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Thursday
Sep272018

Greenville Health System to Change Name after Merger

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Two hospital systems in South Carolina are getting a new name after their merger.

Palmetto Health in Columbia and Greenville Health say their combined operation will be known as Prisma.

The two systems agreed to merge in November.

Hospitals will keep their names, like Baptist and Richland in Columbia, Tuomey in Sumter, Greenville Memorial and Laurens County.

The Palmetto Health-Greenville Health System merger forms the largest health system in South Carolina with 13 hospitals and 1.2 million patients annually.

The companies are expected to generate nearly $4 billion in annual net revenue. The system is the largest private employer in South Carolina with more than 28,000 health care workers and 2,800 physicians.

Columbia health consultant Lynn Bailey says using non-regional names has become a trend among growing hospital systems.

Thursday
Sep272018

Suicide Rate Among Young Veterans Rising

Sept. 27 (UPI) -- The suicide rate among veterans decreased in 2016, but increased among veterans under the age of 34, according to data released by the Veterans Administration on Wednesday.

In 2015, the number of veterans who committed suicide was 7,663. That number decreased by 365 to 7,298 in 2016. The suicide rate went from 30.5 out of 100,000 to 30.1 out of 100,000.

But among 18-34-year-olds, the rate increase from 40.4 out of 100,000 to 45 out of 100,000.

In a news release, the VA did not speculate why there was an increase among younger veterans, but said the data will help develop programs for suicide prevention. 

"These data offer insights that will help us build networks of support, interventions and research-backed suicide prevention initiatives to reach all Veterans, even those who do not and may never come to us for care," VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement.

Statistics show that veterans account for 14 percent of suicides in the United States, while making up only 8 percent of the country's population.

"If any other population of 20 million people were exposed to these threats it would be considered a public health priority," Paul Rieckhoff, CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, told the Wall Street Journal. "There has never been a national call to action."

While the overall suicide rate decreased, the usage of firearms, the most popular method of suicide, increased.

Wednesday
Sep262018

Opinion: Countywide Hospitality Tax Long Overdue

By Greg Wilson/Anderson Observer

Last year, Spartanburg County’s two percent hospitality tax generated $4.7 million for recreation and tourism. In the City of Anderson, the tax put almost $2.5 million on the books. 

Meanwhile, Anderson County’s unincorporated areas, which include, month other areas, the restaurants at Exit 19 off I-85 and Powdersville. Many of the county’s municipalities and townships already have the tax in place and are reaping the benefits.

The two percent hospitality tax on prepared food sold in the unincorporated areas of Anderson County would generate more than $3 million per year for recreation and tourism.

On Nov. 6, Anderson County voters will have the opportunity to advise Anderson County Council on the potential for the tax in unincorporated areas of the county.  While council clearly should have already voted to approve the tax long ago, one more chance for citizens to show a little civic pride and get behind the initiative may not be the worst idea in the world.  

On social media and elsewhere, the issue is being clouded by both misunderstanding and misinformation on the funds and how they can be used. 

Funds cannot be used for roads (with exceptions), schools or other infrastructure (not related to tourism/recreation) needs in the county. State law restricts use of such funds to recreation opportunities and facilities.

Here’s the South Carolina statute on how the funds may be used: 

“The revenue generated by the hospitality tax must be used exclusively for the following purposes:

(1) tourism-related buildings including, but not limited to, civic centers, coliseums, and aquariums;

(2) tourism-related cultural, recreational, or historic facilities;

(3) beach access and renourishment;

(4) highways, roads, streets, and bridges providing access to tourist destinations;

(5) advertisements and promotions related to tourism development; or

(6) water and sewer infrastructure to serve tourism-related demand. 

Anderson County Councilman Craig Wooten has already put forth a plan for the county to hire a consultant to help delineate priorities for how to best use the funds.  

