Indianapolis is one of 17 cities in which the YMCA is rolling out a demonstration project to prevent the spread of Type 2 diabetes among Medicare recipients. The program, developed by YMCA of Central Indiana and researchers at Indiana University, offers a yearlong course in exercise, dieting and individual counseling. The program’s success at preventing diabetes for people at risk has drawn financial support from such health insurers as Minnesota-based UnitedHealthcare, which piloted a 16-week version in Indianapolis three years ago. According to The Wall Street Journal, UnitedHealthcare spends $20,000 on average per year to treat a patient with advanced diabetes, but just $3,700 on average to treat a patient with prediabetes. So the insurer can save money even after paying the YMCA up to $500 per participant to help keep patients from developing full-blown diabetes.
The city of Carmel has finalized a five-year agreement with Indiana University Health to operate an employee health center, which is scheduled to open in May. The health center will be built inside the IU Health Sports Performance Center at 1402 Chase Court off Carmel Drive. It will provide primary health service free of charge to all individuals on the city of Carmel’s health plan including employees, dependents and retirees. A physician, a nurse manager and medical assistant will staff the center, which will be open 25 hours per week.
The Lung Care Group, a six-physician group of pulmonology and sleep specialists, has joined St. Vincent Medical Group, the physician arm of Indianapolis-based hospital system St. Vincent Health. The Lung Care Group, located at 8330 Naab Road, included Dr. Jerome Barnes, Dr. William Byron Jr., Dr. Thomas Holian, Dr. Brandon Perkins, Dr. Mitchell Pfeiffer and Dr. Praveen Vohra.
WellPoint Inc. will raise its quarterly dividend 30 percent. The Indianapolis-based health insurer says it will pay 37.5 cents per share in the first quarter, up from 28.7 cents in the fourth quarter. WellPoint expects to return about $2 billion to shareholders this year through the dividend and share buybacks. The new dividend is payable March 25 to shareholders of record at the close of business March 8.