Medicare Blog Posts

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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Republicans making same old mistake on health reform

October 16, 2013
Comments(15)
Rather than railing incessantly against Obamacare, Republicans would do themselves and the country a favor if they finally agreed on a common alternative for fixing the health care system.
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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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