Health Care Reform

WellPoint using deals to prep for new era in insuranceRestricted Content

July 14, 2012
J.K. Wall
The buying spree is back on at WellPoint Inc., with a twist. A decade ago, the insurer consolidated Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans that catered to employers. Today, it is making deals to grow the non-employer part of its business.
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Local providers join Medicare ACO program

July 9, 2012
J.K. Wall
Indiana University Health, as well as a partnership of Franciscan Alliance and American Health Network, have formed accountable care organizations that won the blessing of the federal Medicare Shared Savings program.
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RUSTHOVEN: A pocket guide to the health care rulingRestricted Content

July 7, 2012
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
Ours is a government of limited powers.
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Doctors, hospitals follow only parts of Regenstrief's IT prescriptionRestricted Content

July 7, 2012
J.K. Wall
The great results Regenstrief Institute has produced over the years in studies at Indianapolis’ Wishard Memorial Hospital have not held up when conducted in a wider variety of settings.
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Q&A

July 2, 2012
J.K. Wall

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act cleared a big cloud of uncertainty for employers, but with just 18 months before the most significant provisions of the law kick in, many questions remain. Three benefits consultants from Indianapolis-based Gregory & Appel Insurance—Bob Miller, Mike Miles and Karl Ahlrichs—sat down to discuss what the future looks like for employer health benefits.

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High court ruling could leave 290K Hoosiers uncovered

July 1, 2012
J.K. Wall
A decision by Indiana to leave its Medicaid program unchanged could leave as many as 290,000 Hoosier adults, who would have been newly eligible for Medicaid coverage, with no good options.
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High court health care decision good for some, not others

June 29, 2012
Associated Press
The Supreme Court's decision Thursday to uphold President Barack Obama's historic overhaul is expected to boost many players in the health care industry, but not every corner of the sector will benefit.
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High court ruling opens Medicaid escape hatch for states

June 28, 2012
J.K. Wall
While upholding President Obama’s health care law, the U.S. Supreme Court may have created a way out for states that do not want to expand their Medicaid programs. Whether Indiana decides to opt out remains to be seen.
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Insurance stocks sink, hospital shares rise after ruling

June 28, 2012
Associated Press
Stocks of hospital companies rose sharply and insurance companies fell Thursday after the Supreme Court upheld a requirement that almost all Americans carry health insurance. WellPoint shares were down more than 5 percent.
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U.S. health-care overhaul upheld by Supreme Court

June 28, 2012
Bloomberg News
The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the core of President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul, preserving most of a law that would expand insurance to millions of people and transform an industry that makes up 18 percent of the nation’s economy.
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Electronic health records bring $135M to Indiana

June 25, 2012
J.K. Wall
The federal stimulus program to speed “meaningful use” of electronic medical records is starting to generate significant cash for Indiana health care providers: More than $135 million has flowed to more than 2,000 Hoosier hospitals and doctors since January 2011.
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Court ruling would lift cloud of uncertainty

June 18, 2012
J.K. Wall
The U.S. Supreme Court did not hand down a ruling in the health care reform case Monday morning. The nine justices meet again Thursday, but most observers expect the decision to come June 25 or June 28.
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Employers slow to act on health reform

June 11, 2012
J.K. Wall
Even though employers expect the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down at least some of the 2010 health reform law later this month, few are actually doing any contingency planning.
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WellPoint: Consumers will control health insurance

June 4, 2012
J.K. Wall
The future of health insurance is lower profit margins and greater consumer control. WellPoint Inc. just bet $900 million on it.
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Price hikes offset slower health care use

May 29, 2012
J.K. Wall

Newly available data from private health insurance plans show that price hikes by hospitals, doctors and drug companies have kept employer spending rising recently even as their employees and dependents have moderated their consumption of health care services.

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Physician buyouts bruising hospitalsRestricted Content

May 26, 2012
J.K. Wall
As St. Vincent Health has nearly doubled the number of physicians it employs over the past two years, the losses on those practices have mounted. And the same thing is happening at all the major Indianapolis hospital systems, as all have spent the past four years aggressively acquiring physician practices.
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OBEIME: Poor, uninsured won't monopolize resourcesRestricted Content

May 12, 2012
Myth prevents policymakers from attacking real problem of distributing funding.
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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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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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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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