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Medicare hires CSC but with short leash

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) signed its first big IT contract since Donald Berwick’s recess appointment.

The winner, Computer Sciences Corp., said it is worth “up to” $230 million. But it’s a very short leash. Medicare can opt out after six months, and the deal renews every year after that for six years.

The goal is to create a service-level architecture consolidating “the Standard Data Processing System, the Value Based Purchasing and the End Stage Renal Disease” groups, and supporting “the collection, analysis, reporting and management of claims, clinical, survey and project data from Medicare and Medicaid providers.”

In English, upgrade present systems and maintain the most important provider relationship databases. Indian-owned 2020 Company and a management unit of General Dynamics will also work on the contract.

It’s an important deal for Medicare, which is expected to find hundreds of billions of dollars in cost savings out of the data it collects during the next several years. Its savings and processes could then inform the insurance industry in bending the cost curve of health care costs.

The driver for these savings is supposed to be the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, which opened today under Dr. Richard Gilfillan, formerly president of the Geisinger Health Plan.

Geisinger, based in Pennsylvania,  is considered a “model” health plan, combining insurance with care, and using “best practices” to maximize quality and minimize cost.

All this is also being announced a day before Berwick testifies to Congress for the first time since his recess appointment, which is also the first Administration testimony on health since Republicans won the House, partly on the strength of opposition to health reform.

In his prepared testimony, which has been made public, Berwick will insist that he can achieve savings without rationing care, through “integrated care” that includes wellness support, and using tools given him under the health reform law.

Expect fireworks. Berwick faces a choice between staying calm under withering criticism or firing back and provoking headlines.

But before grabbing for the popcorn note performance. A short-leash computing contract and the Gilfillan appointment are hard to argue against.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/medicare-hires-csc-but-with-short-leash/#ftag=RSSbaffb68

Blockchain

Binance to cease these crypto-derivative offerings in Australia

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Once upon a time, regulators around the world weren’t confident about handling the crypto-ecosystem. This attitude, however, has changed of late thanks to the industry’s growth and the interest it has seen from traditional institutions and major investors.

The aforementioned change isn’t universal, alas, with some crypto-entities still coming under a lot of regulatory fire. Binance is a case in point. The platform has come under increased scrutiny from a growing number of regulators worldwide, including regulatory authorities from the U.K, the U.S, the Netherlands, and Canada.

Australia too has now been added to this ignominious list.

According to an official announcement made by the exchange, Binance will no longer offer Futures and Options trading in Australia. It read,

“As Binance constantly evaluates its product and service offerings to comply with local regulations, we will cease offering the following products to existing Australian users: Futures, Options, Leveraged Tokens”

Moreover, it revealed that ‘existing Australian users will have 90 days to reduce and close their positions for these products.’ Post 23 December, users will no longer be able to manually reduce their positions, and all remaining open positions will cease.

What does this mean for Binance and its executives?

Well, the aforementioned step is in alignment with its executives’ aim – To create a sustainable ecosystem around blockchain technology and digital assets. In fact, according to one of its executives,

“Binance welcomes developments to our industry’s regulatory framework as they pose opportunities for the market players to have greater collaboration with the regulators. We are committed to working constructively in policy-making that seeks to benefit every user.”

This move followed last month’s restrictions on Options, margin products, and leveraged tokens (New accounts were barred from engaging in).

And the “nightmare” continues… 

Binance took a similar hit in a different part of the world less than two weeks ago. It discontinued support for trading pairs in the Singapore dollar (SGD), again due to regulatory crackdown(s).
Binance found itself in troubled waters earlier this year, with regulators around the world zeroing in on the top exchange. The regulatory pressure forced the leading crypto-company to adopt a proactive approach to compliance. That being said, the jury is still out on whether these steps have been making any difference?
Moreover, US authorities are probing possible insider trading and market manipulation allegations involving Binance. The exchange, for its part, has denied these speculations. Binance has a “zero-tolerance policy for insider trading,” a statement said.
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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/binance-to-cease-crypto-derivative-offerings-in-australia

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Robinhood Testing New Cryptocurrency Wallet as Demand Rises

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The millennial-focused trading portal is edging closer to launching a long-awaited app that will enable its growing user-base to send and receive cryptocurrencies.

