Insurance

Degree combines medicine, business: IU grads put in 5 years to earn combo MD/MBARestricted Content

July 11, 2005
Katie Maurer
Tell people you have your MD and they'll likely be impressed. Tell them you also have an MBA-well, now you're just showing off. For four recent Indiana University graduates, however, impressing others had nothing to do with their decision to pursue simultaneous medical and business degrees. It's all about making their way in the increasingly complicated field of health care, where being a good doctor is about more than having the highest grades in medical school. The four students received...
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Employers promoting fitness: To battle steep insurance costs, businesses help employees get healthierRestricted Content

July 11, 2005
Julie Goldsmith
Wearing a pedometer, Kelly Dircksen treads 2,000 or so steps a day at the office, racking up her highest counts in her treks to the photocopier. Her 2-1/2-mile daily goal entails after-work walks, as well. The 34-year-old quoting specialist said her company pays 50 percent of any fitness-related costs for her and her family, including a Weight Watchers program, running shoes for her kids, and the entry fee for her son's marathon. "I'm definitely healthier," said Dircksen, who celebrates incremental...
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New public auto-loan firm in works: White River to buy failed Union AcceptanceRestricted Content

July 11, 2005
Greg Andrews
A new public company is rising from the ashes of Union Acceptance Corp., the failed east-side car-financing company, and is preparing to raise $35 million through a stock offering. White River Capital Inc., which will operate from UAC's former headquarters on North Shadeland Avenue, has agreed to buy out UAC's shareholders for $3.1 million in stock and to buy Virginiabased auto lender Coastal Credit LLC for $50 million in cash. "It's a tough industry, a hypercompetitive industry," White River President...
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Conseco hopes to receive crucial upgrade: Ratings firm A.M. Best Co. may make decision soonRestricted Content

July 4, 2005
Tom Murphy
The holiday season may arrive a few months early for Conseco Inc. if its subsidiaries receive the ratings upgrade that has topped their wish lists since their parent emerged from bankruptcy. A.M. Best Co. plans to complete a Conseco review this summer, and it probably will deliver the gift of good news afterward, according to some analysts who cover the Carmel-based holding company. New Jersey-based Best currently rates the financial strength of Conseco's core subsidiaries at a B++ level, one...
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NOTIONS: Will you try to transform or get stuck with status quo?Restricted Content

July 4, 2005
Bruce Hetrick
It's 4 a.m. I'm supposed to be writing by now, knitting you a tale about transformation. But the notions have yet to coalesce. So I lie in bed, watching through my bay window as a storm rolls through, igniting the sky with flashes of light. It's 4:27 a.m. I awaken again and flip on the TV, the sound muted so as not to disturb my son's slumber in the next room. The channel I was watching last night now shows...
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Youth sports get break: New law could cut Worker's Comp premiums dramaticallyRestricted Content

June 27, 2005
Tom Murphy
State lawmakers scored a goal for youth sports this spring when they approved a bill that could save some clubs thousands of dollars in present or future insurance premiums. Starting July 1, not-for-profits that have employees and pay youth coaches part time under an independent contractor arrangement will not have to provide Worker's Compensation benefits for those coaches. State Sen. Murray Clark, R-Indianapolis, said he had travel teams or clubs in sports like soccer, volleyball or baseball in mind when...
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Cab drivers drive down complaints: Service may have improved after city toughened rulesRestricted Content

June 27, 2005
Chris O\'malley
But much of the evidence is anecdotal, as city officials said they do not have complete complaint records for the periods just before and after the City-County Council imposed tougher regulations in 2002. One key problem addressed by those reforms seems to have diminished-drivers taking passengers to the wrong address. The city received only two such complaints in the last 1-1/2 years, according to records kept by the City Controller's Office. That had been a commonly reported problem in the...
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BULLS & BEARS: Investors should run from variable annuity plan offersRestricted Content

June 27, 2005
Dave Gilreath
There are many ways to invest your money in the stock market and no shortage of convincing salespeople preaching the best way to do it. The "can't-beat'e m- s o - j o i n - 'e m " crowd thinks index funds are the way to go. Some think actively managed mutual funds are best, while others go for individual stocks. All the above ways have merit, pluses and minuses, and different levels of involvement from you, the investor....
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Clinic predicts Hamilton County will be fertile ground: Doctors relocate reproductive practice to growing areaRestricted Content

