Company news

December 9, 2013

Indiana University Health hospitals and doctors could fall out of UnitedHealthcare’s discounted network on Jan. 1 if the two entities don’t come to an agreement by then. IU Health, the state’s largest hospital system, and UnitedHealthcare, the state’s second-largest health insurer, have been unable to come to terms on a new set of reimbursement contracts, according to both organizations. The previous contracts end Dec. 31. Such contracts between health systems and health insurers typically shave 30 percent or more off the list prices charged by hospitals and doctors. In notices sent to local benefits brokers late last month, Minnesota-based UnitedHealthcare said the two organizations are wrangling over a reimbursement hike by IU Health and over how the new contracts will make more of that reimbursement hinge on measurements of clinical quality. The contract dispute could affect the roughly 400,000 Hoosiers that have employer-based or individually purchased insurance with UnitedHealthcare. That represents about 12 percent of the Indiana commercial market.

Medical workers, military personnel, hundreds of volunteers and a platoon of ambulances transferred 149 patients from Wishard Memorial Hospital on Saturday, the final day of service for the facility that dates as far back as World War I. Those patients were moved to the new Eskenazi Hospital, just four blocks away. The new $754 million hospital replaces Wishard as the county-owned hospital in Indianapolis. Construction on the art-filled, 315-bed Eskenazi Hospital began four years ago.

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. has joined two other companies to contribute $40 million to an early-stage life sciences venture capital initiative in New York City. New York economic development officials announced the effort to launch more life sciences companies last week. The city of New York will contribute $10 million, according to The Wall Street Journal, and will look to attract venture capital firms willing to put in another $50 million. The initiative hopes to launch 15 to 20 new life sciences companies in New York by 2020. Lilly operates a research and development center in New York focused on cancer, which it acquired in 2008 as part of its purchase of New York-based drug company ImClone Systems Inc. The two other companies contributing money are New Jersey-based biotech company Celgene Corp. and GE Ventures, the venture capital arm of Connecticut-based General Electric Co. The contributions of each company were not disclosed.

Eli Lilly and Co. will end development of the depression medicine edivoxetine as an add-on therapy after the drug failed to meet goals in three Phase 3 studies, according to Bloomberg News. The end of edivoxetine as a potential add-on therapy is another research setback for Lilly, which has had a cancer treatment, ramucirumab, fail in breast cancer patients, and an experimental compound prove unsuccessful in helping people with advanced Alzheimer’s disease. Edivoxetine had been expected to generate $560 million by 2020, said Seamus Fernandez, an analyst with Leerink Swann & Co. The decision to end the development as an add-on therapy will result in a pretax charge of $15 million, or 1 cent a share, in the fourth quarter, Lilly said. The company reaffirmed its 2013 forecasts and said it still plans to return to revenue growth in 2015.