Health Care Reform

New WellPoint CEO Joe Swedish thrives on complexity

May 25, 2013
J.K. Wall
Joe Swedish, a career hospital executive, is now two months into his job at the helm of Indianapolis-based WellPoint, the nation’s second-largest health insurer. In his first interview since starting work, Swedish indicated he’s taking his time to learn the people and the culture of the vast organization he now leads.
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Forecast: Cash to reign in health care

May 20, 2013
J.K. Wall
With premiums for health insurance likely to head north next year as President Obama’s health care reform law fully takes effect, both individuals and employers will pay for more health care out of their own funds and buy less insurance.
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Study rebuts hospitals' argument on Medicare, rising costs

May 13, 2013
Rather than raising prices on private health insurers to make up for inadequate payments from the government, hospitals across the country have been raising prices just because they can, according to a new study.
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Feds scrutinize nursing home buying spreeRestricted Content

April 27, 2013
J.K. Wall
Indiana’s county-owned hospitals have rushed to acquire nursing homes in the past two years, opening a revenue stream for both the hospitals and the long-term-care facilities. But the additional federal revenue that has driven these purchases could come under threat.
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Employer health coverage on 10-year fall, study says

April 11, 2013
Bloomberg News
Indiana, Michigan and South Carolina saw the steepest declines in employer-backed coverage from 2000 to 2011, according to a study released Thursday.
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IU Health to chop $1 billion off costsRestricted Content

April 6, 2013
J.K. Wall
Even though Obamacare likely will expand health insurance coverage to an extra 500,000 Hoosiers over the next few years, IU Health expects per-patient reimbursements to fall as the federal government, employers and patients all push back on sky-high health care costs.
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COLWELL: Indianapolis strategizes for health care reformRestricted Content

April 6, 2013
AnnJeanette Colwell
The recent flurry of big announcements portends well.
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Crunching the numbers on Obamacare

March 30, 2013
J.K. Wall
The biggest changes from President Obama’s 2010 health reform law take effect nine months from now, so many Hoosier employers have started crunching detailed numbers to cost out their options.
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Study: Inpatient declines to hit all hospitals

March 11, 2013
J.K. Wall
One explanation for Indiana University Health’s decision to delay its Methodist Hospital expansion is that new “value-based” payment models appear to be pushing down hospitalization rates, according to a study released Friday.
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Analysis: Feds likely to cut Medicaid support

March 11, 2013
J.K. Wall
A fellow conservative provided some support for Gov. Mike Pence’s claim that an expansion of Medicaid will become a “baby elephant” that eats up larger and larger shares of state resources.
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Indy hospitals healthy despite sequester

March 4, 2013
J.K. Wall
While rural hospitals face sharp reductions in their operating incomes, most of the four major hospital systems based in Indianapolis will see only a marginal impact on their finances.
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Senate advances telemedicine payments

March 4, 2013
J.K. Wall
The Indiana Senate voted unanimously last week to require the Indiana Medicaid program to pay home health agencies, rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers for doing medical consultations, diagnoses and monitoring using videoconferencing, telephones or computers.
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Hospital systems forcing doctors to choose sidesRestricted Content

March 2, 2013
J.K. Wall
The five-year trend of physician practices marrying up with hospitals has made it harder and harder for independent physician practices to spend time in more than one hospital system.
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Milliman: HIP could save $156M a year

February 25, 2013
J.K. Wall
The actuarial firm hired by the state estimates savings of about $156 million per year if Indiana uses its Healthy Indiana Plan to expand Medicaid coverage.
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Legislators struggle to nail down cost of health care expansion

February 24, 2013
Associated Press
The cost of health care for an additional 400,000 low income residents is something nobody in the Indiana Statehouse seems to be able to agree upon this year, even as the crucial decision about whether to expand Medicaid bears down on lawmakers midway through their annual session.
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Pence still angling to use Healthy Indiana Plan to expand MedicaidRestricted Content

February 23, 2013
J.K. Wall
Decisions by other Republican governors to support Medicaid expansion is increasing pressure on Indiana's governor to do the same.
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UPDATE: Primary care at heart of hospitals' deal

February 18, 2013
J.K. Wall
Community Health Network’s new partnership with Wishard Health Services will create a primary-care behemoth that the systems argue will put them in the best position possible to handle the changes coming from federal health reform.
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Community, Wishard to form joint operating agreement

February 18, 2013
J.K. Wall
The partnership will create a new board to oversee and coordinate the operations of both systems, according to internal messages sent to Community stakeholders. Community Health CEO Bryan Mills will be the CEO of the new joint-operating entity.
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WellPoint shares tumble on surprising CEO hire

February 13, 2013
J.K. Wall
The Indianapolis-based health insurer saw its stock tumble as much as 4.8 percent Wednesday morning after it unexpectedly named career hospital executive Joe Swedish to be its next CEO.
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Q&A

February 11, 2013
J.K. Wall

Don Kelso is executive director of the Indiana Rural Health Association. The trade group is trying to help its members navigate the changes coming from health care reform and the financial pressures being created by federal budget cuts. The association recently launched a service for its members called SuiteStats, which is data-management software to help hospital executives identify areas ripe for cost-cutting.

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Pressure rises on lawmakers to expand Medicaid

February 11, 2013
J.K. Wall

Up until now, Gov. Mike Pence and his fellow Republicans in the Legislature have been playing a game of poker with the Obama administration over a potential expansion of Indiana’s Medicaid program. But all of a sudden, Indiana’s hand just got quite a bit weaker.

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Community taps Walgreens for health reform help

February 4, 2013
J.K. Wall
In the era of health care reform, hospitals will face two new challenges: They will need to run higher-volume, lower-margin businesses, and they’ll be on the hook financially for what patients do even when they’re not receiving health care. Community Health Network’s new partnership with Walgreens’ Take Care Clinics is designed to help address both issues.
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Zimmer highly exposed to health-reform risk

January 28, 2013
J.K. Wall
Shares of Zimmer Holdings Inc. have generated impressive returns of 23 percent in the past year and some 2013 product launches could juice those results even further. But the Warsaw-based maker of orthopedic implants is also the most-exposed company in its industry to two key elements of health care reform: the medical device tax and bundled payments.
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Health insurance changes daunting for Indiana employersRestricted Content

January 19, 2013
Scott Olson
A portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requiring companies in 2014 to begin offering health insurance to more workers is causing a lot of anxiety.
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Insurers may prove choosy with overhaul exchanges

January 17, 2013
Associated Press
The leader of the nation's largest health insurer warned Thursday not to assume widespread participation from his company in part of health care overhaul's coverage expansion that unfolds later this year.
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