Insurance

Health Care Crusade: Physicians push for universal health coverage in IndianaRestricted Content

November 7, 2005
Tom Murphy
ome heart muscle had already died by the time family members coaxed the 50-something uninsured man into visiting Bloomington Hospital a few weeks ago. The patient had suffered severe chest pains two days before his hospital visit but didn't seek treatment, said Dr. Rob Stone, an emergencyroom physician there. "It was clearly because he was afraid of the bill," Stone said. By the time he made it to the hospital, the man was suffering a second heart attack. Now he...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Don't let a little suffering wreck holidaysRestricted Content

November 7, 2005
Morton Marcus
I drove past the shrine at Clark and Addison in Chicago the day after the White Sox won the World Series. All was normal outside Wrigley Field. There was no evidence of the momentous event in Houston the night before. The White Sox and their fans do not exist for Cubs fans. There is an order to the world. For Hoosiers, people from Kentucky generally rank lower than folks from Pennsylvania. Yet we know Hoosiers don't rank highly in the...
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Doctor group spreads its reach across state: American Health Network sees big growth in 2005Restricted Content

October 31, 2005
Tom Murphy
American Health Network started 2005 with no presence in the cancer-fighting field of oncology. Now the Indianapolis-based doctor network boasts the largest medical oncology practice in the state, said Dr. Ben Park, its president and CEO. Within the past several months, Park has watched his network add oncology practices with 32 locations across the state, 10 family physicians in Muncie, and a $4 million Fishers Medical Arts Building, built in partnership with Indianapolisbased OrthoIndy. He expects to see more growth....
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State revamps health coverage: New health savings accounts and high-deductible policies could help stem rising costsRestricted Content

October 31, 2005
Tom Murphy
Indiana state government will unveil a fresh approach to insurance coverage next year when it offers health savings accounts to its 33,000 employees and their dependents. The state wants employees to take more control of their health care and consequently harness spiraling costs, Personnel Director Debra Minott said. The high-deductible AnthemBy-Design plan it chose to accomplish that will be offered as one of five coverage options during an open enrollment that starts Oct. 31. "We really see a looming crisis...
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Health construction beat marches on in Hendricks: Population growth spurs health care developmentRestricted Content

October 31, 2005
Tom Murphy
A growing population is breeding more multimillion-dollar health care projects in Hendricks County. Danville-based Hendricks Regional Health will begin work next month on a $16 million medical office building more than a year after completing a $24.5 million hospital expansion, and St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is staking its claim with a $4.7 million medical office under construction in Plainfield. Meanwhile, Clarian Health Partners plans to bulk up parts of the 76-bed hospital it opened just last year in...
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Court battles widen for ProLiance Energy: Gas marketer sues its insurer for millions in legal feesRestricted Content

October 24, 2005
Chris O\'malley
ProLiance Energy LLC, already facing a $38.9 million judgment under a federal racketeering law, now is battling its insurer in court to collect more than $2 million in legal fees for its defense. New Jersey-based Executive Risk Specialty Insurance Co. not only refuses to pay the claim but also wants ProLiance to return $1.3 million in defense expenses paid before the February verdict on behalf of Huntsville Utilities in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. The jury...
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NOTIONS: Blessed by quality, cursed by accessRestricted Content

October 24, 2005
Bruce Hetrick
Hetrick last week won the Lawrence H. Einhorn, M.D. Award from the Little Red Door Cancer Agency. A cancer survivor himself, Hetrick was recognized, in part, for IBJ columns about people with cancer, especially his wife, Pam Klein, who died in March at 49. He also was honored for advocating anti-smoking legislation. Following are excerpts from his prepared acceptance remarks. I don't deserve this award. I don't wield a scalpel, administer chemotherapy, invent drugs, change bed pans, hold patients' hands,...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Ex-exec cuts guilty plea; Brightpoint says it's not a targetRestricted Content

October 24, 2005
Greg Andrews
One of two former Brightpoint Inc. employees charged this month in an accounting scandal has agreed to plead guilty in return for receiving a prison sentence of no more than 18 months. John Delaney, 40, former chief accounting officer of the wireless phone wholesaler, could end up spending far less time behind bars. In his nine-page plea agreement filed in federal court in Indianapolis, the U.S. Attorney's Office says it will argue for a lesser sentence. Delaney on Oct. 13...
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State changes malpractice tact: Insurance department using more outside legal helpRestricted Content

