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Business briefs for Nov. 7

November 7, 2011
Marshall Independent

ACMC-Marshall adds nuclear medicine services

Affiliated Community Medical Centers in Marshall recently added a new tool to its imaging services.

Nuclear medicine is a safe, painless, and cost-effective way of gathering information that may otherwise be unavailable or require a more expensive and risky diagnostic test, ACMC said. Nuclear medicine determines the cause of a medical problem based on the function of the organ, tissue or bone.

It is commonly used to analyze the thyroid gland, lungs, gallbladder, kidneys, bones and gastrointestinal organs. Nuclear medicine imaging procedures often identify abnormalities very early in the progression of a disease long before some medical problems are apparent with other diagnostic tests. This early detection allows a disease to be treated early in its course when there may be a better prognosis.

"Nuclear medicine involves the use of small amounts of radioactive materials (or tracers) that are injected or ingested into the body," said ACMC radiation safety officer Kari Westby. "The Nuclear Medicine camera detects this tracer and sends images of the body part being studied to a special computer. Each tracer is formulated and ordered specifically for each individual patient and exam being performed. The ability to customize each dose results in very minimal radiation exposure."

Northwestern Mutual to pay nearly $5 billion in dividends to policyowners in 2012

The Board of Trustees of The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company has approved a dividend payout of nearly $5 billion for participating policyowners for 2012, an increase of more than $125 million over its expected 2011 payout.

It will be the second-largest payout in the company's history.

Northwestern Mutual said it expects again to lead the insurance industry by a wide margin in total life insurance, long-term care and disability insurance dividends paid. It expects to pay more than double the ordinary life insurance dividends of its nearest competitor.

The company credits its dividend payout to careful underwriting, rigorous expense management, diversified investing, and strong performance in other operating fundamentals.



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