Printable Flexible CarbonNanotube Transistors

first_img Applications for these flexible electronics include electronic paper, RFID (radio frequency identification) tags to track goods and people, and “smart skins,” which are materials and coatings containing electronic circuitry that can indicate changes in temperature or pressure, such as on aircraft or other objects.Printing circuits onto plastic is not a new achievement. Researchers have created printed circuits at room temperature using various semi-conducting polymers as the carrier transport medium, and many, many research groups across the globe continue to work toward perfecting the process and product.“A problem with these polymers is that they have limited carrier mobility, meaning electrons travel through them fairly slowly. This limits the speed of the devices made from them to only a few kilohertz,” said UMass Lowell Professor Xuejun Lu, the study’s corresponding researcher, to PhysOrg.com.Modern computers, by comparison, have speeds from hundreds of megahertz to more than one gigahertz.As part of the printed-electronics effort, carbon nanotubes have been investigated as a medium for high-speed transistors, with very promising results. But one method of depositing the nanotubes onto the plastic, “growing” them with heat, requires very high temperatures, typically around 900°C, which is a major obstacle for fabricating electronic devices.Additionally, transistors made from single carbon nanotubes or low-density nanotube films, which are produced by depositing a small amount of a nanotube solution onto a substrate, can carry only a small amount of current. High-density films (more than than 1,000 nanotubes per square micrometer, or millionth of a meter) are better, but most are not of sufficient quality, containing carbon “soot” that covers the nanotubes’ sidewalls and hinders carrier flow.To help solve these issues, Brewer Science, Inc. developed an electronic-grade carbon-nanotube solution. The researchers deposited a tiny droplet of the solution onto a plastic transparency film at room temperature using a syringe, a method similar to ink-jet printing.“Our electronic-grade solutions contain ultrapure carbon nanotubes without using any surfactant. Our printed transistor’s carrier mobility is much higher than similar devices developed by other groups, it exhibits a speed of 312 megahertz, and can carry a large current,” said Dr. Xuliang Han, Senior Research Engineer at Brewer Science. This research is described in the November 16, 2007, online edition of Micro & Nano Letters.Citation: Micro & Nano Letters — December 2007 — Volume 2, Issue 4, p. 96-98Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Scientists from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Brewer Science, Inc. have used carbon nanotubes as the basis for a high-speed thin-film transistors printed onto sheets of flexible plastic. Their method may allow large-area electronic circuits to be printed onto almost any flexible substrate at low cost and in mass quantities. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore furthercenter_img Pantry ingredients can help grow carbon nanotubes Citation: Printable, Flexible Carbon-Nanotube Transistors (2008, January 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-01-printable-flexible-carbon-nanotube-transistors.htmllast_img read more

