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Wondering if it's Time to Buy a New Car? Just Check Your Mailbox


Five words or less(NewsUSA) - Have you ever wondered how all of those colorful auto dealership promotion pamphlets arrive in the mail at the exact moment you are contemplating a new car purchase? Oddly enough, they are perfectly timed to coincide with your vehicle-buying needs -- and there's a reason behind it. Consider this: In 2012, studies showed that more than 90 percent of consumers began their car search online. This insight, according to Ken Schwartz, founder of InMarketSolution (IMS), a Chicago-based marketing company geared specifically to the auto industry and its potential buyers, provides dealerships with a treasure trove of demographic information. "Consumer data is abundant and valuable, yet many dealers fail to fully exploit its potential," says Schwartz. "In this way, we use best-of-breed data to identify consumers currently in the market to buy a car." The way it works is that IMS uses proprietary data from its InMarket Buyers List to identify when a consumer is in the market to buy or lease a car. IMS then compares that list to the Dealer Database Management System, removing all matches to ensure the IMS driven sales are new customers. Using multiple technologies, IMS tracks and interacts with the InMarket Buyers multiple times by using a combination of highly targeted direct mail and digital advertising that will potentially drive exclusive leads to a targeted dealership. The difference between IMS and other direct-mail marketing companies is its business model. In a nutshell, if a dealership doesn't get new customers through IMS's efforts, the dealership doesn't pay a dime. "I am so confident that our program works, that I am willing to put my money where my mouth is," says Schwartz. "Simply put, if a dealership doesn't sell cars to new customers, we don't get paid." Schwartz's confidence comes from his past experience working with big data. Before founding IMS, Schwartz was the CEO of CityTwist, an email advertising company focused specifically on automotive marketing. During his tenure there, CityTwist became an Inc. 500/5000 fastest growing company in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014. In addition, the company has been recognized as a fastest-growing company in South Florida by the South Florida Business Journal for the last two years. For more information, visit www.inmarketsolution.com.
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Grandparents, Keep Your Meds Up and Away From Young Children


Five words or less(NewsUSA) - Grandparents love spending time with their grandchildren. Grandbabies bring so much joy. However, it's not unusual for the curious, tiny fingers of youngsters to end up in places they shouldn't. Putting precious or breakable objects out of reach is important, and so is keeping medicines and vitamins up and away and out of sight of young children. More than 70,000 children end up in emergency departments each year after getting their hands on medicines left within reach. That's 165 kids -- or roughly four busloads of kids -- per day. Far too often, that medicine belonged to a grandparent. Where are young children getting their hands on medicines? From countertops and bedside tables, purses and pockets, and loose pills on tables or floors. Weekly pill minders can help you keep track of multiple medications, but they rarely have child-resistant features so a curious child can't get into the colorful medicines stored inside. "Grandparents and parents may not be aware of the danger posed by leaving medications where young children can reach or see them," says Dr. Dan Budnitz, director of the Medication Safety Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "A few simple steps -- followed every time -- can protect our children." So, grandparents, enjoy your precious time with your young grandchildren. But whether hosting them in your house or visiting at theirs, remember to store your medicines in a place they cannot access. Here are some tips from CDC's "Up and Away and Out of Sight" initiative: * Keep all medicines and vitamins up and away and out of sight in a high cabinet or other place inaccessible to your grandchildren. If you think you may forget to take your medicines if they are not in sight, leave yourself a reminder on the refrigerator or somewhere you check daily. * Never leave medicine or vitamins out on a counter or bedside table, even if you have to take the medicine again in a few hours. * Always relock the safety cap on a medicine bottle. If it has a locking cap that turns, twist it until you hear the click. * Never tell children medicine is candy so they'll take it, even if your grandchild does not like to take his or her medicine. * Keep purses, bags or coats that have medicines or vitamins in them out of reach and sight of young children. * Program the Poison Help number (1-800-222-1222) into your phone so you have it in case of emergency. Visit UpandAway.org for more tips on safe medicine storage.
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Smartphone to Become Wallet -- Are Customers, Businesses Ready?


