Medical Coding Statistics and How It Helps in Public Health Improvement

Medical coding is like translation. People behind medical coding take medical reports and convert them into a set of codes. In a medical claim, these codes play a great role. In this article, we are going to take a look at medical coding and the relevant statistics. Read on to know more.

The Reason to Code Medical Reports

You may be wondering why we need to code medical reports. Isn't it enough to just describe the diagnoses, symptoms, and procedures? After all, these reports can be sent to an insurance company.

According to the reports released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over the past 12 months, there were more than 1.4 billion patients who visited hospitals. This includes patients who visit emergency rooms, outpatient facilities, and physician offices.

Suppose there are only 5 pieces of coded info against each visit. It would be a whopping 6 billion pieces of info that the professional would need to transfer each year. This estimate is unrealistically low, though. So, medical coding helps make it easier to transfer a lot of data.

Aside from this, coding helps you distribute the same documents between different medical facilities. For instance, the code of strep throat is the same whether you are in Hawaii or Arkansas. With the help of uniform data, you can perform research and analysis in an efficient manner. Health and government agencies make use of the info in order to keep an eye on health trends. For instance, if the CDC needs to analyze the spread of viral pneumonia, the ICD-10-CM code can help them.

Lastly, coding helps you find out if a treatment is effective. As a matter of fact, this is a lot more important for large facilities, such as hospitals.

Now, we should go ahead and find out more about 3 types of code. If you are a medical coder, you will find this information pretty useful.

Three Types of Code

ICD

ICD is short for the International Classification of Diseases. These diagnostic codes provide a uniform vocabulary to describe the possible causes of death, illness or injury. In the 1940s, the World Health Organization (WHO) established this code. Over the past 60 years, it's has been revised many times.

These codes help represent the diagnosis and the condition of the patient. As far as the billing process goes, these codes help professionals determine the necessity of medical treatment.

CPT

CPT is short for Current Procedure Terminology. These codes are used in order to document most of the medical procedures at a doctor's office. The American Medical Association (AMA) published and maintained this code. So, AMA reserves the copyrights and updates the codes on a yearly basis.

HCPCS

HCPCS refers to the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System. It's also known as "hick picks". Primarily, HCPCS codes correspond to equipment, procedures, and services that CPT codes don't cover, which includes medicines, drugs, ambulance rides, prosthetics, and medical equipment.

So, this was an introduction to medical coding. Hope you will find this guide helpful.

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Welcome To The World Of "Upside Down" Motorcycle Loans!

With the depreciation on motorcycles being so enormous after they are driven off the showroom floor, the potential for a buyer owing more on their motorcycle loan than the bike is worth it quite high. Owing more on your bike than it is worth is often referred to as the world of "up side down".

Many people finding themselves in this situation discover that financial lessons are sometimes the hardest and most expensive to learn. Motorcycle loans of more than 48 months (especially without a down payment) put you in the position of owing more than the value of the bike.

Let's take a look at this phenomenon.

First, the interest calculation your lender uses can make a big difference in your situation, especially in the first 18 months. There are two primary interest calculations, pre-computed (combined with rule of 78) and simple interest.

Pre-computed interest combined with Rule of 78, is typically the worst situation for a buyer because most of the interest is paid in the first 24 months. Therefore, in the first 24 months little of the monthly payment has gone towards paying down principal. If a buyer wishes to sell or trade in the motorcycle within this timeframe they will likely find themselves owing more than the bike is worth. Statistics show that the average owner trades in every 18-24 months.

Simple interest on the other hand, is much more favorable for buyers since interest accrues on the balance of the loan. However, buyers that extend their loans for greater than 48 months can still find themselves up side down with simple interest. This is especially true if a down payment is not made. The reason this occurs is that the motorcycle depreciates faster than the principal is paid; leaving the balance owed to the lender to be more than the bike can be sold for.

A common view that many people have is that they will just surrender their motorcycle to the lender if they are caught in an "up side down" position. If you are considering this option don't! Your worries do not just end after your bike is surrendered or repossessed; In fact they are just beginning. The lender will sell your bike at an auction for much less than it is worth. You will still owe the difference between the amount you owed on your loan and the amount the motorcycle sold for at auction. So if you owe $ 5000 and the bike sells for $ 1500, you still are responsible for owing the lender $ 3500. To make it worse lenders may tack on hefty auction fees which you will owe as well. So the net result is that you are now responsible for making monthly payments on a bike you can no longer ride.

So what steps can you take to prevent from being caught "up side down"?

1. Find a lender that uses simple interest. Avoid lenders that use pre-computed / Rule of 78 interest calculations.

2. Always try to put money down on your purchase.

3. Try to avoid motorcycle loans that extend past 36 months.

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How to find the Best Individual Health Insurance Plans

If you are after the best individual health insurance plan, you are likely looking for the best long term requirements of a coverage policy. First of all, it is not that easy to find the best individual health insurance plan which will ultimately meet all your needs.

The first step that you must take is to look for other plans that will enable you to realize its benefits in such an easy manner. With numerous diseases continually plaguing the environment, it is possible that you might lose your savings overnight on account of the numerous medical procedures and tests that will be necessary for your treatment. This is why it is very vital that you find the best individual health insurance plan that will invariably protect your savings in the near future.

