Government Health Care

Birth control coverage required in U.S. health plan

July 19, 2011
Health insurers led by WellPoint Inc. would be required to cover birth control pills and devices at no cost to patients under the recommendation of a top U.S. scientific advisory board. .
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Not-for-profits vying with WellPoint may get $3.8B in loans

July 18, 2011
Bloomberg News
Not-for-profits that compete with insurers such as WellPoint Inc. are eligible for $3.8 billion in U.S. financing under the health law, and the government expects more than a third of the loans not to be repaid.
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CBO: No great savings from health reform

July 18, 2011
J.K. Wall
Don’t expect the health reform law to tame health care costs. That’s the conclusion of the director of the Congressional Budget Office, who also suggested some of the simplest ways to moderate costs would be to roll back some of its key provisions.
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Study: Medicaid better than nothing

July 11, 2011
J.K. Wall
Health care reform will add roughly 500,000 Hoosiers to the Medicaid program and, in spite of great criticism of that expansion, a new study suggests Medicaid coverage does help consumers get more care, have fewer unpaid bills and feel better.
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Employers face messy decision to drop health insuranceRestricted Content

July 9, 2011
J.K. Wall
Companies that drop insurance coverage could, without spending any more money than they are now, give workers an 11-percent raise or else help them save as much as $2,000 per year buying health coverage in one of the exchanges, IBJ calculations show.
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STUMPP: Docs' loss of independence driving up health care costsRestricted Content

July 9, 2011
Don Stumpp / Special to IBJ
The fact is that hospitals are paid three to four times for physician ancillary services.
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Troubled economy fueling hospital deals

June 20, 2011
J.K. Wall
Battered by stagnant population growth and blue-collar job loss, Howard Regional Health is merging with Indiana University Health—a deal that reflects the challenges faced by hospitals in Indiana’s outlying cities.
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Survey: Hospitals still rewarding docs for volume

June 20, 2011
J.K. Wall
The latest physician recruitment survey from Texas-based Merritt Hawkins shows three-quarters of all physician searches include a performance bonus for the doctor. Fewer than 10 percent of those bonuses are tied to something other than volume of procedures.
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State gets week to respond in Planned Parenthood case

June 17, 2011
Associated Press
A federal judge on Friday gave the state of Indiana a week to respond to the Obama administration's decision siding with Planned Parenthood of Indiana in an attempt to block the state's new abortion funding law.
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WellPoint pays big to tap fast-growing Medicare market

June 13, 2011
J.K. Wall
Analysts raised their eyebrows at the $800 million reportedly paid by WellPoint Inc. to acquire a West Coast Medicare plan, but with the commercial health insurance business stagnating, Medicare is vital to WellPoint’s future growth.
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WellPoint paying almost $800M for CareMore

June 8, 2011
Bloomberg News
Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc. agreed to acquire CareMore Health Group to expand Medicare coverage in California, Arizona and Nevada. The insurer paid almost $800 million, according to people familiar with the deal.
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Government cutting rates for hard-to-insure patients

May 31, 2011
Associated Press
So far, about 18,000 people have signed up for the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, well short of government projections that some 375,000 people would gain coverage in 2010. Rates in Indiana will fall 26 percent.
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Planned Parenthood says donors alone can't sustain clinics

May 26, 2011
Kathleen McLaughlin
Donors from far and wide are sending money to Planned Parenthood of Indiana, but the organization doesn’t expect the giving to last.
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Feds review Indiana law targeting Planned Parenthood

May 23, 2011
Associated Press
Federal officials said Monday they're taking a hard look at a new Indiana law that withholds some public funding for Planned Parenthood of Indiana, a development that could cost the state some of its Medicaid funding.
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Growth in drug spending to slow as generics rise

May 18, 2011
Bloomberg News
The annual growth rate in spending on drugs may be cut in half over the next five years as people opt for less expensive generic medicines over brand-name treatments, a health-care research group said Wednesday, highlighting the challenge pharmaceutical firms like Eli Lilly and Co. are facing.
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Reform could create more 'boutique' doctors

May 14, 2011
J.K. Wall
Health reform could accelerate trend toward two tiers of care, with concierge services like Dr. Matt Priddy offers at the top and long waits and minimal attention at the bottom.
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Fee could feed $100M to hospitals

May 2, 2011
J.K. Wall
Indiana hospitals could pull in more than $100 million a year from the federal government under a new assessment fee included in the state’s 2011 budget bill.
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Indiana poised to cut Planned Parenthood funding

April 27, 2011
Associated Press
The Indiana House voted 66-32 Wednesday to approve a bill cutting the $3 million in federal money the state distributes to the organization for family planning and health programs. The Senate approved the measure earlier this month.
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Parties near deal for hospital tax

April 11, 2011
J.K. Wall
Officials from Indiana Medicaid and a hospital trade group are trying to craft a deal that would create a tax on hospitals that would help attract more federal funds for hospitals—thereby offsetting looming cuts in state payments.
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RATHKE: My saga of staying up to date on health care reform

March 19, 2011
Tracey Rathke
Human resources used to be about payroll and benefits. Now it's also about watching Congress.
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Hospital systems adopt Starbucks-style service

March 19, 2011
J.K. Wall
Indiana University Health is the latest system to drill employees ranging from clerks to physicians in how to treat patients.
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Indiana Medicaid mental health list worries advocates

March 14, 2011
Associated Press
The state budget bill moving through the Indiana General Assembly would save about $7 million each year by creating a list of preferred mental health drugs and trying to win larger rebates from manufacturers.
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Reform, revenue behind Franciscan expansion

February 16, 2011
J.K. Wall
Changes unleashed by health reform are pushing Franciscan St. Francis Health’s expansion into Hamilton County—in addition to the obvious pull of the area’s well-heeled population.
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Medicaid expansion could tax community health centersRestricted Content

February 12, 2011
J.K. Wall
The president of the Indiana Primary Health Care Association wants to double the number of federally qualified community health centers in Indiana in the next five years.
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Judge's ruling raises uncertainty for health care execs

February 2, 2011
J.K. Wall
After a federal judge in Florida struck down the entire health reform law, investors shrugged. But the uncertainty for executives in health care companies increased.
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