12.31.2012

Become Indispensable & Recognized at Work

Have you ever felt that some individuals travel through the ranks and receive recognition relatively easy compared to others? In some cases so much so that it seems like the handy work of sheer luck. This type of phenomenon is quite common to the candidates who share specific traits.

12.26.2012

Understanding Kabbalah and the Tree of Life

Things we smell, touch, hear and feel tell us where we are in time and space and this moment describes our reality. However, this notion of perceiving our reality is only valid if judged through the five senses; which begs the question that if our reality is actually the way we perceive it?.  Quantum Physics has shown that our reality sometimes may not be what it seems; and that is where the wisdom of Kabbalah comes in. Kabbalah is not a religion, a cult or magic; rather it is a manual for the human body to get in touch with its own reality.

12.22.2012

Sending HTML emails with embedded images using C#.NET

Sending emails using ASP.NET is relatively easy, but sending emails in html format with images embedded in them is a little tricky (not difficult at all though). Keep in mind that embedding images within the email is not the same as attaching images to emails. The embedded images appear inside the content of the email with no sign of any attachments.

12.15.2012

Sandy Hook elementary school shooting

Friday's mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school was the worst in a string of sad events in the recent years. Whether the shooting happened at a school, shopping mall, Temple, movie theater or outside in the bright daylight our response has disturbingly been similar with no real results.

12.13.2012

Notable Highlights of Federal Health Exchanges

Healthcare exchanges will bring in both opportunities and challenges for Health Insurance companies. Plan building, pricing, customer education and brand recognition will play a top role in the coming years. Here are some of the notable highlights in regards to the Health Exchanges.


Readiness dates are closer than they appear

Even though the regulations come in on January 2014, the enrollment will have to start in 2013. This means that the health plans will have to have their exchange participation ready by October 2013. The readiness for the exchange is a large topic in itself. Connecting with the exchanges will require the ability to accept and create 834 and 999 responses, factor subsidies when processing plans and premiums and the ability to process the financial data coming in from the exchange.

Risk adjustment and cost

The ruling requires insurers to accept everyone without discriminating against chronic illnesses or preexisting conditions. Due to this, the underwriters will underwrite everyone as a whole and hence distribute risk and cost.

Government as an employer

Traditionally if you have healthcare coverage through your employer, your employer pays part of your monthly premium and the rest comes out of your paycheck. Similar to the employer based health coverage, the health exchange pays part of your premium through subsidy and you pay the rest. So the subsidize care turns the government’s role into more like that of an employer.

Subsidy based coverage & the penalty

To ensure that both the sick and healthy people get on board, the penalty and the subsidy system came into being. Come 2014, everyone will be required to get health insurance and depending on where one stands on the poverty index scale, the IRS will either pay a credit towards the monthly premium or will charge a penalty if an individual fails to get insured. How much money the IRS pays to the health plan for an individual depends on how large of a subsidy that person is eligible for.

Subsidies and the silver plans

Even though the subsidies are based on the poverty level, the second lowest cost of the silver plan in your region plays a major role. For example: your subsidy in Ohio will be different than the one you will get in Pennsylvania under the same exact income and poverty level if the silver plan rates are different in the two states.

A point to note is that even though your subsidy is based on the silver plans, you are not obligated to buy a silver plan. You can always use that subsidy against other plans such as a bronze one.

Small employers

Small employers with 50 or less employees will not be required to provide health insurance to their employees, but will be eligible to get tax credits should they do so through federal exchange. The subsidy itself will not be significant enough to make any dent in their insurance costs which is why we will see the small business workers applying for tax credits and enrolling as individual subscribers.

Technology will not eliminate the human intervention

Whether health plans participate in ACA through federal, state or private exchanges, the technology will not eliminate the need of customer service to assist people with their enrollments. There will be lots of enrollees who never had insurance before or never had to deal with having to make a decision to choose between what benefit is right for them or having a full understanding of what is the difference between gold, silver, bronze or a platinum plan.

All health plans should be ready to offer some kind of education to its enrollees about the choices and their impacts.

Subsidies, taxes and income raises

Getting educated on how the personal taxes will be impacted by the subsidies and income changes will be another critical task for the enrollees. For example: An individual making a $20k annually getting a subsidy of $200 per month will actually end up owing the IRS money if that individual received a pay raise within that year and failed to report it right away.

The moment there is a change in the pay level, the IRS will need to be notified so that the subsidies can be recalculated.

Bottom Line

There will be a large influx of customers that will be making purchase decisions based on brand recognition, brand alliances, provider network, hospital network, premium pricing, subsidy levels and the quality of the benefits being offered.


 

12.11.2012

Broken system of Medicare, SGR and the Sequestration

Would it make sense if you’re told that not only you are not getting a raise this year but your pay will be cut by n% because the US economy didn’t do well this year? In a nutshell this is actually how Medicare cuts (known as SGR) works.