Before locating the best health insurance provider or company, consider researching about the reliability quotient of your prospective insurance provider. For you to avail the best type of plan, check and review the company's market record and the number of years it has been in active operation. The length of its service is a manifestation as well as evidence of the company's credibility and dependability. You may also consult friends and family members who are also associated with other reliable companies.

Once you're done with your research and have surprisingly obtained a reliable and dependable mark from the company performance, send a request letter to the company and inquire about their best individual health insurance deal. Feed them with the necessary information about your personal requirements and let them find the perfect plan suitable for you.

Just before you close a deal, it is very important that you take the time to compare different rates. The insurance quotes that you will obtain from a specific company may not usually require you to sign up with them right away. Take your time in reviewing their terms and conditions.

Be sure that you follow the coverage policy as this will indicate that the insurance rates that have been offered to you are the best individual health insurance rates there are. Make sure to look over the health coverage expenses and needs that are provided. There are occasional scenarios where the cheapest and affordable plans are not always the best. Moreover, there is a need for you to look over the terms and conditions of the health coverage that are normally offered with the health plan. You might also obtain a bit of extra money to secure the best individual health insurance plan which has the ability to offer you comprehensive benefits, since these are financially beneficial after all.

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Does a Pharmacist Career Offer Flexibility?

Pharmacists play an important role in the healthcare field. They are trained in the dispensing of medications which requires an understanding of how drugs work such as drug interactions, the effects of the drugs on the body, dosages and strengths, and the side affects. As the role of pharmacists evolved in the healthcare industry, this medical career has become much more flexible and lucrative.

Pharmacists are now taking on more roles and responsibilities in the field of healthcare. They are involved in such areas as taking people blood pressure, performing tests for such conditions as diabetes, checking cholesterol levels, educating people on different medications (prescribed and non prescribed,) smoking cessation programs, diet and nutrition, weight loss programs, and other health and wellness programs.

There are many different places where a pharmacist can work. They can be found working in a variety of areas in hospitals. They assist physicians and other healthcare professionals with drug formulation and dispensing techniques. They will also be educating patients and families about medications and how they work. Pharmacists can also be found working for pharmaceutical companies. Their function is to research drugs to determine their effectiveness as well ensuring that drugs are safe for people.

Pharmacists can also work as sales representatives for a pharmaceutical company. You can also find pharmacists working in government institutions. They are normally employed in the area of ​​drug safety and education. They ensure that drugs submitted for approval for humans are safe. Compounding pharmacy is another area where pharmacists are employed. These pharmacies specialize in preparing drug for the unique needs of a particular patient. These drugs are not normally manufactured on a mass basis.

Pharmacists can also teach in Universities and Pharmacy Schools. There are also pharmacists that freelance. For instance, these pharmacists will travel to various locations and medical facilities to fill in for pharmacists who are on vacation or have to take a leave of absence for a personal or professional reason. It is a good choice for people who like to be self employed and love to travel.

There are also pharmacy positions in nursing homes, assisted living centers, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. A pharmacist can even train to work in the veterinary pharmaceutical field.

Pharmacy is a medical area where one can earn a very lucrative income. As well, one can take advantage of flexible work schedules, working with the community, and working in a variety of geographic locations and medical areas. When compared to other medical careers, pharmacy has a less stressful work environment.

A career in pharmacy is more than just filling and dispensing medical prescriptions. Pharmacists play a major role in all areas of the medical field. There are now many career options available for those seeking a career in pharmacy. Those who become pharmacists enjoy the flexibility that comes with choosing what medical area that they will gain employment. Pharmacy is a rewarding and lucrative healthcare career that is in great demand. If you enjoy working with people and enjoy science and medicine, working in pharmacy may be the career for you.

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5 Routine Bicycle Maintenance Tips To Extend the Life Of Your Bike

When you ride your bike a considerable amount of time, it’s a given that the cycle will eventually break down just from constant use. Tires pop frequently, pedals break, steering becomes misaligned and pedals break, among other things. While these breakdowns are sometimes inevitable, there are certain maintenance tips that can be performed to extend the life of the bike for the longest stretch possible:

Store the Bike Indoors

One of the biggest culprits to poor bicycle function is exposure to rain and snow. This moisture corrodes the moving parts of a bicycle which leads to a shorter life span and a less pleasant riding experience. Even storing a bike underneath shelter but in an uninsulated shed or under an awning could be hazardous to the chain, frame, and brakes of the bike. The easiest tip of maintenance is to store your bike in a climate controlled area when the weather turns.

Clean and Grease the Seat Post

There’s nothing more than seeing a perfectly functional and immaculate conditioned bike headed to the 2-wheel graveyard because of a seat post that no longer moves. If the seat is stuck in a comfortable position, it’s not that big of a deal but too many people have tried to hacksaw the post free only to make the frame unusable. The best way to make sure this doesn’t happen is with preventative maintenance in removing the seat every so often and cleaning and lubricating it.

Lubricate Moving Parts

Bike owners will come to find out that ball bearings, hubs, and other moveable parts can be a nuisance when they start to go bad. Those same owners will also find out (sometimes the hard way) that a $3.69 can of bicycle oil is all it takes to prevent these issues. When a bearing or pedal crankcase starts to fail, it causes connecting parts to overcompensate which results in more costly repairs than if a person would just lubricate their moving parts on a regular basis.