June 27, 2005
Scott Olson
Surgery centers and a heart hospital are among a host of health care facilities that have risen in burgeoning north-suburban Hamilton County in recent years. Now, a new fertility clinic could contribute to the population surge by helping couples conceive children. The 6,400-square-foot Follas Center for Reproductive Medicine opened late last month on East 146th Street in Noblesville in a collaboration between several Indianapolis reproductive medicine innovators. The center is a partnership between Dr. David McLaughlin, a local pioneer of...
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Global mission: destroy, conquer: New law good news for shredding firmRestricted Content

June 20, 2005
Anthony Schoettle
Indianapolis-based Global Shred Inc. plans to use a new federal rule that forces companies to destroy more documents as a springboard to expand into other states. The document-destruction provision of The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003 went into effect June 1, requiring all businesses to shred, burn or pulverize credit and consumer reports. While many mom-and-pop shredding shops in the highly fragmented industry look to fortify their local position, Global Shred founder and owner David Kantor thinks...
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Precedent plans spec office: Building signals improvement in north-suburban marketRestricted Content

June 20, 2005
Tammy Lieber
The Precedent Cos. is preparing to build a 100,000-square-foot office building in its namesake office park near 96th Street and Keystone Avenue, several local real estate experts said, further evidence of the north-suburban market's recovery. The building would mark the first new speculative office construction in the park since the mid-1990s, just before Indianapolis-based Precedent sold the park's 19 buildings with 1.1 million square feet of office space to Philadelphia-based Berwind Property Group Inc. in 1998. That sale didn't include...
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Debate over health care development takes legal twist: Three county-imposed construction moratoriums face federal lawsuitsRestricted Content

June 20, 2005
Tom Murphy
Hospitals and developers recently filed lawsuits in U.S. District Court against three counties that enacted moratoriums to slow health care construction in their territory. The Sisters of St. Francis Health Services Inc. sued Morgan County in April, and some Kentucky-based companies filed complaints against Clark and Floyd counties June 13. County officials say they need to make sure their county-owned hospitals remain viable in the face of more development. They also argue that providers want to enter their turf and...
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Phone-system expert answers entrepreneurial call: Via savvy marketing, she turned her knowledge of telecommunications into a thriving consulting businessRestricted Content

June 13, 2005
Susan Raccoli
When Barb Grothe said goodbye to her paycheck and job security 19 years ago, she was just a little scared and wondered, "Now what do I do?" She had office space for her new telecommunications consulting company, Telecom Resources, and 15 years of experience, but no clients. So she went about making herself known: she wrote articles for magazines, newspapers and journals (including IBJ) and scheduled speaking engagements. Almost each venture produced new clients, and Grothe was on her way....
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Community banks struggle with regulatory demands: Sarbanes-Oxley, Banking Security Act prove costlyRestricted Content

June 13, 2005
Peter Schnitzler
Who can blame small community banks for feeling boxed in? "The world has changed," said Jerry Engle, president and CEO of Greenwoodbased First Bank. "I guess we'll have to get used to it." Far and away, it's the increasing cost of regulatory compliance that keeps community bankers tossing and turning at night. In recent months, the Independent Community Bankers of America, a small-bank advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., has stepped up its ongoing campaign against additional regulation by asking...
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State malpractice safety net nears big rate hike: IRMIA to start double-digit increases July 1Restricted Content

June 13, 2005
Tom Murphy
Many health care providers who use Indiana's safety-net malpractice insurance will find it less comfortable after a 36-percent rate increase kicks in July 1. Poor investment returns and increased enrollment, among other factors, have teamed up to force the Indiana Residual Malpractice Insurance Authority into one of its largest premium rate increases in years, according to Cindy Donovan, deputy commissioner of financial services operations for the Indiana Department of Insurance. Providers and insurers say the rate hike may push some...
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Departure could cost Standard millions: Former top executive seeks severance package worth about $3.8 mllionRestricted Content

June 13, 2005
Tom Murphy
Standard Management Corp. may have to add more than $10 million to the cost of completing its shift to health care services from financial services if a former top executive prevails with his severance claim. P.B. "Pete" Pheffer, the holding company's former president and chief financial officer, became the latest top executive to leave Standard Management with a severance dispute when he resigned May 31. He claims his contract calls for a severance package worth roughly $3.8 million. On top...
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Interns follow unique paths: Some internships offer more freedom, creativityRestricted Content

