Health Care Reform

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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Indiana Democrats pushing for more health care action

January 16, 2013
Associated Press
Democratic lawmakers pushed Wednesday for Indiana to take steps toward implementing the federal health care overhaul that Republicans who control state government have so far rejected.
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Franciscan, American Health join new ACOs

January 14, 2013
J.K. Wall
Franciscan St. Francis Health and American Health Network continue to get deeper into the accountable care organization concept being promoted by the federal Medicare program under the 2010 health reform law.
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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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Big drug deals expected to return in 2013

January 7, 2013
Bloomberg News
Pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Eli Lilly and Co. could be ready to start making major acquisitions again.
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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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Anthem rolling out 401(k)-style medical benefitsRestricted Content

December 1, 2012
J.K. Wall
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana will open a new online exchange to Indiana employers on Jan. 1, where workers could purchase medical benefits from a group of plans using a fixed sum of money given them by their employers.
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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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Small biz exposure clouds WellPoint's future

November 12, 2012
J.K. Wall
WellPoint’s average small-employer client has just 8.5 lives covered on its health plan. And firms of that size are far more likely to use the new health insurance exchanges, said WellPoint Chief Financial Officer Wayne DeVeydt.
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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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Low enrollment clouds Healthy Indiana PlanRestricted Content

November 3, 2012
J.K. Wall
Many Indiana Republicans want to use the Healthy Indiana Plan to expand Medicaid coverage in Indiana to more low-income adults. But the program—which offers health insurance based on health savings accounts to uninsured adults—has managed to attract just one-third of the Hoosiers it was designed for and has cost about twice as much per enrollee as predicted.
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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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St. Vincent, Community team up, forming colossusRestricted Content

October 6, 2012
J.K. Wall
Three area hospital groups—St. Vincent Health, Community Health Network and Suburban Health Organization—have agreed to join forces to manage patients’ health and strike new kinds of contracts with employers and health insurers.
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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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Purdue health care engineering center lands another $10M

September 12, 2012
J.K. Wall
Purdue University’s Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering will get another $10 million from the Indianapolis-based Regenstrief Foundation, keeping its research going through 2018.
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Rival's strong results have WellPoint playing catch-up

August 25, 2012
J.K. Wall
UnitedHealth has been enjoying healthy profits, growing customer rolls and a rising stock price—things the Indianapolis insurer has been unable to match. That tough comparison lies behind some of the investor attacks on WellPoint CEO Angela Braly.
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Governors aside, feds building health care exchanges

August 7, 2012
Associated Press
The feds may be gaining on GOP governors who've balked at carrying out a key part of the health care overhaul law. Opponents of the law say they won't set up new private health insurance exchanges. But increasingly it's looking like Washington will do it for them.
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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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Multi-employer health clinic to open downtownRestricted Content

July 28, 2012
J.K. Wall
NoviaCare Clinics LLC will open a multi-employer health clinic in downtown Indianapolis this fall, opening the door for smaller employers to add the service to their health benefits.
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Health insurers' anti-fraud bid seeks to ease profit-limit rule

July 27, 2012
Bloomberg News
The Obama administration Thursday announced a partnership with the industry in which WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and other insurers may try to share more billing data with the government to root out fraud.
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Suburban hospitals charm patients

July 23, 2012
J.K. Wall
A little extra Medicare money will flow to suburban hospitals in the Indianapolis area, based on recent patient satisfaction scores. But hospitals in the core of Indianapolis—and hospitals that do significant amounts of teaching medical students—may take a hit.
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