Health Care

VIEWPOINT: What you eat hits your bottom lineRestricted Content

May 28, 2007
Wendell Fowler
For most companies, medical costs eat up half or more of corporate profits. Employees in poor health hurt the bottom line through sick days and productivity losses from chronic disease, including diabetes, obesity, cancer and heart diseases. But on a hopeful note, corporate wellness programs often show a high return on investment. Du Pont saw that each dollar invested in workplace health promotion yielded $1.42 over two years in lower absenteeism costs. The Travelers Corp. claimed a $3.40 return for...
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New WellPoint plan makes wellness push: Program lets members join fitness clubs-for freeRestricted Content

May 28, 2007
Scott Olson
Want to join a gym but don't feel like splurging for the membership? No problem, if your company is one of a handful to offer a new wellness product that lets employees exercise at no charge. Called InTune, the program from Indianapolis-based insurance giant WellPoint Inc. is loaded with an array of services not unlike existing wellness offerings. Online and in-person coaching, diet advisers and holistic practitioners are among the benefits, for instance. But it's the free gym membership that...
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Law lets small employers band together for insurance: Experts disagree on whether associations will take offRestricted Content

May 28, 2007
Scott Olson
The Healthy Indiana Plan, which enacts a system to bring affordable health insurance to low-income Hoosiers, is one of the most far-reaching pieces of legislation to arise from the General Assembly this spring. The noble cause could provide coverage to about 15 percent of the state's population. Yet it could affect the small-business community as much as the state's growing number of uninsured. House Bill 1678, introduced by State Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, and signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels May...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Infrastructure is costly to improve, but costlier to ignoreRestricted Content

May 21, 2007
Don Altemeyer
A recent article in Strategy+business magazine estimated that "the world's urban infrastructure needs a $41 trillion makeover" between now and 2030. The article explained that $41 trillion is roughly equivalent to the "2006 market capitalization of all shares held in all stock markets in the world." Some experts think that "new technology" will be the answer, and it may be when nanotechnology takes over the world. For now, however, the trend usually reinforces the trend, and we do the same...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Employers hope to save by promoting healthy livingRestricted Content

May 14, 2007
Patrick Barkey
"Mandates are a form of love," a state legislator once said, explaining a vote that added requirements to privately funded health insurance programs statewide. And our governments evidently love all of us-businesses, individuals, and even other governments-very much. Our legislatures tell us the lowest wage we can pay our workers, the questions we can and cannot ask during job interviews, and how many gallons of water we use to flush our toilets. To the admittedly narrow-minded thinking of an economist,...
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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Gambling quenched lawmakers' appetite for new revenueRestricted Content

May 7, 2007
Ed Feigenbaum
The 2007 session of the Indiana General Assembly is now history. Whatever else might have been involved in shaping its outcome, nothing was so determinative as the revelation in the closing days that property taxes-driven by the first application of trending, rising property values in general, the elimination of the inventory tax, and some old-fashioned political legerdemain on the part of some assessors in different regions of the state-were expected to rise an average of 24 percent for taxes payable...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Does growth in health care drive our state's economy?Restricted Content

April 30, 2007
Patrick Barkey
Indiana households, businesses and governments spent more than $33 billion on health care products and services in 2004. We don't have current data yet, but you can be sure the amount is higher today. That's because growth in health care expenditures in the state has averaged a whopping 8.6 percent per year since 1980. In 2004, spending on hospital care, physician services, prescription drugs, nursing homes, and every other kind of health care product or service gobbled up 14.4 percent...
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New strategies help some salons survive: Traditionalists say booth rental will remain the normRestricted Content

April 30, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Americans spend billions every year on professional primping and pampering, but independent salons still are among the riskiest of small-business ventures-with a failure rate second only to restaurants. Hoping to buck that trend, some salon owners are trying different business models, breaking away from traditional booth-space rentals and engaging stylists as employees with a stake in the shop's success. Large chains like Great Clips broke the mold decades ago, paying employees an hourly wage to cut patrons' hair. Now local...
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Disease management proves less of a success: Indiana Medicaid quietly cuts savings estimateRestricted Content

