Company news

February 3, 2014

Ronald Reed, the owner of an Indianapolis-based medical equipment business Benchmark Mobility Corp., has been indicted for bilking $442,688 from Medicare and for Medicaid fraud. Benchmark sold powered wheelchairs, scooters, lift chairs and hospital beds to patients and then billed  Indiana Medicaid and federal Medicare programs for reimbursement. The indictment, announced Jan. 29 by U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett, alleges that Reed, 46, submitted medical claims to Medicare and Medicaid for used medical equipment he purchased online, while claiming it was new. According to a statement from Hogsett’s office, Reed often purchased the used equipment on websites such as eBay and Craigslist. He then allegedly instructed Benchmark employees to change serial numbers and take other actions to hide the fraud. Reed also has been charged with 13 counts of aggravated identity theft for allegedly using a Medicaid recipients' identification without permission as part of the scheme.

Revenue and profit rose 13 percent in the fourth quarter at Dow AgroSciences LLC, buoyed by strong sales of crop-protection products. The Indianapolis-based manufacturer of agricultural products, a unit of Michigan-based Dow Chemical Co., reported profit of $177 million on revenue of $1.8 billion. Revenue from Dow’s crop-protection products grew 11 percent, driven by higher sales of herbicides in North America and Latin America.

WellPoint Inc. profit fell sharply in the fourth quarter but met analysts’ projections, the company announced Jan. 29. The Indianapolis-based health insurer earned $148.2 million, or 49 cents per share, down 68 percent from the same period in 2012. A big part of the decline was the $164.5 million after-tax charge WellPoint recorded from the sale of its 1-800-Contacts subsidiary to a private equity firm. Excluding investment results and other one-time charges, WellPoint would have seen profit drop 17 percent from a year earlier, to $261 million, or 87 cents per share. Wall Street analysts expected 87 cents per share, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. For 2013, WellPoint profit fell 6 percent, to $2.49 billion. Revenue grew nearly 16 percent, to $70.2 billion, as the company enjoyed a full year of contributions from Amerigroup Corp., the Medicaid managed care subsidiary it acquired near the end of 2012.