Clean the Bike

The odds are you’ll encounter a lot of dust, dirt, and debris on your ride no matter if you’re in the mountains or on the paved city trails. Instead of letting this grime settle and reaching into the cracks and crevices of your bike keep a clean towel where you park your ride and give it a good rub down at the end of the day. On the weekends when time permits, clean the bike thoroughly with dish detergent which also allows for an up-close inspection of parts that may be failing.

Keep Tires True

Out of balance tires can cause wear on other parts of the bike from the brake to the shifters and more. Keeping tires true is not a detailed process at all, it simply involves flipping the bike upside down and adjusting spokes either in or out back to center. This quick and easy task done once a month or so can save riding headaches in the long run.

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Startup Law 101 Series – Mistakes Founders Make – Misunderstanding Capitalization

The Issue – What It Means to Own "X% of the Company"

What does it mean that you own x% of a company?

Founders can get confused on this issue. Why? Because there are at least three possible points of reference by which to measure percentage ownership. It can be measured with reference to: (1) issued and outstanding shares only (the narrowest corporate measure); or (2) issued and outstanding shares as adjusted to reflect the maximum dilution possible from the exercise of all stock options and other contingent equity outstanding in the company (the "fully diluted" measure); or (3) authorized shares used as a working model of where a company board of directors believes the shareholders will be at some future date (the working model measure).

In its own way, each of these measures can legitimately be used by founders in discussing percentage ownership in a corporation. Problems can and do arise, though, when founders discuss this issue and take actions on it without thinking about which reference point they are using. Below I describe the problems this creates and note what to look for to minimize potential problems on this important issue.

What the Concept of "Authorized Shares" Means

When an entity is formed it is capitalized . This means that founders contribute cash or other assets to the entity and, in return, get an ownership interest in the entity. In a corporation, this ownership is evidenced by shares of stock. In an LLC, it is evidenced by a membership interest or perhaps by units evidencing such membership interest. Whether you get shares of stock or some form of ownership units, you will own a certain percent of the company as a whole.

In various contexts, this question – "what percent of the company do I own?" – can be significant. Sometimes a key person is promised x% of the company in exchange for some specific contribution. At the time of funding, founders are told that they will give up x% of their company to VCs in exchange for the dollar investment being made. When they are considering such issues, founders need to understand how this terminology is being used in order to avoid misunderstandings and potential problems.

We can explain how this works with either a corporation or an LLC. Let us use a corporation to illustrate the points.

When a corporation is formed, the charter document (articles or certificate of incorporation) specifies the number of "authorized shares."

The concept of "authorized shares" is an important one in corporate law. A corporation is a legal person. Being an artificial person, it acts through agents. There are shareholders, who own the corporation. There are directors, who sit as a board and manage it at the highest level. And there are officers, who conduct its day-to-day operations. Shareholders control the corporation by controlling the board, which in turn makes the most important decisions for the corporation. Having been put in place by the shareholders, the board is responsible for making all key decisions that are out of the ordinary course of the day-to-day business operations of the company. One of these decisions is whether to issue stock to various persons and on what terms and conditions to do so.

Got that.

The shareholders control the board.

The board determines what stock to issue and to whom and on what terms.

But the board must always act in the best interests of the corporation and its shareholders. Those who sit as directors on such a board have what the law calls a "fiduciary duty" to exercise the highest good faith and diligence to promote the interests of those shareholders.

To protect the shareholders, as the ultimate owners of the corporation, the corporate law sets an outer bound on what the board can do in issuing stock: the board can always vote to issue stock from the pool of shares authorized by the shareholders (or, initially, by the incorporator) for this purpose. It cannot exceed that bound. This rule protects the shareholders of a corporation from dilution of their ownership interest beyond the limits they have authorized.

So let's recap again.

The shareholders control the board.

The board determines what stock to issue and to whom and on what terms.

In issuing shares, the board is ultimately limited in what it can issue by the number of shares previously authorized by the shareholders for this purpose – that is, the board's authority to issue shares is ultimately capped by the number of authorized shares in the corporation .

This is important. The concept of "authorized" shares plays a vital role in corporate life by giving the shareholders an ultimate say on ownership issues in the corporation. But (and this is a big but), except when considered conceptually as the basis of a working model used for planning purposes only, the authorized-share concept has nothing whatever to do with what percentage of ownership interest any shareholder has at any given time .

Issued and Outstanding Shares as the Strict Corporate Measure

It is time for our first quiz.

You form a corporation and, as incorporator, designate 10 million as the number of authorized shares, all common stock.

You appoint yourself as the sole director and, acting as such, authorize 5 million shares to be issued to you as the sole shareholder. You pay for the shares and cause the corporation to issue them to you.

So, 10 million shares authorized and 5 million issued to you. What percent of the company do you own?

That's right, you own 100%.

It is not, "I own 5 million of the 10 million authorized" and therefore 50% of the company. Remember, authorized shares have nothing to do with actual ownership at any given time in the corporation's history. Only the issued shares count toward this purpose.

So, you own 5 million shares out of a total issued of 5 million and hence 100% of the company.

Let us extend the example. Say you have a co-founder who received 1 million shares at the same time as you got your 5 million.

What percent of the company do you own?

