The tallest modular building in the world, a 32-story residential tower, has opened its doors in New York City.There are 363 apartments at 461 Dean, part of a 22-acre development called Pacific Park Brooklyn that ultimately will include 6 million square feet of residential space and 6,430 units of housing. It was constructed at the intersection of Dean Street and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn next to one of the city’s major transportation hubs.Half of the units at 461 Dean have been set aside for low- and middle-income families, with studios starting at $559 a month (two-bedroom units at $727), according to an article posted at Wired. Affordable housing in New York City is in such short supply that 84,000 people submitted applications for the 181 affordable units this summer. Housing was assigned by lottery.According to the project’s website, market-rate studio apartments start at $2,450; two-bedroom units start at $4,750 a month.The building was constructed to meet the LEED-Silver standard, but the developer did not list any particular energy-efficiency features, such as added insulation or extra measures to reduce air leaks. Teething problems for modular buildingThe building — developed by Forest City Ratner Companies and designed by SHoP Architects — was constructed of modular units manufactured at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and moved to the site by truck. The building was an important test of how modular construction could make urban housing more affordable, Wired said, with Forest City originally predicting it would be ready for occupancy in 18 months and cost 20% less than a tower built conventionally.It didn’t work out that way. Construction ran two years behind schedule as the manufacturer, Skanska, struggled to develop the 960 different modules that would be needed to complete the building. The site itself also posed problems because it was triangular in shape, which resulted in triangular modules and added construction complexity.“In an effort to show modular has endless possibilities, we probably went a little overboard on the complexity,” Roger Krulak, who oversaw Forest City’s modular business, told Wired.As problems mounted, Forest City sued Skanska. Skanska returned the favor by suing Forest City, and Forest City ended up buying the module factory from Skanska. It has since sold the modular operation to Krulak, who founded a new company called Full Stack Modular.Even though the 461 Dean experiment wasn’t as successful as developers had hoped, Forest City CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin said the effort will help others develop complex modular buildings in the future, Wired said.
Sarah Jane Tribble: [email protected], @SJTribble Aug 10 2018Three months after President Donald Trump announced his blueprint to bring down drug prices, administration officials have begun putting some teeth behind the rhetoric.Many details have yet to be announced. But experts who pay close attention to federal drug policy and Medicare rules say the administration is preparing to incrementally roll out a multipronged plan that tasks the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Food and Drug Administration with promoting competition, attacking the complicated drug rebate system and introducing tactics to lower what the government pays for drugs.Mark McClellan, director of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy in Durham, N.C., and a former CMS administrator, said that although none of the initial steps has “fundamentally transformed drug prices,” there is “a lot going on inside the administration.”Two HHS officials who are rolling out the plan, Dan Best and John O’Brien, described their efforts to Kaiser Health News not as a public relations strategy but a push to reform the system.”This administration is trying to go after root causes” of high drug prices, said Wells Fargo analyst David Maris.But others are not so optimistic.Ameet Sarpatwari, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, said policies the administration has rolled out thus far “alone will not translate into meaningful cost savings for most Americans.”Broadly, the strategy falls under a handful of steps:1. Attacking The RebatesHealth and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has said Americans “do not have a real market for prescription drugs” because drug middlemen and insurers get a wide range of hidden rebates from drugmakers, but those savings may not be passed on to consumers or Medicare. In July, the administration submitted a proposed rule that could change the way rebates are handled.Details of the proposal have not been made public. But O’Brien, a deputy assistant secretary at HHS, explained during a recent conference on federal drug spending sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trust: “You don’t have to use market power to get rebates, you can use market power to obtain discounts, to actually lower the price of the drug on the front end.”Umer Raffat, an investment analyst with EverCore ISI, said “it’s not clear [that drug prices are going down]” but the “rebate structure is changing.”2. Bringing More Negotiation To MedicareThis week, CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced that Medicare Advantage insurers can use a step-therapy approach to negotiate better prices for Part B drugs — those administered in hospitals and doctors’ offices. These private plans will be allowed to require patients to first select the least expensive drug before stepping up to more costly drugs if the original medications aren’t