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Business Briefs for 2/22/2014

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LifeCare receives defibrillator grant

BEMIDJI — LifeCare Medical Center recently received a federal grant to oversee the distribution of life-saving cardiac equipment throughout northwestern Minnesota. The grant authorizes LifeCare to purchase 150 Automatic External Defibrillators over the next three years and distribute them in Beltrami and neighboring counties including Kittson, Roseau, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, Pennington, Norman, Mahnomen, Red Lake, Clearwater, Polk and Hubbard.

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service awarded the grant through its Health Resources Services Administration. Working in partnership with the Greater Northwest Emergency Medical Services, LifeCare will acquire 50 defibrillators annually through 2016.

Entities within the counties may apply for Automatic External Defibrillators equipment through a competitive grant process. Screening of applicants will occur on a quarterly basis by a committee made up of representatives from LifeCare and Greater NW EMS.

Applications will be available March 1 at www.greaternwems.com and www.lifecaremedicalcenter.org.

Outside Television added to the PBTV

BEMIDJI — Outside Television and Outside Television HD have been added to the PBTV Sports package available through Paul Bunyan Television. Outside Television is the only national programming network dedicated to the active outside lifestyle, according to a press release from Paul Bunyan Television. Outside Television embraces running, biking, skiing, hiking, sailing, surfing, kayaking, and any other adventures involving wind, water, snow and terrain. It can be found on standard definition PBTV Channel 71 and in high definition on PBTV Channel 571. For more information, call 444-1234.

L&M Supply

earns honor

BEMIDJI — L&M Supply, a local dealer of Cub Cadet outdoor power equipment located in Bemidji, Grand Rapids, Hibbing, Mt. Iron/Virginia, Cloquet, Park Rapids, Detroit Lakes and Hayward Wis., recently earned distinction as one of the top 75 Cub Cadet independent retailers in the country for 2013. L&M Supply received recognition during a trip to the Paradisus Palma Real Resort in the Caribbean.

Regulator proposes insurer payments

NEW YORK (Reuters) — The U.S. government on Friday announced proposed payments to private health insurers for 2015 Medicare Advantage plans, amid pressure from the industry and Congress to avoid cuts that would hurt benefits for the elderly and disabled.

The proposal, released in a document by a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, lays out a benchmark amount of reimbursement that insurers use to help set prices on private Medicare plans.

Insurers including UnitedHealth Group Inc, Humana Inc and Aetna Inc manage private Medicare plans for about 15 million of the 50 million Americans eligible for Medicare.

The proposal said insurers should determine their rates based on an anticipated per capita Medicare Advantage growth rate of negative 3.55 percent. It was not immediately clear how this and other measures in the document would translate into payment levels for insurers.

The proposed payment rates are a key factor in how insurance companies plan their business for the coming year, including in which markets they will offer health plans, what their medical and administrative costs will be and at what level to set premiums and doctor visit co-payments.

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