Cyclogyro Flying Robot Improves its Angles of Attack

first_img Citation: Cyclogyro Flying Robot Improves its Angles of Attack (2009, January 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-01-cyclogyro-robot-angles.html As the engineers explained, a key feature of the pantograph-based variable wing mechanism is that it not only changes the angles of attack, but also expands and contracts according to wing positions. By creating larger lift forces and smaller anti-lift forces, this design could provide greater flying efficiency, as well as high maneuverability. The group’s study, “Development of a Flying Robot With a Pantograph-Based Variable Wing Mechanism,” will be published in an upcoming issue of IEEE Transactions on Robotics. The mechanism is an extension of two of the authors’ earlier prototype designed in 2006, which demonstrated that a cyclogyro-based flying robot could generate enough lift force to fly and carry a very small (10 g) payload. With the new mechanism, the researchers hoped to improve the efficiency. Through simulations and experiments, they focused on demonstrating the possibility of a flying robot with a pantograph-based mechanism. The engineers explained that, in the downstroke motion, the new mechanism can generate heavy lift forces in the upward direction by expanding the wings with larger angles of attack. Conversely, in the upstroke motion, the mechanism can reduce anti-lift forces in the downward direction by contracting the wings with smaller angles of attack. Due to this folding up motion of the wings, which creates a larger wing area in a small space, the rotorcraft can get a larger lift force compared with the authors’ previous strategy. The simulations and experiments (in which the rotorcraft was tethered for stability) showed that the robot could generate a lift force exceeding its own weight. Not only could this force allow the robot to fly, it means the robot could carry a significant payload (155 g). Accounting for the robot’s four rotors, the engineers hope that it may be possible to fly the robot with a battery, some sensors, and even a control board (currently, the robot receives power from an external supply).In the future, the engineers plan to develop a detailed aerodynamic analysis of the wing motion. Eventually, they hope to develop a full-body flying robot with the optimal parameters, including four sets of pantograph-based variable wings and a stabilizing controller. With its ability to rise, hover, and go backward, a cyclogyro flying robot could one day operate as a highly maneuverable micro air vehicle.More information: Hara, Naohiro; Tanaka, Kazuo; Ohtake, Hiroshi; and Wang, Hua O. “Development of a Flying Robot With a Pantograph-Based Variable Wing Mechanism.” IEEE Transactions on Robotics. To be published.© 2009 PhysOrg.com Explore further A prototype design of the cyclogyro craft with five pantograph-based variable wingunits. Image credit: Naohiro Hara, et al. (c)2009 IEEE. For climbing robots, the sky’s the limitcenter_img But one intriguing flying mechanism that has received relatively little attention is a horizontal-axis rotorcraft – or “cyclogyro” craft. First proposed in the 1930s, a cyclogyro is a unique mechanism of generating lift forces, being propelled by horizontal rotating wings. Unfortunately, the few prototypes that were built at the time were unsuccessful at flying. The essential flying principle of the cyclogyro rotorcraft is that, as the wings rotate, their angle of attack must be altered so that the wings can lift and thrust at the appropriate times in the cycle. Designing such variable wings that can alter the angles of attack has proven difficult. But recently, a team of engineers consisting of Naohiro Hara, Kazuo Tanaka, and Hiroshi Ohtake from the University of Electro-Communications in Japan, and Hua O. Wang of Boston University in the US, have developed a cyclogyro flying robot with a new kind of variable wing mechanism. The mechanism is based on a pantograph, which is a mechanical linkage that was originally developed in the 17th century as a drafting tool for copying and scaling line drawings. In the flight performance experiment, the cyclogyro robot created enough lift force to fly. Image credit: Naohiro Hara, et al. (c)2009 IEEE. (PhysOrg.com) — In the past few decades, researchers have been investigating a variety of flying machines. Most studies have focused on improving the flying performance of standard flying mechanisms, rather than developing innovative flying mechanisms. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

AMD Planning 16Core Server Chip For 2011 Release

first_img Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Intel Outlines Processor Roadmap Citation: AMD Planning 16-Core Server Chip For 2011 Release (2009, April 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-04-amd-core-server-chip.htmlcenter_img (PhysOrg.com) — AMD is in the process of designing a server chip with up to 16-cores. Code named Interlagos, the server chip will contain between 12 and 16 cores and will be available in 2011. Pat Patia, VP of AMD’s server platform unit stated that increasing chip core counts will improve performance and reduce power consumption by the processors. The increase of server chip cores can reduce the total power consumption and server count in a data center.The 16-core chips can be deployed in servers with two to four chip sockets thereby maximizing each server with up to 64 cores. The chip will be part of AMD’s Opteron 6000 series chips. AMD’s Opteron chips compete with Intel’s 8-core version of its Xeon server chips, code named Nehalem-EX, which is due for release in 2010.AMD’s future chips will integrate advanced power management features and improved instruction sets for better task executions in virtualized environments. By manually capping the power drawn by cores, users will be able to better control power consumption. Along with AMD’s new server chips, there are plans to add additional memory and cache support in the server platforms. One feature that would be lacking in these new chips is multithreading which allows cores to execute multiple threads and task simultaneously; this feature however is currently used in Intel’s chips. The new chips, made by AMD, will be made using the 32-nanometer manufacturing process which is more energy efficient and has better performance than the current 45-nanometer process. AMD’s goal is to add more complex features onto the surface of a processor chip so that it can handle a larger number of applications.© 2009 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

