Insurance

Wishard bounces back, projects $23M surplus: Improved billing, debt collection dry up red inkRestricted Content

March 6, 2006
Tom Murphy
Wishard Health Services made it back into the black in 2005, three years after posting a staggering loss of $77 million. The not-for-profit, public hospital system expects to record a $23 million surplus on $362 million in revenue when budget totals are final in a few months. Its leaders expect to wind up with another surplus in 2006. Such performance is a noteworthy achievement in the public health universe, said Lynne Fagnani, senior vice president for the Washington, D.C.-based National...
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Making the grade: Pay-for-performance system nearing reality for local physiciansRestricted Content

March 6, 2006
Tom Murphy
Central Indiana stands on the leading edge of a national push by health care insurance systems to link doctors' pay with their performance. The Indiana Health Information Exchange-a not-for-profit collaboration among some of the state's largest health care providers-is developing a program that uses data collected from insurers and care providers to produce quality reports. Those reports then will be sent to doctors and used by the insurers to develop incentive programs for reimbursement. The goal: Start a system by...
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Insurers: Session a 'dog': Industry's favored bills bark up the wrong treeRestricted Content

March 6, 2006
Scott Olson
The state's insurance industry could use coverage for the lumps it has taken this legislative session. The three main issues of interest for the Insurance Institute of Indiana, the sector's lobbying arm, all flamed out early. The disappointing performance prompted Marty Wood, the organization's director of public affairs, to proclaim it a near failure. "I would give this session for insurers a 'D' as in dog. Dog is probably pretty accurate, too," Wood said. "Had we had this kind of...
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Home investors fill portfolios with bricks and mortar: Membership in local investor group grows; national trend, foreclosures are playing a partRestricted Content

February 27, 2006
Tammy Lieber
Mike Wilson recalls going to meetings of the Indianapolis Landlords Association in the late 1990s and listening to a "good old boys club" talk about property management problems such as how to fix toilets and get rid of cockroaches. "They were managing properties, not buying," said Wilson, who at the time had just started purchasing single-family homes as investments. With a hunger for knowledge and a hunch that there were others like him, Wilson took a spot on the board...
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Banning 'McLawsuits': State bill outlawing fast-food litigation nears passageRestricted Content

February 27, 2006
Matthew Kish
A bill nearing the governor's desk would make it illegal to sue Indiana restaurants-including the state's ubiquitous fast-food joints-for those extra notches in the belt. Commonly referred to as the "cheeseburger bill," the measure is part of a national effort by restaurants and small-business owners to protect themselves from enormous class-action lawsuits that have been filed against some national chains. House Bill 1113 passed out of the Senate Committee on Corrections, Criminal, and Civil Matters on Feb. 14 by a...
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Open source gaining traction: Government departments, more businesses seek alternatives to Microsoft, othersRestricted Content

February 27, 2006
Scott Olson
The Indiana Department of Education's effort to outfit high schools with computers is a costly endeavor for a state strapped for cash. But installing what is known as open-source software is softening the blow. As the name implies, open-source programming is available for users to study, modify and share freely-a sharp contrast to the proprietary software sold by behemoths such as Microsoft Corp. and Oracle. Expensive licensing fees associated with the proprietary software sent the Education Department looking for alternatives....
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Clarian sizing up south side: Agreement with Morgan Hospital could lead to development projects in St. Francis' back yardRestricted Content

February 27, 2006
Tom Murphy
The largest hospital network in Indianapolis will start stretching its reach once again next month, this time south of town, where it could challenge the dominance of St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers. Clarian Health Partners is embarking on a five-year development agreement with Martinsville's Morgan Hospital & Medical Center that could place more building projects on Clarian's already crowded construction agenda. The two systems plan to focus their relationship on improving patient care and research, but representatives of both...
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Know where to look for funding:Restricted Content

February 27, 2006
Charles Sim
Conventional bank loans Banks provide conventional financing, evaluating loan requests against the socalled "five Cs" of credit. They must feel comfortable that borrowers have: capacity to repay the loan; capital of their own invested in the business; collateral to offer as a secondary source of loan repayment; creditworthiness, based on personal and business borrowing history; and character worthy of the bank's trust. It's in banks' best interest to minimize risk. Loans are made only where the likelihood of being repaid...
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Standard stock sinks close to crucial mark: As shares hover around $1, company launches effort to raise $25 millionRestricted Content

