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Online shopping guide – How to shop smartly

Alexandru Marginean


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Online shopping has taken the world by storm. Whether it is clothing, footwear, or food, we heavily rely on our devices to get us what we want. A significant benefit of online shopping is that you can shop whenever you want to. Even if it is midnight, you can place an order for that concert ticket you absolutely need.

The convenience and comfort of online shopping drive consumer behavior in favor of the ecommerce industry.

The way the world shops has evolved. More and more people are bypassing brick and mortar stores in favor of online ones. According to Statista, the immense growth in the ecommerce industry has aided the industry in accumulating revenues of more than $2.8 trillion in 2018. This figure is also bound to grow as more digital natives approach adulthood.

However, there is one source of concern. There are many scammers and threats looming online. While people shop online for different reasons, the necessity to shop smartly stays constant. With a little effort, consumers can ensure their shopping experience is secure.

Here is how you can ensure your online shopping experience is safe and smart.

Use trusted sites

Firstly, always make sure you are shopping from a reputable online store. A little research never hurts and can potentially save you from getting ripped off. If you are ordering from the official website of a big ecommerce giant, you can relax. But if you are ordering from a fishy new site, perform due diligence.

Shopping from a trustworthy site reduces the chances of getting exploited. Moreover, online stores should exercise transparency and allow product reviews. That brings us to the next step.

Read product reviews

On sites like eBay and Amazon, a multitude of products is listed. How would you know which products are worth buying? Reviews can help in the decision-making process. Too many one-star reviews are a red flag and indicate that you should not make such a risky purchase. On the other hand, numerous five-star reviews suggest that the product is worth a go.

Always be on the safe side and check the product reviews before finalizing a purchase. Never waste money.

If you don’t need it, don’t buy it

Respecting your financial resources will go a long way. Did you know that the average US consumer annually spends $5,400 on impulse purchases? Online shopping is tempting, and that is why you should keep a constant check on yourself. Before you finalize a purchase, you should ask yourself whether or not you need every single item that is in your cart.

If you don’t need an item, you shouldn’t buy it. There is no point in spending more than you actually need to.

Respect your budget

When you respect your wallet, great things will happen in your life. You will be able to take that vacation you always wanted to, or buy that car you admire. Nothing is difficult if you put your mind to it.

Even wearing great fashion on a budget isn’t impossible. You can find reasonably priced leather jackets in New York or California easily. Additionally, you can even compare the prices of specific items and choose the one which is the most reasonable. Perhaps you can wait for an online sale or use a promo code. Care about your financial resources and life will become a breeze.

Never compromise on security

Shopping on a site without a valid SSL certificate is a bad idea. An SSL certificate or a ‘Secure Sockets Layer’ encrypts and secures sensitive data that could otherwise be misused in the wrong hands. Scammers need a single chance to get hold of passwords or credit card numbers.

Online scammers use critical pieces of personal information to impersonate individuals and extract cash through credit cards and loans. According to Norton Lifelock Cyber Safety Report, over 118 million people belonging to sixteen different countries were found to be victims of identity theft in 2018. The least we can do is to ensure that we are protected from this avoidable scam. Make it a point never to share personal information on a site that isn’t secure.

Have a strong password

Being careless puts you at risk. So you should never compromise on the strength of your password. This quick-fix will help you stay safe during your online shopping spree. Instead of allowing anyone to intrude in your id and meddle with your private information, you should be secure.

In this decade, there is no excuse to have a weak password.

Know the shipping and return policy

Being more informed about the policies of the store helps in making the right decision. According to a recent survey, 77% of the respondents reported that they abandoned an online purchase due to negative shipping experience. So individuals can save themselves from unnecessary heartbreak if they read the shipping and return policy before filling the cart.

The more informed you are, the better it is for you for a good shopping experience. However, you should make sure your information is safe.

Protect yourself against malware

Pervasive malware programs can potentially steal your passwords and target sensitive data like credit card numbers. In the first half of 2019, there has been a 60% increase in the number of victims of malicious software. With respect to the realities of the internet today, preventive action is a must.

