no involvement with Christopher Stele or the dossier he compiled from Russian sources," committee spokesman Jack Langer told Fox News Friday night. "The Beacon has agreed to cooperate with the House Intelligence Committee to help the Committee verify this information."The dossier, which alleges ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow, circulated among news organizations in Washington throughout the fall of 2016, but was not reported on at the time because many of the allegations — including the most salacious ones — could not be verified.BuzzFeed News published the document in January. But the question of who paid for the dossier has long been a subject of speculation and curiosity.

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Closing the Strategy-Execution Gap Means Focusing on What Employees Think, Not What They Do

Closing the Strategy-Execution Gap Means Focusing on What Employees Think, Not What They Do

Without hesitation, their explanation of the knowing-doing gap is: Structure, process, and governance are “tangible” — action there is easier to demonstrate and measure. And it comes at a cost that is all too familiar: Most initiatives set up to execute strategy fail to deliver the intended benefits. Seventeen percent of large IT projects go so badly that they threaten the very existence of the company; a study of government projects in the UK revealed $4 billion in wasted efforts as a result of failed initiatives. Fatigue sets in, morale hits the floor, engagement scores dwindle, and negative narratives circulate about the organization’s ability to manage change. The fear of creating this very situation, executives explained to us, is why so many of them focus on the tangible instead of the human. Having an open dialogue around important strategic issues simply feels too risky. “We feel like we would lose control,” they told us. “Resistance to our plans would surface.” In fact, psychology and experience tells us, the reverse is true: A lack of genuine, reciprocal interaction and the feeling of imposed change increases employees’ anxiety and resistance. The theme of control is particularly interesting given the stated aspiration of most organizations to empower their people. The most common chief executive exaltation we hear is “We must be more innovative, agile, and adaptable.” Yet when we engage with executives we find one of the biggest drivers toward the tangible is the fear that without a firm grip anything could happen. We were struck by the dissonance with the ambition — if you want to be more innovative and agile and anything could happen, isn’t that a truly brilliant notion? The tyranny of the tangible has its roots in a world that offers high degrees of certainty and agreement. Periods of stability, steady growth, consistent margins, and happy customers enable us to manage by predetermined objectives, communicate downward through the hierarchy, and set individual annual performance metrics. It is not surprising, in this deeply established operational mode, that when things need to change drastically, we instinctively reach for and pull harder on the very same levers we have been using to maintain control in more stable times; it’s much like how we would exert more force on the steering wheel in our car should the road become more winding. The problem, of course, is that strategic change begs a very different question — not how do you stay on the same road, but how do you take a new path? You do not change attitudes and mindsets by changing structures, governance, and process; you change attitudes and mindsets through genuine engagement and two-way interaction. To escape the tyranny of the tangible, we encourage leaders to contemplate what would happen if they started with interaction. It might start with why the organization needs a new strategy, continue with what strategic options could be created, and conclude with how to set about making it happen — together. In today’s uncertain, fast-changing world, the idea that a few brilliant brains at the top of the organization, or from a niche consultancy, can define the perfect strategy is ridiculous. The participative approach to strategy execution recognizes that, to remain relevant, the strategy at least in part has to be shaped by the people who need to execute. Leaders have done the thinking and come up with the answer — changes to structure, process, and governance. They have made sense of and interpreted the context as they see it and come to a conclusion about what action is needed. The impact of this one-way, directive communication, the focus on the tangible and the fear of losing control, is twofold: Leaders fail to appreciate that they have had far more time to make sense of the context. We all tend to underestimate the time our own journey has taken and overestimate the clarity we now have as a result. When people know or sense that all the important decisions have already been made, they are less likely to share their perspectives, ideas, and worries or take responsibility for outcomes. People do not change their minds through being told, however open and inclusive the communication may be. When we have skin in the game, reason counts for far less than we might think. It is an oft-forgotten feature of human nature that if you want to influence someone, a good start is to show they have influenced you. Participative execution is the antidote to the tyranny of the tangible. It engages all stakeholders in an interactive and dynamic process in which: The realities of the strategic context are confronted and explored; the options for responding to and shaping the context are created; and the priorities and milestones are agreed upon and revised as required. It makes the intangible tangible and incorporates worries, hopes, fears, and intentions in the process. In defining the priorities and milestones through interaction, if it is clear that current structures, governance, or process need to change in support, then you can implement considered changes with agreement and avoid the cost and disruption of knee-jerk changes imposed to eradicate uncertainty. You need to create the space for genuine interaction characterized by curiosity, expression of ideas, inquiry, and experimentation. Executives know the barriers to long-term success are a lack of interaction and collaboration, yet they focus on structure, authority, and process.

