Health Care Reform

Kaiser: Lack of competition endemic

October 31, 2011
J.K. Wall
In a new study, Indiana ranked as the 19th least-competitive state for individual health insurance and the 27th least-competitive for small-employer health insurance.
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Q&A

October 31, 2011
J.K. Wall
As an Eli Lilly and Co. lobbyist in Washington, D.C., Jay Bonitt is hoping the Congressional “super committee” charged with trimming the federal budget doesn’t turn to the Medicare prescription drug program, known as Part D, to do so. Bonitt, Lilly's vice president of federal affairs, said the program is under budget and helps spur drugmakers to further innovation.
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Insurance mandate lacks teeth, WellPoint CFO says

October 24, 2011
J.K. Wall
As constitutional challenges to the health reform law’s mandate to buy insurance advance, WellPoint Inc.’s chief financial officer reiterated that the company does not object to the mandate, just to its lack of penalties.
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Hospitals scrambling to buy nursing homesRestricted Content

October 22, 2011
J.K. Wall
The hospitals owned by Boone and Hamilton counties are following the lead of Indianapolis-based Wishard Health Services and its parent organization by acquiring far-flung nursing homes, hoping the strategy proves as lucrative.
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Best and worst of times for new docs

October 10, 2011
J.K. Wall
Medical residents are getting more job offers than before, yet greater numbers of them say if they had it to do over again, they would not go to medical school.
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IU Health, Howard Regional call off merger talks

October 4, 2011
J.K. Wall
The integration of the two not-for-profit hospital systems, approved by Howard Regional's board in late May, is now dead, the two hospitals announced Monday.
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Private exchange could boost WellPoint profits

October 3, 2011
J.K. Wall
WellPoint Inc.'s participation in buying a majority stake of the private health insurance exchange operator Bloom Health could help it get back to its roots as a health insurer—and make a bit more money in the process.
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PANEL: Reforms to rapidly reshape health careRestricted Content

October 1, 2011
Reform-induced changes dominate health care panel of health care experts convened by Indianapolis Business Journal.
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Accountable care 'savior' of doc groups

September 26, 2011
J.K. Wall

Health_care_park_watch_videoIndianapolis’ largest independent physician group, American Health Network, doesn’t want to sell to a hospital, but its CEO hopes it can hold on until accountable care kicks in.

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Firm tries again with personal health records

September 26, 2011
J.K. Wall
Even though Google Inc. has given up on the business of electronic personal health records, Fort Wayne-based NoMoreClipboard.com is launching a new service it thinks will crack open the market.
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WellPoint buying private health insurance exchange

September 20, 2011
Bloomberg News
The deal helps WellPoint compete for employers with the U.S. state-run marketplaces set to open in 2014 under President Obama’s health-care overhaul.
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Roche hopes to prosper from austerity

September 19, 2011
J.K. Wall
Executives at Roche Diagnostics expect the wave of austerity measures being taken by western governments—including the United States—to as much as double its sales of fluid- and DNA-based tests in the next three years.
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Will ACOs really get off the ground?

September 19, 2011
J.K. Wall
The hype over accountable care organizations—something every major hospital in Indianapolis is moving to become—is increasingly being laced with skepticism as the economics behind the idea get more scrutiny.
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Gloomy outlook for medical device makers

September 12, 2011
J.K. Wall
The next four years could be rough for makers of medical devices and orthopedic implants, including Bloomington-based Cook Medical Inc. and Warsaw-based Zimmer Holding Inc. and Biomet Inc.—and not because of the 2010 health reform law.
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Study: Hospital-doc hookups raising costs

August 22, 2011
J.K. Wall
Indianapolis doctor tell researchers that hospitals are paying more than $1 million a year to employ some cardiologists.
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Q&A

August 22, 2011
J.K. Wall
Angela Smith, an attorney for hospitals and physicians at Indianapolis-based Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman P.C., spoke about Medicare’s value-based purchasing program, a federal initiative that will attempt to shift health care payments from the fee-for-service model to one based on health outcomes. On July 1, hospitals began being scored on their performance in 13 categories, including processes, patient outcomes and patient satisfaction surveys. How hospitals score could boost or diminish all their Medicare payments by as much as 1 percent, beginning in October 2012.
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WellPoint spent $1.3M on federal lobbying in 2nd quarter

August 18, 2011
Associated Press
WellPoint lobbied on issues tied to the overhaul's implementation and regulations for accountable care organizations, which are networks of hospitals, doctors, rehabilitation centers and other providers that coordinate a patient's care.
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Five individual insurers leaving Indiana

August 8, 2011
J.K. Wall
Hartford-based Aetna Inc. and Philadelphia-based Cigna Corp., the nation’s third- and fifth-largest health insurers respectively, have announced their departure from Indiana’s individual health insurance market.
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WellPoint fails to profit on consumer pullback

August 1, 2011
J.K. Wall
With recession-weary Americans going to the doctor less, health insurer WellPoint Inc. should be enjoying higher profits. But it isn’t working out that way.
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Consumers grow allergic to health care costs

August 1, 2011
J.K. Wall
Deloitte found that 20 percent of consumers have cut back on health care spending and 75 percent say the economic slowdown has had some impact on their willingness to spend on health care.
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WellPoint insures two-thirds of Hoosier workers

July 25, 2011
J.K. Wall
Indianapolis-based WellPoint claimed 63 percent of all employees covered by small-group employers and 66 percent of the workers at large-group employers, according to Seattle-based actuarial firm Milliman Inc.
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Primary care gets a new approach: prevention

July 20, 2011
Associated Press
A budding model for primary care that encourages the family doctor to act as a health coach who focuses as much on preventing illness as on treating it has shown promising results and saved insurers millions of dollars.
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Not-for-profits vying with WellPoint may get $3.8B in loans

July 18, 2011
Bloomberg News
Not-for-profits that compete with insurers such as WellPoint Inc. are eligible for $3.8 billion in U.S. financing under the health law, and the government expects more than a third of the loans not to be repaid.
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Exchange could snag 1.1M Hoosiers

July 18, 2011
J.K. Wall
An estimated 1.1 million Hoosiers will obtain health insurance through a yet-to-be-created online exchange, according to the latest estimates from the task force guiding Indiana’s response to the 2010 health reform law.
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CBO: No great savings from health reform

July 18, 2011
J.K. Wall
Don’t expect the health reform law to tame health care costs. That’s the conclusion of the director of the Congressional Budget Office, who also suggested some of the simplest ways to moderate costs would be to roll back some of its key provisions.
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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.

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