Five words or less(NewsUSA) - Much is being made of Apple's announcement of the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch. Overshadowed by this, however, was the introduction of Apple Pay -- a technology touting an easier way to pay for goods and services using mobile devices. But is this too much too soon -- even for Apple? Coming on the heels of this month's massive credit card breach at Home Depot, it is clear that credit card companies need to rethink how consumers' personal information is handled. Relying on near field communication (NFC), Apple Pay will link a consumer's mobile phone with retail stores that are NFC-enabled. NFC technology has been praised for its security and convenience, but analysts argue that mobile payments will suffer because consumers are not yet comfortable paying with their phone, and merchants are finding that using NFC technology is more expensive than the traditional debit and credit card system. For concerned individuals, they need only look to the horizon. Launching on Nov. 15, a company called MovoCash will address the gaps left by NFC technology. "MovoCash is a transformative way to think about payments," says Eric Solis, CEO and founder of the company. "What we're doing is serving as a convergence technology designed to help consumers bridge the gap between old-world payment systems and new technological advances." MovoCash, according to Solis, is a bank-agnostic payments platform that allows consumers to link their bank accounts to their MovoCash account for mobile payments with no limitation on the number of supported banks. Any bank account or credit or debit card in your wallet can be used to load a MovoCash account, eliminating the direct link required by conventional NFC technology. What this means is that there is no direct link between the merchant and consumers' personal credit or banking information. Should the MovoPlastic card get hacked, the dummy number on the card will not reveal any personal information. It can be loaded with as much (or as little) money as desired. Additionally, the company's redemption technology differentiates it from Venmo and PayPal by unlocking P2P (peer to peer) payments for immediate merchant purchases. "We believe MovoCash addresses consumers' desire for a more integrated payment experience using a mobile device without changing their comfort level of using a mag stripe on the back of a plastic card," says Solis. For more information on this innovative technology, visit www.movocash.com.
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As Insurers End Coverage for Compounded Drugs, Patients Struggle


Five words or less(NewsUSA) - It's a David-vs.-Goliath dispute, and millions of patients are caught in the middle -- perhaps even unaware they're about to lose coverage for the compounded medications they need for their conditions. At issue are the customized medications pharmacists prepare for patients who can't metabolize or tolerate commercial drugs. Compounded medicines often are the only option for doctors treating certain children and seniors, patients coping with the pain of cancer and diabetes, and those with liver or kidney diseases. In one corner: powerful insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) hell-bent on saving money by eliminating or cutting coverage of those medications. In the other corner, fighting to reverse their moves: a coalition of patients, physicians, pharmacists and pro-patient groups like the Veterans Advocacy Group of America, the Kidney Cancer Association and the Arthritis Foundation. "This is about shifting costs to patients," says Jay McEniry, executive director of Patients and Physicians for Rx Access (saverxaccess.org). "Physicians are being placed in the impossible position of either prescribing a compounded medication the patient needs but can't afford, or prescribing a less effective treatment because it may be covered by the patient's insurance." The list of "Goliaths" who've announced or already implemented such cutbacks now includes United Healthcare/Optum Rx, Catamaran, CVS/Caremark, Harvard Pilgrim and Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in several states. But the coalition's immediate wrath is directed at the nation's largest PBM: Express Scripts, which in September is slated to stop covering 1,000 drug ingredients commonly found in compounded medications -- effectively "eliminating an entire class of medications," says McEniry. Express Scripts and others argue that commercial drugs can do the job just as well for less money. But try telling that to patients like Linda Sauer. The Dwight, Illinois, woman relies on her doctor-prescribed compounded medications for relief from several painful and debilitating conditions, and is outraged that Express Scripts' decision leaves her no choice but to pay for them out of pocket. "They're denying me access to medicines that work better than the mass-produced drugs I've tried," she says. "It will cost me and others hundreds of dollars per month." Sauer at least has read the advisory notice from Express Scripts, which the coalition claims gives "misleading reasons" for targeting what it calls "essential medicines" whose ingredients are purchased from FDA-regulated suppliers. But what of patients who didn't? Sadly, they're in for a shock the next time they try to fill a prescription.
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4 Tips to Start Your Day a Little Earlier