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NFL Protests Reach A Boiling Point, As Players, Owners Cancel Social Concerns Meeting

NFL Protests Reach A Boiling Point, As Players, Owners Cancel Social Concerns Meeting

On a day when the largest national anthem protest yet was staged, it now appears that players and owners will not be meeting as planned to discuss a solution to the ongoing social justice concerns that prompted the protests. It was the first time this year the Texans had protested during the anthem. CBS did not televise the protest, opting to continue coverage of a golf tournament before the game. Elsewhere, the other Texas team continued to toe the line during the national anthem. All of the Dallas Cowboys stood for the national anthem before their game against  the Washington Redskins, but Dallas defensive end David Irving briefly raised his fist after the anthem. The eyes of Texas and the rest of the NFL are fixed on Seattle, where today’s Houston Texans and Seattle Seahawks game promises to mark a true showdown between national anthem protesting players and the rest of the league establishment. Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, one of the key spokesmen for the players, says a meeting between the owners and players to discuss social justice initiatives has been canceled. McNair blurted that the league couldn’t have “inmates running the prison,” a remark that instantly caused an uproar in a league where 70 percent of players are black and already protesting perceived injustice. Left tackle Duane Brown told ESPN that “up to 65 to 70 percent” of the team’s players could kneel, but that a suggestion to remove the team’s decals from their helmets will not happen. Whatever happens, players on teams in the rest of the league also took notice of McNair’s remarks, with some calling him akin to Donald Sterling, the former Los Angeles Clippers owner who was suspended and forced to sell his team by the NBA after racially charged remarks that were recorded came to light. Some league players are calling for McNair to receive similar treatment, and while that is a longshot, it’s not out of the question if the ill-will lingers. Given that player protests escalate whenever a major outsider re-ignites the controversy, it’s likely that increased anthem kneeling and other protests will take place around the league this Sunday. Looking ahead, the NFL will resume its meetings between Commissioner Roger Goodell, team owners, league officials, player representatives and select players from around the league. This week, former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been formally invited to participate in at least the first meeting of the week, set for Monday in Philadelphia. The money-minting days of the NFL are clearly in jeopardy from ownership’s standpoint, and players point to a perceived lack of enthusiasm by the NFL at fostering their passion for increased social awareness and activism against injustices, pointing to breast cancer and other social causes that have received league support. Kaepernick’s presence at the upcoming meetings may be a true Hail Mary by a league that knows it has already alienated a large portion of its fan base. In early games, the San Francisco 49ers had seven players kneel during the national anthem before their game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Philadelphia, including Eric Reid, Marquise Goodwin, Adrian Colbert and Ali Harold .The 49ers have been among the league’s most active anthem protests. For the Eagles, Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod raised fists during the song, with Chris Long offering a supporting hand on Jenkins’s shoulder. In London, all members of the Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns stood during the US national anthem, but Vikings players locked arms. For the Raiders, it was the first weekend that all members stood, but running back Marshawn Lynch, who has sat during the anthem since pre-season, was suspended for the game for fighting in a previous contest. The New Orleans Saints kneeled before the national anthem at their home game, but rose just before the song was played. At a rainy Meadowlands, all members of the New York Jets linked arms during the national anthem, with team CEO Chris Johnson again standing with them. In Baltimore, Miami Dolphins Kenny Stills, Julius Thomas and Michael Thomas again remained in the tunnel leading to the field during the national anthem, as they have done for several weeks. Miami now has a team rule requiring players to stand if they are on the sidelines, but offers the option to stay indoors before the song if they so choose. Reports indicate that owners are unhappy over Goodell’s handling of the national anthem protests, but also do not like the way the relocation of two teams to Los Angeles was managed and the poor public relations caused by the NFL’s botched investigation of Ray Rice’s domestic violence issue. UPDATE:  In the largest national anthem protest by NFL players to date, the majority of Houston Texans players took a knee during the anthem before their game with the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. The team was angry at owner Bob McNair’s remarks referring to players as “inmates” and had contemplated several actions, including staying in the tunnel or an outright game boycott, apparently settling on kneeling.

