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New PRA Report: Healthcare Price Transparency Can Reduce Healthcare Costs by More than $1 Trillion Annually



Paper co-authored by renowned economist Dr. Arthur Laffer and PRA Founder Cynthia Fisher offers solution to the American healthcare crisis

WASHINGTON /PRNewswire/ — Today, PatientRightsAdvocate.org (PRA) published a report co-authored by Founder and Chairman Cynthia Fisher and economist Dr. Arthur Laffer that concludes healthcare price transparency can reduce national healthcare spending by more than $1 trillion annually and extend American life expectancy.

The report explains how price transparency can achieve these dramatic health saving and outcome improvements by empowering patients and employers to access the best care at the best prices. Actual prices can be compared to claims data to prevent and remedy rampant overcharges, spread pricing, and to expose errors and fraud that occur in the shadows of the current opaque system. Price transparency will unleash a competitive, affordable health system that eliminates widespread overcharging. 

“The American people are paying twice as much for healthcare to die four years earlier than in other developed countries,” said Cynthia Fisher, founder and chairman of PatientRightsAdvocate.org. “Price transparency provides the opportunity to lower runaway costs and provide access to care with knowledge of quality and outcomes. The opportunity is to save lives while saving money.”

“Americans spend nearly twice as much on healthcare as other advanced countries yet have far shorter life expectancies due to hidden prices that drive up costs and scare patients from seeking care,” said economist Dr. Arthur B. Laffer. “Healthcare price transparency can save Americans more than $1 trillion a year on healthcare spending and lengthen lifespans by ushering in a pro-consumer healthcare marketplace that empowers patients to choose affordable care when they need it. That’s what makes the current effort in Congress to strengthen healthcare price transparency one of the most crucial public policy actions legislators can take to improve American wellbeing.”

Click here to read the report.

Top Takeaways

  • The top 10 biggest Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) healthcare spenders, excluding the U.S., spent an average of 11.9% of their GDPs on healthcare in 2021.
  • The U.S. spent 17.4% of its GDP on healthcare in 2021.
  • 2019 JAMA paper estimated that at least 25% of the more than $4 trillion in annual U.S. healthcare spending is administrative waste, errors, overcharging, and fraud.
  • If the U.S. could match other top ten OECD nations’ 11.9% of GDP spending performance through price transparency reforms, it would cut its annual healthcare spending from $4.1 trillion to $2.8 trillion, saving $1.3 trillion.
  • With true healthcare price transparency, annual savings could amount to $4,000 per person in the country.

PatientRightsAdvocate.org (PRA) is a leading national healthcare price transparency organization dedicated to ushering in systemwide transparency through advocacy, testimony, media, legal research, and grassroots campaigns. PRA believes that the availability and visibility of actual, upfront healthcare prices will greatly lower costs for patients and employers through a functional, competitive healthcare marketplace. In its latest Hospital Price Transparency Compliance report, PRA found that only 36% of American hospitals reviewed are fully complying with the law after almost three years of its implementation.

SOURCE Patient Rights Advocate

Business and Finance

PayPal and Venmo Unveil Six New Innovations to Revolutionize Commerce

Company introduces reimagined checkout and guest checkout experiences, new advanced offers platform for merchants, and new consumer app to earn cash back and give customers more reasons to shop with PayPal



New Venmo enhancements enable local small businesses to be discovered and grow

SAN JOSE, Calif. /PRNewswire/ — PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) today announced six new innovations the company is piloting and bringing to market this year to revolutionize commerce through artificial intelligence (AI) driven personalization for both merchants and consumers. During the PayPal First Look keynote, Alex Chriss, President and CEO, introduced: a completely new PayPal checkout experience that radically speeds up check out for consumers and helps merchants convert transactions like never before; Fastlane by PayPal, a dramatically faster and smarter guest checkout experience; Smart Receipts, giving customers AI-personalized recommendations from merchants to keep them coming back; the PayPal advanced offers platform so merchants can provide relevant, personalized, real-time offers to consumers and drive more sales; a reinvented PayPal consumer app giving shoppers new ways to earn cash back and more reasons to use PayPal; and, Venmo’s enhanced business profiles, so small businesses can find and engage new customers, and grow their businesses.