Now there are 6 million shares issued and outstanding. You own 5 million out of that total. Therefore, you own 5 / 6ths of the company, or approximately 83.3%. Your co-founder, in turn, owns 1 million out of the 6-million total, or 1 / 6th, or approximately 16.7%.

Again, none of this is calculated with reference to the 10 million shares authorized for this company. It is technically wrong, as a matter of corporate law, to say that you own 50% of the company in this example because you own 5 million out of the 10 million shares authorized, and it is equally wrong to say that your co-founder owns 10% in owning 1 million out of the 10 million authorized. Yet people will sometimes refer to the authorized shares as the basis for saying how much they or others own in a company and, when rightly considered, this has a certain logic to it. Let us consider, then, how this comes up.

A Potential Ambiguity from Using a Working Model as a Point of Reference

Let us now extend the example further and assume that you promise a key person who will be joining up with you and your co-founder that he will get 2% of your company if he does this or that.

In technical terms under corporate law, what is it that you have promised when you make such a statement? Well, there are 6 million shares issued, 5 to you and 1 to your co-founder. If you take 2% of the 10 million authorized shares, your key person would get 200,000 shares. But 200,000 in relation to the 6 million shares issued (plus 200,000 to be issued) is not a 2% ownership interest but rather about 3.2% (200,000 / 6,200,000). In technical terms, the 2% interest would be just over 120,000 shares (120,000 / 6,120,000 equals just under 2%).

While this is the technically accurate outcome, it is true that most parties, when discussing what "2% of the company" would mean in the above example, would likely think of the number 200,000. Why? Because they know that a corporation, or at least one functioning as an entity for a startup business, does not sit stagnant. It operates according to a working model.

In authorizing 10 million shares, you likely are working on the assumption that the 10 million shares will eventually be issued. You might even be thinking something like this: OK, 6 million shares to the founders, 2 million for an equity pool to be issued to key people, and 2 million for future investors. Hence, based on your working model, the correct way of interpreting "2% of the company" would be 200,000 shares, even though this would be wrong under strict rules of corporate law.

In a sense, both views are right. One measures the 2% with reference to existing shareholdings and the other with reference to anticipated shareholdings in the company.

It is precisely for this reason that founders get into trouble by making promises like "I will give you 2% of the company," at least if they don't clarify what they mean. Technically, under corporate law, this would mean just over 120,000 shares in our example. But if the recipient says he understood it as being measured with reference to the company working model, you have a problem and maybe even a lawsuit on your hands.

Issued and Outstanding Shares as Measured on a Fully-Diluted Basis

Let us shift to a different example to explain this further.

You have 10 million shares authorized, 4 million shares issued to founders, 2 million to investors who hold preferred stock convertible into common at a 1 to 1 ratio, and a total of 1 million stock options issued, none of which have yet been exercised. You are one of the founders and you own 1 million shares.

What percent of the company do you own?

Well, you clearly have 6 million shares issued and outstanding (4 to founders and 2 to investors). Does this mean you own 1 million out of the 6 total, or 1 / 6th, or just a shade under 16.7%. The answer is: yes and no.

Yes, in technical corporate terms. If your company were acquired in just that instant, and nothing in the acquisition made the options exercisable and none of the options were or could be exercised as of the closing date of the acquisition, you would share in exactly 1 / 6th of the total proceeds . If the company were acquired for $ 6 million cash, net of expenses, you would get exactly $ 1 million for your shares.

But no, not really. Because, while the above presents an accurate picture of what might happen in a particular instant of corporate time, the options in reality will likely become exercisable over the course of time and will or at least may be exercised in whole or in part. Indeed, the very point of issuing options is to provide incentives for key people. If they were not exercisable, that would defeat the point.

Therefore, you need to figure options (and all other contingent equity rights, such as warrants) into the equation to determine what percent of a company you really own. The technical term for taking all these into account is to say that you own "x% of a company on a fully-diluted basis."

If we look at our example using the "fully-diluted basis" measure, then, you would own 1 million out of a total of 7 million shares either issued and outstanding or issued contingently and capable of being converted into shares in the future. Thus, you would own 1 / 7th of the company, or just a shade under 14.3%.

Does this mean that you might not actually get a higher percentage should an acquisition occur before all those options and other contingent interests were all exercised? Almost undeniably, you would get some higher percentage interest in most real-world situations.

Why? Because options typically require vesting and not all holders of options will vest in full. Thus, some options will simply be lost to their holders and would hence be subtracted from future computations of the "fully-diluted" capitalization of the company. Still other options will not have acceleration provisions attached to them and will not be vested (and hence not exercisable) at the time of any acquisition.

While the exact outcome is in flux, this arises from the nature of the equity interests in a dynamic startup and not from the measure itself. The fully-diluted measure is in fact the most accurate way of assessing the percent of a company that one has at any given time.

Let us again recap regarding the available measures for measuring percentage ownership in a company. In our first example above, we identified two reference points that might create ambiguity in how a shareholder might understand his percentage of company ownership: his holdings might be measured with reference to issued and outstanding shares only or it might be measured with reference to the company working model. To this we must now add yet a third one (the fully-diluted measure): shares can be measured with reference to the total of all shares, option rights, and other contingent rights outstanding in a company by assuming that all such contingent rights have been converted into shares.

How Capitalization Is Measured in VC Funding Deals and the Potential for Confusion by Founders

Now let go one step further to see how VCs measure capitalization at the time they make their investments.

