Marsh & McLennan Agency Blog

Will We Be Using Bitcoin To Buy Our Morning Coffee?

What is blockchain and cryptocurrency, and what does it have to do with buying a cup of coffee? Blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of transactions that can be programmed to record financial transactions, as well as almost any transaction of value. Some think it will do for money what the internet did for information by making it faster, cheaper and more pervasive.

One blockchain example is called cryptocurrency, the best known of which goes by the name of bitcoin. Cryptocurrency is a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency, and verify the transfer of funds. Unlike traditional currencies, cryptocurrency operates independently of a central bank. But why have cryptocurrencies emerged, and rapidly escalated in value?

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Senate Republicans Release Updated Discussion Draft of ACA Repeal Bill

On Thursday, June 22, 2017, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky released a 142-page health care “Discussion Draft” of legislation, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA), which is the Senate version of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) “repeal-and-replace” legislation American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last month. An updated “Discussion Draft” of the BCRA was released on June 26, 2017 with the intention of calling for a vote on the bill before the Fourth of July recess. However, Senator McConnell had to delay that vote after it became clear that it would not get the 51 votes required under the Budget Reconciliation rules to pass. A further updated Discussion Draft of the BCRA was released on July 13, 2017.

Read the full compliance update…

How Artificial Intelligence is Changing Health care

Machine learning is being used to help doctors understand patients’ outcomes. IBM’s Watson Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the ability to make a diagnosis, apps can track and monitor patient emergencies, our phones may soon be our closest medical advisors; preventative and diagnostic medicine is on the cusp of an artificial intelligence revolution that will no doubt save lives and improve quality of human life.

While there is a great deal of promise in these new technologies, there is tension between innovation and regulation. When it comes to our health, should decisions be made by machines? What role should artificial intelligence play in healthcare?

There is a passionate community of professionals that have a long term vision of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (AIM). The AIM community has long held the belief that computation, knowledge of presentation, automated diagnosis and planning technologies will have rich offerings for the healthcare field. The ability to capture and analyze data as well as provide access to the best medical expertise on the planet and render it for individual physicians in particular cases makes AI very promising. These technologies can be utilized in a variety of health care-related applications.

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Trucking Innovation Ecosystem Collaboration

The demand for trucking services continues to increase, and to keep up the trucking industry needs to accelerate innovation. Many in the industry feel that technological innovation is lagging behind other industries. One aspect of the challenge stems from the players in the value chain, which have been working independently from each other, innovating their products within the boundaries of their specific segment.

Stakeholders within the trucking industry are working to create an ecosystem that will accelerate innovations by creating synergies with various members of the value chain. They are inviting innovators, such as truck manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, fleet owners, technology centers, universities, and industry experts to join and embrace the trucking innovation eco-system.

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Marriott Increasing Modular Construction for Next Generation Hotels

Marriot Hotels, the world’s largest lodging company, is expanding its use of prefabricated rooms in order to expedite faster hotel construction. Prefabricated homes, whether a full-time home or backyard buildings, are a common alternative to traditional housing, but using prefabricated rooms for multi-unit construction is a new development in the industry.

The prefabricated rooms are built in a factory, painted and furnished before they are shipped to the hotel building site. Prefabrication offers economy of scale and cost savings. When building dozens of structures a year, prefabricated and pre-furnished rooms are cheaper, faster and purportedly offer better quality. Prefabricated rooms require less on-site carpenters to install and the inclement weather factor is minimized.

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Develop Your Employer Brand to Attract and Retain the Best Talent

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell in May, causing the number of Americans on unemployment to be the lowest in the last 28 years. This points to a rapidly tightening U.S. labor market. Labor market strength, coupled with a sharp rebound in job growth in April, has left some employers wondering how they will maintain a competitive edge for the best talent in their fields.

How do you stand out from the crowd when the game has changed? Where once the employee had to “market” themselves, now employers need to think about their own value proposition – their “employer brand.” Strong employer brands increase their organization’s ability to attract, retain and motivate people. They support the company’s ability to deliver higher levels of customer satisfaction, regardless of whether the customer is a consumer or an employee. In a poll conducted by Gallup, research found that engaged employees show much higher rates of productivity, profitability, safety incidents and absenteeism as compared to disengaged staff members. Furthermore, engaged workers resulted in 2.6 times the earnings per share growth rate compared to organizations in their same industry with lower engagement. Improving employee engagement and commitment to your employer brand is strongly linked to higher revenues, profit margins and an overall higher return on investment.

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Eight Scientific Breakthroughs That Will Change the Future of Business & Risk

Technology is changing the world at a mind-boggling pace. While there are many innovations happening in almost every business sector, it is more difficult to predict which technologies specifically will be integrated into the world of future commerce.

Here are 8 cutting-edge breakthroughs that will most-certainly have an impact on the future and lead to new and exciting advancements across many sectors, including health care, food technology, disaster clean up, construction, space exploration, medicine, genetics, clean energy and more. And, as technology changes the world of business, the landscape of business risk will be changing just as fast.

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Three Helpful Tips for Remote Worker Success

Remote work teams are becoming more common every day in our fast-changing world. Technology has made it possible for team members to work remotely; company remote work policies have become a major recruitment and retention tool for top talent. Are you thinking about setting up a remote work policy for your company or adding team members to your virtual team? Not everyone enjoys working remotely and not everyone is a good candidate to work remotely. Here’s how to set your remote work teams up for success.

You can build a successful team by following these guidelines to put the right people in the right place. Some people are best suited for working onsite in the office while others really shine at working remotely. Here are 3 tips for selecting the right people for the right position and management tips to maximize the potential that you will have the best possible outcome.

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Boating Safety: All Hands on Deck

Each time you set out on the lakes and waterways with your boat, take time to review some basic safety tips.

First, make sure everyone who drives your boat knows the basic rules about right of way, speed limits, ski restrictions and equipment condition.

Improve operating skills by completing a course. Contact the department of natural resources in your state to find boating classes, or contact the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or Power Squadron. For information about vessel safety and other boating resources, visit the Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Resource Center.

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