A master plan for recreation created 10 years ago, found that $10 million was needed to upgrade the 37 parks the county helps maintain. (The number of active parks is really smaller, with some parks such as Morningside Park shut down, a few being little more than small boat ramps and others lying in wait of funding) Sadly, the study came out just as the national economy took a severe downturn, and no money was available to act on the study. The 2018 study did no include Green Pond Landing or most of the work done at the Brown Road Boat Ramp/Fishing Dock. 

Opposition to tax has been primarily expressed in the following ways:

  • “Recreation in the county should be left to the private sector.” None of our neighboring counties see it that way, and neither do the companies from around the world looking for a place to locate or relocate - something essential to Anderson County since we have more international business than any other county in the state, 51 firms from 23 countries have brought good, high-paying jobs, helping us survive and pull out of the Depression of 2008. Even domestic companies rate recreation activities as very high on their punch list when choosing a location. 
  • “We want to know exactly how the money is going to be spent before we vote for the tax.” The study currently under way will answer this objection.
  • “We need to more funds roads, schools, etc.” The bulk of all county tax payer dollars goes to schools already. There is a great need for money for roads, but hospitality tax revenue cannot be used for this unless it is paving roads directly related to recreation and tourism (there will be some of these). A countywide annual $25 vehicle tax has been repeated proposed to pay for road maintenance and construction, one which would completely cover the costs. That is not part of this discussion.
  • “We should review what we are already spending on recreation and tourism and find ways to fund everything.” That review has been done, and short of raising money through taxation of landowners, the funds are simply not there. Moving them around won’t solve the deficit. 
  • “We already pay too much in taxes.” This is an emotional response lacking substance based on the facts. County taxes have seen almost no increase for taxpayers over the past 10 years due to substantial success by the county’s department of economic development, the administrator and county council.

Misinformation, due to lack of education on the topic (a fact sheet should have already been released officially by Anderson County explaining much of what is being explained here), is also still floating around from the last attempt to pass the hospitality tax in 2016.  

The tax will not:

  • Raise rates to four percent in some areas. It will not be added to the two percent already being charged in most incorporated areas, but will only be in effect in places not already covered by the tax. The move would simply put the unincorporated areas of the county in line with all other restaurants. 
  • Be some sort of slush fund for council. This is ludicrous. The tax has been discussed for years in open council meetings, and the current proposal complies with all laws and rules, with complete transparency, voted upon in open meetings.
  • Impact business in local restaurants. None of the restaurants which I talked to, two dozen at last count, which already have the hospitality tax can tell any difference on business.  Hamid Mohsseni, who owns both Carson’s Steakhouse and Tucker’s - one of which is in the city and one in the county’s unincorporated areas even though their parking lots are adjacent - said in 2016 he hasn’t seen any difference in business between the two, even though one currently has the tax and the other does not.
  • Be a burden on those with fixed incomes. Any argument saying the tax would be a burden on consumers is a little silly. It is hard to imagine anyone who can afford to dine out being unable to pay an extra two cents on every dollar spent on food. A $50 bill would bring an extra charge of only $1. In addition, more than half of the areas impacted by the new tax are places frequented largely by those who don’t live in the county. (see below for more on this information).

Why we need a hospitality tax in unincorporated areas of Anderson. County:

Anderson is already behind our neighboring counties in our approach to recreation, and it is time to catch up. The county’s recreation is currently largely the efforts of 18 non-profit groups in Anderson. The county does have facilities, the civic center, for example. But it is these local groups which fill the fields with sporting events and tournaments, putting us well behind Greenville and Spartanburg, which fund recreation through a combination of general revenue from property taxes and hospitality taxes. 