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The secrets of highly successful data analytics teams – CIO Australia

The secrets of highly successful data analytics teams – CIO Australia

Once your team is in place, finding an operational model in which everyone can work is next, Nimeroff says.“Companies are becoming more agile and, like with software development, finding an approach for prioritizing work, decomposing the execution into digestible chunks, developing specific success criteria for each work effort, and providing a framework for ongoing communication is often the difference between success and failure,” he says.Also, the team will more likely to succeed if it’s able to demonstrate the business value of what it does, Miglani says.“Engaging with stakeholders and consumers of data science recommendations helps them showcase this value, and also get a deeper understanding of the key pain points which they should focus on,” Miglani says. “Sharing results sooner than later, and building organizational structures where data science goals are aligned to the [business units] they are tagged to is a great way to create value.”GE practices “ruthless prioritization” with its analytics efforts. “A commitment to clearly defined business priorities will enable the data and analytics team to be most successful,” Clark says. “When teams can demonstrate an impact in targeted areas, they are more likely to stay motivated and inspire business partner engagement.”The company has seen significant productivity results from the “Digital League” in its aviation business, where a cross-functional team has come together to define priorities and then deliver insights in two-week sprints.Emphasize experimentation and innovationIt’s also important to keep an experimental mindset on the team.“The business case for these projects is not easy; you have to take a step into the unknown,” Miglani says. “Unlike technology projects that begin with a definite scope in mind, data science projects begin with a problem and a set of hypothesis which needs to be tested. We leverage our Global Digital Hubs as a place to incubate new technologies and pilot work in self-organizing teams; an atmosphere of innovation keeps teams motivated.”As with science and learning in general, curiosity is a key element of analytics. “Curious people have a desire to follow up on their own analysis, whether or not our clients ask for it,” says Stuart Wilson, data scientist and analytics team lead at Paytronix Systems, a provider of reward program services to restaurants and retailers.“One of our analysts decided to check up on a marketing campaign run six months prior,” Wilson says. “Because of this, we were able to discover an unanticipated result of this campaign, that would have otherwise been inconclusive.”Another good practice is learning to ask the right questions and solve the right business problems.“Every data science project should start off as a consulting exercise — understanding the ‘what’ and ‘why,’” Miglani says. “Also, the objective on any analytics exercise cannot be to implement a tool or platform. The objective should always be designed towards the right business outcomes, and you can get there by asking the right questions.”Data: The foundation for successThe data analytics team is more likely to succeed if the organization creates a “data foundation,” Clark says. “Technical experts in the field of data will want to see real commitment from the organization to a data foundation,” she says. “In our treasury division we ran a coordinated program to streamline and improve data quality and accessibility over a two-year period. If your data process is unreliable or your data incomplete, your results will be flawed, and any actions taken on them will be erroneous.”Train continuouslyTo keep on top of fast-changing developments in analytics, ongoing education and personal development are important to maintaining a vibrant and successful team, Nimeroff says. “Data analytics is amongst the set of fastest-growing fields out there, and even though the leading-edge techniques aren't applicable in every situation or organization, it doesn't mean that being able to stay current isn't important,” he says. Paytronix emphasizes ongoing training of the analytics staff, as well as the ability to communicate results.“Your team needs to understand the finer points of your data, know how analysis may go wrong with statistical biases, and understand how to effectively distill and then communicate actionable results,” Wilson says.