Five words or less(NewsUSA) - If you happen to be a person who just can't seem to find enough hours in the day, it might be time to get an earlier start. And, if you've already tried waking up before sunrise, only to meet a crashing halt following lunch, these four tips may help: Tip 1: Avoid hitting "snooze" at all costs. Try moving your alarm clock far enough away from the bed so you'll be forced to stand up and walk to turn it off. "When you hit the snooze button repeatedly, you're fragmenting what little extra sleep you're getting, so it is of poor quality," says Robert S. Rosenberg, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Centers of Prescott Valley and Flagstaff, Arizona. Tip 2: Fuel up with a hearty breakfast. So, you're probably tired of hearing this advice by now. Yet, if more people actually followed through with it, there wouldn't be a need to stress it over and over. According to a January 2014 Penn Schoen Berland study, although nearly 85 percent of Americans believe breakfast is important, just over half say they choose to skip it because they don't have enough time, would rather sleep in or don't like preparing it. If time is really an issue, consider quick options like Hormel Compleats breakfasts (www.hormel.com), which can be ready in just 60 seconds. Tip 3: Power up with protein. According to health.com eggs --and even bacon -- can be potent breakfast options to keep you going and give your body the energy it needs to get through the day. Some easy-prep breakfast options -- like the Compleats varieties mentioned in tip number two -- even feature eggs. "Eggs are a great source of nutrients," said Mitch Kanter, Ph.D., executive director of the Egg Nutrition Center. "Just one egg contains 13 essential vitamins and minerals, high-quality protein and antioxidants." Tip 4: Set an earlier bedtime. If you are a night owl by nature, but want to start your day sooner, gradually shift your bedtime earlier each night. Once you find a time that allows you to wake up early and get through the day without feeling like you need a nap, stick to it. The most productive early birds aren't sleep deprived. As Aristotle noted, "It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth and wisdom."
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If You Want to Help Avoid Back Problems, Stop Slouching


Five words or less(NewsUSA) - Remember how mom always reminded you about your posture? Turns out she was right. Years of poor posture, we now know, puts undue pressure on the spine and supporting muscles and ligaments that can result in everything from back pain to muscle strain to degenerative arthritis. And many of us make things worse on a daily basis. How so? Research has found that common things like stress, obesity, incorrect posture while sleeping, walking and working, and -- yes, all you fashionistas out there -- wearing high-heeled shoes can contribute to poor posture. And the back pain alone that often follows hurts us in more ways than one. "Americans spend at least $50 billion each year (seeking relief from) back pain," notes the not-for-profit Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. "And it's one of the most common reasons for missed work." If you just read those stats while seated, here's a quick checklist to see if you're maintaining the correct posture: * Relax shoulders and keep forearms parallel to the ground when working at a keyboard. * Don't cross your legs. * Use a footrest if your feet don't reach the floor. For those who are past the checklist stage, know that the federal Agency for Health Care Policy and Research almost twenty years ago recommended spinal manipulation provided by a doctor of chiropractic as a "safe and effective, drugless" treatment for sufferers of low back pain. "Old habits die hard," says Ron Kirk, DC, an avid supporter of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress and founder of Straighten Up America (straightenupamerica.org). "But a doctor of chiropractic can recommend exercises to strengthen core postural muscles and can help you choose proper postures to reduce your risk of injury during activities." For more information, visit www.yes2chiropractic.org.
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Join the Force to Fight Lung Cancer in Women


Five words or less(NewsUSA) - NewsusaInfographic - "Join The Force" and Help Save Lives is an initiative formed to fight lung cancer in women, which is the No. 1 cancer killer of women. LUNG FORCE will make lung cancer in women a public health priority, drive policy change and increase research funding. Learn more at Lungforce.org. See full-sized image here.
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Common-Sense Strategies From a Natural Marketing Guru


Five words or less(NewsUSA) - When it comes to natural marketing expertise, there may be no other like Peter Tabibian. As founder of the Z-Burger restaurant chain located in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore region, Tabibian has grown his business with a mix of great food, great style and breakthrough marketing and promotions. "Marketing is the engine of any successful business," says Tabibian. "And once you turn the engine on, business just grows and grows." What makes Tabibian's success impressive, however, is that he never attended college. Instead, he honed his craft working low-level fast food jobs before taking a significant personal credibility risk opening his first Z-Burger (www.zburger.com) in the Tenleytown section of Washington, D.C. "Throughout the past seven years, I've expanded the menu from hand-crafted burgers with endless toppings and fresh-cut fries to one that includes 75 varieties of hand-spun milkshakes and concretes," says Tabibian. As new Z-Burger locations were opened, he helped design exteriors and interiors to give each one a unique look and feel. But great looking restaurants were only the beginning. Tabibian had to let the world know -- and with his wild imagination and street-sense marketing practices, he created some of the restaurant industry's most talked about promotions. Six years ago, Tabibian created the annual "Independence Burger Eating Championships," which now rivals Nathans as the top eating competition in the U.S. Tabibian has become a champion of the American worker with his promotions offering free food to government employees who were without paychecks due to the sequestration -- which landed Z-Burger in The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. His restaurants have also become places where people in distress can find comfort in a free meal -- whether for local residents without power due to storms, or for the homeless who have annual Thanksgiving meals at Z-Burger, complete with turkey burgers and French fries with gravy. Other memorable promotions included free purple burgers in celebration of the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl victories, and heart-shaped burgers on pink buns for Valentine's Day. What's more, his all-around genius recently earned Z-Burger the "Best Burger Award" from the No. 1 radio station in Washington, WTOP-FM. Certainly, Tabibian's marketing prowess is having an effect as Z-Burger has been featured on the History Channel, TMZ, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX national news broadcasts. Even former President Bill Clinton has stopped by for a meal.
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Stay Cool for Next to Nothing: Power Down the AC on National Ceiling Fan Day