VCs will typically take preferred stock but the nature of the stock they receive is not relevant to our illustration if we consider that their preferred stock will ultimately be convertible 1 for 1 into common stock (which we will assume here).

Let us go back to our example with 10 million authorized shares. You are a founding team holding 4 million shares total, which you issued to yourselves at trivial pricing at the time of company formation. Now you negotiate with the VCs a $ 6 million "pre-money" valuation for your company. They are prepared to invest $ 4 million in a Series A round. When added to the pre-money valuation, this gives the company a value "post-money" of $ 10 million. The VCs will pay $ 1 per share for their stock based on these valuations. They get 4 million shares for their $ 4 million.

In this example, the founders have 4 million shares, the VCs have 4 million shares, and the remaining 2 million shares out of the authorized total are designated as being set aside for an equity pool of shares to be issued to key people as incentives.

Now, it is the near-universal rule among startups to treat this scenario as one in which the founders "get 40% of the company," the VCs "get 40% of the company," and the remaining 20% ​​is reserved for equity incentives.

This type of assessment is accurate if we assume that such percentage computations are calculated with reference to the working model negotiated between the founders and the VCs for this investment.

And there is, of course, nothing wrong with such an assessment. It is exactly what the parties have in mind when they make such a deal. Indeed, every such deal is accompanied by a sophisticated "cap table" that spells out the company capitalization in intricate detail, factoring everything possible that might contribute to the ultimate dilution of the total shares.

Yet great confusion typically results from this method of figuring and discussing capitalization.

Why? Because, in reality, under corporate law, the founding team that just did this deal has given up 50% of its company, not the 40% discussed with the VCs under the working model.

When control issues are discussed, you have in this case a classic case of shared control because each group holds an identical interest, just as in any 50-50 situation.

If, by some miracle, the company were to be acquired the day after the Series A closing in this example, the VCs would get 50% of the net proceeds of the sale, not 40%.

If part of the negotiated terms included giving the VCs the right to designate an outside CEO who would get a large grant of stock as part of his compensation, the control would shift immediately and decisively to the VC side. They would not need a full 10% shift, as might be implied from the idea that they hold a 40% interest. They would need only the slightest shift to hold just a bit more than 50% and increase gain control.

I do not raise these issues to imply perfidy on the part of VCs. The deals so structured are legitimate ones. The parties know what they are doing and specifically negotiate them in just such a fashion, each to attempt to achieve its goals. And those goals are by no means seen as adversarial at their core. All parties see the structure as one by which they can work together to their mutual benefit. The investors have as much right to protect their investment as founders do to protect their position. In reality, each side works cooperatively with the other while taking formal steps to protect itself from potential abuse. This makes sense and is a healthy outcome for all concerned. Issues Such as control are often negotiated in great detail and there are often agreed-upon terms specifying who will get what board seats and the like.

What I do mean to say here, though, is that founders need to understand the full implications of what they are doing when they do such deals. In the example just cited, they are not giving up 40% of their company but 50%. Yes, if it all plays out and the equity pool is ultimately exhausted, it will turn out to be 40%, as each of the 50-50 players will be progressively diluted to 40% as the pool shares are issued and converted into stock.

As a founder, by all means, do such deals when they meet your interests and those of your company. Just understand their implications. Should you encounter an unscrupulous VC firm under such an arrangement, you may find yourself out in the cold long before the equity pool is exhausted and your founding team's theoretical interest diluted to 40%. Once control is lost, moreover, any shares you own that are subject to vesting would likely be forfeited if a coup occurred and your service relationship with the company arbitrarily terminated.

Do the deals, then, but understand the risks. A good VC firm will add value far beyond its money investment. A bad one can cause problems far beyond the dollar impact of its investment. When you make assumptions about who owns what percent of a company, and who can do what as a result of that ownership, you need to know which shares count and which are only part of a working model that do not count toward ownership under corporate law as measured on the day the VC round closes.

Conclusion

We have reviewed various scenarios of what it means to "own x% of the company." As you have seen, the phrase can mean different things to different people, depending on whether it is being measured by actual shares issued, by such shares when "fully diluted," or by a working model that makes assumptions about what shares will be issued in the future. All are legitimate modes of measurement, depending on the situation. Just make sure you understand which is being used when you assess your own interest and the interests being granted by your company to key people and to investors. If you fail to do so, you may get into trouble.

Of course, don't forget to check with a good business lawyer on all such cases. The decisions will always be yours but you should make them with open eyes. A good attorney will help immeasurably on such issues. Don't neglect this resource.

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Information Regarding the African Lion

A massively powerful animal, the African Lion weighs in the range of four hundred and fifty to five hundred and fifty pounds for healthy adult males whereas females are usually in the range of three hundred to three hundred and fifty pounds. Length is between six to eight feet for males and five to six feet for females, excluding a near three foot tail. Significantly bigger individuals have been recorded though. The largest wild lion ever weighed was close to seven hundred pounds. In captivity a specimen of well over eight hundred pound is documented. Height at shoulders is close to four feet for males and three and a half feet for females.

The lion's coat is tawny in coloration and plain. Fur is short and somewhat coarse. Males are distinguished by their big mane that covers head, neck and part of belly and back. The mane is pale in coloration initially and goes through shades to golden to black as the lion ages. A black colored full mane signifies a mature lion with good breeding potential and is often preferred by lionesses for a partner.