“I often tell my team that the best analysis in the world will be a wasted effort if it is not clearly understood and acted upon,” Wilson says. “To this end, keep the end in mind when working through a problem: How will business users change behaviors based on this information? In this heavily data-driven environment, how companies go about building and operating a team of analytics experts could have a big impact on the business for years to come.But before you put together your data analytics team, you need to formulate the mission and charter of the team, says Jeffry Nimeroff, CIO at Zeta Global, a customer lifecycle management marketing company.“In too many organizations, data analytics is embedded in the more traditional and bland notion of ‘reporting and analytics,’" Nimeroff says. “In these configurations, it is often the case that reactive reporting takes precedence. As there is always another way to formulate more meaningful reports, this can become a never-ending cycle where the true power of data analytics is never fully realized.”[ Keep up to date with the 10 hottest data analytics trends today (and 5 going cold). | Bolster your career with our guide to the big data certifications that will pay off. | Get the latest analytics insights by signing up for our CIO newsletter. ]Data success begins with diversityWhen building a team, don’t limit the focus to just finding analytics professionals. Diversity is critical for success, experts say.“It’s very important to include not only people with analytical skills, but also those with business and relationship skills who can help frame the question in the first place and then communicate the results effectively at the end of the analysis,” says Tom Davenport, a senior advisor at Deloitte Analytics and author of the book Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning.Multinational conglomerate GE values a diversity of capabilities for its analytics teams. “Data and analytics are most effective when world-class technology skills are paired with strong functional domain knowledge,” says Christina Clark, chief data officer at the company.This can be achieved by having a team with a variety of business backgrounds; a mix of both IT and functional skills, Clark says. “We are making terrific progress in developing innovative solutions to support our finance function,” she says. “The data team supporting this effort is comprised of long-time IT professionals but also financial analysts, former auditors, and finance managers.”Strong knowledge of data science is of course critical to any analytics team, and there should be statisticians, mathematicians, and machine learning experts on the team who understand algorithms and how they can be applied on data, adds TP Miglani, CEO at Incedo, a technology services firm.“You [also] need technologists — data engineers who can build the pipelines to get the data in place for completing all the analysis,” Miglani says. “And you also need business experts who understand the complexities of the domain you are solving the problem for. For example, if the problem at hand is building data-driven drugs, then you need quantitative pharmacologists and biologists.”Technically, a data scientist is supposed to be a “unicorn” that can do all of this simultaneously, Miglani says. “But unicorns don’t exist,” he says. “Successful data science teams are diverse, where individuals bring in these competencies that need to come together.”Change management and the value of ITIf an analytics project involves prescriptive or operational analytics (for example, if the results will be tied into a business process or a set of jobs), there is also a need for someone to manage the change process, Davenport says. “The ORION project at UPS, which led to dramatic changes in driver routing, devoted a massive amount of time and energy to change management,” he notes.Given that the team will be leaning heavily on technology infrastructure such as big data tools, having the IT department represented on the analytics team in some capacity is also important. “Even if the analytics group doesn't report to IT, it's usually a good idea to have some representation of the IT function on the team,” Davenport says.Emphasize experience — with data and toolsWhoever’s on the analytics team should have lots of experience in their role, Nimeroff says.“Data analytics is both an art and a science, and more experienced individuals are better able to leverage tools in a creative and effective way than novices,” he says. “I have also found that novices rely on tools to do heavy lifting that they may or may not be fully comfortable in doing themselves. That’s fine, but it’s important to ensure that the efforts of the project are actually meeting organizational needs.“If there are some members of the team who are outsourced workers, try to make sure there is at least one [internal] employee on every project, who can help to ensure that the results of the analytics are adopted,” Davenport says.And whenever possible, the analytics team should either be a formal part of the business that's doing the analysis, or at least embedded within it for the period of the project.