PayPal President and CEO, Alex Chriss, at PayPal First Look, introducing six innovations the company is piloting and bringing to market this year to revolutionize commerce.

“PayPal is on a mission to revolutionize commerce, globally, and today we are starting the next chapter,” said Alex Chriss, President and CEO, PayPal. “With nearly 400 million consumer accounts, and 35 million merchant accounts, PayPal handles transactions for about a quarter of the world’s e-commerce transactions each year, but more importantly, shoppers trust PayPal to power their payments.”

Chriss continued, “PayPal is introducing six new innovations that will not only solve real customer pain points, but we believe will change the world of payments and commerce. From new solutions for merchants to speed up checkout and personalize offers, to a new consumer app that will give our loyal customers more reasons to shop with PayPal, to the next generation of Venmo designed to be the growth platform for local small businesses, PayPal has always brought the future of money to our consumers and merchants and today marks the next revolution.”

With digital commerce expected to exceed $6 trillion in 20241, merchants need new, advanced ways to speed consumers through checkout in a seamless way that reduces lost sales. Additionally, consumers are continuously looking to stretch their budgets and get as much value while shopping as possible. PayPal’s global scale and extensive data set, combined with the power of AI, will deliver the next generation of value for both consumers and merchants.

Transforming Checkout

Checkout is the last interaction between a consumer and a merchant, and while it seems so simple, any friction can disrupt the moment. Business owners want to focus on the next sale and consumers are looking to remove any annoying interruptions like password prompts or lagging response times. To address this, PayPal has massively accelerated the checkout process to get customers to choose PayPal, integrate passkeys to enable customers to log in with their face or fingerprint with one tap, and to improve latency. In fact, this will reduce latency by as much as 50%2, and enable customers to check out twice as fast, all with the same level of security and trust they have come to expect from PayPal. Additionally, the new PayPal checkout will also leverage AI to get smarter and faster over time.

Introducing Fastlane by PayPal

Merchants are losing out on sales because the guest checkout process is both slow and cumbersome. Additionally, shoppers do not often sign in or sign up while browsing, and when they are ready to check out, they must find their password, update their credit card information, or shipping address. To help, PayPal is introducing Fastlane by PayPal, a new one-click guest checkout experience that merchants using PayPal’s platform will be able to offer their shoppers, allowing them to make a fast and painless purchase. Customers simply save their information with Fastlane to check out in as little as one tap. No username or password to remember, no personal information to update, and no need to share a credit card with businesses all over the web.

PayPal has been piloting Fastlane by PayPal with a group of merchants and are seeing astounding early results. Select merchants on BigCommerce, a leading open software-as-a-service (SaaS) ecommerce platform and longtime PayPal partner, have seen early results showing that Fastlane can recognize 70% of guests3 and accelerated checkout speeds of nearly 40% compared to a traditional guest checkout process.4

Introducing PayPal Smart Receipts

Merchants want to incentivize customers to come back, and consumers want to find the best deals, so PayPal is eliminating the guesswork for both with the introduction of Smart Receipts. When consumers shop with PayPal, they will receive a receipt that allows them to not only track their purchase, but also harnesses AI to predict what they may want to buy next from that merchant. As a result, now merchants will be able to include a personalized recommendation along with a cashback reward offer on the receipt.

As almost 45% of PayPal customers globally open their email receipts everyday– an incredible open rate – this could mean tens of millions of merchants and hundreds of millions of consumers seeing timely, hyper-relevant recommendations and rewards in these receipts. This increases the opportunities for merchants to re-engage directly with their customers, increasing the probability of repeat shopping and business growth.

PayPal is also leveraging AI-powered suggestions that are based on shopper behavior data, combined with the scale of what PayPal can see across the web. Through personalized AI, PayPal is giving any sized merchant the power of being one of the largest retailers in the world.

