Health Care Reform Blog Posts

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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Sorry, docs, but Obamacare will suffer from a shortage

December 16, 2013
Comments(0)
There is good evidence that new technology deployed via new methods of medicine across the entire health care system can reduce the need for physicians. But there are too many barriers for such changes to occur in time to cut off the surge in demand brought on by Obamacare.
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Obama team willing to ‘Republicanize’ Medicaid, but maybe not enough for Indiana

December 12, 2013
Comments(7)
A new Medicaid expansion deal with the Republican governor of Iowa OK’d a cost-sharing requirement similar to what Indiana Gov. Mike Pence wants. But the Obama administration says it won’t extend that deal as low as Pence would like to go.
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What if exchange enrollment never catches up?

December 9, 2013
Comments(19)
Based on some very rough assumptions, I calculate that Hoosiers could see premiums 14 percent to 28 percent higher in 2015, due in part to low enrollment in the Obamacare exchanges in 2014.
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  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

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