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June 10, 2013
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Affiliates of Planned Parenthood in Indiana and Kentucky plan to merge on July 1 in an effort to pool resources, meet the challenges of the changing health care landscape, and potentially expand their reproductive-health services. The new not-for-profit is expected to be named Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky—or PPINK—and continue to operate the 28 existing health centers, with 26 of those in Indiana. Three of those Indiana centers perform abortions, but the Kentucky centers do not. The group will be based in Indianapolis, and employ 190 people in its health centers and administrative office. Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of the Indiana organization, will serve in the same role for the merged group. Mergers are common among the Planned Parenthood affiliates, according to the organization. At one time, the national Planned Parenthood family had more than 200 affiliates; there are now just 73. PPIN merged multiple times to become a statewide affiliate in 2004.

Indiana University Health has agreed to sell its eight occupational health clinics to a California-based chain that specializes in Workers' Compensation cases. US HealthWorks Medical Group, which already operates nearly 200 clinics in 17 states, agreed in May to acquire the eight clinics from IU Health, the largest hospital system in Indiana. The deal is expected to close before July. Neither entity disclosed the purchase price. US HealthWorks has offered jobs to 126 of the clinics' 149 workers. IU Health, which will maintain a role in serving clinic patients, has offered positions to 20 of those not hired by US HealthWorks and is working to place the remaining workers. US HealthWorks has been expanding rapidly even as the number of workers' comp cases trends down nationally. US HealthWorks operates occupational health clinics in Elkhart, Goshen, Muncie and Warsaw.

Franciscan St. Francis Health will close two After-Hours Clinics on the south side of Indianapolis at month’s end. The hospital system offered no explanation for the closures. It noted that it will keep operating a third After-Hours Clinic in Mooresville, and also will maintain two other immediate care clinics in the southern suburbs of Indianapolis. The clinics that will close are in Beech Grove at 2030 Churchman Ave. and near Franciscan’s Indianapolis hospital at 7855 S. Emerson Ave.

The state of Indiana plans to spend $37 million more each year reimbursing health care providers who treat Medicaid patients, partially reversing a 5-percent rate cut the state adopted in 2010 while struggling through the impacts of the national recession. A spokeswoman for Gov. Mike Pence said the increase would amount to 2 percent more for hospitals, nursing facilities, home health and immediate care providers. Cuts in how much the state Medicaid plan pays for dental, vision, medical transportation and other areas will be fully restored. The Legislature paid for the increased rates in their recently passed, $30 billion biennial budget.

Marian University in Indianapolis has announced it has reached its limit of 162 students for the incoming class of its new College of Osteopathic Medicine. School officials said they have received tuition deposits from 162 applicants. They say those students can still pursue their education elsewhere, but the school has a waiting list. They said they are confident they can fill any vacancies that arise.

The Indiana Blood Center is streamlining its blood mobile operations, closing a donor center and taking other cost-cutting measures in response to shrinking revenue from hospitals. The not-for-profit blood center announced June 4 that demand from hospitals has fallen 24 percent over the past year. That is forcing it to take steps that also include freezing management salaries, eliminating 45 positions, and discontinuing a therapeutic phlebotomy program. The blood center supplies more than 60 Indiana hospitals. It is funded by fees it charges those facilities to recruit donors and collect, test, process, label, store and distribute blood.

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