Introducing PayPal Advanced Offers Platform

Today, when consumers shop online their experience includes ads generated by their browsing behavior only, which can be irrelevant and frustrating. In response, PayPal will use unique customer insights to build a dynamic, truly personalized advanced offers platform giving merchants the ability to reach customers based on what they have actually bought across the internet, down to the stock keeping unit (SKU) and the individual product. This new, performance-based offers platform has the potential to use AI to organize and analyze data from nearly half a trillion dollars’ worth of merchant transactions globally6. The platform will also allow merchants to customize offers for customers, and merchants will only pay for performance, not impressions or clicks. For PayPal consumers, it means they will get more relevant offers, and more opportunities to earn rewards.

PayPal is also building transparent, easy-to-use privacy controls so if a customer does not want their data shared with merchants to personalize their shopping experience – they can opt in or out. 

Reinventing the PayPal app

PayPal is also reinventing the PayPal app to give loyal customers even more reasons to shop and pay with PayPal every day. Too often consumers are served the top items from the largest merchants that can afford to buy the best search terms. Additionally, consumers are still feeling the inflationary pinch and looking for ways to spend smarter and find the best deals. This is why PayPal is introducing CashPass to give customers access to hundreds of exciting, personalized cash back offers from top brands in the U.S. A user will simply need to tap on the offer, shop at that business, and check out with PayPal. CashPass uses AI to organize personalized offers for customers based on shopping behaviors, and customers will regularly discover new cash back offers giving them more reasons to visit the app.

Starting in March, PayPal is planning to launch CashPass with an amazing set of launch partners, so consumers can access offers from merchants such as Best Buy, eBay, McDonald’s, Priceline, Ticketmaster, Uber, and Walmart.

PayPal CashPass users will also be able to stack with other PayPal rewards such as cash back from the PayPal Cashback Mastercard®. Users can then put cash back into a PayPal Savings account and earn more on top.

Introducing the Next Generation of Venmo Business Profiles

Venmo introduced business profiles in 2021 to provide an affordable and easy way for businesses to accept payments and grow their business and has grown to a community of more than 90 million active accounts. Small businesses rely on word-of-mouth, social media, and reviews on other sites for referrals. It can be difficult to stand out on social media, and one bad review can set their business back. Venmo is solving this by introducing enhanced Venmo business profiles to help small businesses be discovered like never before. The next evolution of business profiles will add subscribe buttons, profile rankings, and the ability to offer promotions to consumers, bringing powerful new ways for businesses to drive traffic, generate sales, and more meaningfully grow their business through increased visibility in the Venmo app.

For consumers, they will be able to discover top-ranked businesses endorsed by their network and enjoy cashback deals when supporting local businesses in their community. No other mobile payment service has a social feed as active, useful and as personal as Venmo, and this is a revolution in providing real-time offers and promotions at a hyper-local level for small businesses. The same type of privacy controls will be available on Venmo, as on PayPal.

All of these new experiences will begin rolling out in the United States throughout 2024.

For more information, visit http://www.paypal.com/us/whats-new/first-look.

1 Insider Intelligence, “Ecommerce growth worldwide will pick up before tapering off,” Aug. 23, 2023
Based on PayPal internal data from October to November 2023.
3 Based on PayPal internal data from October 1 to November 2, 2023.
4 Based on PayPal Internal data from November 2 to November 18, 2023.
Based on PayPal internal data from November 1, 2023 to January 8, 2024.
6 Based on PayPal internal data from Global Branded XO TPV for the 12-month period between Dec’22 to Nov’23.

About PayPal

PayPal has remained at the forefront of the digital commerce revolution for more than 25 years. By leveraging technology to make sending money and shopping more convenient, affordable, and secure, the PayPal platform is empowering hundreds of millions of consumers and merchants in more than 200 markets to join and thrive in the global economy. For more information, visit https://www.paypal.comhttps://about.pypl.com/ and https://investor.pypl.com/.