April 23, 2007
J.K. Wall
In October 2005, Indiana's Medicaid program touted that it could save the state $29 million a year through disease management, a program aimed at reducing the medical costs of patients with chronic illnesses. But now, those estimated savings quietly have been slashed more than 75 percent. And one critic of Indiana's program says it is likely achieving even less in savings. The debate over the effectiveness of the Indiana Chronic Disease Management Program comes as the state moves to triple...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: State's growth in incomes is still lagging the nation'sRestricted Content

April 23, 2007
Patrick Barkey
It was 1980 when then-presidential candidate Ronald Reagan asked audiences whether they were better off than four years earlier. It was smart politics-1980 was a recession year. But politics aside, it's always a relevant question. For if the economy is not growing the pie that we all share, then those who manage it, not to mention those in political leadership roles, have cause for concern. But how do we answer such a question? With the due date for tax filings...
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DOING GOOD: LINDSAY CORNELIUS: MBA student emerging as philanthropic leaderRestricted Content

April 23, 2007
Judith Cebula
DOING GOOD LINDSAY CORNELIUS MBA student emerging as philanthropic leader To hear Lindsay Cornelius tell it, Indianapolis is the best place to live: It's a growing city, with terrific new restaurants, fabulous art galleries, great parks, excellent museums, hip clubs and a booming downtown. But like any major metropoli tan area, it has its problems. And that has Cornelius, 26, determined to be among the legions of young men and women who care deeply about things like quality schools and...
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EYE ON THE PIE: A useful program for Indiana's futureRestricted Content

April 16, 2007
Morton Marcus
I could see she was mad when I walked in the coffee shop. State representative Roberta Righteous was adding packet after packet of sugar substitute to her extra large macho mocha. As I sat down with my cup of regular, she blurted, "Your column last week was another cruel attack on the General Assembly. All criticism, all sarcasm, but no constructive suggestions for progress." "You want constructive ideas," I said, "I'll give you some. "First, Indiana abandons partisan redistricting. When...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: The Great Society meets fiscal realityRestricted Content

April 16, 2007
Patrick Barkey
Someone wise in matters of politics once said programs for the poor are poor programs. It remains true today-initiatives aimed at helping the most vulnerable in our society, be they privately or publicly funded, seem to be perpetually starved for funds. And so the genius of those who created the Social Security system-originally aimed at older Americans whose assets were devastated by the Great Depression in 1935-was to make the program available to all, regardless of income. In a few...
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Eli Lilly looks to ease shareholders' concerns: Zyprexa questions persist at annual investor meetingRestricted Content

April 16, 2007
J.K. Wall
It hasn't been easy the last few years to be a shareholder of Eli Lilly and Co. Lilly's stock price has languished as the company's vaunted drug pipeline has suffered hiccups and as legal troubles over its best-selling drug, Zyprexa, have lingered. So as Lilly shareholders gather April 16 for their annual meeting, two key questions hang in the air. Both center on Zyprexa, an anti-schizophrenia drug, which accounts for one-quarter of Lilly's revenue and even more of its profit....
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Competition drives hospital chief: Lennen labors to grow hospital, county to stay ahead of Indianapolis peersRestricted Content

April 16, 2007
J.K. Wall
Competitive. That's how Shelbyville community leaders describe Tony Lennen. Indeed. Any CEO of the city's Major Hospital needs to be. Shelby County residents can, in just 20 to 45 minutes, drive up Interstate 74 or Interstate 65 to any of Indianapolis' large hospitals, many of which boast massive marketing budgets and stables of specialists. But in nearly 14 years at the helm of Major Hospital, Lennen has found creative ways to boost profits, enhance technology, woo specialists and even-through aggressive...
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WellPoint bets on managing disease: Proving savings difficult, but insurers say it worksRestricted Content

April 9, 2007
J.K. Wall
It's a program with big promises and big profits. Yet it's hard to measure its payoff. It's disease management-an industry euphemism for health insurers' efforts to make sure chronically ill customers receive the best health care they can-before they get rushed to the hospital. Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc. says disease management helps it win business over other health benefits companies. It also says it saves its customers nearly three times as much money as they invest and improves the quality of...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Communications as usual just won't cut it anymoreRestricted Content

April 9, 2007
Jason T.
In 1999, when the World Wide Web was in its infancy, Rick Levine and others penned and posted "The Cluetrain Manifesto: The end of business as usual" (www.cluetrain.com). In this Web-focused document, their opening salvo at business as usual-and their wake-up call for American business- went thusly: "A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter-and getting smarter...
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Management's traffic cop: Administrative assistants play numerous roles, gain more respectRestricted Content

