Health Care Costs

St. Francis-WellPoint deal is a sign of the timesRestricted Content

November 27, 2010
J.K. Wall
St. Francis, which operates three Indianapolis-area hospitals, and WellPoint, the giant health insurer, announced this month that they have agreed to jointly form an accountable care organization.
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Study: Indianapolis high-priced hospital market

November 24, 2010
J.K. Wall
Indianapolis-area hospitals have negotiated reimbursement rates with private health insurers that are two and three times higher than those paid by the federal Medicare program, suggesting the hospitals have the upper hand over insurers, according to a new study.
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Q&A

November 17, 2010
J.K. Wall
Les Zwirn, executive director of Better Healthcare for Indiana, talked about his group’s progress on promoting community collaborations to improve health and reduce the cost of care in cities around Indiana. BHI is hosting its third health care summit of Indiana community leaders today at Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis.
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New estimate drops health plan's cost to Indiana

October 26, 2010
Associated Press
A new estimate has lowered the expected cost of the federal health care overhaul to Indiana's state government to perhaps $2.6 billion over the next decade.
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Rules mostly falling WellPoint's way

September 29, 2010
J.K. Wall
Health insurers won fairly broad leeway under key rules suggested by state insurance commissioners that will govern what kinds of expenses count toward meeting a new federal threshold to spend at least 80 percent of premiums dollars on medical care.
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Health overhaul's $264M question weighs down WellPoint

September 22, 2010
Bloomberg News
The failure by state regulators to decide how much insurers must spend on patient care is scaring investors from health-plan stocks and complicating insurance company decisions.
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Building binge hasn't crimped hospital profits

September 22, 2010
J.K. Wall
Indianapolis-area hospitals spent billions on construction in the past decade and increasingly tried to poach patients from one another’s territories. Yet last year—one of the worst economically in recent history—21 of 26 hospitals still were able to show operating profits.
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Bill could make health workers pay for FBI checks

September 13, 2010
The bill has the potential to affect more than 250,000 Indiana workers in up to 24 categories of licensed professionals, including doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, chiropractors, hypnotists, dietitians and even veterinarians.
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Barron's: Brighter days ahead for WellPoint

September 8, 2010
J.K. Wall
It’s been a tough year for major health insurers, but Barron’s magazine predicts a big comeback for Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc. and its rival UnitedHealth Group.
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Partnership gives Angie's List members medical price info

September 1, 2010
J.K. Wall
Angie’s List has partnered with Tennessee-based Healthcare Blue Book to give its members price information before they receive medical care.
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Health costs surge despite weak inflation

August 25, 2010
J.K. Wall
Ben Bernanke may be worried about deflation in the economy, but there’s certainly no chance of it in health care and insurance. Employers’ health plan premiums surged another 8 percent this year, according to results from a massive survey by Indianapolis-based United Benefit Advisors.
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WellPoint, other health insurers race to join accountable care groupsRestricted Content

August 14, 2010
J.K. Wall
The health care industry is responding to reforms that will pay doctors bonuses if they provide high-quality care and save Medicare money.
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Bedsore preventer turns to detectionRestricted Content

August 14, 2010
Chris O'Malley
Changes in reimbursement could fuel market for WoundVision's product.
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WellPoint, peers focus on health reform rules, campaign

August 3, 2010
Bloomberg News
WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and three other health insurers, criticized by Democrats during the health care reform debate, are seeking to influence how the new law will be implemented, and possibly change it, by campaigning for supportive congressional candidates.
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New law takes American Health Network full circleRestricted Content

July 31, 2010
J.K. Wall
Dr. Ben Park joined Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in 1993 to start a large group of primary care physicians who would institute a concept called managed care. Now American Health Network is well-positioned to take advantage of the new version of managed care, called accountable care.
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Survey: Many hospital patients in dark about debt-relief options

July 26, 2010
J.K. Wall
Marion County survey finds 80 percent of respondents in debt to local hospitals, with about half saying they were never informed about the availability of charity care or payment plans.
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Hospitals see dip in charity care after 2008

July 10, 2010
J.K. Wall
Unemployment in Indiana has moderated slightly, but more than 313,000 Hoosiers remain out of work. And with attempts to extend benefits for the jobless stalled in Congress, it’s likely more people will struggle to pay medical bills.
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Health reform rule could cost WellPoint

July 7, 2010
J.K. Wall
WellPoint Inc. has about $800 million riding on one arcane rule: how to calculate a medical loss ratio. The ratio quantifies the percentage of customers’ premiums were spent on medical care, rather than overhead or profits.
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Health care reform bringing changes to Caregivers

July 3, 2010
Scott Olson
Caregivers anticipates coping with declining Medicare reimbursements while having to offer insurance to its employees.
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Fort Wayne medical practice splits, following industry trend

July 2, 2010
J.K. Wall
More than 100 staff members of Indiana Medical Associates LLC likely will land at one of two area hospital systems. The move mirrors national and local consolidation of practices with hospitals.
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WellPoint exec sees health insurer 'oligopoly' coming

June 24, 2010
Bloomberg News
U.S. health insurers are “moving towards an oligopoly,” a process that this year’s health-care overhaul will accelerate, the investor-relations chief at WellPoint Inc. said Thursday.
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Hospital jobs keep growing in recession

June 23, 2010
J.K. Wall
Hospitals continued to be a stable and slightly growing source of jobs and wages in Indiana—for better and for worse. The sector paid $7.3 billion to 127,000 Hoosiers in 2008, according to the latest data from the American Hospital Association.
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Medicare cuts hit doctors as Congress feuds

June 23, 2010
J.K. Wall
Physician offices will begin receiving payments from the Medicare that are 21.3-percent below what they’ve been getting so far this year. Doctors still expect Congress to reverse the payment cuts, but physicians and the Medicare program will have to reprocess claims, costing both extra money.
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Advocates decry cuts to Indiana home health program

June 17, 2010
Associated Press
The Indiana Family and Social Services told Area Agencies on Aging that a 15-percent cut in funding for the program known as CHOICE will save about $7.3 million from the program's $48.8 million annual budget.
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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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