RIM offers interception solution using cloud computing

New Delhi: With the approaching deadline to offer complete solution for monitoring of its contents by 31st January, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has offered lawful interception in its security architecture through cloud computing from Indian operators, reports PTI.

Cloud computing is an Internet-based service, whereby shared servers provide software and data to computers and other devices on demand.

RIM infrastructure is ready to receive and process through the cloud computing-based system, lawfully intercepted BlackBerry Messenger data from Indian service providers, the Canada-based firm said in a letter to the government.

Earlier, RIM had assured the government that it will provide the ‘final solution’ for the lawful interception of BlackBerry Messenger services by 31 January 2011. The company has said that this was the understanding that it was to put in place the system by 31st January.

According to sources in the know, the Indian ministry of home affairs has asked the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to validate the technology (cloud computing) being offered by RIM.

BlackBerry has over one million subscribers in India, which is one of the fastest growing markets in the world in terms of new subscriber additions.

The Canada-based company made it clear that its security systems are still cutting edge by saying, “RIM maintains a consistent global standard for lawful access requirements that does not include special deals for specific countries.”

Last year, RIM had assured the government that it would provide a final solution for lawful interception of BlackBerry Messenger services by January next year. The project is likely to be completed by the end of January 2011.

With regard to Blackberry's Enterprise mail service; however, it had asserted that the company had no ability to provide customers' encryption keys.

With respect to the same issue, Robert E Crow, vice president, industry, government and university relations, RIM, had met Indian home minister P Chidambaram and explained the status of its project.

The company had also claimed that there was no deadline from the government and it was RIM that had said it would work with operators to ensure that security agencies were able to intercept BlackBerry Messenger data.

The company had also asserted that there was “no change” in its security architecture and sought to dispel talks of its ban in India as mere rumours.

The rumours around BlackBerry services stems from the fact that the Indian government had earlier asked Blackberry to provide complete access or face a ban.

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Fortis to join PPN soon; more big hospitals in talk with insurers on cashless mediclaim

After Jaslok Hospital, other hospitals are lining up to join the preferred provider network in a major breakthrough for insurers that will bring relief to mediclaim policyholders

To the relief of the consumers, more and more hospitals are joining the Preferred Provider Network (PPN). Jaslok of Mumbai has just joined and Fortis is likely to sign up soon. A couple of other big institutions are also in negotiations with the General Insurance Public Sector Association (GIPSA).

Colonel Manesh Masand, chief executive officer of Jaslok Hospital, which is the first premier institute in south Mumbai to join the PPN, told Moneylife, "We have mutually agreed to the rates for 43 packages. The removal of the cashless feature did not impact our business, but we are joining PPN to help patients. PPN rates to the cashless mediclaim policyholders will be effective from 15th January. If anything exceeds the package, we will give proper justification for it. Either the insurance company or patient will have to bear the same."

Policyholders with public sector (PSU) insurance companies will certainly benefit with the resumption of the cashless facility at Jaslok Hospital. It also raises hopes for PSU insurers to cajole other hospitals to join PPN.

According to M Ramadoss, chairman and managing director, New India Assurance Co Ltd, "Rates could vary from hospital to hospital, based on location, facilities, and equipment. It's not a one-size-fits-all solution. If there is an industry standard for standard rates, we will welcome it. Due to the absence of it, I have to step in, but not to rob hospitals of their profits. We have benchmarked average costs of the previous two-three years and have used recommendations of doctors on panels for frozen standard rates for procedures and treatments."

In a bid to curb the increasing losses incurred by hospitals due to fraudulent and inflated claims, General Insurance Public Sector Association (GIPSA), a group of four public-sector insurance companies had decided to restrict the cashless medical facility only to hospitals that agree to join the PPN. The rule, which was implemented on 1 July 2010, offers a negotiated rate for 43 treatments that are covered under the cashless policy. The four insurance companies are New India Assurance Company Ltd, United India Insurance Company Ltd, Oriental Insurance Company Ltd and National Insurance Company Ltd.

According to a third party administrator (TPA), "Every hospital is eager for business and Jaslok will surely benefit by joining PPN. Many hospitals have stagnant growth even when they add new patients. PSU insurers will benefit by getting discounts for bulk business."