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New HHS Strategic Plan Could Be Blueprint for Pro-Life Health Care Policies

New HHS Strategic Plan Could Be Blueprint for Pro-Life Health Care Policies

(Mark Van Scyoc / Shutterstock.com)New HHS Strategic Plan Could Be Blueprint for Pro-Life Health Care Policies‘This is why elections matter,’ March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said about the draft plan crafted by the Trump administration.WASHINGTON — A draft of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ strategic plan for the next four years indicates that the federal agency is looking to bolster health care services for Americans at every stage of life, beginning at the moment of conception. The new outlook at HHS is evident in the draft plan’s first strategic goal, which states the agency’s dedication to reforming, strengthening and modernizing the nation’s health care system. The agency says its ultimate goal is “to improve health care outcomes for all people, including the unborn, across health care settings.” In the third strategic goal, which says HHS works to “strengthen the economic and social well-being of Americans across the life span,” HHS not only says that life begins at conception, but that it should end at natural death. The fourth strategic goal — on HHS’ aim to provide sound, sustained advances in the sciences — stipulates that the agency’s scientific research will be conducted consistent “with the understanding that human subjects’ protection applies to all human beings from conception to natural death.” Mancini said the fourth strategic goal, as currently written, could impact anything related to embryonic and stem-cell research carried out by member agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration. “There are a lot of studies and therapies done right now that don’t protect the child from conception or fertilization,” said Mancini, who underscored the significance of the first strategic goal by contrasting HHS policies during the Obama administration, during which she said “the inherent dignity of the person from conception wasn’t something that was taken into consideration in broad health care reform.” Obamacare and Religious Liberty The 2010 Affordable Care Act — popularly known as “Obamacare” — authorized the HHS secretary to draft certain policies related to public-health services. Under the Obama administration, HHS consulted with the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, before releasing guidelines in 2011 that required all new health insurance plans to cover women’s preventive services, which included breast-feeding support, domestic violence screening and contraception without charging copays or a deductible. “Unfortunately, they included drugs and devices that could be destructive of life, instead of protective of life, and they also impeded people’s religious beliefs in terms of contraception,” Mancini said. The proposed changes at HHS have angered pro-abortion groups such as NARAL Pro-Choice America, which labeled the draft plan’s policy implications as “extremist.” The Human Rights Campaign, a homosexual-rights advocacy group, issued an alert criticizing the new plan for erasing “all mentions of the LGBTQ population and their unique health needs.” U.S. In the 11-page document, the bishops’ conference commended the plan for “recognizing and endorsing the need to promote the health of human beings at every stage of life, beginning at conception.”  The bishops’ conference also said the plan recognizes the need to reduce burdens on the free exercise of religion and to promote the equal participation of individuals and faith-based organizations in the delivery of health care and other services and in HHS programs. We support them and encourage their adoption in the final version of HHS’ strategic plan,” said the USCCB attorneys who wrote and signed the document. As for the plan’s aspects that could impact the poor, the bishops’ conference said the plan provides “some innovative approaches to addressing underserved populations,” but added that the document would benefit from additional clarity on care for those in poverty, especially in ensuring the integrity and reach of existing poverty-related programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told the Register that the bishops applaud the many references addressing the health concerns and issues of human beings at every stage of life, beginning at conception. “As it should be in recognizing the objective reality of human life from its very beginning,” said Schleppenbach, adding that there are “plenty of rationales,” including science and basic reason, to recognize that life begins at conception. Scientific Basis Physicians for Reproductive Health, an organization that works to increase access to contraception and abortion, has criticized the draft plan’s statement that life begins at conception, telling media outlets that the statement “is not a medical concept.” But Mancini of the March for Life and Clarke of Americans United for Life noted various scientific studies exist that they said prove that a new human life begins at the moment of conception. “Given the medical protection that already exists for developing human beings from conception, given the legal protection from conception across the states, it’s appropriate for HHS to update its mission statement and understand that its scope of work extends to human beings from the earliest stages of development,” Forsythe said. Rather than being mere words on paper, the draft HHS strategic plan for 2018-2022 indicates the pro-life direction that President Donald Trump’s administration intends to take federal public-health policy and related procedures, pro-life experts told the Register. “This could have far-reaching consequences,” said Jeanne Mancini, the president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund. Mancini, who previously worked for the office of the secretary in HHS, told the Register that the agency’s strategic plan has a “pretty robust impact” in terms of policy direction. “This is why elections matter,” Mancini said. “There is so much policy handled at the level of the department.” Clarke Forsythe, the senior counsel for Americans United for Life, told the Register that the strategic plan’s language that life begins at conception is a “great development” that is scientifically and medically accurate. At least 23 of them have fetal-homicide laws that apply to the earliest stages of pregnancy. “I don’t know if it would have any obvious legal impact,” Forsythe said. “But I think it’s a significant organizational statement and a significant political statement.” A spokeswoman for HHS told the Register on background that the strategic plan is still a draft and that the agency is seeking public comment to assist in refining and strengthening the plan. 27. Ed Giganti, spokesman for the Catholic Health Association of the United States, told the Register in an email that “CHA is clearly concerned with life at all stages, and we will be watching how HHS (and all policymakers) live out the commitment to the dignity of life at all stages.” Strategic Goals Every four years, HHS updates its strategic plan, which describes the federal agency’s work to address complex, multifaceted and evolving health and human services issues.

