Health Care Costs

Fiscal cliff deal threatens Indiana co-op health plan

January 7, 2013
J.K. Wall
Last week’s fiscal cliff bargain in Congress dealt a potentially fatal blow to a new health insurance plan, called Remedy Indiana, that was set to launch this year.
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Health care pricing service comes to Indy

December 17, 2012
J.K. Wall

Chicago-based OkCopay Inc. posts prices offered by Indianapolis health care providers, many of which have agreed to give cash-paying patients a price roughly equivalent to those charged to insured customers. The site also includes pricing information from health care providers that do not give cash-paying patients an additional break.

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About 1 in 10 firms plans to drop coverage

December 3, 2012
J.K. Wall
Even as the rising cost of medical benefits has moderated, 11 percent of Indiana employers with 10 or more workers say they will terminate their medical coverage within the next five years, according to the latest survey from the benefits consulting firm Mercer.
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Medicaid expansion could cost $54M a year

November 26, 2012
J.K. Wall

A new set of projections released Monday estimates that expanding Medicaid coverage as called for in President Obama’s 2010 health reform law would cost the state government less than $54 million per year on average over the next decade—far lower than projections issued by the actuarial firm hired by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’ administration.

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Assessment fees benefit Indy hospitals

November 26, 2012
J.K. Wall
IU Health and Community enjoyed net gains of $267 million and $23 million, respectively, from the hospital assessment fee program during the fiscal year ended June 30.
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Indiana employers desperate to improve workers' personal habitsRestricted Content

November 24, 2012
J.K. Wall
Skyrocketing health care costs prompt search for new ways to improve lifestyle choices.
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Deal provides peek at Anthem's narrow networks

November 5, 2012
J.K. Wall
A new agreement in Wisconsin provides a glimpse of the kind of “narrow network” arrangements that Indianapolis-based Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield might attempt in Indiana.
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Study: Newly insured to be poorer, less educated

October 8, 2012
J.K. Wall
New health insurance coverage created by the 2010 health reform law will attract a lower-income, less-educated and more diverse set of customers than the insurance markets that exist today, according to a new analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers. And that could create challenges for doctors and hospitals trying to care for those patients.
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IBJ Health Care Power Breakfast - transcript

October 2, 2012
Indianapolis Business Journal convened a panel of experts at its Health Care & Benefits Power Breakfast on Sept. 28 to talk about industry issues including Medicaid, on-site health clinics and narrow networks. Panelists included Robert J. Brody, president and CEO of Franciscan St. Francis Health; Michael N. Heaton, partner, Katz Sapper & Miller; Dr. Gregory N. Larkin, commissioner, Indiana State Department of Health; Vicki F. Perry, president, CEO, Advantage Health Solutions Inc.; Dr. Ram Yeleti, president, Community Physician Network. The following is the unedited transcript of the discussion.
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Will Medicaid expansion actually work?

October 1, 2012
J.K. Wall
It would be “absurd” and a “travesty” for Indiana not to expand its Medicaid program, according to two local hospital officials. And yet other health care leaders do not expect expanded Medicaid coverage to provide nearly as much help to uninsured Hoosiers as hoped.
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Bill for Medicaid expansion? $516M a year

September 24, 2012
J.K. Wall
If Indiana expands its Medicaid program as called for under President Obama’s health reform law, it likely will hike state spending on the program an extra 13.5 percent—or $516 million annually—by 2020, according to the latest projections from Seattle-based actuarial firm Milliman Inc.
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WellPoint spends $50M to burnish brand

September 17, 2012
J.K. Wall
The Indianapolis-based health insurer expects the purchase of health insurance to look and feel much more like online retailing than ever before, where brand name, along with price and convenience, win the day.
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High-deductible premiums rising, too

September 17, 2012
J.K. Wall
Since 2007, premiums for high-deductible health plans’ family coverage have grown 32 percent—compared with 30 percent among all health plans, according to survey data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
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Cutting bills fuels growth of Health Systems InternationalRestricted Content

August 25, 2012
J.K. Wall
Health Systems is on pace this year for nearly $50 million in revenue, up from $42 million last year and just $4.5 million eight years ago. The Indianapolis company processes claims for health insurers when patients receive out-of-network care.
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Cautious hospitals trouble Hill-Rom

July 30, 2012
J.K. Wall
The investor drubbing sustained by Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. last week stemmed not so much from the new acquisition it announced as from the gloomy outlook in the North American hospital market.
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Insurance company key to Franciscan-American Health partnershipRestricted Content

July 21, 2012
J.K. Wall
Hospital system's health insurance unit has IT infrastructure that will allow physicians to participate in Medicare's shared savings program.
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Local providers join Medicare ACO program

July 9, 2012
J.K. Wall
Indiana University Health, as well as a partnership of Franciscan Alliance and American Health Network, have formed accountable care organizations that won the blessing of the federal Medicare Shared Savings program.
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Doctors, hospitals follow only parts of Regenstrief's IT prescriptionRestricted Content

July 7, 2012
J.K. Wall
The great results Regenstrief Institute has produced over the years in studies at Indianapolis’ Wishard Memorial Hospital have not held up when conducted in a wider variety of settings.
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Q&A

July 2, 2012
J.K. Wall

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act cleared a big cloud of uncertainty for employers, but with just 18 months before the most significant provisions of the law kick in, many questions remain. Three benefits consultants from Indianapolis-based Gregory & Appel Insurance—Bob Miller, Mike Miles and Karl Ahlrichs—sat down to discuss what the future looks like for employer health benefits.

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Electronic health records bring $135M to Indiana

June 25, 2012
J.K. Wall
The federal stimulus program to speed “meaningful use” of electronic medical records is starting to generate significant cash for Indiana health care providers: More than $135 million has flowed to more than 2,000 Hoosier hospitals and doctors since January 2011.
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Court ruling would lift cloud of uncertainty

June 18, 2012
J.K. Wall
The U.S. Supreme Court did not hand down a ruling in the health care reform case Monday morning. The nine justices meet again Thursday, but most observers expect the decision to come June 25 or June 28.
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Employers slow to act on health reform

June 11, 2012
J.K. Wall
Even though employers expect the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down at least some of the 2010 health reform law later this month, few are actually doing any contingency planning.
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WellPoint: Consumers will control health insurance

June 4, 2012
J.K. Wall
The future of health insurance is lower profit margins and greater consumer control. WellPoint Inc. just bet $900 million on it.
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Price hikes offset slower health care use

May 29, 2012
J.K. Wall

Newly available data from private health insurance plans show that price hikes by hospitals, doctors and drug companies have kept employer spending rising recently even as their employees and dependents have moderated their consumption of health care services.

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Justices grill both sides in IU Health case

May 14, 2012
J.K. Wall
Much of the nearly 45 minutes of arguments and questioning on May 10 involved the justices and the lawyers for both parties trying unsuccessfully to apply various scenarios from the retail world of commerce to health care pricing.
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