February 20, 2006
Tom Murphy
Standard Management Corp. shares are sliding into a dangerous price range as the Indianapolis-based company tries to raise $25 million to continue growing its health-services business. The stock price dipped briefly below $1 earlier this month in NASDAQ trading. It rebounded to close at $1.17 Feb. 10 before slipping back to $1 Feb. 15. NASDAQ imposes a $1 minimum bid price for shares to continue trading on its exchange. Market watchers say Standard is in no danger of suddenly being...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Coffee, doughnuts and libertyRestricted Content

February 20, 2006
Morton Marcus
There is nothing like the aroma of strong, fresh coffee. So it was as I woke one recent day. My executive officer had left for work, but graciously left the coffee and its aroma for me to enjoy. Down the stairs I tottered with my dog (who pretends to be too feeble to manage the stairs by himself). I let him out, let him back in, gathered a cup of the brew, and entered my office. "Hi," she said in...
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RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: The Fortune 500 begins to dance with blogsRestricted Content

February 20, 2006
Tim Altom
Ford and GM do it. So do Sprint, Sun, Boeing and Xerox. But Raytheon, 3M, Kmart, McDonald's, and most of the rest of the Fortune 500 don't. At last count, only 22 of the Fortune 500 did it, according to Socialtext.net. Why do so few companies blog? Before going on, let's define "blog." A "blog" is shorthand for "weblog," which is essentially an online diary anybody can read and anybody can annotate with comments. Blogs are not strictly Web sites,...
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Bank profit see-sawed before sale: Union Fed investors may have tired of volatile performanceRestricted Content

February 13, 2006
Matthew Kish
Union Federal Bank's profits have gone up and down like an electrocardiogram since a group of elite investors bought a major stake in the privately held institution in 1999. That wildly inconsistent performance likely played a role in the decision by investors to sell the bank, experts say. On Feb. 3, both the bank and its parent company were sold to Bowling Green, Ohio-based Sky Financial Group Inc. for $330 million. The bank had been the thirdlargest in town. After...
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Ex-Winona owner under fire: Leland Medical Centers CEO faces fraud accusations, questions about his own bankruptcyRestricted Content

February 13, 2006
Tom Murphy
Accusations of fraud and other misconduct are piling up against the former owner of Winona Memorial Hospital. Two companies recently joined Winona's creditors in questioning money transfers made by Texasbased Leland Medical Centers Inc., which owned the nowdefunct Indianapolis hospital from 2002 until a short time before it closed in 2004. Meanwhile, lawyers sorting through the liquidation of Winona still have no explanation for why Leland took $3.6 million from the struggling Indianapolis hospital before it slid into bankruptcy and...
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Hospitals still find room to grow in Hamilton County: More competition doesn't crowd the market, experts sayRestricted Content

February 13, 2006
Tom Murphy
Clarian Health Partners made a big splash last December in Hamilton County when it opened a 154-bed medical center, but competitors in that market are showing they know how to flex development muscles, too. The county's three other hospitals all have planned, started or completed expansion projects in the last few years, and those who know the market see plenty of room for more health care. "If you're in the hospital business, it's hard to fail in a market like...
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BRIAN WILLIAMS Commentary: Health care is hurting Indiana's economyRestricted Content

February 13, 2006
Nearly 875,000 Hoosiers lack health insurance, including 165,350 children. Lack of health insurance takes a devastating toll on Hoosiers and the state's economic health, and the effect of the uninsured will only get worse as their numbers grow. As companies confront rising health care costs, the obvious solution is dropping or scaling back health-insurance benefits. As a result, the number of uninsured increases, resulting in a premium cost shift to the insured and increased cost for government-provided health care. Over...
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Firms face choice: Spend or be swallowed: Independent third-party benefits administrators watch consolidation wave sweep through stateRestricted Content

January 30, 2006
Tom Murphy
For small companies, "their systems costs are just eating them alive," said Donley, president of Donley & Co. Inc. "If they lose a couple large clients, all of a sudden they go from being in the black to being in the red." Donley and others say the skyrocketing cost of doing business has triggered a wave of consolidation in the Indiana market for benefits administration. Since 2003, larger companies have gobbled or plan to gobble at least seven independently owned...
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NOTIONS: Will House protect Hoosier families?Restricted Content