You should never ignore the danger of malware. Before shopping online, make sure the device you are using has an active and efficient antivirus. Browser-based vulnerabilities are the most exploited. Therefore, don’t permit your browser to automatically use its password-saving features. Use a reputable password manager instead.

Don’t divulge unnecessary details

A reputable ecommerce site will never ask you for your social security number. Be careful when you see a website asking you for fishy information. The odds are that such a place is not worth shopping from anyway. Always trust your gut feeling and abandon the cart right away.

Identity theft is rampant, so you should do your best to protect your information. Always use your internet when you shop online instead of relying on a public network. Divulging more than you need to will lead to dire consequences.

Final thoughts

There is a plethora of ecommerce sites that you can use to purchase what you want. However, shopping online is not for the faint-hearted. Buy from reputable websites that have a valid SSL certificate and be respectful of your financial resources. Cybercrime is abundant. So a little research can help you become a smarter consumer and save you from unnecessary losses. Whether you are shopping online for a cool jacket or a pair of sneakers, be vigilant.


Author Bio:

About Ashley Rosa: Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well.  She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her at twitter: @ashrosa2.



Business and Management

Latest Innovations to Transform Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) Landscape

Alexandru Marginean



Reading Time: 5 minutes

Revenue cycle management, better known as RCM, is a business process that allows healthcare companies to be paid for providing services. For most healthcare service providers, RCM is available right from the process of pre-registering a patient all the way through the collection of final payment. Efficiency and time management play vital roles in RCM. A healthcare provider’s choice of electronic health record (EHR) can often be largely centered on how its RCM is deployed.

The implementation of RCM in a particular healthcare company is a lengthy process. The company has to submit all the documents of its patient to the in-house staff or RCM vendor, who will then code the charts according to the ICD-10 CM. Afterward, the claims are posted, submitted, and adjudicated by the payer. If a claim is rejected, steps are taken to resubmit and adjust it before the deadline of appeal. Then the patient cycle is initiated if there is a patient responsibility portion following adjudication. Nowadays, numerous RCM vendors are providing coding benchmarking, managed-care contracting, analytics, and coding education services to capture all the earned revenue for a practice. No matter the size of a hospital, health system, or practice, failure to prioritize and maintain revenue collection efforts and RCM can hinder growth, create an uncertain financial failure, and increase operational risk.

As per Fortune Business Insights the market is anticipated to reach USD 216,990.6 Million by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 12.4% in the forecast period. But, the RCM market was valued at USD 86,811.4 Million in 2018.

Why is Revenue Cycle Management a Complex Procedure?

The focus of several healthcare service providers is on offering top-notch care to their growing patient population. However, attention must also be paid to the financial solvency of the business to make sure that a hospital will be able to provide the same level of care in the upcoming years. Doctors and physicians are persistently faced with the challenge of providing cost-effective care to the patients while witnessing annual increase in administrative and care-delivery costs. Maintaining healthy accounts, preventing and reducing unpaid claims, reducing inefficient billing and coding processes, and enhancing point-of-service collections can severely impact profit margins.

The task of preventing unpaid claims to witness the greatest profit margins is strenuous, considering the nature of healthcare. The healthcare sector is complex as the price to offer services is shouldered by the organizations even before those services are paid either by the patient or the insurance companies. But the claims process is time-consuming. It can take months before a bill is paid in full. According to a survey, more than 95% of medical practice leaders reported inadequate billing processes. The majority of the leaders executed backup efforts to resolve the process by the end of the year. Besides, an inclination towards direct patient responsibility with high deductible health plans from commercial payer reimbursement supports the fact that healthcare service providers must closely examine their RCM and evaluate the methods to achieve multiple benefits.

Key Industry Developments

A rise in the adoption and usage of novel technologies have aided the prominent players in acquiring a lucrative revenue since the past few years. The utilization of RCM software solutions has supported several companies on a global scale. This article further provides insights into a few of the key developments that have recently occurred in the revenue cycle management industry.