June 6, 2005
Scott Olson
Internships can offer valuable learning experiences for college students looking to land the ideal job following graduation. But few provide an opportunity quite like the one extended by the Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission in its quest to market the city as a cultural destination. By summer's end, three undergrads will have traipsed the Hoosier state visiting fairs and festivals in a van decorated with the large, red arrow becoming synonymous with the promotional campaign. Whether their itinerary includes stops at...
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A 'little' oil boom: More drilling expected in state as prices stay near recordRestricted Content

June 6, 2005
Chris O\'malley
"There is increased drilling. There's a lot of broke-ass oil producers down here that are experiencing a little boom," said Andrews, president of Vincennes-based Andrews Oil Properties. Oil producers like Andrews, "still driving the same Cadillac I had 15 years ago," know bet- ter than to entertain fantasies of striking it rich, however. Indiana oil production has been on the wane since a 12.6-million-barrel peak in 1956. Last year, only 1.75 million barrels were extracted from Indiana's sedimentary rock, according...
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Government intervention: cure is as bad as disease ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Government intervention: cure is as bad as diseaseRestricted Content

June 6, 2005
Patrick Barkey
ECONOMIC ANALYSIS Government intervention: cure is as bad as disease As you get older, you come to appreciate the old adage about doctors: They don't actually cure you, but they do sometimes let you trade in one ailment for another. That could be said equally for almost every situation where governments intervene in the privatesector economy. The solution to a problem inevitably creates a new problem. And in some cases, the cure is worse-and longer-lived-than the disease. We have come...
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HSAs picking up steam: Enrollment tops 1 million; biz tax breaks proposedRestricted Content

May 30, 2005
Scott Olson
Earlier this year, employees of Indianapolis-based N.K. Hurst Co. became part of the growing fraternity of workers in the United States who are eligible for health savings accounts as part of their benefits package. As of March, the membership in HSAs numbered more than 1 million people, twice as many as the estimated 438,000 in September, according to a study by America's Health Insurance Plans. The Washington, D.C.-based trade association for insurers said enrollment numbers are growing because more companies...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: What you can do if you're concerned about your pensionRestricted Content

May 30, 2005
Paul Coan
Will your company's traditional pension plan be there when you retire, and what can you do now to prepare for the possibility that it might not be there? The last few years have seen the implosion of several major corporate pension plans, particularly in the airline and steel industries. Hundreds of other companies have reported to the federal government that if their pension plan ended today, they wouldn't have enough money to pay their future obligations. But there are steps...
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Busy session for insurance forces: Compact passage highlights plethora of industry-related legislation considered by the General AssemblyRestricted Content

May 30, 2005
Tom Murphy
State lawmakers also killed a bill that offers "mandate lite" health coverage and kept the topic of vicious dogs at bay during the 2005 legislative session. Insurance lobbyists and regulators say they just wrapped up one of the busiest sessions in recent memory. Topics ran a wide gamut and crowded committee calendars. Last year, five industry-supported bills made it through the General Assembly, according to Dan Tollefson, corporate counsel for the state Department of Insurance. This year, 15 did, and...
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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Here's the skinny on 70 mphRestricted Content

May 30, 2005
Remember back in 1973, at the height of the Arab oil embargo, when President Nixon mandated a 55-mileper-hour speed limit on the nation's interstates? That nearly drove me crazy. Like many Americans, I made a habit of fudging on the existing 70 mph limit. I cruised the highways at around 80 mph, making excellent time to all my destinations. Fifty-five put a major crimp in my style. We had a chance to go back to 70 mph when President Clinton...
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A business-friendly approach: New insurance boss hopes to speed approval process, attract firms to stateRestricted Content

May 30, 2005
Scott Olson
Jim Atterholt may not have been the governor's top choice to lead the Indiana Department of Insurance. But the former state representative who has dedicated his career to public service is no consolation pick, either. Those who know the 43-year-old Atterholt say his calm demeanor and his sharp people skills should serve him well in his new role as an administrator. He took the helm as commissioner Feb. 22, about a month after Harold Calloway declined the appointment. Atterholt since...
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Competition stakes claim on hospital's turf: Dialysis center would sit 1 block south of MethodistRestricted Content

May 23, 2005
Tom Murphy
A real estate company has filed plans to build a medical office building and dialysis center downtown, in the shadow of Methodist Hospital and Clarian Health Partners. A and T Realty wants to plop a 13,416-square-foot office on what now is a parking lot a block south of Methodist, according to plans filed with the city. The development has no connection to Clarian, according to Mike Quinn, a lawyer representing A and T. Clarian, whose three downtown hospitals all offer...
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