Forward-Looking Statements 

This press release contains “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements and information relate to future events and future performance and reflect, among other things, PayPal’s plans with respect to product innovation. Forward looking statements may be identified by words such as “seek”, “believe”, “plan”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “expect”, “project”, “forecast”, or intend”, and statements that an event or result “may”” “will”, “should”, “could”, or “might” occur or be achieved and any other similar expressions. 

Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties which may cause actual results to differ materially from the statements made. More information about these and other factors can be found in PayPal Holdings, Inc.’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), and its future filings with the SEC. 

The forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof.  PayPal expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to disseminate any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based. 

SOURCE PayPal Holdings, Inc.

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Business and Finance

President Biden’s Accelerated Student Loan Forgiveness Plan: What You Need to Know

Biden’s accelerated student loan forgiveness plan brings relief to borrowers, sparking controversy.



In an unexpected move, the Biden administration has announced the acceleration of student loan forgiveness, with the new repayment plan, known as SAVE, set to start canceling loans for some borrowers as early as February. Originally slated for July, this acceleration aims to provide faster relief to borrowers, with those who borrowed $12,000 or less for college and have made at least 10 years of payments being eligible.

The new plan, part of President Biden’s effort to alleviate student debt, offers more generous terms than previous income-driven repayment plans. It not only lowers monthly payments for millions of borrowers but also offers loan cancellation in as little as 10 years, compared to the previous 20 or 25 years. This move particularly benefits those who attended community colleges, aiming to put them on a faster track to debt forgiveness.

While this news brings relief to many, it has sparked controversy. Critics argue that it favors wealthier Americans with college degrees and may burden taxpayers who didn’t attend college. Nevertheless, the Education Department is set to automatically wipe away balances for eligible borrowers enrolled in the SAVE plan, aiming to provide much-needed relief.

This accelerated loan forgiveness plan comes in the wake of the Supreme Court striking down Biden’s initial plan for widespread loan forgiveness. However, the administration is continuing to pursue relief for targeted groups of borrowers through new proposals.

As the Biden administration takes steps to address student debt, the impact of these changes will undoubtedly be felt by millions of Americans seeking financial respite from the burden of student loans.

Source: Associated Press, KTAR

To read more about this story, follow the link: https://ktar.com/story/5557150/some-americans-will-get-their-student-loans-canceled-in-february-as-biden-accelerates-his-new-plan/

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Beware: Hackers Exploit Facebook Copyright Notices to Steal Credentials

Discover how hackers are using fake Facebook copyright notices to steal user credentials. Stay vigilant and follow best practices to protect yourself.



In 2023, a surge of Facebook-inspired attacks preyed on users through the site’s Ad Manager service. Spoofed Facebook accounts continue to unleash assaults in the New Year. Avanan researchers have unveiled a new tactic: hackers exploiting Facebook copyright infringement notices to pilfer credentials.

Avanan, a part of the Check Point Company, is a provider of cloud email and collaboration suites as protection from cyber attacks that evade default and advanced security tools. 

This is the message that we received on Facebook, this time it’s trademark rights. Mobile phone image.

The attack involves sending fabricated copyright infringement notices via email, aiming to harvest credentials through social engineering and impersonation. The urgent appeal requirement within 24 hours directs users to a credential-harvesting page, not a legitimate Meta website.


These phishing emails capitalize on urgency and believability. They mention the page’s name and employ a seemingly authentic link. The threat of a 24-hour account suspension plays on the vital role of Facebook in business activities, making the appeal seem reasonable.

To counter these threats, users should always scrutinize URLs before clicking and verify sender addresses. Additionally, direct login to the Facebook account to check its status is recommended, rather than clicking on links in such emails.

As these attacks persist, vigilance is crucial. Staying alert and following best practices can fortify defenses against these deceptive tactics.

For more information about this issue, follow the link: https://www.avanan.com/blog/facebook-termination-notices-leads-to-phishing

Source: Cybernews and Avanan


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