In some parts of Africa, including Senegal and notably Tsavo, Kenya, maneless male lions are recorded, possibly in adaptation for the thorny habitat of that regions. Overall the built is muscular for both sexes. Lionesses are more athletic since it allows them to excel in hunting, their primary role in the pride. Male lions are bulkier since the added weight and strength allows them to fight off intruders and defend the pride's territory.

Weapons include sharp claws and near three inch canines. Jaws are powerful and skull is bigger than any other cat specie. Eyes are set in front as in case of most land predators rather than on sides as in case of prey. The field of vision that is so essential for prey animals to look out for hunters comes with widely set eyes. This visual field is compromised in favor of better depth perception and binocular vision in lions that comes with relatively narrowly placed eyes, that aid them in judging distance from prey for pouncing upon it. Tail has a tuft of hair that covers the spine at the tip of tail. Belly skin is loose and shields the internal organs from viscous kicks of hunted ungulates during a kill.

Social cats, African Lions are apex and keystone predators. They live and hunt together, increasing the chances of success and survival for themselves and their cubs during harsh seasons. Lionesses do the bulk of hunting by laying a sort of organized trap for the hunted. Each lioness performs a specific role in this form of group hunting. Usually the weak and old are chosen and isolated from the herds. Then one or two lionesses expose themselves by breaking cover and charging at prey. The panicked animals take off and usually end up in jaws of a waiting lioness in their flight. A suffocating hold is placed by biting at the neck of smaller prey or covering the mouth and nose of larger prey.

In contrast with previous beliefs, it is now estimated that male lions take part in up to fifty to sixty percent of all hunts, being of particular use in taking down larger prey like buffalo. Other animals taken are of a vast variety depending upon the type and abundance of prey animals in a particular territory. These include eland, gemsbok, hartebeest, impala, kudu, warthog, wildebeest and zebra. At times even giraffes and the young of rhinos, hippos and elephants are killed. Opportunistic predators, lions will hunt and eat anything in times of need including carrion. Some lions in Botswana have been filmed killing elephants after a period of severe drought. Calves were regularly taken and sometimes so adults under cover of darkness.

African Lions are at the top of food chain in African Savannah and do not refrain from wiping out competition if opportunity presents. Conflict with spotted hyenas are common who are often able to intimidate lionesses and cubs owing to their greater numbers, but suffer heavily when they come in contact with males. Adult male lions have been witnessed displaying rather savage behavior towards hyenas on occasions, actively chasing and killing off adult and the young of hyenas. At times lions have been recorded scavenging off hyena kills. Interspecies conflict with other big cats also occurs and African Lions often kill leopards and cheetahs and their young, possibly to ward off competition.

A number of subspecies of lions are recognized, based upon their area of ​​distribution in Africa.

Panthera Leo Azandica (North East Congo lion) – North-eastern Congo

Panthera Leo Bleyenberghi (Southwest African or Katanga lion) – South-Western Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Angola, Katanga (Zaire), Zambia and Zimbabwe

Panthera Leo Krugeri (Southeast African or Transvaal lion) – Transvaal region of South eastern Africa, including Kruger National Park

Panthera Leo Nubica (East African or Massai lion) – East Africa from Ethiopia and Kenya to Tanzania and Mozambique

Panthera Leo Senegalensis (West African lion) – Western Africa from Senegal to Nigeria

Territorial cats, African Lions live in pride areas of up to tens of square miles depending upon the concentration of lions and prey in a particular region. Males regularly patrol the territory, marking it with scent from their paws and urine. At dusk and dawn they roar to establish their presence and warn off intruders. The roar is loudest among cats and can be heard up to a distance of five miles. A pride consists of one to four males and up to a dozen or more of females and young cubs. Females are generally related to each other and usually stay in a pride for the duration of their life whereas young males are kicked off by adults when they are between two to three years old. These young males then pursue a nomadic lifestyle, forming coalitions with other solitary males and hunting and surviving on their own. When they are four to five years old they are capable of taking over a pride of their own.

Next they move into the domain of resident males of an established pride and attempt to take over the territory and lionesses. This often results in a bloody and at times fatal battle. If the resident males lose out, they slink away and the nomads are quick to kill any cubs sired by previous males. This brings the females into estrus. The new males also kill or drive away any young males. The take over is often brutal and sometimes takes months.

After the lionesses have finally settled down, the new males have only a period of two to three years on average to produce cubs of their own that can successfully reach adulthood and propagate their genetic line before they are ousted as well. Females come into estrus year round and produce a litter of two to three cubs after a pregnancy lasting between three to four months. The young learn hunting by one year and are fully independent by two years of age. Maturity is reached by four years in females and five years in case of males. Lifespan is between twelve to fifteen years in the wild and around twenty five years in captivity.

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Holly Amgren: The "Daring to Feel Everything" Interview

With her latest CD, "Daring to Feel Everything," Holly Almgren shares and masterfully evokes reflections, life experiences, and emotions in a rhythmic and fun way. The unforgettable collection of tracks she has assembled is unprecedented. Critics say the songs are rhythmic, the lyrics matter, and the melodies linger, so the early rave reviews from listeners are no surprise. Holly's experiences earlier in life groomed her for the success and creative expression she enjoys today. Recently, I spoke with Holly. We discussed her genesis, her love and passion for music, and of course, her latest release, "Daring to Feel Everything."