working.The administration is also looking at ways to introduce more competition into Part B drug purchasing. That idea was mentioned deep inside the annual Medicare outpatient payment rule released last month.Peter Bach, director of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Center for Health Policy and Outcomes in New York, pointed to the possible introduction of a competitive purchasing program in which a firm negotiates with drugmakers to buy their drugs and then sells them to the doctors and hospitals that will administer the medications. Bach said that helps ensure that hospitals and doctors can’t make more money by prescribing more expensive drugs.Currently, Medicare pays the average sales price plus 6 percent to doctors or hospitals when they purchase drugs, a pricing mechanism that can benefit the providers if the drug costs go up. If there were a third party buying the drugs, it would “have a huge effect,” Bach said.3. Paying For ValueTrump’s blueprint calls for CMS to encourage “value-based care” to lower drug prices, shifting from paying a set fee for drugs to basing payments on how well the patient does on them.Louisiana’s Medicaid program could show the way. The state is working with CMS to explore a subscription-based model to pay for hepatitis C medicines. Louisiana would pay a fixed price to a drug manufacturer that would then get unlimited access to treat patients enrolled in Louisiana’s Medicaid program or in prison.Related StoriesScientists identify new genetic mutation behind serious skull disorderNew research overturns the belief that braces boost self-confidenceHow black pharmacists are closing the cultural gap in health careThe program would move “from a big payment upfront to paying less over time based on actual outcomes,” said McClellan, who also serves on the boards of health care giant Johnson & Johnson and insurer Cigna.CMS also approved a Medicaid waiver from Oklahoma in June. Medicaid programs are allowed to negotiate drug prices. Oklahoma’s plan would expand that to negotiate additional prescription price reductions based on value-based purchasing agreements.Still, CMS’ recent rejection of a related Massachusetts proposal makes it difficult to believe negotiating drug prices will really happen, said Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health law and policy at George Washington University.That proposal would have allowed Massachusetts’ Medicaid program to choose drugs based on cost and how well the medicines work.”They have been very good and quite careful with their [Medicaid] program and so why not let them try this?” Rosenbaum said.4. Tackling Foreign Drug CostsPharmaceutical makers often sell their drugs at substantially lower prices in many foreign countries than they do in the United States. Trump emphasized in May that “it’s time to end the global freeloading once and for all,” saying U.S. consumers were paying part of the cost of the medicines that patients in other countries use.He directed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to address the situation. Lighthizer’s office declined to comment.When Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) asked during a Senate health committee hearing in June whether trade agreements with other countries should be used to “level the playing field,” Azar’s response was swift: “We absolutely believe we should be using our trade agreements to get them to pay more even as we have our job to pay less.”Avalere Health President Matt Brow, who has been involved in talks with the administration, said it’s clear the focus on overseas pricing isn’t going away and the administration is “talking a lot about how to get the president what he wants.”5. Increasing CompetitionFDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has become the Trump administration’s lead proponent for increasing competition among drugmakers.Competition resonates with Americans “because people see it every day in their experience in Costco and other places,” said Rena Conti, an assistant professor at the University of Chicago.Gottlieb has announced plans to bolster the use of generic drugs and an “action plan” to encourage the development of biosimilars, which are copycat versions of expensive biologic drugs made from living organisms.And to combat anti-competitive behavior in the market, Gottlieb said the FDA has passed along information to the Federal Trade Commission and hinted at potential action to come: “I think we’ve handed them some pretty good facts.”KHN’s coverage of prescription drug development, costs and pricing is supported in part by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event This ban seems to be an overreaction to well-intentioned acts by people who want the same things the Army presumably wants – to keep soldiers safe as they do the dangerous work of securing democracy in Iraq. It’s great if the military is able to provide better body armor for all its soldiers. But as yet, that hasn’t been demonstrated to be the case. Until then, the Pentagon owes it to the families who have proudly sent their sons, daughters, husbands, wives, brothers or sisters to Iraq to find some middle ground. IN the early stages of the Iraq war, the military was criticized for sending soldiers into battle with substandard equipment. The body armor was a particular cause for upset among some soldiers’ families. And military officials admitted that some of those troops in Iraq had protective gear of a lesser quality than others. In addition, a Pentagon study earlier this year found that many soldiers who died would have been saved by better protective gear. The families and friends of soldiers responded in a very American way – they raised money to buy body armor and ship it overseas to protect their loved ones. On Thursday, however, the Pentagon said that soldiers will no longer be able to wear privately purchased body armor. The reason: Military officials are concerned that some of the armor being sent by families isn’t up to military standards, though they have offered no evidence. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