Scientists Make TemperatureRegulating Coffee Mug

first_imgThe PCM absorbs the warmth of the mug’s content, stores it and brings it down to the optimal temperature. Then the PCM helps maintain the content’s temperature at this optimal level by slowly releasing the stored heat back into the mug’s contents. Image credit: Fraunhofer IBP. (PhysOrg.com) — A well-insulated mug may keep your coffee somewhat warm, but now scientists have designed a high-tech mug that can keep drinks hot or cold at the perfect temperature for up to half an hour. Citation: Scientists Make Temperature-Regulating Coffee Mug (2009, August 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-08-scientists-temperature-regulating-coffee.html Intel, STMicroelectronics Deliver Industry’s First Phase Change Memory Prototypes Researchers Klaus Sedlbauer and Herbert Sinnesbichler from the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics have created the temperature-regulating mug using phase change material (PCM). PCM is capable of storing and releasing large amounts of heat by changing its phase, such as changing from a solid to a liquid. To design the new mug, the researchers first created a hollow porcelain shell filled with ribbons of highly conductive aluminum. The aluminum formed a honeycomb structure, which the researchers filled with solid PCM. When the mug is filled with a hot beverage, the PCM absorbs the heat and melts like wax into a liquid. This process cools the beverage down to the optimal temperature. As the beverage cools over time, the PCM slowly releases the stored heat back into the drink, maintaining the optimal temperature for up to 30 minutes.As the scientists note, different drinks have different optimal temperatures. Warm drinks such as coffee and tea are best enjoyed at 58° C (136.4° F), beer tastes best at 7° C (44.6° F), and ice-cold drinks are best at -12° C (10.4° F). Since different types of PCM have different chemical properties and melting temperatures, the scientists can make different mugs for different beverages. The downside for the consumer is that there is not a single mug for hot and cold drinks.The researchers hope that, if they can find a business partner, the PCM mugs could be on sale by the end of the year. However, despite the fact that PCM is relatively inexpensive, the mugs will still probably cost significantly more than most mugs. Besides mugs, PCM could have other interesting applications. For instance, researchers are investigating the possibility of using it to keep perishable foods from spoiling, and even putting it on museum walls to protect paintings in the case of a fire, since PCM is non-flammable. PCM already has commercial uses in construction materials, where it is embedded in walls and ceilings to maintain a comfortable room temperature. Some winter jackets also contain PCM for providing greater warmth. In addition, due to their long-term memory capabilities, PCM could be used for storing computer data without the need for an electric current.via: Spiegel© 2009 PhysOrg.com Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Out of Africa date brought forward

first_imgÖtzi the Iceman, a well-preserved natural mummy of a Chalcolithic (Copper Age), who was found in 1991 in the Schnalstal glacier in the Ötztal Alps. Credit: South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology (Phys.org) —A study on human mitochondrial DNA has led to a new estimate of the time at which humans first began to migrate out of Africa, which was much later than previously thought. Triple burial from Dolni Vestonice in the Czech Republic. Credit: J. Svoboda Explore further The new study sequenced mitochondrial DNA from fossils of ancient modern humans rather than living humans. The fossils were dated using radiocarbon dating methods. Since the samples were from humans who lived up to 40,000 years ago, mutations that have occurred in the genome since they died would be missing, and the samples provided a range of calibration points for their estimation of the start of the migration.The disagreement in dating the migration between the new study and previous genetic research could be due to underestimating the number of new mutations in a generation of living humans because of the difficulty of discriminating between true mutations and mistaken ones and because of a desire to avoid false positives. Under-counting would lead to an older estimate for the migration from Africa and other important events.The new date, which agrees with the archaeological evidence, shows that modern humans were in Europe and Asia before and after the most recent glaciation, and they were therefore able to survive and adapt to a dramatically changing climate.The paper was published in the journal Current Biology on 21st March. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. New ancestor? Scientists ponder DNA from Siberiacenter_img The new study by an International group of evolutionary geneticists used mitochondrial DNA from the remains of ancient modern humans to estimate the rate of genetic mutations. Three of the skeletons were from the Czech Republic and dated at 31,000 years old, two were 14,000 years old, from Oberkassel, Germany. Another sample used was the natural mummy Ötzi the Iceman, who lived some time between 3350 and 3100 BC. The most recent skeleton was that of a man who lived in medieval France 700 years ago, while the oldest was dated at 40,000 years ago, and came from Tianyuan in China.The results suggest that the genetic divergence between African and non-African humans began between 62 and 95 thousand years ago, which tallies with other studies estimating the time through dating of stone tools and fossils, but they disagree with the results of recent genetic studies that estimated the migration began much earlier, up to 130 thousand years ago or even before.The previous studies sequenced the entire genome of living humans to count the number of genetic mutations (around 50) in newborn babies compared to the parents to determine the generational mutation rate. This then provided the a molecular “clock,” which could be extrapolated backwards to date important events in human evolution. Journal information: Current Biology © 2013 Phys.org Citation: Out of Africa date brought forward (2013, March 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-03-africa-date-brought.html More information: A Revised Timescale for Human Evolution Based on Ancient Mitochondrial Genomes, Current Biology, 21 March 2013, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.02.044 www.cell.com/current-biology/r … ii/S0960982213002157last_img read more