F. Briggs: Good Morning, Holly. Thank you for meeting with me. And, congratulations on your new album, Daring to Feel Everything.

Holly Almgren: Thanks so much for having me, Fran. It's exciting to be able to talk about this project to a broader audience.

F. Briggs: You're quite welcome. Could you share with us about your background?

Holly Almgren: I played guitar, sang, wrote poetry from the age of 10. I used to sit in trees and sing … imagining a crowd of people gathered to listen to me. My dad was musical and exposed me to jazz and bossa nova, he took an interest in what i was playing and listening to. I started performing and writing music in my 20's, although I had stage fright and was more at ease composing and singing in studio than in front of an audience. I made my first album of original songs during that time. It was arranged and produced by pianist / composer, Kit Walker in Boston, with Stan Strickland again on reeds.

I've been writing songs for 30-plus years. Growing up, my family listened to a wide range of music – from (Burt) Bacharach and Jobim, to the great jazz singers like Ella, Sarah, Nina, Billie, Nat, Johnny Hodges; show tunes from West Side Story, The King & I, the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, and Bonnie Raitt. As a teen I also got into the blues, soul and motown: BB King, Otis Spann, Taj Mahal, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire, Sly & the Family Stone, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke. My eclectic musical tastes influence my songwriting. At 30 I moved to NYC hoping to write music for film and jingles, but the cost of living made me return to being a chef.

I moved back to Boston at 40 to marry and have a child, and my songwriting started to pick up steam. I was performing again here and there, and planning a CD five years ago when my dad was dying and my mom needed help caring for him. He always said do what you love because you spend too much of your life working not to love it. I knew it was time to take my music to the next level. We didn't know it, but my mom had cancer. She died two years later. As if that wasn't enough turmoil, my husband fell in love with someone else and our marriage fell apart. Painful, but good song fodder – and it propelled me to go for it with my songs. (In) January, 2010, a mutual friend suggested I hire JD Steele to produce my CD. We hit it off, liked each other's music, agreed to do the project & started recording that March in Minneapolis, with a fantastic rhythm section including his brother Billy Steele (Sounds of Blackness) on piano. We finished in late summer.

F. Briggs: If you had to review Daring to Feel Everything in a few sentences, what would you say?

Holly Almgren: 13 of the 14 songs were written by me. So Satisfied was the first song JD & I wrote together, finishing it on the plane to our final session. He produced & arranged the vocal harmonies, as well as sang backing vocals with Maria Benson. The CD is autobiographical, the product of a lot of improvisation among the musicians (who play together often), guided by JD's and my sense of the groove we wanted. The songs are rhythmic, the lyrics matter, the melodies linger, so I've been told. Sometimes I call my style Buddhist jazz-funk but there are always exceptions when you try to pin down your sound. I like that. Diversity in all things makes life more meaningful.

F. Briggs: One of your tracks is titled, Nobody Eats Us. Could you explain how the title was conceived and what the lyrics are conveying?

Holly Almgren: I love Nobody Eats Us because it's deep, outrageous, and takes people by surprise. I was feeling such despair and righteous anger about the human race – what we're doing to each other, the animals, and planet. I was learning about predator / prey balance. My mom had just died of cancer, which is your cells consuming each other. The heavier the topic, the funnier and upbeat I make the lyrics and music, otherwise it's too dark. The song speaks of our being at the top of the food chain, wasteful, and killing everything including ourselves. We haven't had a predator since the dinosaurs and we have become so unconscious and arrogant. AIDS, cancer and diabetes are widespread, not to mention obesity.

People have lost the capacity for satiety, have become addicted to stuffing themselves even though it's killing them, and they're teaching the habit to their children. ( We eat and eat and eat, we eat ourselves! ). But, I love people and being human. I practice vipassana, a style of Buddhist meditation. The core of the teaching is about cultivating loving kindness with ourselves and others as we aspire to end suffering for all sentient beings. Being a mom who read a lot of Dr. Seuss to my son, I chuckle every time I sing Nobody eats us! We ain't no green eggs and ham .

F. Briggs: Thank you so much for taking the time to share today, Holly. I certainly enjoyed my time with you.

Holly Almgren: It was my pleasure, Fran. Thanks! It was fun. Daring to Feel Everything is available to sample or purchase at http://cdbaby.com/Artist/HollyAlmgren .

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Fibroids And Apple Cider Vinegar – Will This Work To Shrink Fibroids?

There is a lot of talk about fibroids and apple cider vinegar (ACV) and how ACV can help to shrink fibroids naturally. ACV is one of the most commonly recommended natural remedies for many diseases and conditions. One of the reasons it is a common natural remedy is because it is commonly available in most kitchens, is relatively inexpensive and there are little to no side effects. Despite there being little if any scientific research to support the many health claims of using ACV, this is still a common natural remedy.

Apple Cider Vinegar

As a natural remedy, many people tout the benefits of ACV for a variety of ailments such as diabetes, weight loss, heartburn, psoriasis, dry skin, dry scalp, dry hair, constipation, high cholesterol, nail and ear fungus, arthritis, dandruff , deodorant, kidney stones, warts, jock itch, yeast infection, etc. While there is little to no scientific proof that ACV may work for many of these ailments, you can find many positive testimonials from people who have used ACV to treat any number of ailments.

