Tom Fischer, chief financial and chief operating officer of Community Health Network, departed suddenly this month. Sources with knowledge of the situation described Fischer’s exit as a firing. But a Community spokeswoman said Fischer resigned in a private meeting with Community CEO Bryan Mills. Fischer, 60, who joined Community as CFO in 2005, declined to comment. Mills and Fischer have been close friends for decades, dating to the time they both worked for the Ernst & Young accounting firm. Now Holly Millard, Community’s chief accounting officer, is serving as interim CFO while Community searches for a replacement. Community is trying to cut expenses 15 percent to 20 percent, including via staff reductions. Community laid off more than 150 employees during the first nine months of this year, many of them part of what it described as a systemwide realignment. Community spokeswoman Lynda de Widt described the staff reductions as part of the normal course of business in an organization that has 13,000 employees. Community reported in late November that it had spent $5 million this year on severance costs.
Because Indianapolis-area hospitals have let go a wave of workers this year, the University of Indianapolis will host a seminar to help nurses and health care professionals search for new jobs. The seminar, “Reinventing Yourself: A Personal Transformation for Healthcare Workers” is scheduled from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Jan. 11 in UIndy’s Schwitzer Student Center at 1400 E. Hanna Ave. The free event is sponsored by UIndy’s School for Adult Learning, School of Nursing and College of Health Sciences, and will tout UIndy’s health-related educational programs. Also, John Vice, a longtime human resources manager for Eli Lilly and Co., will tell attendees how to pursue new career paths.
Nearly 2,800 Hoosiers selected a private insurance plan on the Obamacare exchange in November, nearly four times as many as did so in October. The faster pace of enrollment was mirrored in the other 35 states that are also relying on the federally run Healthcare.gov web site for online enrollment. The Obama administration worked feverishly in November to correct major technical problems with the website that prevented numerous Americans from enrolling. Even so, the pace of enrollment in the federal exchange will need to be nearly 12 times faster than it was in November if enrollment via the exchange is going to meet a federal projection of more than 4.8 million enrollees by the end of March. According to a report issued Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 137,204 actually selected a private health insurance plan during October and November, with about 110,000 of them doing so in November. In 14 states and the District of Columbia, which are operating their own insurance exchanges, enrollment also surged in November, to nearly 148,000 people, compared with about 80,000 in October. Enrollment via the state-based exchanges will need to triple its pace to meet an overall federal projection of 7 million enrollees via the Obamacare exchanges.
More than 10,000 low-income Indiana residents who participate in the Healthy Indiana Plan will be able to keep their benefits through April. The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced Dec. 10 it is extending for an extra three months its Healthy Indiana Plan to participants who earn between 100 percent and 200 percent of the federal poverty level. The move will give members more time to obtain coverage through the federal health care exchange. FSSA Secretary Debra Minott said many HIP members have struggled to enroll in the exchange because of technical issues. The HIP extension could cost Indiana up to $11 million.