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Online Update


These sites are tops with customers

Netflix has the highest customer satisfaction rating from online shoppers, says a survey by ForeSee Results, a web consulting group. Aggregate customer satisfaction for the top 40 online retailers is 75 out of 100 points. Here are the 10 that scored the highest:

hp Home & Home Office
Barnes & Noble.com

Still not as popular as productivity incentives

Although financial incentives tied to individual productivity are still more common, compensation based on quality measures is slowly gaining in popularity, according to the Center for Studying Health System Change. However, researchers found that nearly all physicians with quality incentives are also offered productivity incentives. Quality incentives are most prevalent among primary care physicians and those in large practices that receive a substantial share of revenue from capitated payments. Other ways practices motivate doctors include tying their compensation and/or bonuses to patient satisfaction surveys and how effectively they utilize resources.

The unseen economic toll of battling disease

Medicare patients afflicted with cancer lost at least $2.3 billion in estimated wages during the first year after diagnosis. Examining the records of approximately 763,000 patients, researchers looked at time lost to travel to and from physician and emergency room visits, hospitalization, and waiting for and receiving treatment. They then compared those findings with time spent by more than 1.1 million noncancer Medicare patients, and applied a dollar value of $15.23 per hour (the median US wage rate in 2002) to arrive at the total. In all, researchers concluded, patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer lost 368 hours, while lung cancer and kidney cancer patients lost 272 and 193 hours, respectively. The study was published in the Jan. 3 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

More baby boomers not ready to retire

A quarter of all workers who are now in their 50s won't have enough money saved to retire at the same age that older generations did, says a survey of 400 employers that administer their retirement plans. About 60 percent of these workers will have to stay on the job at least two extra years to accumulate a big enough nest egg to retire comfortably, says the survey released by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. A second report will reveal whether employers will be willing to keep the older workers on their payrolls for that long.

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