October 17, 2005
Tom Murphy
The Indiana Department of Insurance has boosted the outside help it uses to defend its medical malpractice Patients' Compensation Fund after seeing a record payout this summer. A staff shortage, concern voiced by providers and a ruling that could lead to huge damage sums all spurred the move, said Amy Strati, who oversees the fund as the Insurance Department's chief counsel. "The provider community has clearly said to us, 'We want you using experienced [medical malpractice] attorneys on the complex...
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Willingness to adapt keeps benefits firm growing: Key adjusts to ever-changing health insurance marketRestricted Content

October 17, 2005
Scott Olson
Larry Dust capitalized on a then-radical health insurance concept 25 years ago that thrust him to the forefront of the corporate movement to outsource employee benefits services. Much has changed in the world of health care since, but Dust and Key Benefit Administrators Inc. continue to redefine the way employers approach insurance. "The cheese has moved in this business," Dust said, "and if you don't believe it, you better get out." The 57-year-old Knox native entered the insurance industry after...
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VIEWPOINT: Unleash your employees' service potentialRestricted Content

October 17, 2005
Tim Mulherin
As anyone in the field of emergency management will tell you, the regrettably sluggish governmental response to the Hurricane Katrina natural and manmade disaster boils down to the argument over jurisdictions (a perennial challenge in the world of emergency management) and a gross lack of execution. As a result of the governmental infighting and dearth of critical decision-making in the early stages of this catastrophe, American citizens were victimized. People suffered, people died. In the analysis of the Hurricane Katrina...
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Premiums continue to climb: Rate increases may dip, but not by very muchRestricted Content

October 17, 2005
Tracy Donhardtreporter
After four years of double-digit rate hikes, average health care insurance premiums rose less than 10 percent in 2005. And they're expected to rise less than 10 percent again in 2006, according to several national surveys. But excuse employers if they don't get excited about the trend. They are still faced with having to pay much higher prices or trimming benefits-or both. Health care insurance premiums this year increased 9.2 percent, a 2-percent drop in the average increase from the...
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Taking aim at the middle: New Conseco Insurance leader says growth will be found in average householdsRestricted Content

October 17, 2005
Scott Olson
Four months into his job as president of Conseco Insurance Group, Michael Dubes is explaining his strategy to return the subsidiary to profitability. Then, ice cream enters the conversation. Dairy Queen, he argued, continues to thrive despite an onslaught of competitors offering more expensive treats. The key to the franchise's success is that it has never wavered from its middleincome target audience, Dubes said. He is applying the same simple tactic to grow the group's portfolio of policyholders, while many...
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Free market is best hope for health care:Restricted Content

October 10, 2005
Clearly, the U.S. health care system has its share of problems. Costs are rising rapidly, some 45 million Americans are without health insurance, and both doctors and patients decry their loss of options and control. But, would a government-run health care system be any better? Single-payer health care systems have been proposed in a handful of states as the solution to the problem of access for the uninsured. While single-payer plans can offer all citizens some type of health insurance...
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Child-safety concerns lead to new division: Company uses R&D to manufacture innovative car seatRestricted Content

October 10, 2005
Anthony Schoettle
Indiana Mills & Manufacturing Inc. is creating a new division, launching a new product, and cutting a new path straight to retail consumers. It's a big departure from the 45-year-old company's historical path to profitability. Westfield-based IMMI has long made its money supplying a lengthy list of manufacturers and distributors in the transportation and heavy-equipment sectors with its innovative seat belts, rollover systems for heavy trucks, and restraint systems for school buses and on- and off-road commercial vehicles. But company...
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Speaking of health care: Local experts weigh in on rising costs, the uninsured and whether our current system needs an overhaul Public health priorities, executive salaries and the "gold rush" of health care construction were among the topics tackled SeptRestricted Content

October 3, 2005
Public health priorities, executive salaries and the "gold rush" of health care construction were among the topics tackled Sept. 21 in the latest installment of Indianapolis Business Journal's Power Breakfast Series. IBJ reporter Tom Murphy moderated the panel discussion, attended by some of the area's foremost health care experts. Following is an edited transcript of the often-spirited discussion, which included a brief interruption by protestors seeking medical insurance coverage for janitorial staff who clean Anthem Inc. buildings. IBJ: Can you...
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Insurer may be low on targets: WellPoint's latest megadeal could be last for a whileRestricted Content