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Is there a conflict of interest behind your cancer diagnosis?

Is there a conflict of interest behind your cancer diagnosis?

y mother was astonished when I told her about the national Open Payments database that was launched by the Affordable Care Act. “You mean I can see all the money drug companies have given to a doctor? Even my doctor?” We plugged her doctor’s name into the database and up it popped, associated with a number of payments. Through the use of tests called “companion diagnostics,” pathologists also help determine whether a patient may be eligible for specific targeted treatments, such as Herceptin for breast cancer or Keytruda for a variety of cancers. The manufacturers of these drugs and their companion diagnostic testing know that pathologists play an essential role in determining who gets these costly drugs. Our recent analysis of Open Payments data showed that about 1 in every 4 pathologists receives money or other benefits from drug and medical device companies. About 40 percent of the total money to pathologists came from companies producing companion diagnostics or the treatments that follow from these tests. That’s a lot of industry payments for doctors who don’t prescribe a single drug. Given the high cost of drugs like Keytruda and others whose use depends on companion diagnostics, even a small influence over the pathologists who may act as gatekeepers for them can produce an enormous return on investment for the industry. Although some pathologists receive tens of thousands of dollars from industry, the average industry payment to them is low, less than $100. A surgeon or other doctor sends us your tissue, we run the tests we deem appropriate, and you get the bill. Imagine taking your car to a mechanic and not getting a say in what repairs get done. Here’s a common example that may add hundreds of dollars to a patient’s bill. It turned out that her doctor had received payments from the company producing that brand-name drug. During an endoscopy, often performed for abdominal pain or other gastrointestinal symptoms, the physician usually takes biopsies of the patient’s stomach. A pathologist will examine this tissue to help determine the cause of the patient’s symptoms. Some pathologists routinely perform additional tests to detect a precancerous change called Barrett’s esophagus or an infection with Helicobacter pylori, a key cause of ulcers. It is in these gray areas of clinical practice that conflicts of interest arising from industry payments may affect care. With the rise of precision medicine, the gray areas in cancer treatment may widen. For example, the drug Keytruda, which recently received a groundbreaking FDA approval, is the first cancer treatment approved for a particular genetic alteration rather than for a type of cancer. Keytruda can be used to treat any solid tumor that has a biomarker known as microsatellite instability-high or mismatch repair deficient. But this opens up an area of clinical discretion: Now that nearly any cancer could potentially be eligible for this expensive treatment, who should we run the test on and when? I don’t know, of course, if her doctor’s recommendation had been influenced by these payments or if his choice represented the best medication for her. Potential conflicts of interest among oncologists are receiving increased attention, especially in light of the skyrocketing cost of cancer drugs. But let’s not ignore the many clever ways that the drug and device industries are influencing medical decision-making for their profit. I don’t want to discount the role of industry in producing medical advances. Yet the payments to pathologists that we looked at are not for research. The relationship between physicians and industry has been described as a “closed financial loop.” The type of relationship that most worries me is when a company that produces a drug or a test pays a doctor for consulting or meals or the like, and that doctor simultaneously has a role in prescribing that drug, running that test, or writing related clinical guidelines. Our profession should also create guidelines for how to manage financial conflicts of interest, especially when it comes to companion diagnostics for expensive cancer drugs. If doctors are going to maintain and improve patient trust in this emerging era of transparency, all specialties should confront their cozy relationships with the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. advertisement Many people benefit from the services of a pathologist like me, even if they don’t often see us in person. We are responsible for most of the laboratory testing that takes place, including the diagnosis of nearly every cancer.