11.14.2012

Different ways to deploy a webpart on Sharepoint 2010

When you are done developing a WebPart, you need to deploy it to the SharePoint server. However, depending on your server setup, you may have to use specific deployment methodology and that is why it is important to know your options. This post describes different ways to achieve this goal.


Basic understanding

Whatever method you use to develop your WebPart, you will always end up with a WebPart DLL and in some cases you will have WSP file (both of these files are in debug folder of your project). It is the DLL file that plays a key role in getting your WebPart inside SharePoint server.

Ways to deploy a WebPart

There are four ways we can deploy a WebPart on SharePoint server that I will cover in this post:

  1. Using Visual Studio to deploy the solution
  2. Manually moving the DLL to the server
  3. Uploading WSP to SharePoint server
  4. Deploying through command prompt

Pre-Requisites

I am assuming that you are all done with the development and are now ready to deploy. In these examples I have a project name "FeedbackWP" that I need to deploy.

Deploying through Visual Studio

Once the coding is complete, click on build > deploy



In the output window you should see the deployment success status.


For next steps please look at "After you webpart is deployed" section at the end of this post.



 Deploying by manually moving the DLL


Build the solution




If no error returned by the compiler, copy the DLL from your project bin > Debug directory to the bin directory of your WSS site (C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirtualDirectories\80\bin).






Go to (C:\inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirtualDirectories\80\) and modify the Web.Config file for the WSS site to declare the custom web part as a safe control by adding the following code within the <SafeControls> tag.

<SafeControl Assembly="DLL-Name-Here" Namespace="DLL-Name . NameSpaceHere" TypeName="*" Safe="True" />

In my case my dll name is feedBackWP and the namespace of my webpart is InputForm; so my SafeControl entry looks like:

<SafeControl Assembly="feedBackWP" Namespace="feedBackWP.InputForm" TypeName="*" Safe="True" />

And my webconfig looks like the image below:



Now we need to add this webpart to our Sharepoint gallery.

Click on Site Actions -> Site Settings -> Web Parts.



From Web Parts page click on Documents > New Document





New Document will bring up a pop-up window. This window should have your new web part listed. Select your webpart from the list and click on Populate Gallery.


If the import is successful, you will see the web part in Web part gallery list.



For next steps please look at "After you webpart is deployed" section at the end of this post.



Deploying by uploading WSP to SharePoint server

Build the solution




If no error returned by the compiler, you will have WSP file in your project bin > Debug.

  Open Sharepoint and click on Site Actions -> Site Settings -> solutions.

  



From solutions page click on solutions on top and after clicking it, you should see upload solution tab.





Click on upload solution and it will bring up a popoup to upload your webpart.


Upload your WSP file.


If uploading is successfull, you should see the webpart appear in the solutions list.


Activate the solution and thats it.





For next steps please look at "After you webpart is deployed" section at the end of this post.



Deploying through command prompt

Build the solution




If no error returned by the compiler, you will have WSP file in your project bin > Debug.

Copy the wsp file on the server and open up a command line and navigate to the 12-hive bin folder.
(my 12-hive bin folder is C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\BIN
Enter the following commands :

stsadm -o addsolution -filename WSP FILE NAME WITH LOCATION

stsadm -o deploysolution -name WSP FILE NAME -immediate -allowGacDeployment -url  SITEURL  


So in my case these commands become:

stsadm -o addsolution -filename c:/feedBackWP.wsp

stsadm -o deploysolution -name feedBackWP.wsp -immediate -allowGacDeployment -url ht
tp://bk-laptop-hp/


  

For next steps please look at "After you webpart is deployed" section.


After your Webpart is deployed

Go to the SharePoint site and click on Site Action > New Page.






From new page click on Insert and then on WebPart.





From WebPart list click on custom (NOTE: In some cases this is miscellaneous instead of custom). This should bring up our WebPart on the right hand side.



With the WebPart selected click on the add button.


Happy programming!

11.13.2012

Using WebPart to insert data into SharePoint List

Here is a quick tutorial on how to insert data into a SharePoint list using a web part. The web part will have an input form for the users and when submitted, will add the data to the list. I have used SharePoint 2010 and Visual Studio 2010 in this tutorial.

10.24.2012

Freemasonry: Making Good Men Better

Exploring leaders is a year long program at Aultman Health Foundation geared towards developing and polishing the leadership skills of its participants. Its mission is to empower students with skills they would need to make affective decision as an employee, a leader, a family member and a community member.

10.18.2012

Search Engine Optimization for Executives

If you own a business or you are an executive in the corporate world, chances are you may have heard the work "SEO" from your marketing department. Contrary to how SEO companies portray the difficulty of this task, the SEO or Search engine optimization is a relatively simple process.