Five words or less(NewsUSA) - The kids are back in school, football season is starting and fall is around the corner, which means it is time to turn down the air conditioner and rely a little more on your ceiling fan to save energy and money. This September 18 marks the second annual National Ceiling Fan Day (NCFD). More than 20 ceiling fan manufacturers, the American Lighting Association (ALA) and leading energy conservation groups invite everyone to join the fight to reduce energy consumption by turning off their central cooling systems and staying cool with ceiling, floor, desk and wall fans to save trillions of kilowatt hours of energy consumption. As an extra incentive to participate in the energy-saving effort, many fan retailers are offering discounts to consumers in conjunction with NCFD. You can find a list of local ALA-member fan retailers online at AmericanLightingAssoc.com. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends using ceiling fans to reduce or eliminate the need to use your AC, because ceiling fans consume far less electricity. Many ceiling fans consume as few as 15 watts of electricity, while AC systems can use upwards of 5,000 watts when used for the same amount of time. While saving energy is a good thing, saving money is not bad either. Operating a fan can cost as little as $1 per month. That is quite a savings compared to approximately $100 per month to run an AC unit in a typical home. To maximize your savings, use an Energy Star-certified fan. Ceiling fans that have earned the Energy Star label are 60 percent more efficient than conventional fans. Initiated by fan manufacturer Fanimation, NCFD is supported by the ALA and many additional ALA-member fan manufacturers, including Casablanca/Hunter Fan Company, Craftmade; Emerson Ceiling Fans, Feiss-Monte Carlo, Kichler, Matthews Fan Company, Minka-Aire, Progress Lighting, Quorum International, Regency Ceiling Fans, Savoy House, Sea Gull Lighting, The Modern Fan Co., Vaxcel International and Westinghouse Lighting, as well as The Home Depot and Lowe's Companies, Inc. Many of the nation's leaders in energy conservation and efficiency are also on board. Those supporters include the EPA's Energy Star Program; Alliance to Save Energy; Affordable Comfort, Inc.; and Environmental and Energy Study Institute. The purpose of NCFD is to bring national attention to escalating energy costs and consumption. The day is devoted to saving energy and raising awareness about how ceiling fans can fit into an overall energy- and cost-savings plan. If every American participates in NCFD by turning off their AC and using fans for their cooling needs, the United States will save enough energy to power the entire city of New York for months. For more information about how to save energy with ceiling fans and for a list of ALA-member fan retailers and manufacturers, go to AmericanLightingAssoc.com.
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10 Steps to Help Older Adults Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls


Five words or less(NewsUSA) - Some of the most serious injuries among older adults, age 65 and older, are caused by falling. More than 1.6 million older Americans end up in the emergency room or hospital because of a fall, according to the National Institutes of Health. Seniors who have broken a hip by falling can have trouble recovering and regaining mobility. The good news is many falls are preventable. One of the first things you can do if you take prescription medication is have your health care team review your medication. "Some prescription medicines and over-the-counter drugs, or a combination of them, can make you dizzy or sleepy. Either can lead to a fall," said Jaza Marina, M.D., a geriatrician at Kaiser Permanente in Atlanta. "If you fall, be sure to let your doctor know, even if you aren't hurt. Sometimes falls are a sign of a new medical problem that needs attention." Many underlying causes of falls can be treated or corrected. Dr. Marina recommends these 10 proactive steps to reduce the risk of falling. Make your home safe. 1. Remove clutter, throw rugs and electrical cords that might cause you to trip. 2. Store items on bottom shelves. 3. Add grab bars where necessary -- in hallways, stairways and bathtubs. 4. Add a rubber bath mat in the shower or tub. 5. Make sure your home is well lit. Use night lights in hallways and bathrooms. 6. Keep a phone and flashlight by your bed. Take care of yourself. 7. Stay as physically active as you can. 8. Wear comfortable shoes with good support. 9. Have your vision and hearing checked. 10. Use a cane or walker if you feel unsteady. For more information on how to prevent falls, visit share.kp.org/preventing-falls. Also check out everybodywalk.org for tips on walking as an exercise. For questions or advice about a specific condition, talk to your physician.
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