The civic center would be one of the biggest winners of the hospitality tax, but the funds generated will save property owners money long-term. Why? Because as the civic center ages and the population grows, the facilities there are going to require funding, and that money will have to come from either raising taxes on property owners or the proposed hospitality tax. I vote for the money to be generated through two cents on the dollar spent eating out rather than by raising taxes, especially when more than 60 percent of the revenue is being paid by visitors to this county. A 2010 study counting out-of-state license plates at Cracker Barrel at Exit 19 found that 72 percent of the cars entering the parking lot were from someplace other than South Carolina. A recent count at Outback on a Saturday night found that 50 percent of the cars in the parking lot were from states other than South Carolina. While this kind of study is not worthy of academic review, owners of many of the restaurants near the interstate suggest many of their customers are from other states. No matter the exact number, a significant amount of funding for recreation and tourism in Anderson County would be paid for by visitors under the hospitality tax. 

The hospitality tax is about economic development. The hospitality tax is really about economic development. Without a vision for the future of recreation in the county, there will be trouble ahead attracting the kind of new investment we want here. Hartwell Lake is an amazing resource, but one the county has only managed to take advantage in any meaningful way through federal settlement money. Green Pond’s Phase One has been a good start, but there is more to be done, and no money to do it. Roughly 90 percent of the work at Green Pond to date has been through PCB settlement money and grants. Many of our parks are in poor shape, and only three are Americans with Disabilities Act compliant (which is now law, not a suggestion). It cannot be denied that both Greenville and Spartanburg counties are aggressively marketing their recreation opportunities in economic development, especially to international firms. Two pennies on the dollar dining out could completely revolutionize our ability to compete. In less than a decade we could make our recreation and tourism opportunities a talking point, and not a sore spot, when it comes to recruiting new industry and bringing more good jobs to Anderson County.  

Local recreation needs are growing. The Powdersville area, like the county as a whole, has grown exponentially, too rapidly to keep up with the needs of the population in many areas - including recreation. As an unincorporated area, they have no other way to generate revenue. These residents deserve better, as do all the residents of Anderson County when it comes to improving and continuing to improve the quality of life here. Recreation is a key component of this quality of life. As growth continues, a hospitality tax will likely generate far more than $3 million, well above the county’s very conservative estimates, based on how much per capita the hospitality tax has generated for municipalities and townships in the other parts of the county. If there is a flaw in the county’s proposal, it’s that they are underestimating how much this new hospitality tax can accomplish both immediately and in the future. 

There are no downsides to a hospitality tax for Anderson County’s unincorporated areas. It is a crucial move for the future of economic development and for the quality of life of our citizens.

Many of the same opponents to this tax opposed the East-West Parkway, something most of them probably use every day. Anderson has a long history of missing or delaying progress due to lack of visionary leadership who thinks beyond the current fiscal quarter and seeks the path of long term financial and other investments/benefits for our citizens. The hospitality tax offers a way to help fund this future without adding to the tax burden of property owners.  

Economic development, an improved quality of life for all citizens and keeping property taxes in check; all point to the wisdom of approving the hospitality tax for unincorporated areas of Anderson County ballot in November. 

Unless those who oppose this tax can put forth a specific plan to accomplish the same goals, and so far no one has, all the meetings and opinions in the county expressing opposition are not worth much.

I hope those who love Anderson and are invested in a great future will support the need for a two percent hospitality tax in Anderson County, as we continue as one of the state’s most progressive places to work and live.

Wednesday
Sep262018

Elements Materials to Bring 31 High-Tech Jobs to Anderson

Anderson Observer Reports

Element Materials Technology (Element), a leader in materials and product qualification testing, today announced plans to open new operations in Anderson County. The company’s $3.4 million investment is projected to create 31 new jobs. 

The 31 highly skilled jobs will bring an average salary of $23.81 per hour, and an annual payroll of $1.2 million.

“Anderson County’s goal of establishing a diverse economic base for our citizens is becoming a reality with the presence of Element in our community," said Anderson County Councilman Ken Waters. "We are delighted to welcome Element to Piedmont.”

