SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Business

198

To encourage worker productivity, companies routinely adopt policies requiring employees to delay gratification. For example, offices might prohibit use of the internet for personal purposes during regular business hours. Recent work in social psychology, however, suggests that using willpower to delay gratification can negatively impact performance. We report data from an experiment where subjects in a Willpower Treatment are asked to resist the temptation to join others in watching a humorous video for 10 minutes. In relation to a baseline treatment that does not require willpower, we show that resisting this temptation detrimentally impacts economic productivity on a subsequent task.

Concepts: Psychology, Sociology, Economics, Internet, Business, History of the Internet, Productivity, RESIST

175

Increased availability of low/er strength alcohol products has the potential to reduce alcohol consumption if they are marketed as substitutes for higher strength products rather than as additional products. The current study compares the main marketing messages conveyed by retailers and producers for low/er and regular strength wine and beer products.

Concepts: Product, Ethanol, Sales, Marketing, Alcoholic beverage, Beer, Business, Selling

138

External regulation is an important mechanism to improve corporate behavior in emerging markets. China’s insurance governance regulation, which began to supervise and guide insurance corporate governance behavior in 2006, has experienced a complex process of reform. This study tested our hypotheses with a sample of 85 firms during 2010-2011, which was obtained by providing a questionnaire to all of China’s shareholding insurance companies. The empirical study results generally show that China’s insurance governance effectiveness has significantly improved through strict regulation. Insurance corporate governance can improve business acumen and risk-control ability, but no significant evidence was found to prove its influence on profitability, as a result of focusing less attention on governance than on management. State ownership is associated with higher corporate governance effectiveness than non-state ownership. Listed companies tend to outperform non-listed firms, and life insurance corporate governance is more effective than that of property insurers. This study not only contributes to the comprehensive understanding of corporate governance effectiveness but also to the literature by highlighting the effect of corporate governance regulation in China’s insurance industry and other emerging economies of the financial sector.

Concepts: Economics, Investment, Insurance, Business, Real estate, Corporate governance, Underwriting, Financial services

104

Direct-to-consumer marketing of unapproved stem cell interventions is a well-known phenomenon in countries with lax medical regulations. However, an examination of Internet-based marketing claims revealed widespread promotion of such interventions by businesses based in the United States. Such commercial activity suggests that regulatory agencies must better oversee this marketplace.

Concepts: Cell division, Stem cell, United States, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Marketing, Business, Humid subtropical climate

34

On October 1, the health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will open for business. Administrators must complete myriad tasks if they are to serve the millions of individuals - many of whom will be eligible for subsidies - and employees of small businesses who are ready to buy insurance. Initial glitches are likely. Some may be serious. But with good will and persistence, they can be corrected, as Massachusetts' experience with a law similar to the ACA has shown. That is not the end of the story, however. After the exchanges are up and running, they . . .

Concepts: Health care, Health insurance, Economics, Insurance, Small business, Debut albums, Business, The End

29

There is growing awareness of the detrimental effects of alcohol industry commercial activities, and concern about possible adverse impacts of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, on public health. The aims of this systematic review were to summarize and examine what is known about CSR initiatives undertaken by alcohol industry actors in respect of harmful drinking globally.

Concepts: Health, Alcohol abuse, Drinking culture, Business, Long-term effects of alcohol, Corporate social responsibility, Social responsibility, Socially responsible investing

27

To provide the best marketing strategy for a private clinic, knowledge of patients' preferences is essential. In marketing, conjoint analysis has been frequently used to calculate which attributes of a product are most valuable to consumers.

Concepts: Hospital, Surgery, Plastic surgery, Marketing, Reconstructive surgery, General surgery, Microsurgery, Business

27

Abstract Purpose: Social service programmes that offer consumer choices are intended to guide service efficiency and customer satisfaction. However, little is known about how social service consumers actually make choices and how providers deliver such services. This article details the practical implementation of consumer choice in a Canadian workers' compensation vocational retraining programme. Method: Discourse analysis was conducted of in-depth interviews and focus groups with 71 injured workers and service providers, who discussed their direct experience of a vocational retraining system. Data also included procedural, policy and administrative documents. Results: Consumer choice included workers being offered choices about some service aspects, but not being able to exercise meaningful discretion. Programme cost objectives and restrictive rules and bureaucracy skewed the guidance provided to workers by service providers. If workers did not make the “right” choices, then the service providers were required to make choices for them. This upset workers and created tension for service providers. Conclusions: The ideal of consumer choice in a social service programme was difficult to enact, both for workers and service providers. Processes to increase quality of guidance to social service consumers and to create a systematic feedback look between system designers and consumers are recommended. Implications for Rehabilitation Consumer choice is an increasingly popular concept in social service systems. Vocational case managers can have their own administrative needs and tensions, which do not always align with the client’s choices. Rehabilitation programmes need to have processes for considering what choices are important to clients and the resources to support them.

Concepts: Sociology, Philosophy of life, Preference, Business, Consumer theory, Service system

20

Using Medicare cost reports, we examined the fifty US hospitals with the highest charge-to-cost ratios in 2012. These hospitals have markups (ratios of charges over Medicare-allowable costs) approximately ten times their Medicare-allowable costs compared to a national average of 3.4 and a mode of 2.4. Analysis of the fifty hospitals showed that forty-nine are for profit (98 percent), forty-six are owned by for-profit hospital systems (92 percent), and twenty (40 percent) operate in Florida. One for-profit hospital system owns half of these fifty hospitals. While most public and private health insurers do not use hospital charges to set their payment rates, uninsured patients are commonly asked to pay the full charges, and out-of-network patients and casualty and workers' compensation insurers are often expected to pay a large portion of the full charges. Because it is difficult for patients to compare prices, market forces fail to constrain hospital charges. Federal and state governments may want to consider limitations on the charge-to-cost ratio, some form of all-payer rate setting, or mandated price disclosure to regulate hospital markups.

Concepts: Health insurance, Patient, Hospital, Cost, Insurance, Business, Hospitals, For-profit hospital

19

Now that glitch-free U.S. health insurance exchanges are presenting consumers with robust sets of health insurance choices, it’s time to redesign exchange websites so as to maximize the chances that consumers will choose plans best suited to their needs and preferences.

Concepts: Health economics, Economics, Business, Microeconomics, Exchange