Health Care Reform Blog Posts

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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In one chart: Obamacare exchange has failed to expand coverage in Indiana

March 13, 2014
Comments(11)
For 2014, at least, Obamacare's dreams of expanding individual insurance coverage in Indiana have simply failed. There's no getting around it.
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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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Health insurance brokers must change to survive

March 7, 2014
Comments(7)
Employees, rather than employers, will soon choose their own health insurers—either through the Obamacare exchanges or through private exchanges. Does that mean health insurance brokers, the people who match up employers with insurers, will no longer be needed?
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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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Crux of Medicaid showdown is how to fight poverty

January 6, 2014
Comments(13)
When Gov. Mike Pence tries next month to negotiate a Medicaid expansion deal in a meeting with the Obama administration, it will be a clash of the conservative and liberal approaches to fighting poverty.
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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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For the holidays: A hopeful, health care reading list

December 19, 2013
Comments(7)
In the Christmas spirit of hope, I’m offering a reading list of several optimistic reports about health care reform—even though many of my recent posts, and the mood of the country in general, have been decidedly downbeat.
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Medicare names names on hospital quality, but don’t expect consumers to notice

December 19, 2013
Comments(3)
The Obama administration has been releasing more price and quality information, but it is coming in a rather useless form for patients. That's a problem for the prospects of consumer-driven health care.
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