One thing to remember about scientific research as it relates to many natural remedies is that there is no incentive for vast amounts of money to be spent on researching remedies such as ACV because it will not be possible to patent ACV since it is readily available.

Fibroids and Apple Cider Vinegar

The acidic nature of ACV may explain its effectiveness against many ailments and why it is considered antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral but it also contains various vitamins and minerals that our bodies need as well as enzymes and very important anti-inflammatory properties all of which can help to fight various ailments.

Many Eastern practitioners believe that sickness and disease including fibroids are caused by an acidic nature in the body and helping the body become more alkaline can help to fight off various diseases and conditions and create a healthier body.

It is very important to note that while the acidic nature of ACV is touted for the healing properties when used topically, when taken internally, ACV actually has an alkaline effect in the body by helping to raise the pH level from an acidic one to a more alkaline one which can help the body become healthier.

Toxins in the body can also increase the risk of developing various diseases and conditions including the development of fibroid tumors. Another of the benefits of ACV is that it helps to detoxify the body. Being overweight is another risk factor for fibroid development and ACV can help with weight loss which indirectly helps to fight off various weight related diseases and conditions including fibroids.

These health benefits and many more related to ACV is why many women with fibroids commonly tout its ability to shrink fibroids naturally even in the absence of scientific proof.

How to use apple cider vinegar for fibroids

There isn't a set dosage but many women take one tablespoon or two teaspoons of ACV per day. Because consuming neat ACV (undiluted) can wear at the tooth enamel as well as cause burns to the sensitive areas of the throat and mouth, it is recommended to mix it in a liquid. Most people commonly mix ACV with about 8 ounces of water, tea or milk (soy, almond milk, etc, are better than dairy milk especially for those with fibroids).

Another precaution with ACV is to stay away from ACV supplements because some studies have shown that these supplements can permanently damage the tissue in the esophagus.

Best apple cider vinegar for fibroids

The first recommendation is to of course use ACV and not other types of vinegar (eg white vinegar) because ACV is made from apples which is why it contains most of the vitamins, minerals and trace minerals that our bodies need to be healthy. Other types of vinegar such as white vinegar do not contain a lot of these properties.

Another point to remember is that there are varying processes that are used to make ACV many of which can eliminate most of the beneficial properties of ACV. This is why most of those sold in grocery stores should be avoided for internal use because they are lacking in healthful properties.

The best apple cider vinegar to use as a natural remedy is that which is made from organic apples, that is raw, unfiltered and fermented using traditional methods (unpasteurized). It should also state that it includes the "mother" which is where most of the healthful properties of apple cider vinegar reside.

You can make your own ACV if you do not have easy access to good quality ACV. There are many recipes that you can find online on how to make ACV.

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7 Medical Benefits of Marijuana

In this article, we are going to talk about a few medical benefits of marijuana that you can enjoy if you have a medical prescription. In other words, we are going to shed some light on the positives on the basis of scientific research. Marijuana is not recommended for recreational purposes.

According to researchers, the herb can help with the treatment of absent-mindedness, malaria, gout, and rheumatism, just to name a few. Now, let's talk about some of the prominent benefits of this herb.

1. Cancer Treatment

According to a study published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, marijuana can help fight cancer. Another study found that CBD can also curb the growth of cancer cells in the body.

The researchers at the American Association for Cancer Research say that the herb does a good job of slowing down the growth of tumors in the lungs, breasts, and brain.

2. Prevents Alzheimer's Disease

CBD has a powerful ingredient called THC that helps control the Alzheimer's disease, says the research that was done at the Scripps Research Institute. Also, THC can curb the growth of amyloid plaques as it tends to block the plaque-producing enzymes. You may get Alzheimer's disease if your brain cells get killed by the plaques.

3. Treats Glaucoma

CBD may also help treat glaucoma. Actually, marijuana reduces pressure in your eyes, which helps protect your eyeball.

4. Relieves Arthritis

According to a 2011 research study, researchers concluded that cannabis can help patients get rid of pain and swelling. As a result, patients with rheumatoid arthritis can get enough sleep.

5. Treats Epileptic Seizure

Another study done in 2003 found that the herb can be used to treat epileptic seizures as well. An experiment done on rats gave enough evidence that CBD does prevent seizures for up to 10 hours. Actually, THC binds the cells in the brain that are responsible for triggering seizures.

6. Helps with Parkinson's Disease

Many studies were done in Israel to find out the benefits of marijuana for patients with Parkinson's disease. The study found that the drug can help ease the pain, which helps patients improve their sleep. The patients consumed the herb also enjoyed better motor skills.

7. Helps with Crohn's Disease

Cannabis is also a good choice for patients with Crohn's disease. This disease causes pain and inflammation in the intestines. Patients also experience pain, weight loss, diarrhea, and nausea.

In Israel, studies were done to find out if this disease can be controlled with cannabis. And the results were positive. More than 90% of the participants who smoked marijuana experienced fewer symptoms.

Long story short, if more research is done, we may come to know about a lot of other benefits of this herb as well. For now, we can say that CBD has some benefits as far as the treatment of the abovementioned diseases is concerned. However, we don't recommend that you smoke or use this herb in any form without a valid medical prescription. Hope this helps.

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