Health Care & Insurance

WellPoint strikes up chat on health reform

July 14, 2010
J.K. Wall

WellPoint Inc. is turning from opponent of the health care reform law passed in March to “trusted adviser.” It launched a website, healthychat.com, where company representatives answer customers’ questions about the new health reform law.

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Lilly's Effient steps forward, then back

June 30, 2010
J.K. Wall
A day after doctors were alerted to a black-box warning that could slow sales of Effient’s main competitor, Plavix, a medical journal published research showing that patients suffered 43-percent more cancer tumors on Effient than on Plavix.
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Doctors breathe a sigh of relief

June 30, 2010
J.K. Wall
As doctors threaten to drop Medicare patients, Congress delays cuts for another six months.
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Indiana moves up in med tech rankings

June 16, 2010
J.K. Wall
Medical technology companies employed 19,950 Hoosiers in 2007 and supported another 35,000 jobs in supplier companies, according to an analysis funded by an industry trade group.
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Indy firm launches bedsore weapon

June 16, 2010
J.K. Wall
The latest idea from Dr. James Spahn, an Indianapolis health care entrepreneur, should help hospitals and nursing homes do a better job of preventing severe bedsores, or pressure ulcers. That’s good, because Medicare and private health insurers increasingly won’t pay to treat them.
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Study: Online doc ratings mostly positive

June 9, 2010
J.K. Wall
Angie’s List physician rating service has been controversial since it started in 2008. But an academic journal article is now telling the docs to relax. Nearly 90 percent of patient comments on sites like Angie’s List are positive.
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Lilly taps O'Connor as state lobbyist

June 9, 2010
J.K. Wall
O’Connor, chief deputy mayor under former Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson, started Monday as Lilly's director of state government affairs—working again under Peterson.
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Indiana contractors scramble for certification to remove leadRestricted Content

June 5, 2010
Norm Heikens
New U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules force precautions on paint chips, dust.
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St. Vincent closes in on new hospital deal

June 2, 2010
J.K. Wall

A deal in which St. Vincent Health would buy or lease Bedford’s Dunn Memorial Hospital is in the final stages, according to the Times-Mail of Bedford. The hospital board held two hours of closed-door talks on May 26, and one board member predicted a decision within days.

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Expert: Reform can improve communities

June 2, 2010
J.K. Wall

The much-maligned health care bill provides a huge opportunity for local communities to improve the health of their citizens and for local health care providers to win bonus payments from federal health insurance programs. That's the message Len Nichols, a Beltway veteran and health policy expert, will bring to attendees at the All Healthcare is Local conference today.

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Indianapolis startup attacks Alzheimer's diseaseRestricted Content

May 29, 2010
Norm Heikens
AgeneBio Inc. this month landed a $300,000 investment from the Indiana Seed Fund to fund operations, bolster its intellectual property, and begin learning how to make a drug into a once-a-day pill.
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Effective stats are new hurdle for U.S. drugmakers

May 26, 2010
J.K. Wall
WellPoint Inc.'s announcement of comparative effectiveness research guidelines last week marks a new era for U.S. drugmakers. The Indianapolis-based health insurer will use studies that compare the effectiveness of one drug against another as a complement to typical clinical trial research that compares a drug against a placebo sugar pill.
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Summit to counsel cities on reform

May 26, 2010
J.K. Wall
Now that health reform is law, a local not-for-profit group, Better Healthcare for Indiana, wants to help Indiana community leaders use the law to slow runaway medical spending while improving the health of their citizens.
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Q&A: Don Stumpp

May 26, 2010
J.K. Wall
Don Stumpp, manager of payer contracting at Indianapolis-based physician group American Health Network and president of the Indiana Medical Group Management Association, discussed the impact of the health care reform law on primary care physicians as well as the near-constant threat of a sharp cut in Medicare reimbursement.
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Evans: Health care real estate is evolving

May 19, 2010
J.K. Wall
If Clarian Health CEO Dan Evans were investing in health care real estate, he’d make bets in three new things: smaller, denser clinics with lots of computer equipment to do telemedicine; medical office buildings populated by physician assistants; and nursing homes with a strong relationship with a hospital.
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ER doc is affable WellPoint activist

May 19, 2010
J.K. Wall
Dr. Rob Stone wants the giant health insurer to convert to not-for-profit status and put him, an advocate of national health insurance, on the company's board.
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Study: Quality, costs better at big practices

May 12, 2010
J.K. Wall
As physician mergers increase in Indianapolis, a new study has determined that quality at large, multispecialty practices is at least 5 percent higher and costs are 3.6 percent lower than at small group practices.
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Lilly still waiting on once-weekly Byetta

May 12, 2010
J.K. Wall
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week pushed its self-declared deadline for rendering an approval decision on the drug Bydureon to Oct. 22. The previous deadline was in March.
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Q&A

May 12, 2010
J.K. Wall
Joe Guzman is a co-founder of Indianapolis-based Ascend USA, the new trade adopted after Guzman merged his benefits brokerage, Benefits Strategies Inc., with benefits business Steven Goodin. The eight-person firm expects to hire as many 15 new employees in the next year. Those workers will help Ascend diversify from health benefits into brokering commercial insurance products.
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Glick Eye Institute designed to mesh architectural styles, ophthalmology researchers

May 8, 2010
Norm Heikens
The new home for the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute that’s rising from the ground at IUPUI must do a lot of things well.
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TAYLOR: Reform will drive demand for health care facilities

May 8, 2010
Deeni Taylor
There has been a noticeable uptick in the level of health care real estate development activity this year.
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New federal funds come with big goals

May 5, 2010
J.K. Wall
Indiana has now received nearly $50 million in federal bucks to digitize health care around the state. But the latest grant—$16 million to the Indiana Health Information Exchange—comes with specific, ambitious goals for health care providers.
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Conseco profit edges analyst expectations

May 4, 2010
J.K. Wall
The Carmel-based life and health insurer earned $33.9 million in the quarter, more than 38 percent higher than during the same quarter a year earlier. Nearly all of that increase, however, was due to lower losses on investments and debt modifications.
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Indy anti-diabetes experiment takes off

April 21, 2010
J.K. Wall
UnitedHealthcare believes a program tested in the Indianapolis area will help it save money on claims.
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Study: Ditch reform, add public option

April 14, 2010
J.K. Wall
In poll after poll, calls for repealing the new health insurance law get strong support. But if the law were repealed, an Indiana University survey released this week shows that Americans want a surprising thing in its place: a public option.
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