A beta version of Robinhood’s iPhone app showed the company’s latest upgrades on the new digital asset features, according to Bloomberg.

There is a hidden image showing a waiting list for users eager to get their hands on the app and code referring to crypto transfers, it added.

Delving Deeper into Crypto

Robinhood users can already buy and sell cryptocurrencies on the platform but they need to convert them to and from USD. With a native app, users will be able to send crypto assets to each other directly and set up two-factor authentication for additional security.

Robinhood Chief Executive Officer Vlad Tenev stated that adding crypto wallets is a priority for the company’s developers and they are actively working on such.


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“The ability to deposit and withdraw cryptocurrencies is tricky to do with scale, and we want to make sure it’s done correctly and properly.”

He did not specify a launch date, but the beta app leak suggests it is not too far away. Users of the new functions will need to activate crypto sending and receiving and the registration page will require an identity check, the report added.

On Sept. 11, CryptoPotato reported that Robinhood had launched incentives to promote longer-term cryptocurrency investing. The zero-fee recurring purchase feature enables users to schedule digital asset purchases for regular intervals with buys as low as a dollar.

This will encourage customers to build their cryptocurrency portfolios over time and “become a whole coiner,” stated Robinhood.

Robinhood Users Hungry For Crypto

Cryptocurrency trading has been one of the biggest drivers of revenue for Robinhood this year. Dogecoin has been the crown jewel, according to the company. It reported that 62% of its $233 million in second-quarter crypto income came from DOGE trading.

It added that more than half of all transaction-based revenue on the platform came from digital asset trading. The firm did warn that Q3 would not be as prosperous due to “seasonal headwinds and lower trading activity across the industry.”

Robinhood share prices have already fallen 43% since their all-time high of a little over $70 in early August. They are currently trading down 1.68% since Monday’s open at $40.70 according to Yahoo! Finance.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/robinhood-testing-new-cryptocurrency-wallet-as-demand-rises/

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Biggest Bank in Venezuela Suffers 5 Day Outage After Hack Attempt

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The Bank of Venezuela, one of the biggest state banks in the country, is now experiencing an outage that has left its customers without services for five days. The bank published a PR statement stating this was the result of a “terrorist attack” on the national financial system, being perpetrated in the form of a massive hack. More than 16 million customers are still without banking services at the time of writing.

Bank of Venezuela Hacked In “Terrorist Attack”

The Bank of Venezuela, one of the biggest financial institutions in the country, servicing more than 16 million customers, is facing an outage that has left its online platform without service for five days. Bank customers starting complaining about the outage for these services on September 15, when some of them took their concerns to social media.

At that time, a worker of the bank told local media that the outage was the product of several adaptations that were being made to the online platform of the bank to support the Digital Bolivar redenomination plan. The bank issued a PR statement via social networks stating it was working to restitute the service on September 16.

However, this did not happen. On September 17, the bank issued yet another statement revealing the institution had been hacked as an attempt to perpetuate a “terrorist attack” on the national financial system. The statement also told users their financial information was safe, and that the bank was still working to restitute the services. No more details were offered.

16 Million Users Affected; Restitution Announced

The aftermath of this left more than 16 million users without banking services for a week. This means that a lot of people couldn’t make goods and services purchases and they are still waiting to make their everyday expenses.

Some of these users complained about this and stated this outage made them unable to buy food and medicines for their families. However, the Bank of Venezuela outed a statement stating their services will be restituted. The statement claims that services will be available again on September 20 and that the institution managed to preserve the integrity of the data, meaning that users will be able to access their accounts with the same information.

This is one of the longest outages that any bank had faced in the story of the country and reinforces the importance of the existence of an alternate finance system like cryptocurrencies, that would help deal with this kind of event.

What do you think about the Bank of Venezuela’s 5-day service outage? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Source: https://news.bitcoin.com/biggest-bank-in-venezuela-suffers-5-day-outage-after-hack-attempt/

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