January 30, 2006
Bruce Hetrick
Last fall, the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce invited members to an event called "Pancakes and Politics." The invitation said that Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma would preview the upcoming legislative session. Ever curious, I e- mailed the Chamber and said I'd attend. When I arrived, I was puzzled. There were, indeed, pancakes. Bosma was working the crowd. But instead of signaling a legislative overview, the PowerPoint slide on the screen said we'd be hearing about the accomplishments and goals...
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Bills push for health incentives: Measures dangle carrots to quit smoking, shape upRestricted Content

January 30, 2006
Tom Murphy
A couple of state senators want to tame rising health care costs by delivering extra motivation to help government workers get in shape and other employees quit smoking. Sen. Vi Simpson, DEllettsville, has introduced a bill that would knock $100 off the annual health insurance premiums of state employees who complete a yet-to-be-designed wellness program. Sen. Beverly Gard, RGreenfield, is pitching legislation making it easier for employers to dangle incentives to curb smoking. That could lead to cash rewards for...
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Clarian finds room for luxury: Hospital one of a handful to feature spa treatmentRestricted Content

January 30, 2006
Tom Murphy
Women giving birth at Clarian North Medical Center now can enjoy a massage, manicure or pedicure before they return home to the sleep-deprived life of caring for a newborn. These are a few of the services Indianapolis-based Ology will offer when it launches its second hospital spa Jan. 23 at the new Carmel medical center. Ology opened its first more than a year ago inside Avon's Clarian West Medical Center. Spa Director Andréa Bradley-Stutz expects the latest location to top...
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Clarian finds room for luxury: Hospital one of a handful to feature spa treatmentRestricted Content

January 23, 2006
Tom Murphy
Women giving birth at Clarian North Medical Center now can enjoy a massage, manicure or pedicure before they return home to the sleep-deprived life of caring for a newborn. These are a few of the services Indianapolis-based Ology will offer when it launches its second hospital spa Jan. 23 at the new Carmel medical center. Ology opened its first more than a year ago inside Avon's Clarian West Medical Center. Spa Director Andréa Bradley-Stutz expects the latest location to top...
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Firms face choice: Spend or be swallowed: Independent third-party benefits administrators watch consolidation wave sweep through stateRestricted Content

January 23, 2006
Tom Murphy
For small companies, "their systems costs are just eating them alive," said Donley, president of Donley & Co. Inc. "If they lose a couple large clients, all of a sudden they go from being in the black to being in the red." Donley and others say the skyrocketing cost of doing business has triggered a wave of consolidation in the Indiana market for benefits administration. Since 2003, larger companies have gobbled or plan to gobble at least seven independently owned...
More

NOTIONS: Will House protect Hoosier families?Restricted Content

January 23, 2006
Bruce Hetrick
Last fall, the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce invited members to an event called "Pancakes and Politics." The invitation said that Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma would preview the upcoming legislative session. Ever curious, I e- mailed the Chamber and said I'd attend. When I arrived, I was puzzled. There were, indeed, pancakes. Bosma was working the crowd. But instead of signaling a legislative overview, the PowerPoint slide on the screen said we'd be hearing about the accomplishments and goals...
More

Bills push for health incentives: Measures dangle carrots to quit smoking, shape upRestricted Content

January 23, 2006
Tom Murphy
A couple of state senators want to tame rising health care costs by delivering extra motivation to help government workers get in shape and other employees quit smoking. Sen. Vi Simpson, DEllettsville, has introduced a bill that would knock $100 off the annual health insurance premiums of state employees who complete a yet-to-be-designed wellness program. Sen. Beverly Gard, RGreenfield, is pitching legislation making it easier for employers to dangle incentives to curb smoking. That could lead to cash rewards for...
More

Banking players on rise: Despite flood of mergers, area competition heats upRestricted Content

January 16, 2006
Matthew Kish
Big-ticket bank mergers grabbed plenty of headlines in the past two years. Just don't let the splashy news stories fool you. The number of players in the Indianapolis banking market is expanding, even amid consolidation in the industry nationwide. Over the past 10 years, the number of banks taking deposits in the metropolitan area has grown from 41 to 56, according to annual data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Analysts attribute much of the growth to smaller banks and...
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From FFA to DNA: Businesses view convention as more than a gathering of corn growersRestricted Content

January 16, 2006
Matthew Kish
Don't call it the Future Farmers of America. That went out of style with pastel suits and parachute pants. The organization is now known as the FFA. And it's no longer just a gathering of crop jockeys. The change in moniker partly illustrates why business leaders are so excited for the first of at least seven annual conventions the organization will stage in the Circle City starting in late October. "FFA is a premier, if not the premier, youth organization...
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