Health Care Costs Blog Posts

Rotten Teeth Report Card

May 28, 2014
Comments(7)
Indiana ranks 10th in the nation for the highest spending on health care and 10th in the nation for the number of adults missing six or more teeth. That’s not a coincidence. Hoosiers do a poor job of taking care of themselves, and we end up paying for it in higher taxes and health insurance premiums.
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Dropping health plan for Obamacare, this firm saved money but sacrificed choice

May 23, 2014
Comments(5)
RANAC Corp., a small firm in Indianapolis, cut its spending on health benefits 25 percent after dropping its group health plan. Could it be a sign of things to come?
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Pence's HIP 2.0 insurance expansion has national aspirations all over it

May 19, 2014
Comments(2)
Gov. Pence's HIP 2.0 plan is nothing less than an attempt to roll back liberal policy on low-income health benefits as far as currently possible--and to get other states to follow suit. It might even be an opening bid for president.
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Marathon talks yield good deal for hospitals in Pence's HIP expansion

May 15, 2014
Comments(5)
Fees on hospitals will generate the lion's share of the funds for Gov. Mike Pence's Healthy Indiana Plan expansion. But the benefits hospitals will receive will outweigh those costs.
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Study: Hospital-doctor hook-ups swell prices

May 12, 2014
Comments(8)
Now that Indianapolis-area hospitals employ large numbers of physicians, a new study suggests the integrated health systems will be able to charge higher prices to private health insurers.
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Indy's most profitable hospitals, revisited

May 8, 2014
Comments(8)
On the eve of Obamacare, almost no central Indiana hospitals were having trouble making money. Hip replacements, heart surgery and Hamilton County were the biggest drivers of profits.
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Time to eat crow and fix my error on Obamacare sign-ups

May 5, 2014
Comments(7)
When I predicted on March 13 that Obamacare would fail to expand individual private insurance coverage in Indiana, I was completely off. It now looks like an extra 30,000 Hoosiers have bought individual health insurance this year.
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What health care really needs is a full-meal deal

April 28, 2014
Comments(6)
Until doctors and hospitals make a whole lot more headway—or, perhaps, more accurately, are allowed to make more headway—in offering package deals, it’s hard to see major progress on containing out-of-control health care costs.
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Think Obamacare will help hospitals? Think again

April 25, 2014
Comments(5)

The typical hospital around the country will see its profits wiped out entirely by the changes coming from health reform and the aging of the population. But in Indianapolis, the hits will be cushioned by this region's fatter commercial reimbursements.

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In Indiana, everyone makes big profits on health care

April 21, 2014
Comments(13)
Indiana is the most profitable state for Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans in 14 states. WellPoint's margin for Indiana in 2012 was 5.8 percent, 38 percent higher than WellPoint's national average.
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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(35)
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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