It is never too early to begin learning! MyFirstApp Ltd. is a team of 3 developers passionate about creating wonderful educational games for the youngest of learners. The team is comprised of a computer engineer, a graphic designer and an educational psychologist. They offer different series of apps varying on age from 1.5+ through 4.5+. I figured what better way to introduce the company’s apps than by starting with a handful of apps for toddlers ages 1.5+!7 Educational Apps for Toddlers:Various studies have shown that babies can begin learning in the womb–as early as 37 to 40 weeks! Once they’re born, the potential for learning is even greater. “We may view their learning at this point as small, but for babies they are crucial steps in their learning process. For example, when you’ve come home from the hospital and are settling back into life at home, a baby will be learning about the sounds, scents, and things he sees around him.”Once they get to be around one year, they’ll be able to better interact with their surroundings and begin learning. MyFirstApp Ltd. packed a whole world of knowledge into a series of apps. In the apps made for toddlers, the toddlers will have fun exploring new sights, sounds, and new concepts.1. Slide & SpinSlide & Spin is an ideal app to get the little ones started using tablets. It’s developed for toddlers aged 1.5+ to help them develop fine motor skills. When using the app, they’ll practice four basic motions: sliding, spinning, turning, and pushing a button.How to Play:Simply spin, slide, or push one of the four buttons to reveal the hidden surprise!Skills developed:Cause and effectFine motor skills2. Match It Up 1Match It Up 1 is designed for children 1.5+. It is designed to help develop visual perception skills, categorization, and can even help with language skills with parental assistance (e.g. if they point to object and name it, state color, etc.)See also: Match It Up 2 for ages 2+Match It Up 3 for ages 2.5+How to Play:Each board includes a central image with 7 related images, one of the images matching the central picture.The goal is to find the matching image and drag it to the center on top of the main image.Skills developed:Visual perception skillsCognitive skillsFine motor skillsLanguage skills (with parental assistance)3. Find ItDid you know playing a “silly” game like peekaboo is essential for your baby’s learning? It helps them practice object permanence (knowing that an object still exists, even if it is hidden). Children (1.5+ years) playing Find It will practice these skills and much more. They’ll have fun finding what is hidden in the various activities within this app.How to Play:Look for signs of the hidden animals in each picture.Tap on them to reveal the animals.Skills developed:Visual perception skillsFine motor skillsObject permanence4. Puzzle Me 1If you’re wanting to get your child started on fun tablet puzzles, look no further than Puzzle Me 1! It is a bright, colorful collection of square puzzles. Puzzle Me 1 is designed for children 2+ and features a 2 by 2 square grid. The second one Puzzle Me 2 is designed for children 3+ and has 9 pieces in a 3 by 3 grid.How to Play:To assemble the puzzle, drag each part of the picture to the correct place.Skills developed: Hand-eye coordinationVisual perceptionSpatial cognitionLanguage skills with parental assistance5. My HousePlaying house is a favorite childhood activity for many. My House offers your child the opportunity to virtually play house by designing and decorating their own home. It is designed for children ages 2 and up.How to Play:Each board features a background scene (each a part of a standard home, e.g. bedroom, bathroom, etc.)Press and drag the objects on the bottom of the page into the background.Skills developed:Visual perceptionCreativity and imaginationFine motor skills6. Sorting GameThe Sorting Game is designed for children ages 2 and up. It helps teach children about sorting and arranging different items in different rooms.How to Play:Select the area you’d like to organizeThen drag each item into a blank space aboveSkills developed:ConceptualizationVisual perceptionFine motor skillsLanguage skills (with parental guidance)7. First SoundsAs stated above, babies love exploring the world around them and touching everything within reach. Voices and sounds are one of the first ways a baby begins learning. First Sounds is an app that encompasses this idea and introduces the youngest of children to a world of new sounds.How to Play:Simply tap on each object to explore its soundThe app also offers voice recording abilities, so you’ll be able to name and record each object to enhance a child’s vocabularySkills developed:Different auditory skillsLanguage skills (with voice recordings)Click here to learn more about different apps from MyFirstApp Ltd.Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterest1LinkedInEmailPrint Related7 Alligator Apps for Early LearningNovember 9, 2016In “Apple”5 Fun Educational Apps by Originator!October 5, 2016In “Apps”Override the Summer SlideJune 22, 2016In “Apps”