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4 Biggest Mistakes With High-Conflict Personalities

4 Biggest Mistakes With High-Conflict Personalities

As mentioned in my prior blog, people with high-conflict personalities have a pattern of negative behavior with four primary characteristics: All-or-nothing thinking, unmanaged emotions, extreme behavior or threats, and a preoccupation with blaming others. Therefore, they tend to escalate conflicts rather than to manage or resolve them. What often happens is that people try harder and harder, talk louder and louder, and so forth, to hammer HCPs with what they are doing wrong. In addition, trying to give them insight into their own behavior problems will damage your relationship with them. They will feel that you don’t like them as they are, that they have to defend themselves and prove that you are wrong. Since they see things in all-or-nothing terms, your friendly feedback (no matter how nicely you try to give them insight) will trigger deep resentments. They are stuck in the past, defending the past and attacking others for their past behavior. Instead, focus them on the future action: What do you want to do now? You can turn any problem in the past into a choice about the future. Often, HCPs only see one choice, and they don’t like it. Telling them about other options gets their thinking opened up some, and they often feel less hopeless. Therefore, it helps to keep your own emotions calm and in a moderate range. If you get angry at them, or tell them how frustrated you feel, or burst into tears in front of them, it’s likely to trigger their own emotional vulnerability. This is because they are used to being stuck in their emotions and have a hard time regulating them. 4. Telling them they have a personality disorder or high-conflict personality. This is always quite tempting as a way to try to give them insight one last time, or to vent your frustration with them. Since they’re so defensive so much of the time and have their all-or-nothing thinking, this feels like a devastating blow, and you are guaranteed to feel their wrath for days or weeks or years. I’ll give you an example: I once did a consultation with three adult sisters who recently had told their mother that she had borderline personality disorder during a holiday visit. They had such high hopes that their mother would realize she had this problem and would finally get some help (because help does exist for this personality disorder). We discussed how they could repair things over time, by focusing on light conversations and never raising this subject again (unless they tried a totally new approach with professional assistance). It’s human nature to want to help people, especially when we can see so clearly what they could do better. Yet with HCPs, out of frustration and lack of understanding, we keep trying harder, rather than taking a different approach. In the next few blogs, I will give you some tips for spotting five types of high-conflict people. Then I will give you some key methods we have learned about how to deal with them in a positive and mostly successful way. In an effort to manage or resolve the conflict, most people try methods that work with reasonable people, but fail and often make things worse with high-conflict people (HCPs). So your efforts to “make them see” what they are doing or “make them understand” how badly they are behaving will fall on deaf ears — and will likely make things worse.

