Medicare Blog Posts

Indy hospitals continue to see fewer patients. Why?

July 17, 2014
Comments(8)
All of sudden, Hoosiers are buying less health care. Is that because we’ve kicked the habit, sobered up and found religion? Or is it the Great Recession hangover that will pass, eventually, so we can all get back to the party?
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There will be blood

June 26, 2014
Comments(15)
A new study found that common blood tests performed by hospital-owned facilities in the Indianapolis area were six to nine times more expensive than the same tests at independent lab facilities. Ouch!
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Why hospitals leave the inner city, in one chart

June 23, 2014
Comments(16)
Since hospitals lose money on just about every patient except those with private insurance, they have been closing inner-city facilities and opening new facilities in the suburbs for the past four decades.
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The real health care money in this town is at IU Health

June 5, 2014
Comments(5)
While the biggest hospital profit margins are made in the suburbs, the biggest pile of cash—$353 million in 2012—is made at the three downtown campuses run by Indiana University Health. In fact, those hospitals generated 32 percent of all operating gains posted by central Indiana hospitals in 2012.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Why insurers want to limit your choice of doctor

November 25, 2013
Comments(6)
In spite of President Obama’s promises that if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, the president's health reform law is spurring health insurers to make him a liar on that point too.
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The bill for Hoosiers’ excess health care spending: About $5 billion per year

November 11, 2013
Comments(9)
Hoosiers' poor health, combined with an aggressive health care system and an uncompetitive health insurance sector, means Hoosiers, in spite of the fact that they earn just 86 cents for every dollar earned by the average American, are spending nearly $1.13 on health care for every dollar spent by Americans.
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With Obamacare, insurers will still find ways to avoid risk

November 4, 2013
Comments(12)
Obamacare put an end to health insurers' worst methods for avoiding risk. But that doesn’t mean insurers have ended their risk-shifting ways. Not at all.
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The frightening future that's haunting hospitals

October 31, 2013
Comments(13)
Why are Indiana's hospitals cutting jobs. Because they're spooked about cuts to Medicare payments. They should be.
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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now

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