Moody’s Investor Service said Tennessee's switching from a defined benefit plan to a hybrid system that incorporates aspects of a defined contribution plan is a positive credit move for the Volunteer State. Andrea Zelenski and The City Paper have the full story regarding the pension plan here.
Retirement planning website bankrate.com has ranked Tennessee the No. 1 state in which to retire. The site uses criteria such as number of hospital beds per 1,000 people, number of doctors per 100,000 residents, climate (warm, of course), crime and taxes. Of note, Florida is ranked No. 19. Check the rankings here.
Tennessee is among the states most negatively impacted by poor medication and pharmacy-related decisions, according to an Express Scripts analysis released today.
Express Scripts listed the following states as feeling the deepest impact of wasteful medication — Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The analysis shows that while unnecessary medication costs impact all states, they have disproportionately affected the poorest states.
The analysis defines waste as extra medication-related spending that provides no additional clinical benefit. This includes the use of high-priced prescription drugs and pharmacies when clinically equivalent or superior alternatives exist and unnecessary medical expenses that could be avoided by patients adhering to medication therapies.
According to the research, the most wasteful one-third of states spent between $1,404.82 and $1,622.76 per capita in avoidable costs. States with high levels of waste were found to be primarily located in the South — a region also associated with higher rates of chronic disease.
States with the lowest levels of avoidable costs were predominately in the Midwest and Northeast. Vermont wasted the least amount per capita among all states in the U.S., yet still experienced an average of $1,004.39 in unnecessary costs per resident.
Mississippi, which has the lowest median household income in the country, had the most wasteful spending, totaling $1,622.76 per resident.
The research, presented at an industry event this week, revealed the following:
• In 2012, $55.8 billion was spent unnecessarily on higher-priced medications when more affordable, clinically equivalent alternatives were available.
• $93.1 billion could have been saved if patients would have used the most cost-effective and clinically appropriate pharmacies, including home delivery and specialty. This savings include $33.5 billion in lower drug costs, as well as $59.6 billion in avoided medical costs attributed to the higher adherence rates associated with home delivery and specialty pharmacies.
• An additional $269.4 billion was spent on avoidable medical and pharmacy expenses as a result of patients not remaining adherent to their medication treatments. This total does not include the $59.6 billion in adherence savings directly associated with better pharmacy choices.
First Tennessee Bank is ramping up its presence in the Mid-Atlantic states of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia and moving to a larger building in Raleigh, N.C. to make room for 10 additional employees and new services, the company announced today.
This will mark First Tennessee’s first notable expansion since the mid-2000s when new branch locations were built throughout the state.
David Popwell, First Tennessee president of banking, called the move a “reorganization” and said the bank is committed to growing its footprint outside of Tennessee and into both North Carolina (Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Raleigh) and Virginia (Richmond).
“Our growth and success in the Mid-Atlantic Region has resulted from combining experienced, responsive professionals with a complete set of financial products and the flexible operating framework of a boutique banking operation,” Popwell said in a press release. "The Mid-Atlantic Region shares many characteristics of our Tennessee regions. We are pleased by the response in the Raleigh market, which allows us to enhance the depth of our service to meet the expanding needs of businesses and individuals."
Expanded services will include private client banking, wealth management, corporate and commercial lending and commercial real estate, according to the release.
First Tennessee, a subsidiary of Memphis-based First Horizon National Corp. (Ticker: FHN), suffered massive losses in First Horizon’s mortgage division during the Great Recession. The bank sold off its mortgage division and has been in recovery mode ever since. It is now providing mortgages for property owners in Tennessee.
Tennessee had 2,538 homes in foreclosure for the third quarter of 2012, up 16.9 percent from Q3 2011, according to numbers RealtyTrac released today.
Third-quarter sales of foreclosed homes in the state represented 10.77 percent of all sales, the report shows. Approximately 193,000 U.S. properties either in some stage of foreclosure or bank owned were sold during the third quarter, an increase of 21 percent from the previous quarter, RealtyTrac reports. The number is down 3 percent from the third quarter of 2011.
For Nashville-area numbers, read here.
AT&T today announced that AT&T Southeast (BellSouth Telecommunications) has reached a handshake on a tentative agreement with the Communications Workers of America in contract negotiations.
Additionally, AT&T and CWA have reached tentative agreements on two other smaller Southeast regional agreements covering AT&T Billing Southeast and Southeast Utility Operations.
The three-year agreements, terms of which were not disclosed, include wage increases in each year and modest pension increases. Paperwork is being finalized, AT&T said in a release.
The three agreements will be submitted to the union's membership for a ratification vote, and collectively cover more than 22,000 AT&T wireline employees in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
The agreements come on the heels of tentative agreements AT&T reached on July 21 in wireline contract negotiations for the AT&T Midwest region and AT&T Corp. (CWA Telecommunications and Technology Office), where contracts expired on April 7.
The Tennessee Volunteer Region of the American Red Cross announced today Laura Allen has been promoted from chief development officer for the State of Tennessee to associate vice president with the national office and will oversee Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.
Allen (on left in photo) will continue her fundraising work with corporations, foundations and individuals, according to Joel Sullivan, CEO for the Tennessee Volunteer Region. She will also develop a four-state divisional fundraising plan to pre-position resources that will enable the Red Cross to prepare for future disasters across state lines. Under her leadership, the Tennessee Volunteer Region and Nashville Area Chapter increased gift and grant revenue by more than $1.5 million.
In a related move, Wendy Buntin has joined the nonprofit as regional chief development officer.
Buntin comes to the American Red Cross after having most recently worked as director of philanthropy at The Nature Conservancy of Tennessee. During her tenure, the conservancy completed the first and largest private campaign for conservation in the state, raising $13 million.
A graduate of the University of the South with a postgraduate degree from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, Buntin has also worked in development at the Darlington School in Rome, Ga., and with Rotary International.
Tennessee is among 15 states that filed suit Wednesday against Apple Inc. and three high-profile publishing companies, with the suit alleging the group colluded to fix the sales prices of electronic books.
Price fixing is a violation of state antirust laws and the federal Sherman Antitrust Act.
“The ultimate result with price-fixing is that consumers pay more than they would have in a free marketplace,” Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper said in a statement.
Read the details here.
- ALEX B FRUIN INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDACE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDANCE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; FRUIN, ALEX B TRUSTEE; FRUIN ALEX B INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC, CANDACE F TRUSTEE; STEFANSIC CANDACE F INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC CANDANCE F INHERITANCE TRUST
- ROSS, BRIDGETT D
- COOKE, ETHEN LANYARD TRUSTEE; COOKE, ETHEN LEWIS ESTATE
- JACOBS, JESSICA ALEXANDRA; JACOBS, ERIKA BESS