Deepak Mendiratta, a health benefits expert, said, "Packages are possible in surgical ailments (hernia, knee replacement, bypass, and so on) but not for medical management. These are high-cost surgeries. Given the option to pay from pocket (for later reimbursement) or getting cashless (benefit), the obvious choice is cashless, unless there is high doctor loyalty. There is always uncertainty of not getting reimbursement from insurers due to various reasons."

"The hospitals are making a business decision to join PPN or not (to join) based on the level of shift in customers due to absence of PPN. Medanta (in Delhi, and has joined PPN) is a newer hospital that will eventually be a 1,300 bed facility and needs customers," Mr Mendiratta said. "Sir Ganga Ram (also in Delhi) recently had seven top doctors leaving them and it was enough of a reason to join PPN. The rates these hospitals accept to join PPN also serves as a benchmark for other hospitals as well as for insurers to help them bring more hospitals onboard. It ultimately helps to reduce rates for surgeries and hence controlling the claims ratio."

The packages are designed within the given parameters and defined limits. The agreement of package rates after negotiation with GIPSA can give hospitals what they expect, if the expectation is reasonable. The tightly-defined packages, clearly explaining what they include and exclude, also helps insurers to know that there will not be inflated, fraudulent or unwarranted claims. As long as there are no major exclusions, policyholders will not have to pay from their own pocket in case insurers don't cover it.

GIPSA expects 70% of hospitals in Mumbai to join its PPN for the cashless mediclaim scheme in the coming months. After Jaslok, many other major hospitals are likely to join the PPN as they do not want to lose business to Jaslok. Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Bombay Hospital and the Fortis group are in the process of negotiations.

But Fortis group Ranjana Smetacek, director of marketing and corporate communications said, "As of now, the Fortis Group is not joining the PPN. The association of hospitals and nursing homes in Mumbai has made a decision not to join the PPN and our hospitals in Mumbai are abiding with this decision."

There are 169 hospitals in Mumbai on the cashless mediclaim network. Among them are such big names as Jupiter Hospital in Thane, MGM Vashi, Sterling Wockhardt in Vashi, Kohinoor Hospital in Kurla, SevenHills in Andheri (East), S R Mehta Cardiac Hospital at King's Circle, Joy Hospital in Chembur, and Surana hospitals in Malad as well as Chembur.

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COMMENTS

Nagesh KiniFCA

6 years ago

Jaslok and Fortis are no fools to renegotiate on Cashless. Though they did benefit initially by getting even cashless patients to fork up front, insured patients undeniably do constitute a big chunk of business. The TPAs who are the main culprits in the insureds harassment ought to be shown the doo and wound up, sooner the better.
The IRDA needs to get up.
The GIPSA by whatever name called should replace the hole-in-wall good for nothing TPAs.

Nagesh KiniFCA

6 years ago

When the rationally worked out Union Health Ministry appointed independent Armed Forces Medical College Rate Chart is mutually tweaked by the consenting Service Providers and Insurers, there is no reason why all others follow suit. In the ultimate analysis it is the high health cover premium paying senior citizens who are bearing the brunt of this unnecessary spat. Some one ought to go to High Court as was done in Delhi.

Aidem Ventures appoints M Suku as executive vice-president

Aidem Ventures has appointed M Suku as the executive vice president, reflecting the company’s expansion into new emerging media, markets and verticals.

M Suku is an industry veteran with over 25 years of experience in business development, contract negotiation and strategic planning, buying and media assessment. He has worked with companies like Lintas, Colgate, JWT, Ogilvy, Unilever (Secondment) ABCL, Eenadu & Group M. 

At Group M, as national director, he set up Broadmind (Now GroupM ESP) from scratch into a significant contribution of entrepreneurs, revenues, profits and awards. The Broadmind Indian business model was regionally and globally recognised and adopted.  He moved to GroupM Singapore, overseeing the ESP division in a regional role covering 12 Asia Pac countries.

 “We are extremely excited about Suku’s appointment. At Aidem he will be a part of the core management team. His extensive knowledge and experience in the industry will strengthen Aidem’s business expansion strategy,” said Raj Nayak, managing director.  This appointment continues Aidem’s drive to provide its clients with experienced industry personal to support their projects.

Prior to this appointment M Suku  was with The Reliance ADA Group, one of India’s largest advertisers where he was the head of media and alliances.

 

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