10.10.2012

Why you should develop Mobile Apps in HTML 5

Mobile presence either through mobile App or website is increasingly becoming the new norm. The new generation begins its search through Tablets, Phablets and smartphones; and this includes searching for services in the local area. From the business point of view this need begs the question of what would the best and cost efficient strategy to offer mobile services?

8.21.2012

Obama, Romney and the Medicare cuts

Recently Obama accused Romney of “ending Medicare as we know it”. The Romney camp fired back saying “it is Obama who is endangering Medicare by already cutting billions from it” and that it is the Republicans who are trying to save it. So who is right?

8.19.2012

Middle Class & The ObamaCare Taxes

The Obamacare mandate brings more than one kind of tax with it and it may actually affect the middle class. Before you read further, I would like to make it clear that my intention is not to take sides or bash Democrats or Republicans. I have done my earnest effort to have an independent take on what kind of taxes will come with Obamacare and how they will affect us.

8.12.2012

ASP.NET Password in Web Config

Security requirements for account login credentials can vary among different .NET projects. In some cases we have specific requirements for minimum required password length, password strength and the format the password will be stored in the database. These requirements can be easily changed through web.config’s membership > provider area.

8.02.2012

Do doctors hate EHR/HIEs systems?

Quite a few times I have heard the notion within IT circles that going electronic from paper records takes too long because many doctors don’t like them; and from many doctors I have heard that the way electronic transformation is being pushed on them is not efficient and will result into them having to hire extra staff just to manage the electronic system.

8.01.2012

Interview Video

I am sure there must be some good stories in your bag of memories if one of your duties is to be the hiring manager and interview candidates. Here is a little video we made about interview mistakes.  It's not very top notch but you will enjoy it.

SEO No Nos

There was once a time when search engine optimization used to be pure organic (home grown) and was usually done through unique quality content. Then came the SEO companies who introduced different gimmicks and tools to help temporarily and artificially achieve higher rankings. The SEO marketing industry epidemic caught on and now all of the "SEO gurus" are basically touting the same exact methods.

7.15.2012

Achieving success in corporate culture

You go to work every day, happily accept any work that is given to you and do what is required of your job and yet your job seems to be going nowhere. You feel like your hard work is not being recognized. This is a tell tale sign that it’s time you should recalculate your career options.

7.14.2012

AultCare as an Employer

Whenever I see Esurance’s “built to save money” commercial, it reminds me of the AultCare Insurance Company. I wanted to write a post about it for some time but resisted due to the possibility that it may very well be taken as “I am just saying so because AultCare is my employer”. Nevertheless I decided to write about it because it is important to understand that the organizational cultures and their mission statements are more than just mere operating rules. The kind of culture an organization implements affects its workers on multiple levels.

7.10.2012

Must have features in Private Health Exchanges

Regardless of the healthcare reform’s long term future, the private exchanges are here to stay. The idea of private health exchanges came at a time when employers were eager to explore new options due to the rising medical costs and the exchanges gave them that new option.

6.30.2012

Health reform and the ACA approved. Now what?


SCOTUS ruled the healthcare reform as being constitutional if seen through the tax law. Even though it is a win for Democrats, to me it looked like the Republicans followed the "lose the war but win the battle" strategy. The way Justice Robert ruled, the tax (penalty) part of the ACA became the center stage attraction.

6.29.2012

The Amazon Cloud

Amazon cloud has been very successful among the healthcare CIOs. We see a trend emerging in which the major healthcare companies are making use of the cloud for their small to mid-level projects. Having said that, the cloud has yet to approach the stage where it comes as a second nature hosting solution during project analysis. So here a little post about what I think of the Amazon cloud!


6.27.2012

Ohio Medicaid Contract Drama

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, chances are….

The recent flub by the state of Ohio on the new Medicaid contracts makes one think if this is how the state is performing with its own cost saving initiatives, what will it do with the healthcare reform and exchange implementation?

6.21.2012

The Healthcare reform after the Supreme Court’s ruling

There are only three possible outcomes from the SC’s ruling. The ACA will be thrown out altogether, the individual mandate will be thrown out but ACA will stay or the ACA will stay in its entirety. Whatever the outcome maybe, the genie is out of the bottle and there is no going back.

6.19.2012

Business Marketting without a website

A good friend of mine asked me to write something about marketing a business on the internet without an expensive website or without a website at all. So, I am writing this post for the benefit of my friend and I am using a Car Detailing business as an example. Of course you can replace the car detailing business with whatever you like to market.

5.21.2012

Facebook Market Performance

It is amazing how the stock market manages to get people suckered into bad investing choices every single time. I had told some of my friends to stay away from FaceBook stock at least initially. But they still bought the stock at $38 and just of its second day of trading it has lost almost 11%. 

5.01.2012

Freemason in me

It has been a long time since I joined the fraternity yet it seems like yesterday when I turned in my petition to become a mason. Freemasonry has given me so much that I decided to write a post about it for all of you who want a glimpse of what this fraternity is all about.