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December 17, 2012
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State officials are expected to sign off on a one-year extension of the Healthy Indiana Plan started by Gov. Mitch Daniels, sparing the program’s roughly 40,000 enrollees a lapse in coverage, according to the Associated Press. Family and Social Services Administration spokeswoman Marni Lemons said the state received the needed paperwork from the federal government on Dec. 13. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services agreed to a waiver that would allow the state to continue the program unchanged for a year, Lemons said. The HIP program offers health savings accounts to the working poor, requiring them in most cases to pay a monthly contribution to their savings accounts. The Daniels administration had sought a three-year extension of the program via the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' waiver process, but the federal government replied in July with an offer of one year and a request that the state end mandatory contributions from enrollees. Lemons said the new offer allows Indiana to continue collecting a monthly contribution, but did not say why CMS reversed its position.

Milliman Inc., an actuarial and consulting firm, announced Friday morning that it plans to add 26 jobs in Indianapolis by 2017 as part of a $2 million expansion. The Seattle-based company, which has 54 offices worldwide, said the investment will go toward installing additional technology at its 25,000-square-foot office in downtown’s Chase Tower. Milliman already had 55 employees at the location and has begun hiring additional actuarial consultants. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. said it will provide Milliman up to $400,000 in performance-based tax credits and up to $97,000 in training grants based on the company's job-creation plans. Milliman has had a presence in Indianapolis since 1965.

A south-side entrepreneur unveiled plans Thursday to convert the old St. Francis Hospital in Beech Grove into a $20 million mixed-use senior-living development. Joe Wolfla, who helped lead the reintroduction last year of the chocolate beverage Choc-ola, announced the project at a Beech Grove Chamber of Commerce event. Dubbed Franciscan Place, the development will feature 150-plus apartments, shops and a restaurant in the old hospital. Wolfla purchased the 14-acre site from Franciscan St. Francis for $10. The property became available in March after the Catholic hospital system ended all inpatient operations at the facility. Franciscan announced five years ago that it would consolidate its Beech Grove operations into an expanded facility seven miles south, near Interstate 65 and Emerson Avenue. The Beech Grove hospital was founded in 1914 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, an order of nuns based in Mishawaka. But it fell victim to the need for hospitals to attract patients using private health insurance, which pays generous prices compared to government-sponsored health plans such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Eli Lilly and Co. last week halted one clinical trial for a rheumatoid arthritis drug and announced a new trial for an Alzheimer’s drug. Both moves are potential setbacks for the Indianapolis-based drugmaker's product pipeline. Lilly stopped one of three Phase 3 trials it was conducting on the drug tabalumab, because it failed to show efficacy against rheumatoid arthritis. The other two trials are proceeding, but Lilly is holding off on enrolling new patients until more analyses are finished early next year. Lilly is still evaluating tabalumab in systemic lupus erythematosus. The company said it expects to take a pretax charge of $20 million to $35 million in the fourth quarter, or about 2 cents a share after tax. Lilly also announced that it needs to run another Phase 3 trial of its experimental Alzheimer's treatment solanezumab. That means it will likely take another five years before Lilly can launch solanezumab—assuming the new trial confirms and strengthens the signs that the drug helps slow the progression of Alzheimer’s in patients with mild forms of the disease. Lilly said the study will begin no later than the third quarter of 2013. With many other companies also testing Alzheimer’s drugs in Phase 3 trials, the delay means another company could beat Lilly in its quest to launch the first drug to successfully reverse the course of the memory-sapping disease.

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  1. Socialized medicine works great for white people in Scandanavia. It works well in Costa Rica for a population that is partly white and partly mestizo. I don't really see Obamacare as something aimed against whites. I think that is a Republican canard designed to elicit support from white people for republican candidates who don't care about them any more than democrats care about the non-whites they pander to with their phony maneuvers. But what is different between Costa Rica nd the Scandanavian nations on one hand and the US on the other? SIZE. Maybe the US is just too damn big. Maybe it just needs to be divided into smaller self governing pieces like when the old Holy Roman Empire was dismantled. Maybe we are always trying the same set of solutions for different kinds of people as if we were all the same. Oh-- I know-- that is liberal dogma, that we are all the same. Which is the most idiotic American notion going right back to the propaganda of 1776. All men are different and their differences are myriad and that which is different is not equal. The state which pretends men are all the same is going to force men to be the same. That is what America does here, that is what we do in our stupid overseas wars, that is how we destroy true diversity and true difference, and we are all as different groups of folks, feeling the pains of how capitalism is grinding us down into equally insignificant proletarian microconsumers with no other identity whether we like it or not. And the Marxists had this much right about the War of Independence: it was fundamentally a war of capitalist against feudal systems. America has been about big money since day one and whatever gets in the way is crushed. Health care is just another market and Obamacare, to the extent that it Rationalizes and makes more uniform a market which should actually be really different in nature and delivery from place to place-- well that will serve the interests of the biggest capitalist stakeholders in health care which is not Walmart for Gosh Sakes it is the INSURANCE INDUSTRY. CUI BONO Obamacare? The insurance industry. So republicans drop the delusion pro capitalist scales from your eyes this has almost nothing to do with race or "socialism" it has to do mostly with what the INSURANCE INDUSTRY wants to have happen in order to make their lives and profits easier.

  2. Read the article - the reason they can't justify staying is they have too many medicare/medicaid patients and the re-imbursements for transporting these patient is so low.

  3. I would not vote for Bayh if he did run. I also wouldn't vote for Pence. My guess is that Bayh does not have the stomach to oppose persons on the far left or far right. Also, outside of capitalizing on his time as U. S. Senator (and his wife's time as a board member to several companies) I don't know if he is willing to fight for anything. If people who claim to be in the middle walk away from fights with the right and left wing, what are we left with? Extremes. It's probably best for Bayh if he does not have the stomach for the fight but the result is no middle ground.

  4. JK - I meant that the results don't ring true. I also questioned the 10-year-old study because so much in the "health care system" has changed since the study was made. Moreover, it was hard to get to any overall conclusion or observation with the article. But....don't be defensive given my comments; I still think you do the best job of any journalist in the area shedding light and insight on important health care issues.

  5. Probably a good idea he doesn't run. I for one do not want someone who lives in VIRGINIA to be the governor. He gave it some thought, but he likes Virginia too much. What a name I cannot say on this site! The way these people think and operate amuses me.

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