Homecare Homebase Launches its New Revenue Cycle Management Service

Homecare Homebase, LLC, a developer of mobile software solutions for home health and hospice agencies, headquartered in Dallas, announced the launch of its new RCM service in June 2019. The latest RCM service is providing part of the organization’s HCHB services suite, a collection of technology-driven services that are designed to reduce the burden of time-consuming administrative operations. Moreover, it reduces in-house billing staff of the agencies by transferring the lion’s share of the collection tasks and administrative billing to a highly skilled team of billing experts.

Additionally, it offers more clarity into the often opaque RCM process for managing agencies through the use of the company’s dashboards and analytics. Homecare’s new service provides an extraordinary return on investment as several agencies are ready to leave money on the table. They are often not ready to spend the time required to resolve all the billing issues. The company’s extensive knowledge and expertise of billing will put it in a unique position.

Apprio, Inc. Unveils its New Commercial Health Unit Named ApprioHealth

In March 2019, Apprio, Inc., a provider of specialized technology solutions, based in Washington, D.C., unveiled its new, commercially focused business unit called ApprioHealth. The unit is aimed to fulfill the revenue cycle management requirements of health systems and hospitals. It will be led by Donny Zamora, who will be the division’s president. ApprioHealth will provide advanced technological solutions and services catered to the needs of the healthcare providers’ revenue cycle. The unit is a perfect blend of Apprio’s highly skilled revenue cycle management team and 20 years of technology experience. The main aim of the new division is to transform the way health systems and hospitals use technology to maximize revenue from existing payers as well as to register patients in the available coverage options.

Into the Future of Revenue Cycle Management Industry

With susceptible relationships enter new challenges that require attention. Payers have to prioritize individuals as buyers of healthcare coverage and healthcare due to the increasing exchanges in ways that they may not have focused as acutely in the past. The future of RCM is fully entangled with the idea of a more accountable customer. Payers are taking multiple actions to prevent and minimize financial glitches. The industry will exhibit a more consumer-centric approach. It would occur as patients are now responsible for a significant part of healthcare revenue due to a rise in the number of high-deductible health plans.

Accenture had surveyed approximately 2,000 consumers regarding medical bill payment. As per the survey, nearly 40% of the consumers mentioned that they would pay their medical bills in advance if they knew the cost beforehand. To increase the likelihood that patients will pay the bills and to guard their revenue streams, hospitals and healthcare companies are likely to maintain their consumer-friendly transparency in the future.





About the author: Reeti Banerjee is currently working as a content writer in a prominent market research firm named Fortune Business Insights. She specializes in writing articles, press releases, blogs, and news reports. She believes in maintaining simplicity throughout her content to provide the clients with a seamless reading experience. Reeti Banerjee on Linkedin

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Latest News

Bellagio and MGM Grand Could Be Up for Sale

Zoltán Tűndik



Photo source: Bloomberg
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Two Las Vegas landmarks could be up for sale. MGM Resorts International may sell the Bellagio and MGM Grand to Blackstone Group Inc. Talks are supposedly in the advanced stages and will involve a sale-leaseback agreement. What this means is that after the sale, MGM will lease the two properties via its affiliated real estate investment trust, MGM Growth Properties.


The potential sale would come at a perfect time. MGM is purported in a lot of debt, and the sale, according to analysts, is a logical solution. “These are two key pieces of real estate,” explained Deutsche Bank gaming analyst Carlo Santarelli. “If you’re MGM, you can expect a healthy premium for those assets… I think they’re evaluating ways to unlock value.”

Macquarie hospitality analyst Chad Beynon agreed, noting that the sale-leaseback setup will help MGM reduce its debt. He pointed out MGM’s need to deleverage now, given its exposure to “highly volatile markets like Las Vegas, where revenues fell 16 percent during the last recession.” Beynon added, “With interest rates coming down to historic lows and ample liquidity, we believe it’s a good time for MGM to explore value for some of these irreplaceable assets.”