Located at 1370 Shiloh Church Road in Piedmont, S.C., the company’s new, 30,000-square-foot facility is projected to come online in December 2018. Hiring for the new positions has already begun, and interested applicants can visit www.element.com/careers for more information.

Element specializes in providing services to more than 40,000 customers in the global aerospace; transportation; fire and building products; oil and gas; and infrastructure sectors. Element’s expanded network of 6,700 engaged experts operate out of 188 laboratories in 32 countries.

“This significant investment is a real win-win for Element and for the local community," said Element President and CEO Charles Noall. "The facility will strengthen our footprint, capacity and capabilities and enable us to deliver cost savings for our clients, while also boosting the local economy through the creation of 31 jobs over the next five years.”  

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved a $200,000 Set Aside grant to Anderson County to assist with the costs of building improvements.

“South Carolina’s workforce continues to exhibit unmatched excellence, and companies like Element are taking notice," said South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. "They know that the people of this state will get the job done, helping them operate a successful, thriving facility in Anderson County for years to come.” 

Anderson County Economic Development Director Burriss Nelson. said the 20-year economic impact of the company on the community is estimated at more than $261 million.

Element is one of the world’s leading independent providers of materials and product qualification testing, inspection and certification services to the global Aerospace; Transportation & Industrials; Fire & Building Products; and Oil & Gas and Infrastructure sectors, where failure in service is simply not an option. Element exists to help its customers to make certain that the materials, products and systems that they make are safe, quality compliant and ultimately fit for purpose, leveraging Element’s 200 years of testing experience and our global testing capabilities

Wednesday
Sep262018

Beef Sold at Sam's Club, Target Recalled Nationwide

More than 132,000 pounds of ground beef recalled last week over E. Coli concerns was sold at Target, Sam's Club and other retailers nationwide, federal health officials announced Tuesday. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture just released a list of grocery stores that sold the recalled beef products. They include: 

  • Aldi (Stores in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin)

  • Sam's Club (Nationwide)

  • Target (Nationwide)

  • Meijer (Nationwide)

  • Safeway/Albertson's (Nationwide)

  • Vons (Stores in California)

  • Pak N Save (Stores in California)

Click here to see the full list.

Cargill Meat Solutions issued the recall on Sept. 19.

The beef products were identified after an investigation into an E. coli outbreak, which had resulted in 17 illnesses and one death since Aug. 16, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said in a statement.

Each patient had consumed ground beef products purchased at various retail stores that were supplied by Cargill Meat Solutions, according to FSIS. 

The items carry an “EST. 86R” label inside the USDA mark of inspection, and were produced and packaged on June 21.

Here's a full list of the recalled products (view labels at this link):

  • 3-lb. chubs of “OUR CERTIFIED 73/27 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF” with a USE OR FREEZE BY JUL/11/18 and case code 00228749057646.

  • 3-lb. chubs of “OUR CERTIFIED 73/27 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF” with a USE OR FREEZE BY JUL/11/18 and case code 00228749002653.

  • 10-lb. chubs of “EXCEL 73/27 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 00228749089098.

  • 10-lb. chubs of “EXCEL 73/27 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 90028749002751.

  • 10-lb. chubs of “EXCEL 81/19 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 90028749003536.

  • 10-lb. chubs of “EXCEL GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 00228749003568.

  • 10-lb. chubs of “EXCEL CHUCK GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 90028749402773.

  • 20-lb. chubs of “EXCEL 81/19 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF COMBO” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 90028749073935.

  • 10-lb. chubs of “Sterling Silver CHUCK GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 00228749702416.

  • 10-lb. chubs of “CERTIFIED ANGUS BEEF CHUCK GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 90028749802405.

  • 10-lb. chubs of “CERTIFIED ANGUS BEEF CHUCK GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 with case code 00228749802413.

  • 10-lb. chubs of “Fire River Farms CLASSIC GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a USE/FREEZE BY: 07/11/2018 with case code 90734730297241.

E. Coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, vomiting, bloody diarrhea and severe stomach cramps, with the symptoms occurring one to 10 days after exposure. Most people recover within a week, but those with weakened immune systems may develop a more severe infection.

Federal health officials are concerned that some customers may be storing the tainted beef in their refrigerators or freezers. The agency advises anyone who bought the product to throw it away or return it to the place of purchase.

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. 

Wednesday
Sep262018

Study: Exercise Could Delay Some Early Onset Alzheimer's

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26, 2018 -- Regular exercise might delay a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that 2.5 hours of walking or other physical activity a week thwarted mental decline tied to autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease, or ADAD. This is an inherited form of disease that leads to dementia at an early age. 

"The results of this study are encouraging, and not only for individuals with rare genetically caused Alzheimer's disease," said Maria Carrillo, chief science officer for the Alzheimer's Association.

"If further research confirms this relationship between physical activity and later onset of dementia symptoms in ADAD, then we need to expand the scope of this work to see if it also is true in the millions of people with more common, late-onset Alzheimer's," Carrillo said in an association news release. She wasn't involved in the study.

A team led by Dr. Christoph Laske at the University Hospital of Tubingen in Germany examined data on 275 people who carry a genetic mutation for ADAD. The participants' average age was 38.

The investigators wanted to see if at least 150 minutes per week of walking, running, swimming or other exercise could help delay or slow disease progression.

It may. Those participants who got more physical activity scored higher on brain function assessments, the study found.

They also had lower levels of key biological markers of Alzheimer's disease in their cerebrospinal fluid, including tau -- a protein that builds up in the brains of people with Alzheimer's.

"A physically active lifestyle is achievable and may play an important role in delaying the development and progression of ADAD," Laske and his team wrote. "Individuals at genetic risk for dementia should therefore be counseled to pursue a physically active lifestyle."

The World Health Organization and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend the exercise target of 150 minutes a week.

Wednesday
Sep262018

Friday Event in Sandy Springs to Celebrate Freddie Stowers

Observer Reports

A ceremony to rededicate the marker honoring Anderson Native Cpl. Freddie Stowers, the only Afrrican American Soldier to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, is scheduled for Friday at 10 a.m. at SandySprings Community Park. A statue of WWI hero Cpl Freddie Stowers on the campus of Anderson University.

The event marks the Centenniel Celebration of Stowers death on Sept. 28, 1918. The marker has been repaired after being vandalized. 

Anderson County Councilman Tom Allen, a retired army colonel and Vietnam veteran, and who has lectured on Stowers in the past, will deliver the remarks at the dedication. The public is invited.

Early on the morning of September 28, 1918, Stowers' company was ordered to assault Côte 188, a tall, heavily defended hill overlooking a farm near Ardeuil-et-Montfauxelles, in the Ardennes region of France. At first, the German defenders offered stiff resistance, bombarding the Americans with mortars, raking them with machine guns and keeping up steady rifle fire. The advance was not halted, however; with the Americans steadily gaining ground, and the Germans communicated their surrender with verbal and hand signals. This however proved to be a ruse, and as Company C drew near the German trenches, the machine guns opened up again. Within minutes, the company's strength was reduced by half. The lieutenant commanding Stowers' platoon went down, followed by the more senior noncommissioned officers. Corporal Stowers, trained to lead a section of a rifle squad, was now in command of a battered and demoralized platoon.

Stowers began crawling toward a German machine gun nest and shouted for his men to follow. The platoon successfully reached the first German trench line and reduced the machine guns by enfilade fire. Stowers then reorganized his force and led a charge against the second German line of trenches. During this assault, Stowers was struck by an enemy machine gun, but kept going until he was struck a second time. He collapsed from loss of blood, but ordered his men not to be discouraged and to keep going and take out the German guns. Inspired by Stowers' courage, the men forged ahead and successfully drove the Germans from the hill and into the plain below. Stowers, meanwhile, succumbed to his wounds on Côte 188. He is buried, along with 133 of his comrades, at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial east of the village of Romagne-sous-Montfaucon.