Thermodynamic analysis reveals large overlooked role of oil and other energy sources

first_imgA newer model of economic growth includes not only capital and labor, but also energy and creativity as production factors. Energy is placed on equal footing as capital and labor. Credit: R. Kümmel. The Second Law of Economics: Energy, Entropy, and the Origins of Wealth Citation: Thermodynamic analysis reveals large overlooked role of oil and other energy sources in the economy (2014, December 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-12-thermodynamic-analysis-reveals-large-overlooked.html (Phys.org)—The laws of thermodynamics are best known for dealing with energy in the context of physics, but a new study suggests the same concepts could help improve economic growth models by accounting for energy in the economic sphere. Polluting China for the sake of economic growth In neoclassical growth models, there are two main contributing factors to economic growth: labor and capital. However, these models are far from perfect, accounting for less than half of actual economic growth. The rest of the growth is accounted for by the Solow residual, which is thought to be attributed to the difficult-to-quantify factor of “technological progress.”Although neoclassical growth models help economists understand economic growth, the fact that they leave so much economic growth unexplained is a little unsettling. Even Robert A. Solow, the founder of neoclassical growth theory, stated that the neoclassical model “is a theory of growth that leaves the main factor in economic growth unexplained.” Energy, a powerful factor of production In a new study published in the New Journal of Physics, Professor Reiner Kümmel at the University of Würzburg and Dr. Dietmar Lindenberger at the University of Cologne argue that the missing ingredient represented by the Solow residual consists primarily of energy. They show that, for thermodynamic reasons, energy should be taken into account as a third production factor, on an equal footing with the traditional factors capital and labor. (By definition, labor represents the number of work hours per year. Capital refers to the capital stock that is listed in the national accounts, which consists of all energy-converting devices, information processors, and the buildings and installations necessary for their protection and operation. Energy includes fossil and nuclear fuels, as well as alternative energy sources.)The new proposal lies in stark contrast to neoclassical growth models, in which the production factors have very different economic weights, representing their productive powers. In neoclassical growth models, these economic weights or “output elasticities” are set equal to each production factor’s cost share: Labor’s cost share is 70%, capital’s is 25%, and energy’s is just 5%. Real-world implicationsTo test their model on reality, Kümmel and Lindenberger applied it to reproduce the economic growth of Germany, Japan, and the US from the 1960s to 2000, paying particular attention to the two oil crises. In neoclassical models, reductions of energy inputs by 7%, as observed during the first energy crisis in 1973-1975, should have caused total economic output reductions of only 0.35%, whereas observed reductions were up to an order of magnitude larger. By using the larger weight of energy, the new model can explain a much larger portion of the total output reductions during this time. If correct, their findings have major implications. First, the new model doesn’t require the Solow residual at all; this residual disappears from the graphs that show the empirical and the theoretical growth curves. Energy, along with the addition of a smaller “human creativity” factor, accounts for all of the growth that neoclassical models attribute to technological progress.Second, and somewhat unsettling, is the impact that the findings may have in the real world. In 2012, the International Monetary Fund stated in its World Economic Outlook that “…if the contribution of oil to output proved to be much larger than its cost share, the effects could be dramatic, suggesting a need for urgent policy action.” According to the authors’ analysis, the high productive power of cheap energy and the low productive power of expensive labor has implications