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A Tax Explanation

 

Just a word or two here to help with some of the confusion that may be present if budget deliberations in this unique budget season are new to you as a reader.

Much of what is happening is new to even veterans of the process on the city council and county commission and the mayor’s offices on both sides of the Main Street Mall.

Much of the discussion so far and to come in the next two weeks on the city government side of this is about when to take certain measures.

Should they be for the fiscal year that starts July 1 or a later fiscal year.

If you are among those listening on line to the council or commission budget deliberations you will hear lots of references to fiscal year ’14 or fiscal year ’15 when the ideas being discussed start to move in that direction.

Fiscal year ’14 is the one that begins this July 1. A handy rule of reference is that the fiscal year in city and county government always takes the year number that it ends in.

Whenever possible, however, we talk about the fiscal year that begins July 1 and if it is a later year we will refer to it as the fiscal year that begins July 1 with the appropriate year.

No sense making this harder to follow than it already is.

On the other hand, you have probably noticed that we are making a distinction between proposed increases in the city and county property tax rates and proposed tax increases.

Read more »

Amro honors music teachers

Amro Music is giving music educators a permanent shrine.

The store’s Poplar Ave. location is paying tribute to Memphis-area and Mid-South music teachers with a “Walk of Fame” at the entrance. The inaugural class of inductees includes Jim Holcomb of Memphis City Schools, Dr. J.D. Kelly of Arkansas State and David Willson of Ole Miss.

Nominations for the honor are taken from the public, and members will be chosen each year based on the educator’s impact, years of service and other contributions.

Amro is accepting nominations at http://walkoffame.amromusic.com.

Birthrights Examines Soaring Cesarean Section Deliveries

The story, Birthrights, in the June 14 edition of The Memphis News examines the complex reasons behind soaring cesarean rates both in Memphis and across the nation.

Data provided by the Tennessee Department of Health showed that the largest Memphis area delivery hospitals had total cesarean rates that hovered around 40 percent in 2011.

Hospital 2011 Number of Cesarean   Births 2011 Total Cesarean Rate 2006 No. of Cesarean   Births 2006 Total Cesarean Rate
Baptist  Memorial Hospital for Women 1,997 39.4 1,994 38.8
Methodist  LeBonheur Germantown Hospital 1,666 41.1 1,667 40.5
Regional Medical Center at Memphis 1,195 31.6 1,426 28.6
Saint Francis Hospital in Bartlett 323 41.3 290 37.9
Saint Francis Hospital in Memphis 479 27.5 478 29.1

From 1998 to 2008, total U.S.cesarean delivery rates climbed by 50 percent, gaining from 22 percent to 33 percent of all births in just a decade, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics show.

As I reported on the story, and interviewed local Memphis physicians, patients, and national experts, I was left with a mountain of data and interviews that pointed to the complex and multifaceted reasons for soaring cesareans.

In Memphis, one clear theme came through: the need to practice defensive medicine to avoid medical liability lawsuits. Despite that pressure and an increasing number of babies delivered by cesarean section, experts overwhelmingly said birth outcomes have not improved for either mothers or their babies.

Most local hospitals said they are working to decrease cesarean deliveries in first time, low-risk mothers with babies in a head down position — especially in situations where physician practice patterns play a role. But local physicians said encouraging vaginal births after a prior cesarean section remains a challenge because most malpractice insurance providers discourage the practice.

Celeste Milton, associated project director in The Center for Performance Measurement in the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation at The Joint Commission, the accrediting body for hospitals, recommended a white paper authored by researchers from the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative. Milton told me The Joint Commission is encouraging hospitals to take a look at the paper.

The CMQCC white paper also was instrumental in the development of a set measures known as the perinatal core. Citing concerns that cesareans do not improve infant or maternal outcomes, The Joint Commission will begin requiring accredited hospitals that deliver at least 1,100 babies or more per year to begin reporting on a set of measures known as the perinatal core:

  • Decreasing the early elective birth rate before 39 weeks
  • Decreasing the cesarean rate in first-time mothers with a single baby who is head down at term,
  • Increasing the use of steroids for babies who are born pre-term
  • Reducing acquired bloodstream infections in newborns
  •  Increasing the exclusive breast-feeding rates during hospitalization.

That data will be used to establish a baseline so that hospitals can compare their rates to that of their peers and encourage physicians to examine practice patterns that may encourage cesarean deliveries in low risk mothers.

Let us know what you think: jbacker@memphisdailynews.com

 

 

 

 

 

Two Ballet Memphis artists to perform in Tokyo

Hideko Karasawa and Kendall G. Britt Jr. of Ballet Memphis will perform at the Ballet Asteras 2013 Gala in Tokyo.

Ballet Asteras is a showcase for Japanese dancers who perform outside Japan. Karasawa and Britt are one of only eight pairs of dancers from around the world invited to participate in Ballet Asteras and Ballet Memphis is the only U.S. company represented.

You can find out more about Britt, Karasawa and Ballet Asteras here.

Pick The Floor Designs For The Tigers

As they head into a new conference,  the University of Memphis basketball teams are asking fans to help develop a new playing floor at FedExForum. The floor will be featured on national television regularly through the new American Athletic Conference television agreement with ESPN and CBS. The Tigers have narrowed the field down to four final designs, which you can see here.

Dansette

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