Health Care Costs

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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TITTLE: Big challenges loom for nursing facilitiesRestricted Content

May 12, 2012
Scott Tittle / Special to IBJ
Boom in elderly population and falling reimbursements expected to cause squeeze.
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State's high court to weigh hospital bills

May 7, 2012
J.K. Wall
The Indiana Supreme Court this week will consider whether hospital billing practices should be put on trial. The state’s highest court will hear oral arguments Thursday in a case in which two uninsured patients have sued Indiana University Health for charging them much higher prices than it would have charged insured patients.
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Set pricing helps boost diagnostic network's growthRestricted Content

May 5, 2012
J.K. Wall
When the same MRI at one facility costs $600 and at another costs $2,200, Dr. Robert Gregori would call that a business opportunity.
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Quest to rein in health care costs gives momentum to on-site clinicsRestricted Content

May 5, 2012
J.K. Wall
Health care firms have opened a flurry of clinics at Hoosier employers the past two years as businesses increasingly embrace the concept as a way to restrain employee health costs.
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Health insurers could pay $16.5M in rebates

April 30, 2012
J.K. Wall
Health insurance customers in Indiana will get an estimated $16.5 million in rebates this year, but the average amount received per person will be less than the national average and less than 3 percent of the total cost of coverage.
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Report: Rebates from health care law will top $1B

April 26, 2012
Associated Press
More than 3 million health insurance policyholders and thousands of employers will share $1.3 billion in rebates this year, thanks to health care reforms, a research group said Thursday. Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc. is expected to return $94 million.
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IU doc group becomes Eskenazi Medical

April 23, 2012
J.K. Wall
A group of 123 doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants have formed the Eskenazi Medical Group in order to focus on maximizing patient care and related bonus payments at Wishard Health Services.
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Trend lines look good for WellPoint

April 23, 2012
J.K. Wall
More people have jobs and yet the use of health care remains stagnant—which should drive nice profits when WellPoint Inc. reports first-quarter earnings on Wednesday. The trends even have some wondering if consumer-driven health plans are finally starting to make a real difference in Americans’ health care spending habits.
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Indy is poster child (again) for medical arms race

April 16, 2012
J.K. Wall
Indianapolis was highlighted in a new national study because its hospitals have been particularly aggressive at expanding their geographic reach—raising concerns among health insurers and even hospitals themselves that new medical facilities and market power can only lead to higher prices.
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Is health care bubble about to burst?

April 16, 2012
J.K. Wall
Citigroup economist writes that U.S. health care sector "reminds us somewhat ominously of the bubble in housing finance" because public spending is fueling private profits.
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Q&A

April 16, 2012
J.K. Wall
Sam Gibbs is president of eHealth Government Solutions, part of California-based eHealthInsurance Services Inc. The company, founded in 1997, pioneered the sale of health insurance over the Internet. Gibbs spoke about the options for public and private health insurance exchanges, including the state-based exchanges mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
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Supreme skepticism boosts WellPoint stock

April 2, 2012
J.K. Wall
Wall Street's favorable reaction came not only because harsh questioning by the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative justices put in doubt the health reform law’s mandate that all Americans buy health insurance, but also because the justices raised the possibility that they would strike down requirements that insurers accept all customers, regardless of health.
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Supreme Court can't stop 'reform'

March 26, 2012
J.K. Wall
Leaping costs, aging populace and cash-strapped consumers will drive reform in health care industries even if court strikes down law.
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Hospitals push preemptive care with special programsRestricted Content

March 17, 2012
J.K. Wall
Hospitals around Indianapolis and the nation are expanding programs to help people before they become patients. They are trying to teach cooking as well as treat cancer, to do social work as well as do surgery.
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Patient referrals can be lucrative for hospitalsRestricted Content

March 17, 2012
Scott Olson
Physician liaisons are becoming key in recruiting efforts.
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COLVIN: Get ready for a perfect storm in Worker's Compensation

March 17, 2012
Ryan Colvin / Special to IBJ
Rates are set to rise as insurers increasingly note the link between older workers' health and productivity.
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Franciscan pulls back Greenwood plans

March 5, 2012
J.K. Wall
Franciscan St. Francis Health said its plans to build an emergency room and physician office building in Greenwood are on hold due to uncertainty over the effects of health care reform.
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Study: Indy hospitals charge 'excess' prices

February 27, 2012
J.K. Wall
The Big 3 automakers spent 35 percent more in the Indianapolis area to provide health care for workers and non-elderly retirees than they did in other auto-heavy cities—and two-thirds of that difference can be blamed on “excess prices” by Indianapolis hospitals.
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Economy could lift drug, device firms

February 20, 2012
J.K. Wall
The U.S. economy is showing signs of bouncing back and, if it does, look for drugmakers and medical-device companies to benefit. But if the economy has another summer stall like last year, expect health insurers to benefit.
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Hoosiers like parts of health reform law

December 19, 2011
J.K. Wall
As it is in the rest of the country, the 2010 health reform in Indiana continues to be unpopular, unlikely to be repealed and uncertain to put a dent in health spending, according to a poll of Hoosiers released last week by Ball State University.
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Mills: Health care's future is partnership

December 5, 2011
J.K. Wall
In spite of all the consolidation lately among hospitals, Community Health CEO Bryan Mills says the future of hospital systems will hinge more on partnerships like the one Community struck last week on its rehab hospital.
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Brokers' hopes dashed by feds

December 5, 2011
J.K. Wall
The Obama administration on Friday let stand an earlier rule that said brokers’ fees will have to count toward a 15-percent to 20-percent cap on administrative expenses placed on insurance plans by the 2010 health overhaul.
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Brokers get hope on commissions

November 28, 2011
J.K. Wall
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners passed a resolution Nov. 22 that urges Congress and the Obama administration to exclude benefits brokers’ commissions from the new requirement that insurers spend only 15 percent to 20 percent of the premiums they collect on administration and profits.
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Health insurers push comparison shoppingRestricted Content

November 26, 2011
J.K. Wall
Indianapolis-based Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Minnesota-based UnitedHealthcare say they’re responding to demands from employers, who are desperate to rein in spiraling health benefits costs and have begun embracing the idea that to do so they must change their workers’ approach to health and health care.
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