that we can easily observe. On one hand, the average citizens of highly industrialized countries enjoy a material wealth that is unprecedented in history. On the other hand, cheap, powerful energy-capital combinations are increasingly replacing expensive, weak labor in the course of increasing automation. This combination kills jobs for the less skilled part of the labor force. It is also why far fewer people work in agriculture and manufacturing today than in the past, and more people work in the service sector—although even here, computers and software are replacing labor or causing job outsourcing to low-wage countries. This well-known trend can be understood by the new model’s message that energy is cheaper and more powerful than labor. Where is equilibrium?At the heart of Kümmel and Lindenberger’s model is the concept of thermodynamic equilibrium. As the researchers explain, economies are supposed to operate in an equilibrium where an objective, such as profit or overall welfare, has a maximum. To maximize these objectives, neoclassical economics assumes that there are no constraints on the combinations of capital, labor, and energy. With no constraints, economic equilibrium is characterized by the equality of output elasticities and cost shares, which is one of the assumptions of neoclassical growth models as described above.In their new model, Kümmel and Lindenberger apply the same optimization principles, but also take into account technological constraints on production factor combinations. In reality, a production system cannot operate at more than full capacity, and its degree of automation at a given time is limited by the quantities of energy-conversion devices and information processors that the system can accommodate at that time. Further, legal and social obligations may place “soft” constraints on the production factors, particularly labor.In the new model, these technological constraints on the production factors prevent modern industrial economies from reaching the neoclassical equilibrium where the output elasticities of capital, labor and energy are equal to these factors´ cost shares. Rather, the equilibrium of real-life economies, which are limited by technological constraints, is far from the neoclassical equilibrium.While the model provides a new perspective of economic growth, the ultimate question still remains: what kinds of strategies will stimulate economic growth and reduce unemployment and emissions? Whatever the answer, the results here suggest that it must account for the pivotal role of energy in economic production.”Within the present legal framework of the market, one needs economic growth to ban the specter of unemployment,” the researchers explain. “Energy-driven economic growth, in turn, may lead to increasing environmental perturbations, because, according to the first and second law of thermodynamics, nothing happens in the world without energy conversion and entropy production. And entropy production is associated with the emissions of heat and particles, notably carbon dioxide as long the world uses fossil fuels at the present rate.”Kümmel is also the author of a book on the subject called The Second Law of Economics: Energy, Entropy, and the Origins of Wealth. Explore further More information: Reiner Kümmel and Dietmar Lindenberger. “How energy conversion drives economic growth far from the equilibrium of neoclassical economics.” New Journal of Physics. DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/16/12/125008 (Left) Economic growth and (right) contributions of the three main production factors to economic growth in Germany in the late 20th century. Credit: R. Kümmel. The Second Law of Economics: Energy, Entropy, and the Origins of Wealth In their analysis, the researchers found that, unlike in neoclassical models, the economic weights of energy and labor are not equal to their cost shares. While the economic weight of energy is much larger than its cost share, that of labor is much smaller. This means that energy has a much higher productive power than labor, which is mainly because energy is relatively cheap while labor is expensive. © 2014 Phys.org Journal information: New Journal of Physics This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Wyoming Strives To Use Medicaid To Reduce Air