Shortly after his death, Stowers was recommended for the Medal of Honor; however, this recommendation was never processed. Three other black soldiers were recommended for Medals of Honor, but were instead awarded the next highest award, the Distinguished Service Cross. This decision may have partly been motivated by racism; however, the criteria for the Medal of Honor were becoming stricter during this time period, partly due to a perception that it was being awarded too frequently. In Stowers' case, the official position is that his recommendation was "misplaced," which is plausible given that the other three MOH recommendations for black soldiers were at least processed, even if the decision to award the DSC remains controversial and possibly racism-related.

In 1990, at the instigation of Congress, the Department of the Army conducted a review and the Stowers recommendation was uncovered. Subsequently, a team was dispatched to France to investigate the circumstances of Stowers' death. Based on information collected by this team, the Army Decorations Board approved the award of the Medal of Honor. On April 24, 1991 — seventy-three years after he was killed-in-action, Stowers' surviving sisters, Georgina and Mary, received the medal from President George H.W. Bush at the White House.

Wednesday
Sep262018

New S.C. Tax Bill Offers Breaks for Families with Young Kids

The State

COLUMBIA — S.C. parents with children will get a tax break as part of a proposal that state lawmakers say will provide families with much-needed tax relief. Those with children under age 6 will get an even bigger break.

The Senate Finance Committee will consider the proposal Wednesday. If passed, it heads to the full Senate next week as part of a special legislative session.

The proposal adds a state tax deduction for dependents of $4,110, starting with the current tax year. It also adds another $4,110 deduction for families with each child under 6 years old, meaning the parents of a toddler could get an $8,220 exemption.

“There’s a lot of tax breaks for older citizens,” said state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, D-Kershaw, who is on the Senate Finance Committee. “Generally, families don’t have those tax breaks. We didn’t want to see their taxes go up” because of the new federal tax law.

President Donald Trump signed into law changes to the federal tax code late last year — the first changes since the mid-1980s — that included repealing personal exemptions. Without changes to the state’s tax law, legislators worried S.C. taxpayers would be hard hit since the state tax code is tied to the federal law.

Simply conforming the state’s tax code to federal tax law — a perfunctory measure taken by lawmakers each year — would have resulted in S.C. taxpayers paying an additional $253 million in taxes, according to an S.C. Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office analysis.

The bill offsets that windfall to the state, what would have been a tax hike for South Carolinians, by also adding in a $1,525 personal exemption on state income taxes. The bill also includes an adjustment to index individual state income tax brackets for inflation that will save taxpayers $4 million a year, money that otherwise would have gone into the state’s general fund.

“Had we just conformed to the federal tax code, it would have caused huge disruptions for S.C. taxpayers,” Sheheen said.

The state Senate will take up the bill next Tuesday. If the bill is adopted, the S.C. House will return to Columbia for a special session later next week, on Oct. 3-4.

Lawmakers said Tuesday they have made every effort to soften the tax hikes to S.C. taxpayers stemming from the new federal tax law.

“Whether we passed (it) or didn’t, without doing it right, there would be increases to taxpayers,” said state Sen. Sean Bennett, R-Dorchester, also a member of the Senate Finance Committee.

But, Bennett added, lawmakers still need to overhaul the state’s tax laws.

“At the end of the day, this doesn’t fix our problem. This kind of plugs the dike.”

Wednesday
Sep262018

Elevator Repairs at Courthouse to Cost $57,000

Observer Reports

Repairs on the out-of-order elevator in the historic courthouse downtown are under way.

The cost to overhaul the hydraulics of the elevator, which was installed in the early 1980s, and has been out of service for almost two weeks, will top out at $57,000 according to Anderson County Administrator Rusty Burns. The cost is a fraction of the amount it would take to replace the elevator.