The sale of Bellagio and MGM Grand will not be without precedent. Bloomberg’s feature on another potential MGM deal noted how the company previously sold “all but four of its wholly owned casinos to MGM Growth Properties Inc.” Now, the Bellagio and MGM Grand look set to be sold, too, along with the lesser-known Circus Circus located north of Las Vegas. Once finalised these deals will continue MGM’s years-long restructuring. Perhaps just as important the sale could set up MGM for its foray into Japan. The company is currently trying to secure a gaming licence in Japan that could potentially bring the MGM brand to a new lucrative market in Asia.

Worth the risk?


Between the Bellagio and MGM Grand, Blackstone will get 10,000 rooms and more than 300,000 square feet of casino space. But the question now is whether or not Blackstone’s alleged power move will pay off as the casino industry in Vegas is struggling. Nevada’s largest casinos lost $1.2 billion in the last fiscal year. Much of this loss was “driven by expenses associated with the reorganization of Caesars Entertainment after emerging from bankruptcy.” This is despite total casino revenues in Nevada increasing with customers paying more for games, hotels, and food and drink. In particular, gaming revenue for the state increased to $11.6 billion, marking the 7th increase in 8 years.

One reason for this increase in spending is that more people are coming to Vegas for alternative attractions. Alongside casino gaming, Vegas is also becoming a top destination for online gaming such as eSports. With the largest RazorStore opening in the city this year, the hope is to “encourage and foster an avid gaming community”. This shows how the city is adapting to modern online gaming audiences after years of competing with digital platforms. The online casino boom had a huge affect on the future of Vegas with more people playing games online. This was also driven by the availability of online resources as people could learn and play from the comfort of their homes. The online guides on PartyPoker for Texas Hold’em and Omaha help players learn the rules of the games as well as find tournaments for them to play in. However, despite ease of access this can’t compare to playing in an actual Vegas casino. Which is why the Bellagio and MGM Grand, which offer two of the best poker rooms in all of Sin City, are still seen as top tourist destinations. With gaming revenues up Blackstone will hope to take advantage of both casinos’ global reputation to develop their investment.

So far, though, neither Blackstone nor MGM has commented publicly about the reported sale. But if it does push through, it could signal a further revival in Las Vegas.

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European Commission Press Releases

European Labour Authority starts its work

Vlad Poptamas



Reading Time: 2 minutes


Today, the European Labour Authority starts its activities with an inaugural ceremony and the first meeting of its Management Board. The launch takes place two years after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced the idea for such an Authority in his 2017 State of the Union address before the European Parliament.

Marking the event, President Juncker said: “The European Labour Authority is the cornerstone in our work to make EU labour rules fair, effective and enforceable. It is no surprise that the Authority was established in record time, given its great necessity. The Authority will provide workers and employers with better access to information on their rights and obligations and will support national labour authorities in their cross-border activities. This will directly support the millions of Europeans who live or work in another Member State as well as the millions of businesses operating cross-border in the EU. This is another major step towards an integrated European labour market built on trust, reliable rules and effective cooperation. I want to thank all those – in the Parliament, the Council and the Commission – who have made the Authority a reality. I wish it every success.

President Juncker will participate in the opening ceremony in Brussels together with the Prime Minister of Slovakia, Peter Pellegrini, given Member States’ choice of Bratislava as the Authority’s location. Commission Vice-Presidents Valdis Dombrovskis and Maroš Šefčovič, Commissioner Marianne Thyssen and other guests will also attend.

Vice-President Dombrovskis said: “The European Labour Authority brings national authorities together. Both in its governance structure and day-to-day operations, the Authority will facilitate the cooperation between Member State representatives, as well as social partners.” Commissioner Thyssen added: “The Labour Authority will be the oil in the machinery of the internal market. A place where colleagues from different national authorities become used to working together and solving problems together. This will make the wheels of labour mobility turn more smoothly, to the advantage of millions of European citizens and businesses that make use of their right of free movement every day.

The Management Board of the Authority consists of representatives of Member States, of the Commission, EU-level social partners, European Parliament, as well as observers from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and other EU Agencies in the field of employment and social affairs. On 17 October, they will meet for the first time to adopt the necessary decisions to put the Authority into action and share their views on the initial work programme.

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