first_imgWyoming Strives To Use Medicaid To Reduce Air Ambulance… pidjoe by NPR News Markian Hawryluk 8.23.19 11:07am Wyoming, which is among the reddest of Republican states and a bastion of free enterprise, thinks it may have found a way to end crippling air ambulance bills that sometimes top $100,000 per flight.The state’s unexpected solution: Undercut the free market, by using Medicaid to treat air ambulances like a public utility.Costs for such emergency transports have been soaring, with some patients facing massive, unexpected bills as the free-flying air ambulance industry expands with cash from profit-seeking private-equity investors. The issue has come to a head in Wyoming, where rugged terrain and long distances between hospitals forces reliance on these ambulance flights.Other states have tried to rein in the industry, but have continually run up against the Airline Deregulation Act, a federal law that preempts states from regulating any part of the air industry.So, Wyoming officials are instead seeking federal approval to funnel all medical air transportation in the state through Medicaid, a joint federal-state program for residents with lower incomes. The state officials plan to submit their proposal in late September to Medicaid’s parent agency, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; the plan will still face significant hurdles there.If successful, however, the Wyoming approach could be a model for the nation, protecting patients in need of a lifesaving service from being devastated by a life-altering debt.”The free market has sort of broken down. It’s not really working effectively to balance cost against access,” says Franz Fuchs, a policy analyst for the Wyoming Department of Health. “Patients and consumers really can’t make informed decisions and vote with their dollars on price and quality.”Freewheeling free market systemThe air ambulance industry has grown steadily in the U.S., from about 1,100 aircraft in 2007 to more than 1,400 in 2018. During that same time, the fleet in Wyoming has grown from three aircraft to 14. State officials say an oversupply of helicopters and planes is driving up prices, because air bases have high fixed overhead costs. Fuchs says companies must pay for aircraft, staffing and technology, such as night-vision goggles and flight simulators — incurring 85% of their total costs before they fly a single patient.But with the supply of aircraft outpacing demand, each air ambulance is flying fewer patients. Nationally, air ambulances have gone from an average of 688 flights per aircraft in 1990, as reported by Bloomberg, to 352 in 2016. So, companies have raised their prices to cover their fixed costs and to seek healthy returns for their investors.A 2017 report from the federal Government Accountability Office notes that the three largest air ambulance operators are for-profit companies with a growing private equity investment. “The presence of private equity in the air ambulance industry indicates that investors see profit opportunities in the industry,” the report says.While precise data on air ambulance costs is sparse, a 2017 industry report says air ambulance companies spend an average of $11,000 per flight. In Wyoming, Medicare pays an average of $6,000 per flight, and Medicaid pays even less. So air ambulance companies shift the remaining costs — and then some — to patients who have private insurance or are paying out-of-pocket.As that cost-shifting increases, insurers and air ambulance companies haven’t been able to agree on in-network rates. So the services are left out of insurance plans.When a consumer needs a flight, it’s billed as an out-of-network service. Air ambulance companies then can charge whatever they want. If the insurer pays part of the bill, the air ambulance company can still bill the patient for the rest — a practice known as balance billing.”We have a system that allows providers to set their own prices,” says Dr. Kevin Schulman, a Stanford University professor of medicine and economics. “In a world where there are no price constraints, there’s no reason to limit capacity, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing.”Nationally, the average helicopter bill has now reached $40,000, according to a 2019 GAO report — more than twice what it was in 2010. State officials say Wyoming patients have received bills as high as $130,000.Because consumers don’t know what an air ambulance flight will cost them — and because their medical condition may be an emergency — they can’t choose to go with a lower-cost alternative, either another air ambulance company or a ground ambulance.A different way of doing thingsWyoming officials propose to reduce the number of air ambulance bases and strategically locate them, to even out access. The state would then seek bids from air ambulance companies to operate those bases at a fixed yearly cost. It’s a regulated monopoly approach, similar to the way public utilities are run.”You don’t have local privatized fire departments springing up and putting out fires and billing people,” Fuchs says. “The town plans for a few fire stations, decides where they should be strategically, and they pay for that fire coverage capacity.”Medicaid would cover all the air ambulance flights in Wyoming — and then recoup those costs by billing