Health Care Reform

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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Study: Medicaid better than nothing

July 11, 2011
J.K. Wall
Health care reform will add roughly 500,000 Hoosiers to the Medicaid program and, in spite of great criticism of that expansion, a new study suggests Medicaid coverage does help consumers get more care, have fewer unpaid bills and feel better.
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Employers face messy decision to drop health insuranceRestricted Content

July 9, 2011
J.K. Wall
Companies that drop insurance coverage could, without spending any more money than they are now, give workers an 11-percent raise or else help them save as much as $2,000 per year buying health coverage in one of the exchanges, IBJ calculations show.
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STUMPP: Docs' loss of independence driving up health care costsRestricted Content

July 9, 2011
Don Stumpp / Special to IBJ
The fact is that hospitals are paid three to four times for physician ancillary services.
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Q&A

June 27, 2011
J.K. Wall

Jim Alender has been CEO of Howard Regional Health System in Kokomo since 1997. He recently negotiated a letter of intent to merge the hospital with Indianapolis-based Indiana University Health. He spoke about the major factors that led to that decision, and the benefits he hopes to come from it. The deal, which still requires approval from Howard County officials, could close before the end of this year.

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Troubled economy fueling hospital deals

June 20, 2011
J.K. Wall
Battered by stagnant population growth and blue-collar job loss, Howard Regional Health is merging with Indiana University Health—a deal that reflects the challenges faced by hospitals in Indiana’s outlying cities.
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Survey: Hospitals still rewarding docs for volume

June 20, 2011
J.K. Wall
The latest physician recruitment survey from Texas-based Merritt Hawkins shows three-quarters of all physician searches include a performance bonus for the doctor. Fewer than 10 percent of those bonuses are tied to something other than volume of procedures.
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Community Health adopts low-cost mantraRestricted Content

June 18, 2011
J.K. Wall
Community Health Network has embarked on a strategy to become a low-cost, high-output machine in order to survive the coming harsh economic environment that an aging population and expanded health care coverage promises for hospitals.
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Hoosiers in line for $30M in rebates

May 31, 2011
J.K. Wall
Only 19 of the 63 companies writing individual health insurance policies in Indiana have been meeting the new 80-percent medical-loss threshold of the health care reform law, potentially triggering a refund for customers.
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Hospitals nearing 'saturation' on doc hiring

May 31, 2011
J.K. Wall
Indianapolis may be reaching a saturation point for hospitals employing physicians, according to the latest report from the Center for Studying Health System Change.
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IU Health buying docs in hospital ventures

May 23, 2011
J.K. Wall
Indiana University Health is now quietly unwinding the physician ownership of its hospitals in Carmel and Avon—which sparked loud controversy when they opened in 2004 and 2005.
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OrthoIndy looks to loopholes for growth

May 23, 2011
J.K. Wall
OrthoIndy, the physician practice that owns the Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital, was able to open a new outpatient facility this spring by working around growth restrictions in the 2010 health care reform law. But its choices for further growth are much starker—which is why it's lobbying to repeal that provision of the law.
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Q&A

May 23, 2011
J.K. Wall
Bob Brody, CEO of Franciscan St. Francis Health, which operates three hospitals in central Indiana as part of the 13-hospital Franciscan Alliance system, discussed the rationale for its decision to take control of Visiting Nurse Service Inc.
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Health insurers lose push to ease rate review

May 20, 2011
Bloomberg News
U.S. insurers led by WellPoint Inc. and UnitedHealth Group Inc. failed to get federal regulators to change a rule in the 2010 health-care overhaul that triggers a review of any premium increases exceeding 10 percent.
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Franciscan Alliance takes control of VNS home health agency

May 19, 2011
J.K. Wall
Visiting Nurse Service Inc., a 200-employee agency based in Indianapolis, will operate under the umbrella of Franciscan St. Francis Health, the organizations announced Thursday.
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VCs: Health benefits will be defined contribution

May 16, 2011
J.K. Wall
Increasing government involvement in the health insurance market will have the counter-intuitive effect of making the industry more consumer-driven, concludes a new report from a health care venture-capital firm.
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Reform could create more 'boutique' doctors

May 14, 2011
J.K. Wall
Health reform could accelerate trend toward two tiers of care, with concierge services like Dr. Matt Priddy offers at the top and long waits and minimal attention at the bottom.
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Health care providers opening to technologyRestricted Content

May 14, 2011
Katie Maurer
Some health care system are finally allowing online scheduling.
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MANTOOTH: Companies bogged down by employees' poor healthRestricted Content

May 14, 2011
The problem is, too many people make unhealthy choices and the consequences of these choices become everyone’s problem.
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Economist: Expect boom in medical offices

May 2, 2011
J.K. Wall
Demand for medical office buildings is set to grow twice as fast as it was expected to in the next decade, thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
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Anthem: Global payments coming back

April 25, 2011
J.K. Wall
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s vision for accountable care organizations foresees doctors and hospitals shifting to global capitation payments and employers getting bigger discounts if they allow their workers access only to health care providers in a specific organization.
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Medicare rules hammer hospitals, docs

April 6, 2011
J.K. Wall
Being an accountable care organization will be the major leagues of health care after the federal Medicare program set a high bar for the new kind of doctor-hospital organization.
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WellPoint gets vote of confidence

March 30, 2011
J.K. Wall
Health reform will make health insurance a less-profitable business, but WellPoint Inc. got a vote of confidence from bond analysts because health-reform rules have turned out milder than expected and WellPoint’s financial performance has been particularly strong as the economy recovers.
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Q&A

March 30, 2011
J.K. Wall
Susan Rider is an employee-benefits account manager at Indianapolis-based Gregory & Appel Insurance. On July 1, she will become president of the Indiana State Association of Health Underwriters. She spoke about the first-year impact of the 2010 health reform law and further changes to come.
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Self-funded plans draw small-firm interest

March 23, 2011
J.K. Wall
In the face of new health reform restrictions, expect more small employers to opt for self-funded health benefits, concludes a report this week from Indianapolis-based United Benefit Advisors.
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