June 7, 2013
B ILL MARVIN, 42, of Haverford, a Penn graduate, is president, CEO and founder of InstaMed, a health-care-payments firm at 19th Street and JFK Boulevard. The company's single, integrated platform simplifies the health-care-payment process for more than 400 hospitals, 60,000 clinics and medical practices and 100 billing services. It connects to 3,000 payers and integrates with 50 practice-management systems. Q: How did you come up with the idea for InstaMed? A: In late 2004, it started as a way to process credit cards, debit cards, checks and electronic-funds-transfer transactions; to transmit electronic claims and remittances, as well as eligibility and health-care info.
June 6, 2013
DEAR HARRY: About a year ago, you helped us make a large dent in our credit-card debt and get started on the path to healthy finances. We will be clean on our credit cards next month. Boy, is it a relief to see light again! The only debts we'll have left are our mortgage and a car loan that will be gone in September. Last night, a friend told me that he read somewhere that it was wrong to pay off the highest-interest creditors first. He said a recent survey proved that it was far better to pay off the smallest amount owed so you have a quick success under your belt.
May 15, 2013
D EAR ABBY: I am a woman in my late 40s, and I hate sex. I'm disabled, and it has always been torture. I never got any positive benefits out of it. My problem is I get hit on constantly. I'm single, own my own home and the men in this town (married and single) all seem to think I'm fair game. They're convinced that I'm in need of satisfaction because I don't date or have a steady man in my life. I have told them repeatedly that it's not going to happen, but every once in a while one pops up on my doorstep or approaches me in town, only to be told again to leave me alone.
May 10, 2013
A Lower Merion Township woman who has been suffering from depression after the recent deaths of her husband and father is missing and police are seeking help finding her. Relatives told township police they hadn't heard from Joan Delorefice, 53, in about a week. Her brother-in-law and other relatives finally went to her Haverford home on Tuesday, and when she wasn't there, they reported her as missing. Delorefice's car was parked in her garage and police found no credit card or cell phone activity over the past week.
May 6, 2013 |
Imagine going to a restaurant, enjoying a modest meal, and dutifully paying your bill, while across the way other diners seem oddly carefree about their tab. You don't think much of it - why should you? - until one day you get stuck with their bill, too, and a lot more like it. That's the kind of story Carolyn Longo has to tell - about an out-of-the-blue financial mess that isn't even her own. Her nightmare began in November on her 60th birthday, timing that first made Longo suspect a prank: A caller from Chase Bank demanded she pay about $14,000 on a credit card she didn't know existed.
April 26, 2013 |
REALLY, PHILLY, this is how you're gonna do me? Me, who's been your one-woman cheering squad for months now? Who's been full-steam ahead with the whole "No Philly Shrug" campaign - despite the sometimes universal, it seems, eye-roll from haters? Me, who's been so rah-rah about Philly that old friends who know that optimism and boosterism and, oh-who-am-I-kidding, even smiling doesn't exactly come natural for me have wondered if I was having some sort of breakdown. No! I'd proclaim.
April 25, 2013
The Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Adolph and Rose Levis Museum will celebrate its 16th anniversary by honoring nine individuals at a reception to be held at 5:30 p.m. May 20 at the Gershman Y, Broad and Pine Streets. The 2013 inductees are: figure skater Ellen Barkann; former Penn baseball and basketball star Bob Brooks; former 76ers coach Larry Brown; former Temple basketball star Fred Cohen; tennis star and Freedoms head coach Josh Cohen; George Washington High football coach Ron Cohen; golfer Bonnie Kay; CBS senior vice president Marc Rayfield; and Pillar of Achievement honoree Jed Margolis, a longtime participant in the Maccabi Games.
April 19, 2013 |
MO VAUGHN gets it. Vaughn, who spent eight of his 14 major league seasons with Red Sox, was a hero to many Boston fans. On Thursday, he turned the tables by taking out a half-page ad in the Boston Globe to let the world know that his heroes are those who sprung into action after the bombings at the Boston Marathon. Here is an excerpt: "I'm deeply saddened by the tragic events that took place this past Monday at The Boston Marathon. Patriots Day is the one day each year that this great city celebrates the bravery and heroism of the people that live here.
April 11, 2013 |
'When two elephants fight, the grass gets trampled," goes the African proverb. The same can be said for the epic battle between banks and retailers over interchange fees - what retailers pay to accept credit and debit cards for payment. This battle has resulted in harm to consumers, community banks, and mom-and-pop retailers as Congress injected itself into the fight. Fortunately, this battle is finally drawing to a close. Last year the payments and retail industries resolved their differences through the court system, negotiating a $7.25 billion settlement to their dispute.
March 30, 2013 |
Pennsylvania legislators are right to be concerned about consumers paying excessive credit-card swipe fees, but the solution to the problem lies not with the merchants who pay the fees, but with the credit-card companies that set them in the first place. A bill under consideration in the state legislature would ban merchants from imposing a surcharge on customers who use credit cards. I'm not sure it's needed. I have not heard of one retailer, merchant, or business owner even considering surcharging.