patients’ insurance plans for those flights. A patient’s out-of-pocket costs would be capped at 2% of the person’s income or $5,000, whichever is less, so patients could easily figure out how much they would owe. Officials estimate they could lower private insurers’ average cost per flight from $36,000 to $22,000 under their plan.State Rep. Eric Barlow, who co-sponsored the legislation, recognizes the irony of a GOP-controlled, right-leaning legislature taking steps to circumvent market forces. But the Republican said that sometimes government needs to make sure its citizens are not being abused.”There were certainly some folks with reservations,” he says. “But folks were also hearing from their constituents about these incredible bills.”Industry pushbackAir ambulance companies have opposed the plan. They say the surprise-billing problem could be eliminated if Medicare and Medicaid covered the cost of flights and the companies wouldn’t have to shift costs to other patients. They question whether the state truly has an oversupply of aircraft and warn that reducing the number of bases would increase response times and cut access to the lifesaving service.Richard Mincer, an attorney who represents the for-profit Air Medical Group Holdings in Wyoming, says that while 4,000 patients are flown by air ambulance each year in the state, it’s not clear how many more people have needed flights when no aircraft was available.”How many of these 4,000 people a year are you willing to tell, ‘Sorry, we decided as a legislature you’re going to have to take ground ambulance?’ ” Mincer said during a June hearing on the proposal.But Wyoming officials say it indeed might be more appropriate for some patients to take ground ambulances. The vast majority of air ambulance flights in the state, they say, are transfers from one hospital to another, rather than on-scene trauma responses. The officials say they’ve also heard of patients being flown for medical events that aren’t an emergency, such as a broken wrist or impending gallbladder surgery.Air ambulance providers say such decisions are out of their control: They fly when a doctor or a first responder calls.But air ambulance companies do have ways of drumming up business: They heavily market memberships that cover a patient’s out-of-pocket costs, eliminating any disincentive for the patient to fly. Companies also build relationships with doctors and hospitals that can influence the decision to fly a patient; some have been known to deliver pizzas to hospitals by helicopter to introduce themselves.Mincer, the Air Medical Group Holdings attorney, says the headline-grabbing, large air ambulance bills don’t reflect what patients end up paying directly. The average out-of-pocket cost for an air ambulance flight, he says, is about $300.The industry also has tried to shift blame onto insurance plans, which the transporters say refuse to pay their fair share for air ambulance flights and refuse to negotiate lower rates.Doug Flanders, director of communications and government affairs for the medical transport company Air Methods, says the Wyoming plan “does nothing to compel Wyoming’s health insurers to include emergency air medical services as part of their in-network coverage.”The profit modelOther critics of the status quo maintain that air ambulance companies don’t want to change, because the industry has seen investments from Wall Street hedge funds that rely on the balance-billing business model to maximize profits.”It’s the same people who have bought out all the emergency room practices, who’ve bought out all the anesthesiology practices,” says James Gelfand, senior vice president of health policy for the ERISA Industry Committee, a trade group representing large employers. “They have a business strategy of finding medical providers who have all the leverage, taking them out of network and essentially putting a gun to the patient’s head.”The Association of Air Medical Services counters that the industry is not as lucrative as it’s made out to be, pointing to the recent bankruptcy of PHI Inc., the nation’s third-largest air ambulance provider.Meanwhile, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming is supportive of the state’s proposal and looks forward to further discussion about the details if approved, according to Wendy Curran, a vice president at the health insurance firm. “We are on record,” Curran says, “as supporting any effort at the state level to address the tremendous financial impacts to our [Wyoming] members when air ambulance service is provided by an out-of-network provider.”The Wyoming proposal also has been well received by employers, who like the ability to buy into the program at a fixed cost for their employees, providing a predictable annual cost for air ambulance services.”It is one of the first times we’ve … seen a proposal where the cost of health care might actually go down,” says Anne Ladd, CEO of the Wyoming Business Coalition on Health.The real challenge, Fuchs says, will be convincing federal officials to go along with it.Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit, editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. KHN is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.Copyright 2019 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.last_img read more

