Published September 16, 2008
Volume 16, Number 9

  • Hacienda’s Roche Molecular Diagnostics received good news earlier this month when the U.S. Food & Drug Administration approved the company’s COBAS TaqMan HBV Test. The test, the first approved for use in the U.S., measures the amount of Hepatitis B virus DNA in a patient's blood. Doctors may use viral load testing results to establish a baseline level of infection and during treatment as an aid in assessing individual responses to therapy.

    “Viral load testing with an FDA approved test has long been the standard for managing patients with HIV and Hepatitis C,” says Teresa Wright, M.D., chief medical officer at Roche Molecular Diagnostics. “Availability of this new Roche test enables doctors and laboratories to bring that same level of standardized viral load measurement to Hepatitis B treatment.

    ”While recent developments in antiviral therapy and application of the Hepatitis B vaccine have reduced the prevalence of the disease, Hepatitis B remains a serious and potentially life threatening global disease, sometimes resulting in death from extensive liver damage or liver cancer for chronically infected people.
  • The Principal Financial Group has recognized Hacienda’s 1st United Services Credit Union as one of the 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security in the nation for 2008. The awards were judged by an independent panel of benefits experts, who applauded winning companies for expanding wellness and preventative care programs as well as continuing to share significantly in the cost of health insurance.

    “What they’re doing in many cases is simply not putting any more burden on the employee. That’s no small feat given what’s happened with costs,” said 10 Best judge Nevin Adams, editor-in-chief of PLANSPONSOR magazine. “That’s a big commitment.”

    Judges also lauded winners for ramping up benefits communication and education—including sessions on investing in uncertain economic times—and efforts to boost retirement plan savings.
  • Hacienda’s BB&T Tanner Insurance Services has launched a new program designed to help businesses take advantage of new, ecologically-friendly technologies and comply with new environmental regulations.

    “Our Green Practice serves sustainable enterprises including Clean Tech, LEED Certified and Green Certified businesses, property owners, contractors, manufacturers, professionals & consultants and stakeholders,” says Julie Werner, CIC, an assistant vice president with the firm. “Many insurers are now offering coverage designed to protect real and personal property and business income exposures for green investments and green operations.  Aside from offering Green Insurance, our loss control department is trained on Energy Star Portfolio Benchmarking, a new requirement for building owners effective January 1, 2010.  We help keep our clients up-to-date on sustainable legislation that might impact their business.”

    BB&T Tanner is also holding a free green seminar on October 22 which aims to help people navigate the green industry and green their business, buildings and bottom lines.

Also in this issue ...