The elevator is required for access to public meetings, which is why county council meetings are being moved to comply. 

Tuesday
Sep252018

Hackers Increasingly Targeting Health Insurance Records

Hackers are targeting medical record data more than ever, and their most rewarding prey appears to be health insurance companies, a new study suggests.

Data breaches involving health plans accounted for 63 percent of all breached records that occurred between 2010 and 2017, said lead researcher Dr. Thomas McCoy Jr. He is director of research at Massachusetts General Hospital's Center for Quantitative Health in Boston. 

"A small number of breaches account for the majority of [patient] records breached," McCoy said. "The majority of the breaches are of health care providers, whereas the majority of the records breached are from health plans."

About 70 percent of all breaches occurred with health care providers, compared with only 13 percent of breaches taking place at health insurance companies, the study findings showed.

But more records are exposed through breaches with health insurers -- about 110 million (63 percent) in 2017, compared with 37 million (21 percent) breached through health care providers that same year.

Insurance providers "work around the clock to ensure their data is secure, and to protect its members' information from bad actors who look for ways to break through their defenses," said Cathryn Donaldson, director of communications for America's Health Insurance Plans, a trade association for health insurers.

"They also regularly submit in-depth reports on any sort of company breach or potential for breach to ensure transparency, and immediately work to protect patient information," Donaldson continued. "Our members are committed to defending patients' security and privacy."

All health care entities must report any breaches of medical data to the federal government. McCoy and his colleagues reviewed records related to those breaches.

The total number of breaches have increased nearly every year, rising from 199 in 2010 to 344 in 2017.

But data hacking and information technology breaches now account for most confidentiality breaches of medical data, with 132 million records breached this way in 2017, the researchers reported.

Tuesday
Sep252018

Clemson Coach Robbie Caldwell to Speak at TD Club

Robbie Caldwell, Clemson University’s Assistant Coach for Offensive Lineman is scheduled to speak Friday at the Anderson Area Touchdown Club. Coach Caldwell has a 40 years experience in college coaching and a staff-high 477 college games as a coach.

Players and Coach will be also honored on Friday from their play from the previous Friday night games.

The meal lines opens at 11:30 am with the program beginning at 12:10 pm. Visitors are welcome.  Meal cost for members is $10 and $15 for visitors.

For further information about the Club or to join, call Bill Brissey at 864/226-7380 or Nancy at 864/616-6471.


Tuesday
Sep252018

"Coffee with a Cop" Oct. 3 at Grace's Restaurant

Anderson County Sheriff’s Office is joining nearly 500 law enforcement agencies across the country for its Second Annual “Coffee with a Cop” event Oct. 3, from 8-10 a.m. at Grace’s Restaurant (1510 N. Murray Ave. Anderson) for complimentary coffee with Sheriff Chad McBride and other Sheriff’s Office staff. 

The idea is that building relationships, opening communication and putting faces to the names at the Sheriff’s Office is the key to developing a healthy community-oriented policing program. During “Coffee with a Cop,” there will be no agendas, no speeches and no specific topics.

This informal environment will give citizens an opportunity to have a conversation, ask questions, or make a suggestion with Sheriff’s Office personnel. Coffee will be free.

Tuesday
Sep252018

Groundbreaking for New Airport Terminal Set for Thursday

Correction: Previous information on expansion of runway was incorrect. The renovations did not expand the runway.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new terminal at the Anderson Regional Airport is set for Thursday, beginng at 10 a.m. at the site of the new building. As part of the vent, there will also be a ribbon-cutting for the new runway, which has been closed for reconstruction and repairs since Aug. 20. 

The new airport terminal is being paid for mostly from funds leftover from the 2017 general fund. Around $1.5 million is being used to match another $2 million in federal and state grants. The $1 million in repairs/renovation/extension of the runway is also being paid for from the 2017 funds.