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SoftBank calling off talks to merge Sprint, T-Mobile

SoftBank calling off talks to merge Sprint, T-Mobile

TOKYO – SoftBank Group plans to break off negotiations toward a merger between subsidiary Sprint and T-Mobile US amid a failure to come to terms on ownership of the combined entity, dashing the Japanese technology giant's hopes of reshaping the American wireless business.SoftBank is expected to approach T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom as early as Tuesday to propose ending the talks. They had reached a broad agreement to integrate T-Mobile and Sprint — the third- and fourth-largest carriers in the U.S. — and were ironing out such details as the ownership ratio.The German parent had insisted on a controlling stake, according to a source familiar with the situation. The hope was that a merger with T-Mobile would reinforce Sprint's customer base enough to let it challenge the duopoly while allowing for more efficient network investment.SoftBank tried to buy T-Mobile in 2014, but the idea was abandoned amid opposition from regulators under then-President Barack Obama. The failure of this latest effort leaves Sprint, which was acquired by SoftBank in 2013, to keep working toward a turnaround on its own.In early morning trading in Tokyo, SoftBank shares fell to 9,830 yen, down 5.8% from Monday's closing price. The shares closed the morning session at 9,921 yen, down 4.9%."Investors were buying SoftBank partially on the merger hopes, so the news has a negative impact.

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15 Firms Leading the Way on Energy Blockchain

15 Firms Leading the Way on Energy Blockchain

This week a South African blockchain startup called Sun Exchange raised $1.6 million in seed funding to launch a peer-to-peer solar energy trading platform. Grid+ In one of the most hotly hyped launches in the energy blockchain world, Grid+ last month raised $40 million through its token sale, which will fund the development and launch of its blockchain-based competitive retail provider in Texas. Grid Singularity Grid Singularity is an Austrian startup developing a blockchain purpose-built for the energy industry, backed by a team of experienced energy market professionals and leading blockchain and smart contract developers, according to its website (see also: Energy Web Foundation). Electron U.K. startup Electron began with a blockchain-based solution to help customers in the U.K. switch energy suppliers, but has since been communicating a vision of leveraging its platform to support broader energy trading and grid-balancing solutions. Energy Web Foundation Established in February by Grid Singularity and the Rocky Mountain Institute, Energy Web Foundation is not so much a startup as an alliance body aimed at introducing an open-source blockchain designed for the electricity market, identifying use cases and helping build an ecosystem of participants. Big-name energy firms pumped $2.5 million into the foundation in May.  ImpactPPA While most energy-based blockchain players offer a token for trading, Manhattan Beach, California-based ImpactPPA has two: one to fund projects and one to consume energy. The company is targeting the estimated 16 percent of the world population that lacks a reliable source of energy. Power Ledger Australia’s star energy blockchain player, Power Ledger, had pulled in more than $24 million from around 15,000 supporters by the time it completed a token generation event earlier this month. The company is rolling out pilot projects for its blockchain platform, built to support a broad range of energy market applications, in Australia and New Zealand. SolarCoin SolarCoin was launched in 2014 as a rewards program for solar electricity generation, with one of its coins equaling a megawatt-hour of production. Sun Exchange Sun Exchange’s motto is “solar-powered money.” Founded by U.K. utility-scale solar pioneer Abraham Cambridge, the company aims to let supporters around the world crowdfund PV down to the level of an individual solar cell and lease them to schools and businesses in Africa. Veridium Labs Veridium is a financial technology firm aiming to create a new asset class called “EcoSmart Commodities.” “Veridium will provide a new vehicle for corporations to embed environmental replacements into the cost of their products,” co-founder Todd Lemons told GTM. WePower WePower is developing an Ethereum-based platform to fund renewable energy projects through the sale and trading of the “tokenized” energy produced by those systems. The company was hatched in Innogy’s Innovation Hub in 2015 and pulled in $5.3 million in funding from Tokyo Electric Power Company and others in July. Greeneum Greeneum, developed by the team behind the first renewable energy currency, SolarCoin (see below), this month revealed it is running test nets and pilots for its peer-to-peer energy trading platform “in Europe, Cyprus, Israel, Africa and the U.S.” It expects to have a viable product platform out by mid-2018.

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