April 9, 2007
Marc D.
As a girl, Lori Drzal dreamed of becoming a spy, a policewoman-something where she'd be helping others. Her father had different ideas. "Become a secretary," he told her. "You'll always have a job." "Today," she said, "I think, 'Why did he tell me that?' But ... I've always had a job. I've always grown in my jobs, and I've always been challenged." Drzal, 48, executive assistant to Steak n Shake President and CEO Peter Dunn for the past four years,...
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Purdue professor developing weapon for AIDS battle: Lower-cost testing device could save money for more treatment in disease-ravaged Africa, other countriesRestricted Content

April 9, 2007
Scott Olson
The professor of cytomics-the study of cell systems-is leading an effort to develop a low-cost device that would help more Africans get tested for the deadly disease. His goal, bolstered by his Cytometry for Life not-for-profit, is to build thousands of units that can be delivered to third-world countries around the globe. Robinson has completed the prototype and returned in March from a weeklong trip to Nigeria, where he and fellow university researchers met with government and health care officials...
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People V Pounds: Ten local law firms vie to shed weight in friendly contest to promote wellnessRestricted Content

April 9, 2007
Scott Olson
Ten local law firms vie to shed weight in friendly contest to promote wellness Ten city firms indeed are vying to see whose members can shed the most inches from their waistlines within 10 weeks. The impetus for the "friendly" competition, which ends April 9, is modeled after Gov. Mitch Daniels' INShape Indiana program challenging Hoosiers to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks. Because participating firms range in size from behemoth Ice Miller LLP to boutique Schuckit & Associates PC,...
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Wellness gains full-time presence: Hospitals try to bulk up health promotion at employers' officesRestricted Content

April 9, 2007
J.K. Wall
Wellness is good for business. At least that's what Community Health Network and other Indianapolisarea hospitals are finding as they ramp up the wellness programs they offer onsite to area employers. Community has grown its health promotion division an average of 30 percent in each of the last three years. And this year, it had two corporate clients ask to have wellness staff at their offices daily. Community parks a wellness coordinator five days a week at Celadon Group Inc.,...
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WellPoint draws ire for pushing generics: Pfizer asks docs to resist cheaper statinsRestricted Content

April 9, 2007
J.K. Wall
Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc. is in a tussle with the nation's largest drug maker over the nation's top-selling drug. New York-based Pfizer Inc., facing the loss of billions in sales of its Lipitor cholesterol-fighting drug, sent letters last month to doctors, encouraging them to protest the attempts of health benefits firms to switch patients to generic cholesterol drugs. The letter, which says the change is being pushed "for cost reasons alone," reached doctors several days after Well-Point expanded a promotion to...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Whom will the state subsidize next?Restricted Content

April 2, 2007
Morton Marcus
Last week, I was walking on the Statehouse grounds and I saw some folks with large green pins on their lapels. "What do those stand for?" I asked. "Small businesses need Electronic Gaming Devices" one wearer told me. "That's for bars," I commented. The reply I got was not friendly. In the newspapers and on TV during the same week, there were features about horse breeders "needing" more state subsidies from slot machines at racetracks to "keep the industry alive."...
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Consumers drive away from HMOs: Despite declines, most plans in Indiana still have healthy reserves and profitsRestricted Content

March 26, 2007
J.K. Wall
Most central Indiana HMOs lost customers again in 2006, with consumerdriven health care plans inflicting the latest cut. Eight out of 10 major health maintenance organizations lost members, some for a third straight year. The declines ranged from 4 percent to 48 percent, according to their annual reports filed with the Indiana Department of Insurance. Most HMOs are in no danger of going out of business. Many posted increased profit in 2006, and most have healthy cash reserves. But HMOs...
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Surgeon helping pioneer efforts to regrow knee cartilageRestricted Content

March 26, 2007
J.K. Wall
When Dr. Jack Farr II saw his grandfather's knees become bowed out, then saw his father get a knee replacement, he knew he was next. So he spent his career trying to develop new techniques to replace--and now even regrow--the cartilage around knees. His labors are part of an international effort to develop alternatives to joint replacements.
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