October 3, 2005
Tom Murphy
A lack of available targets may steer Well-Point Inc. away from its diet of multibilliondollar acquisitions after it digests the latest purchase, New York-based Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurer WellChoice Inc. That, in turn, might slow the company's frenetic growth rate, according to analysts who follow the health insurance industry. Blockbuster deals like the $20.8 billion merger that created WellPoint last year swelled the health insurer into the biggest player in its industry. In 2004, it reported a $960 million profit,...
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WellPoint company slapped over Medicare: AdminaStar Federal agrees to pay $6 million to resolve old fraud allegationsRestricted Content

October 3, 2005
Tom Murphy
A WellPoint Inc. subsidiary has agreed to pay $6 million to the federal government to resolve whistleblower accusations of rampant Medicare fraud over a seven-year span in the 1990s. AdminaStar Federal altered claims information, overcharged the government, and even hung up on customers to reduce call times and improve evaluations, according to civil lawsuits filed by several whistleblowers in 1999 and 2000 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. The Indianapolis-based company administers and processes Medicare claims...
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Coalition targets disparities in minority health care: Group enlists CEOs to help it develop plan of actionRestricted Content

October 3, 2005
Scott Olson
Black people are nearly twice as likely to have diabetes than white people, less likely to engage in leisure activity and, on average, die five years earlier. Those statistics from the Centers for Disease Control provide motivation for a local consortium that wants to improve health care for minorities. Known as the CEO Health Disparities Roundtable, the year-old group has moved from setting objectives to developing a plan of action. The plan is aimed at reducing health care disparities among...
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Parents banking on storage of umbilical cord blood: Founder keeps research alive through Genesis BankRestricted Content

October 3, 2005
Tracy Donhardtreporter
Blood from the umbilical cord of a baby expected to be born in Indianapolis later this month will be collected after her birth and saved for her 5-year-old sister, who has been diagnosed with cancer. The stem cells extracted from the baby's umbilical cord blood might someday save the life of her sibling. While doctors at Riley Hospital for Children wait and see if the young cancer patient responds to standard treatment over the next couple of years, the stem...
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M-Plan might be ready to deal: State's No. 2 health insurer talks merger with Ohio firmRestricted Content

October 3, 2005
Tom Murphy
M-Plan Inc., Indiana's second-largest health insurer, has entered preliminary talks that could lead to a merger with Ohio's oldest medical insurer. A source familiar with the discussions said they have centered on merging M-Plan's Indianapolisbased parent, The HealthCare Group LLC, with Cleveland-based Medical Mutual of Ohio. The source, who asked not to be identified, said Medical Mutual would end up with the majority stake. M-Plan, a nearly 20-year-old insurer owned partly by the city's Clarian and Community hospital systems, would...
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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Health care close to implosion?Restricted Content

October 3, 2005
The rash of specialty-hospital construction in the suburbs is a gold rush, driven more by greed than the desire to satisfy an unmet need. The fact that 45 million people in America are without health insurance is a deplorable national disaster. The best way to use America's health care system is to not get sick. These aren't the rants of a deranged publisher. These are comments made by a doctor and a pair of health care executives who were panelists...
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Atlas tenderloin tradition lives on: Family pays homage to 'sticker lady' at Carmel deliRestricted Content

September 26, 2005
Scott Olson
But her connection to the grocery runs deeper. Her mother, Debbie Davis, was an Atlas institution, earning her "sticker lady" nickname from children who received the treats she kept in a toy treasure chest at her register. Debbie died in June 2004 at age 52, following a prolonged battle with breast cancer. In her memory, husband Mike Davis created the "Debbie's Make You Smile Fund" to benefit the Indiana University Cancer Center. It is supported by the sale of the...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Charitable trusts: Creating gifts that keep on givingRestricted Content

September 26, 2005
Paul Coan
For people who are looking to help a worthy cause, and provide an income stream from a valuable asset, creating a charitable trust may be a good solution. There are various options for the creation of charitable trusts. At most university and charity Web sites, you'll see a reference to them. They've become a popular way for organizations to build their endowment. Charitable remainder trusts With a charitable remainder trust, an individual places assets in the trust-stock, real estate, bonds,...
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Flexible spending extension expected to be little-used: Planners say total elimination of use-it-or-lose it rule would increase participation, make plans more usefulRestricted Content

September 26, 2005
Tracy Donhardtreporter
A new Internal Revenue Service rule relaxes the "use it or lose it" rule in flexible spending accounts by extending the period during which expenses may be incurred beyond the end of the plan year. Health care flexible spending accounts allow participants to set aside at the beginning of the year a predetermined amount of pretax money to be used for medical, dental and vision expenses not covered by insurance. Dependent care spending accounts do the same thing for child...
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