Health Care Costs

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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Research reforms will force Lilly, others to test how drugs stack upRestricted Content

June 12, 2010
J.K. Wall
The federal government is currently doling out $1.1 billion in stimulus funds to pay for research that compares multiple medical treatments against one another to determine which is most effective. Drug companies like Eli Lilly and Co. are wary that comparative-effectiveness research could threaten their sales.
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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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Health care suppliers need to think long term, expert says

May 20, 2010
Chris O'Malley
Companies in the health care supply chain need to engage in more strategic, long-term preparation even as the industry faces uncertainties and upheaval, MIT expert tells local conference attendees.
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Drug-spending increase highest in four years

May 20, 2010
Bloomberg News
The price increase was fueled by the debate over the health-care overhaul in Washington, D.C., Medco Health Solutions Inc. CEO David Snow said.
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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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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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Reform to accelerate health care costs

April 28, 2010
J.K. Wall
Medicare actuary Richard Foster estimated the new law would raise overall health care spending by an additional $311 million over current law—more than when he first examined the legislation in December.
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Volunteers in Medicine fill need as boomers retire

April 3, 2010
Marc D. Allan
Not-for-profit sees increasing numbers of patients, but can't plug the entire gap to be created by health care retirements.
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WellPoint faces biggest changes under new law

March 31, 2010
J.K. Wall
The Indianapolis-based health insurer has more individual and small-business customers than its major competitors, increasing the impact of health reform.
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Health care bill burns local tanning industry

March 26, 2010
Anthony Schoettle
With one of the nation's largest tanning-bed manufacturers and dozens of salons in central Indiana, a 10-percent tax on tanning could cost the region jobs.
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Daniels warns of health bill's 'immorally huge' taxes

March 25, 2010
Associated Press
Daniels told members of the Economic Club of Indianapolis that it's ridiculous for anyone to suggest the nearly $1 trillion health care overhaul signed into law Tuesday by President Barack Obama won't add to the nation's debt.
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Bill kicks off years of change for local health care players

March 22, 2010
J.K. Wall
Sweeping changes phase in slowly for most, but insurers, hospitals, drug companies, employers, workers, medical device makers and more will eventually feel impact.
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Reform offers risk, opportunities for Lilly, WellPoint

March 22, 2010
 IBJ Staff and Bloomberg News
Drugmakers and insurers could gain millions of customers under the legislation, but the industry also will pay new fees and face stricter rules that may shrink profit and fuel mergers.
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Congress passes historic health care bill

March 21, 2010
Associated Press
To pay for the changes, the legislation includes more than $400 billion in higher taxes over a decade, roughly half of it from a new Medicare payroll tax on individuals with incomes over $200,000 and couples over $250,000.
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WellPoint may be anti-competitive, Connecticut AG says

March 8, 2010
 IBJ Staff and Bloomberg News
WellPoint Inc.'s Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Connecticut may constrain competition through contracts that require that the insurer receives hospital discounts at least as favorable as any provided to a competitor.
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WellPoint records subpoened in California probe

February 26, 2010
Bloomberg News
The California attorney general has demanded documents from several health insurers, including Indianapolis' WellPoint, believing that their rate-setting and claims practices might be illegal.
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Study: Hospital clout spurs higher Calif. health costs

February 26, 2010
Bloomberg News
While insurers get the blame for rising health-care costs for consumers, surging fees from hospitals and the growing dominance of such providers may be just as responsible for driving up expenses, according to a new study examining California's market.
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WellPoint CEO blames health costs for hikes

February 24, 2010
Associated Press
Amid attacks from Democrats over high executive salaries, Angela Braly testified in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday that big insurance-premium increases are the result of growing price tags for hospital care and pharmaceuticals.
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Obama endorses new taxes, more drugmaker fees

February 22, 2010
Bloomberg News
Obama, seeking to break an impasse over health-care legislation, proposes a plan that includes the first Medicare tax on unearned income such as capital gains and higher fees on drugmakers.
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Insurers warn of problems with federal regulator

February 22, 2010
Associated Press
President Obama's latest push for a health care overhaul could drive health plans around the country into insolvency, according to an insurance trade group.
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White House plans new rules for health insurers

February 19, 2010
Bloomberg News
President Obama will release a proposal to restart the health-care debate before a bipartisan White House meeting on Feb. 25, one day after WellPoint officials testify before Congress about steep rate increases.
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WellPoint, insurance commissioner get earful from lawmakers

February 17, 2010
J.K. Wall
State House insurance committee chair grills executives about WellPoint's 21-percent premium increase for individual policyholders in Indiana.
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