Engineering Inc. - July/August 2007 - (Page 4)

NEWS & NoTES ALTRE N do ImAGES/GE TTY Im AGES New Insurer to Provide Better Health Care Benefits For Members, ACEC Life/Health Trust Says eginning Aug. 1, UnitedHealthcare will be the official health care insurer of the ACEC Life/Health Insurance Trust (L/HIT). Employees of approximately 1,400 member firms who currently are insured under L/HIT programs will be affected. The decision to replace current providers—Trustmark and HealthPlan Services—with UnitedHealthcare will result in a substantial improvement in benefits to members, said ACEC Life/ Health Insurance Trust Chairman Michael W. Springstead, vice president of Springstead Engineering, Inc. in Leesburg, Fla. “This was a well thought out process. We liked how things were going with the current insurer, but felt a responsibility to look for ways to improve coverage and value for our members,” Springstead said. “We are confident that this is the right decision for our member firms and their employees.” Springstead called the programs and services available from UnitedHealthcare far more comprehensive than the current provider. “It’s a larger company that will provide better options and more cost effectiveness for members through its network and leading-edge technology,” he said. One of the apparent benefits is the consolidation of various health care services, which now will be grouped under one company. “We basically were a prime contractor with 10 vendors, each with its own profit center, requiring complicated  ENGINEERING INC. JULY / AUGUST 2007 B and expensive integration solutions. “UnitedHealthcare also provides tools and easy access to health care quality and cost information that will help members make better and more conscious health care decisions,” Springstead said. “Overall, we believe this change will allow us to better engage employees in heath care decision making while reducing health care costs.” Questions regarding this transition can be directed to Pat Feyen, ACEC Life/Health Insurance Trust president at or 972-370-9480. Specific questions from member firms and their agents and brokers also can be directed to rapid_response@uhc. com. The ACEC Life/Health Insurance Trust is an independent program that offers insurance benefits to member firms. The Trust is overseen by a Board of Trustees that includes, in addition to Springstead, Philip Budde of Strand Associates, Inc., Madison, Wis.; Roger Jacobson of Engineering Associates, Cody, Wyo.; Derrell Johnson (trustee emeritus), Southlake, Texas; Ray Messer of Walter P. Moore & Associates, Inc., Houston; Gordon Meurer of Meurer & Associates, Inc., Lakewood, Colo.; and Steve Mincey of DES Architects + Engineers in Redwood City, Calif. The ACEC L/HIT has established a new website to provide information on the upcoming transition. To access the new website go to http://www.uhcto ore than six months after new federal rules went into effect requiring all U.S. businesses to track and archive all electronic corporate communications, including employee e-mail, a new report suggests many companies still are unsure how to comply. Under the new Federal Rules for Civil Procedure (FRCP), which took effect Dec. 1, 2006, companies and other organizations that utilize e-mail and other forms of electronic communication are expected to create policies that dictate how they will produce such information in the event of a federal lawsuit. According to a report by Xiotech, a national data storage provider, only 39 percent of corporations currently have a formal system in place to prevent the inadvertent destruction of evidence, and just 25 percent of U.S. organizations have taken steps to achieve compliance under the revised federal guidelines. Though recent amendments to the FRCP have created new obligations for litigants in the federal court system, they also include protections from abuse of the e-discovery process. To meet those obligations, and take advantage of certain protections, it is recommended member firms (1) review their existing retention policies (preferably with the help of an expert) to be sure they are comprehensive, rational and preserve only what is necessary; (2) designate a responsible employee who can inventory, understand and explain how and where the member firm actually stores its e-documents and the costs of producing e-documents from different electronic sources; and (3) if litigation becomes likely, take immediate steps through a detailed “hold” order to be sure that nothing is destroyed, even pursuant to routine document retention/destruction guidelines. Armed with these tools, any member firm facing litigation can gain the upper hand in the now-requisite discussions over what is “reasonably accessible” to be produced from the vast array of electronic documents held by any entity today. It may seem like a lot of work, but if the circumstances arise, being prepared could save substantial resources or even mean the difference in winning or losing a case. (This information is being provided for educational purposes only, and is not intended to constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about compliance with the new ediscovery rules, please consult with your own legal counsel.) M U.S. Firms Slow to Meet New E-Discovery Rules

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Engineering Inc. - July/August 2007

Call for Entries
From ACEC to You
News & Notes
Market Watch
Legislative Action
The Big Dig
Risky Engineering
2007 Professional Liability Survey
Institute For Business Management Fall 2007 Course Catalog
Roadside Technology
2007 Convention Wrap-Up
2007-2008 Excom
2007 Fall Conference Primer
Business Insights
Members in the News
One on One

Engineering Inc. - July/August 2007