Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘profitability’

Draught Raises Corn Price, Milk Profits fall, Cows get Slaughtered

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Regardless whether global climate change is man-made, or cyclical… it’s going to affect us all, and we would be wise to DO SOMETHING to PRESERVE, PROTECT and DEFEND ourselves NOW!

Milk-Cow Drought Culling Accelerates as Prices Jump: Commodities

U.S. milk production is headed for the biggest contraction in 12 years as a drought-fueled surge in feed costs drives more cows to slaughter.

Output will drop 0.5 percent to 198.9 billion pounds (90.2 million metric tons) in 2013 as the herd shrinks to an eight- year low, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. Milk futures rose 45 percent since mid-April and may advance at least another 19 percent to a record $25 per 100 pounds by June, said Shawn Hackett. The president of Boynton Beach, Florida-based Hackett Financial Advisers Inc. correctly predicted the rally in March.

Dairies in California, the top milk-producing state, are filing for bankruptcy, and U.S. cows are being slaughtered at the fastest rate in more than a quarter century. Corn surged to a record in August as the USDA forecast the smallest crop in six years because of drought across the U.S. Global dairy prices tracked by the United Nations rose 6.9 percent last month, the most among the five food groups monitored, and that will probably mean record costs next year, Rabobank estimates.

“Farmers can’t afford to buy as much grain and protein, and that affects milk production,” said Bob Cropp, an economist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison who has been following the industry since 1966. “In California, there’ve been some foreclosures and some sell-off of cows quite heavily. You’re going to see that in other parts of the country.”

Mercantile Exchange

Class III milk, used to make cheese, jumped 22 percent to $21.05 on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange this year. That’s more than 21 of the 24 commodities in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index, which rose 1.8 percent. The MSCI All-Country World Index (MXWD) of equities climbed 12 percent, and Treasuries Read the rest of this entry »

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Q: Why do hospitals charge $75 for aspirin? A: Because they can.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It was once a long-standing joke that hospitals charged outrageous prices on medicines.

It’s not a joke anymore.

Once, a healthcare joke went like this:
Q: What’s the difference between a HMO, a PPO and the PLO?

A: You can negotiate with the PLO.

It’s not a joke anymore.

It should also be noted that a study conducted 26 years go by Jack D. McCue, Charles Hansen, and Peter Gal entitled “Hospital Charges for Antibiotics” found that:

“Hospital charges for intravenous antibiotics were obtained in a survey of 71 hospitals in 25 U.S. cities. Only 56.3% of the hospitals used their actual drug acquisition cost to calculate patient charges; the remainder used a base price derived from one of the wholesale price guides, which often seriously overstate the cost of antibiotics. Sixty-eight percent added a markup, averaging 134.5%, and 63.4% added a dispensing fee, averaging $5.47. A relatively high-dose, single-antibiotic regimen costs patients $50-$150 per day, independent of dose-preparation charges (average, $9.09 per dose) for a piggyback-type system or intravenous line-related charges. Antibiotics were least expensive in large hospitals and in those located in the northeastern United States. Charges for antibiotics are often inconsistently calculated, vary enormously among hospitals, and may be unfair to patients and confusing to physicians. Cost-conscious prescribing of antibiotics by physicians would be facilitated by a more consistent relationship between charges and true costs.”

That 1985 study may be found here.

The reader should also understand that in a hospital, ALL medications are administered by prescription only… even aspirin.

Cost Spotlight: A 443% Markup on Prescription Drugs

Kaiser Health News/USA Today shines a spotlight on increasing hospital costs specifically the price markup of over-the-counter and prescription drugs hospitals administer to patients.  The story examines Read the rest of this entry »

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