5/22/09

Crowdsourcing Part 5 - Less Time + More Money = Better Quality?

Continuing our Crowdsourcing post from yesterday, here are the answers we got back for the final six:

Firm Name: Jackson Walker
Article Title: OIG gets enhanced funding for increased enforcement in health care
  • The Economic Stimulus bill gave the Office of the Inspector General nearly 30 billion dollars simply for increasing oversight over health service and care providers.
  • The stimulus plan also gives Inspector Generals the right to review any contracts or grants given through stimulus money.
  • The Inspector General Reform Act of 2008 is another piece of legislature aimed at increasing the independent authority of the inspector general and increasing the efficiency of the OIG in oversight over healthcare organizations.
  • OIG data shows that for every $1 the govt provides in funding, it recovers $17. The amount recovered in 2009 is already greater than the amount recovered in 2008. This means that we must expect increased OIG funding and oversight.

Firm Name: Kilpatrick Stockton LLP
Article Title: What must your healthcare organization do (if anything) to protect against patient identity theft?
  • Healthcare organizations must be in compliance with the Red Flag Rules of the Federal Trade Comission and are to create a Identity Theft Protection Program
  • Mandatory compliance with the Red Flag Rules is due in part because Healthcare organizations are both creditors and they have charged accounts, the two requirements under teh FTC to be under the Red Flag Rules.
  • By August 1, 2009, Healthcare organizations must have a Identity Theft Program in place in order to deal with issues such as payment transactions, consumer reports security as well instituional procedures to identify and reduce the chances of identity theft.
  • This Identity theft program will require the approval and involvment of the board of directors, will require that workers in the organization be trained in aspects of identity theft, and have transparent relations with outside service providers.

Firm Name: Dorsey & Whitney
Article Title: Take precautions now to prepare for Influenza A type H1N1 (formerly `swine flu`)
  • With the threat of a disease such as Influenza A type H1N1, businesses should have a plan in place in case it affects its employees.
  • A specific emergency plan should be put in place in case the disease strikes, focusing on such issues as chain-of-command.
  • It is important to have open communication with employees via non-traditional means to track any cases of the disease that are reported.
  • Attendance policies and sick-day procedures should also be reviewed so that employees who might be sick have options.
  • Perhaps the most important way to prevent the spread of Influenza A type H1N1 is through education; everyone should be well informed.

Firm Name: Finnegan Henderson
Article Title: Federal Circuit affirms award of attorneys` fees for litigation misconduct
  • Case is a medical device patent-infringement suit (spikes) between two medical supply companies, ICU and Alaris
  • ICU has repeatedly and variously claimed infringement in the use of specific spikes by Alaris, each time being rejected
  • Court found that ICU failed to disclose and specify between tubes and spikes in their cases
  • Court ruled against ICU and awarded attorney's fees for Alaris for those portions related to spike claims
  • Under The Supreme Court 9th Circuit precedent, the awards held up during a final appeal
  • [comment from MTurker] This was a very challenging one---I spent a good deal of time on it, and did my best. I hope it's good enough!

Firm Name: Fulbright & Jaworski
Article Title: FTC Delays Enforcement of Red Flags Rule Until August 1, 2009
  • Cutting Medicare spending will take a lot of "new offices and positions." I'll bet his "Office of Spending Oversight" will need 500 new expensive "experts."
  • Increasing a budget by $1.7 billion to find Medicare and Medicaid fraud abuse is abuse to the American public.
  • Allocating $311 billion to physicians over the next 10 years will not cut cost of services. Doctors are not going to make less money, so services will be cut.
  • Making subcontrators liable for fraud will not work. Once care is given good or bad, it is almost impossible to track who is responsible for what.
  • Work plans and every other Medicaid fraud prevention plant will only add more expense to the already over inflated budget.

Firm Name: King & Spalding
Article Title: Obama Budget Proposal Includes $309 Billion in Medicare Medicaid Spending Cuts; $1.7 Billion Increase for Fraud Control
  • The US 2010 fiscal budget will increase spending in health and human services by more than 7% upto 879 billion dollars.
  • There will be budget cuts in medicare and medicaid programs by 309 billion dollars in order to save for the healthcare reserve fund requirement of 634 billions dollars.
  • A large proporion of the money going into this fund will be coming from competitive medicare bidding between hospitals and healthcare providers.
  • The govt is also increasing the money it spents on identifying and preventing healthcare fraud, focusing 1.7 billion over the next five years in order to save 2.5 billion in fraud losses.
It tooks us from Saturday morning until Tuesday to get 10 articles reviewed. We'll probably need to re-run the test at a later time to see if it was the "weekend" or the "price" that caused such a slow turn around on the project. My initial feelings are that it is probably a combination of the two.
This sort of task requires the MTurker to put some thought into the process. I really didn't see a huge drop off in quality between the results that we got back at 25¢ versus the 50¢ results. But, there did seem to be an increase in the time it took to get the answers back. So, if you have more time, you can pay "less", if you need something done in a hurry, then you need to pay "more".
I have to admit that I was pretty impressed with the quality of the work. Regardless of if we paid 25 or 50 cents, the work was very good. I'm also stunned by the seriousness that the MTurkers seem to take with regards to the quality of the work. Take a look at the last bullet-point of the Finnegan Henderson article. A MTurker posted a comment saying that they had some difficulty with the article but hoped that their results were "good enough" for us. That really impressed me.
The more I test the MTurk idea, the more I see potential in crowdsourcing a number of projects that we'd love to do within the law firm setting, but generally don't have the staffing to help us complete the projects. We'll break down some of the other MTurk projects we tested over the past week and show you what we've found to be the pro's and con's of crowdsourcing.

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