Reviving the languages

first_imgBol Bosh, a website about the diverse languages, literatures and folklore of Kashmir, curated by Asiya Zahoor was launched at Oxford Bookstore Connaught Place in the Capital. Author Namita Gokhale launched the website on 5 August followed by a presentation and discussion with Basharat Ali and Asiya Zahoor.Bol Bosh in Kashmiri refers to communication, in the most endearing way. It aims to focus on those languages and oral and folk literatures in particular that are lesser known. Though these literatures are aesthetically appealing, culturally rich and historically significant, they have a very less or no visibility. By bringing these on a digital platform Bol Bosh aims to make such narratives accessible to the wider world. Some of the languages that are being revived through Bol Bosh are Pashtu, Gojri, Pahari, Dogri, Kohistani, Sheikhagal, Poguli, Shina, Bhaderwahi, Ladhki and Burushaski. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Asiya Zahoor lives and teaches in Baramulla, Kashmir. Her persisting passion for education since childhood led her to volunteer for teaching various schools in adjacent villages of Baramulla in addition to teaching at a colleges. She has known education as a tool of empowerment. Her interest in language and literature drove her to Oxford University. Basharat Ali pursued his Bachelor’s Degree from Government College Baramulla, University of Kashmir. From his childhood he had the urge and desire to contribute to his society by being a change. Ali has dedicated himself selflessly to the development of the society.last_img read more

Its all about Delhi

first_imgDHF (Delhi Heritage Foundation) organised the first talk under the Delhi Heritage Lecture Series on ‘Establishment and Growth of Hindu College in the Walled City: Post 1857 Intellectual Hulchul’ by Kavita Sharma (Former Principal Hindu College), Director IIC at its headquarter on 13 August. The session was a part of elaborate initiatives planned to present the unexplored of Delhi for its own residents and spread awareness. DHF has been set up with a mission to preserve and promote heritage of one of the oldest cities in the country. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The key objectives of DHF are – to preserve and promote the heritage, culture, monuments and history of Delhi and to encourage public involvement in heritage preservation.DHF has signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Delhi Walks, a walking tour vertical founded by Sachin Bansal to connect and showcase both the historical and contemporary facets of Delhi as mélange of cultures. Another MOU has been signed with Shoobh Group Welfare Society under the banner of Bharat Gauba, a non-profit community based organisation, which has worked on different social issues and shall be taking Delhi heritage to schools and colleges through a wide array of specially designed programmes. It will soon be announcing a major initiative that includes lectures series, seminars, conferences, workshops and publications.last_img read more

Of classic symphony

first_imgBe all set to be mersmerised by the duet performance by sitar exponent, Azeem Ahmed Alvi and tabla player Ustad Akram Khan Sitar Player on December 21 at the Triveni Kala Sangam at Mandi house in the Capital. Azeem Alvi’s composition has been composed in different taals like rupak, ektaal, teental. Azeem will play raag yaman with alaap jod jhaha. The composition in rupak tala will start after half beat. On the other hand Ustad Akram Khan will accompany the taals on table Azeem Ahmed Alvi, is one of India’s leading and Internationally known artiste in world music. Born in the family of classical Indian music as a tradition for six generations, he is deeply rooted in the Indian classical music and studied under Ustad Mohsin Ali Khan till the age of six. He gained his true potential and skill India’s biggest Sitar living legend, also from this family and his ‘Guru’ Padmashree awarded, Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan and his father  the renowned and respected Sitar maestros Ustad Sayyed Ahmed Alvi. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Only in his twenties, Azeem Ahmed Alvi has established a strong foothold in the contemporary music scene both, in India and abroad. Already known to be one of the foremost sitar players of the world, he aspires to bridge the gap between Indian classical and western contemporary music. Through his musical expertise, he has dabbled in diverse genres like Sufi, Flamenco, Jazz, Electronica and Western Classical music.In 2012, he took his passion for traditional Indian music and the Sitar to a new level with the creation of his NGO, the Raag Mantra Music Foundation. He has recently concluded his 15th European tour with Harry Stojka when he performed at the Jazz Festival in Vienna, Stuttgart in Germany at the World Music Festival, Jazz-Fest in Nurnberg, Germany amongst many others. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAkram Khan received his initial training in music from Late Ustad Niazu Khan who was famous for his technical style and guidance. He is also fortunate to have learnt from his great grandfather Ustad Mohd Shafi Khan. He continues his riyas and training under the able guidance of his father Ustad Ashmat Ali Khan. He has also undergone formal training at The Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad and passed the Sangeet Praveen (Master Of Music) From there apart from Sangeet Visharad at Chandigarh. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce. He is also a top grade artiste from All India Radio, New Delhi.When: December 21 Where: Amphitheater, Triveni Kala Sangam,  Mandi Houselast_img read more