Health Care Costs Blog Posts

Indiana's 10 (or more) most profitable health insurers

April 17, 2014
Comments(6)
WellPoint's commanding market share gave it a whopping $129 million in profit from its risk-based insurance products in 2012. But in percentage terms, WellPoint was not at the top of the heap.
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Competition, not higher premiums, is biggest threat to Obamacare buyers

April 14, 2014
Comments(7)
For consumers that get tax subsidies in the Obamacare exchanges, out-of-pocket premiums will remain steady even if insurers raise prices next year. But the subsidies could fall if insurers offer lower-cost plans.
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Five things I learned from the Medicare doctor payments

April 10, 2014
Comments(11)
From this week's historic data dump, I learned who the top 20 recipients of Medicare payments are in Indianapolis (hint: mostly labs, ambulances and eye surgeons). But the real takeaway is that meaningful price information about doctors is still a long way away.
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The Millionaire Doctors Club

April 4, 2014
Comments(34)
The scramble for physicians by hospitals in recent years has led to more than a dozen physicians cracking a million dollars in compensation—and three dozen receiving at least a half million dollars. Hospitals, meanwhile, are recording big losses on their physician practices.
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Do double-digit Obamacare rate hikes mean the law has failed? No, but ...

March 31, 2014
Comments(16)
For now, at least, the year-to-year price increases of individual insurance under Obamacare look a lot like they did before Obamacare. That’s not a failure, but it’s not a success either.
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Where do hospital profits go?

March 27, 2014
Comments(7)

When patients at Indianapolis-area hospitals pay their bills, they're not just funding their own health care. They're contributing to the care of Hoosiers in the rest of the state, too, especially care provided by hospital-employed physicians.

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Medic! Early signal shows hospital profits plunged in 2013

March 24, 2014
Comments(9)
Franciscan Alliance, always the first to report its year-end financial results, put out numbers that show a real decline in profit from operations of 58 percent.
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Top 10 most profitable hospitals around Indianapolis

March 20, 2014
Comments(31)
Based on 2012 data, 23 of 30 hospitals in central Indiana are generating profits from their operations of 10 percent or more. The Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital and St. Vincent's Carmel campus are on top. After that, there are a few surprises.
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Can we, please, get a better name than 'accountable care'?

March 17, 2014
Comments(3)
Health care is going through dramatic change—but is doing so under some of the dullest names possible. So I'm offering a few alternatives that are more to the point. How about, 'No-more-bankruptcy care'?
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Republicans needed to make Obamacare work

March 10, 2014
Comments(2)
Obama's latest delay of Obamacare insurance rules could sabotage the law's exchanges. The president must be counting on Republican critics, like Indiana Insurance Commissioner Stephen Robertson, to stop him.
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Hospital layoffs hardly dented employment growth

March 3, 2014
Comment(1)
Even though the state’s three largest hospital systems--IU Health, St. Vincent Health and Franciscan Alliance--eliminated a combined 2,700 jobs, it created just a blip in the long-term run-up in hospital employment.
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Indy hospitals, doctors should start a price war

February 28, 2014
Comment(1)
The choice for health care providers is binary: either limit patient choice through restricted networks or preserve patient choice by making price transparency real and usable. Hospitals and doctors would be better served by the latter.
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What happens if Pence, Sebelius can’t make a deal?

February 20, 2014
Comments(8)
Even if Gov. Mike Pence and Obama's health secretary can't come to terms this weekend, there are ideas bouncing around the state legislature that suggest other ways Indiana could expand coverage to low-income Hoosiers.
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The weightlessness of Obamacare

February 17, 2014
Comments(15)
Rich employer benefits are not always so attractive, sick patients are not always money losers for insurers, and hospitals and doctors are now health care preventers rather than health care providers. This is the bizarre world to which Obamacare has brought us.
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Hospitals' worries about Obamacare plans misplaced

February 14, 2014
Comments(0)

The latest enrollment data from the Obamacare exchanges show that three out of four Hoosiers are purchasing decent coverage—not the super high-deductible plans that concerned hospitals.

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Generous employer benefits now hurt some workers

February 10, 2014
Comments(6)
Ever since World War 2, when employers started using health benefits to compete for workers, the less employees had to pay toward health insurance premiums the more attractive the benefits. But under Obamacare, this axiom will not always be true.
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Misery loves company: Hospitals, newspapers in the same (sorry) situation

February 6, 2014
Comments(5)
Both hospitals and newspapers face futures in which they'll serve more people for less money per person--but in the meantime, they're keeping the lights on using their old business models.
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Despite exchange roller coaster, WellPoint says it's all going according to plan

January 29, 2014
Comments(2)
Since WellPoint says it's not losing money on the exchanges—at this point—that's encouraging news for those who would like the Obamacare exchanges to remain a viable option.
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St. Vincent hospitals not quite as rich as they seem

January 27, 2014
Comments(10)
St. Vincent Health has been sending roughly $50 million to $70 million every year to its parent company, St. Louis-based Ascension Health, to support other hospitals in Ascension's 93-hospital network.
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My own Obamacare math says small employers will, indeed, drop coverage

January 23, 2014
Comments(3)
In my financial situation, I could save from 2 percent to 30 percent buying health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges. I suspect a lot of small companies and their workers will see similar results.
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Hopelessly divided Congress agrees on one thing: Cutting payments to providers

January 20, 2014
Comments(10)
Congress’ recent willingness to play hardball with providers is driving providers to cautiously embrace concepts—like pay-for-performance and keeping patients out of the hospitals—they have long resisted.
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OK, I’m convinced: Hospitals actually are transforming

January 15, 2014
Comments(4)
There are clear signs that hospitals nationally, and even here in Indianapolis, are actually starting to make good on their promises to keep patients healthier and out of the hospital.
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Looks like both sides are wrong about Medicaid

January 13, 2014
Comments(18)
New research shows that expanding Medicaid won’t save money, in spite of the claims of Obamacare supporters, but it will provide modest help to patients' health and pocketbooks, in spite of conservative critics’ contention to the contrary.
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No one likes Obamacare

January 2, 2014
Comments(15)
Obamacare has officially arrived, but both conservatives and liberals are calling it awful. That means the real debate over health reform is just beginning.
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Top 5 things I learned about health care this year

December 30, 2013
Comments(10)
In my first year writing The Dose, I learned that no one (definitely including me) knows everything about health care. I'm working hard to fill the gaps in my knowledge for 2014. But before the New Year hits us, here are the biggest lessons I took from 2013.
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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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