February 2019

From the Editor

By Carlos Fuentes

Happy New Year to section members and friends. We start the year with three articles that have touched lives, perhaps including ours, in several ways. Did you overcome adversity to be where you are now? Do you owe your success to a family member who made sacrifices for you? It happens to some, and it happens to actuaries as well. But once you became successful were you tempted or forced to work to the point of burnout? Maybe you thought that burning out was a pre-condition for success. If so, you are not alone. You are also not alone in dealing with the unpleasant and sometimes serious consequences of overextending yourself. What can be done to live a productive and balanced life in the long-term? Two of our articles focus on these questions.

Let’s assume that you are successful and have avoided burning out. You still may have been a victim of health care billing fraud. There’s a chance you have been because even if all your bills are correct, the insurance premium you pay reflects accurate and accurate billed charges. This and other topics are covered in this issue.

Here’s the complete lineup:

  • “Breaking the Poverty Cycle Through Education.” It is often said that education is one of the best ways to improve our lives. In this article, José Fidel Castañeda candidly illustrates this point using his own life as an example while drawing important lessons learned from the school of life. A must read for young actuaries and for anybody with a goal.
  • “Burnout—There is no App for That.” You’ll find few articles that tell a non-fashionable truth. The fact of the matter is that the macho attitude that leads inexorably to burnout should be seen as a problem to avoid, not as a rite of passage. Author Kosta Ligris makes this point clear, outlines the long-term consequence of burnout and suggests practical ways to avoid the trap that many incorrectly see as a requisite to success.
  • “Recent Developments in the Health Care Market.” This is an edited version of a conference given by author Michael Frank at the Government Finance Officer’s Association in New York City on Dec. 6, 2018. The focus of the article is on billing fraud, which is more common than most of us would guess, and the financial consequences of it affect our pocket a great deal.

If you have comments about the articles or ideas on how to improve our newsletter, or ideas for our section, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are already working on the May issue of Innovators & Entrepreneurs, which can be even better if you share articles or ideas. We hope to hear from you.

Carlos Fuentes, FSA, MAAA is president at Axiom Actuarial Consulting. He can be reached at carlos-fuentes@axiom-actuarial.com