Medicare

Reimbursement snag trips up local DNA testing firmRestricted Content

June 28, 2014
J.K. Wall
Strand Diagnostics LLC's Know Error test uses DNA analysis to make sure a tissue sample that has been declared cancerous does, indeed, belong to the patient doctors think it does. But Strand is having trouble convincing Medicare that the test is medically necessary.
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Teamwork transforming care at IU Health's Saxony hospitalRestricted Content

May 31, 2014
J.K. Wall
Getting everyone into the same room prior to surgeries is cutting costs and improving health.
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Indiana signups lag for federal health care law

May 1, 2014
Associated Press
Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show that a total of nearly 230,000 Indiana residents were eligible to enroll in a marketplace plan, but only about 132,000 had done so by the March 31 deadline.
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WellPoint shares top $100 on bullish 5-year forecast

March 24, 2014
J.K. Wall
The health insurer predicted growth in government-funded health insurance programs would push revenue above $100 billion by 2018. That prompted investors to push WellPoint stock above $100 per share—an all-time high for the company.
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Lawmakers getting closer on nursing home moratorium

March 11, 2014
Associated Press
House Public Health Chairman Ed Clere said Tuesday that negotiators had found a compromise that would ban new construction for two years except in counties whose nursing homes are at 90-percent capacity or higher.
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Indianapolis businessman indicted for health care fraud

January 29, 2014
J.K. Wall
Ronald Reed, the owner of Benchmark Mobility Corp., allegedly billed the Medicaid and Medicare programs for used wheelchairs, scooters and lift chairs as if they were brand new, obtaining nearly $443,000 in fraudulent sales.
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Analyst: WellPoint will lose money on Obamacare in 2014

December 23, 2013
J.K. Wall
Small business dumping, the uncertainty of Obamacare's exchanges, and the certainty of Obamacare's taxes will take a bite out of WellPoint's earnings next year. But company executives remain bullish on Obamacare's long-term impact.
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Pence asks to meet with Sebelius over HIP expansion

November 19, 2013
J.K. Wall
Pence wants to expand Medicaid coverage using some form of the Healthy Indiana Plan, which currently provides insurance to about 40,000 Hoosiers who agree to make monthly contributions to health savings accounts. The Obama administration has questioned that feature of the program.
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VC headwinds continue for life sciences firms

October 21, 2013
J.K. Wall
Indiana life sciences companies trying to raise venture capital continue to do so with a national wind in their faces, according to the third-quarter venture capital data.
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Analyst foresees managed care growth in 2014

September 16, 2013
Associated Press
Major health insurers like WellPoint Inc. are in line for another year of growth, as the health care overhaul implements key elements in its push to cover millions of uninsured people.
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Healthy Indiana Plan extends trial run a year

September 3, 2013
Associated Press
Indiana is being granted a limited extension of its Healthy Indiana Plan while state and federal health care leaders continue negotiating a possible Medicaid expansion.
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Roche to cut local jobs after diabetes-care sales plunge

August 5, 2013
J.K. Wall
Roche's diabetes care unit, which employs more than 900 in Indianapolis, suffered a 14-percent decline in revenue during the first half of 2013. Roche has reportedly put the unit up for sale.
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Franciscan doubles down on accountable care

July 22, 2013
J.K. Wall
Franciscan St. Francis Health earned a $6.6 million bonus from the Medicare program for its success at keeping central Indiana patients out of the hospital and the emergency room. So the hospital system will expand its participation in so-called accountable care programs to all its Indiana territories.
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Lilly drug for Alzheimer's gets limited Medicare coverage

July 8, 2013
Bloomberg News, Associated Press
Lilly officials said they will push ahead with the first-of-a-kind imaging chemical, despite the mostly negative ruling by Medicare officials.
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Lilly study: 1 in 5 Alzheimer's patients misdiagnosed

May 20, 2013
J.K. Wall
The study results, which will be released Monday afternoon, are part of Indianapolis-based Lilly’s campaign to get Medicare to pay for use of its brain imaging agent Amyvid.
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Study rebuts hospitals' argument on Medicare, rising costs

May 13, 2013
Rather than raising prices on private health insurers to make up for inadequate payments from the government, hospitals across the country have been raising prices just because they can, according to a new study.
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WellPoint jumps after feds reverse Medicare decision

April 2, 2013
Bloomberg News
Shares of Indianapolis-based WellPoint rose along with those of other medical insurers Tuesday morning after the U.S. government reversed a decision to cut a key Medicare payment rate, offering them an increase instead.
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Sequester could sap $200M from Indiana health care providers

March 1, 2013
J.K. Wall
The sequestration plan kicking in Friday will chop Medicare payments to hospitals, doctors and nursing homes by 2 percent, beginning April 1. One study estimates that the cuts could result in 10,000-plus job losses in Indiana alone.
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House, Pence split on state's Medicaid expansion

February 21, 2013
Associated Press
Gov. Mike Pence is battling with House lawmakers over expanding health care coverage for roughly 400,000 Indiana residents, amid concerns that the state's health care program for the poor won't be able to handle the flood of new enrollees.
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Franciscan, American Health join new ACOs

January 14, 2013
J.K. Wall
Franciscan St. Francis Health and American Health Network continue to get deeper into the accountable care organization concept being promoted by the federal Medicare program under the 2010 health reform law.
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State expects to extend Healthy Indiana Plan a year

December 14, 2012
Associated Press
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services agreed to a waiver that would allow the state to continue the program unchanged for a year.
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Home health agency closes after losing reimbursement

December 3, 2012
J.K. Wall
Carmel-based ABC Homecare LLC closed last week after state and federal authorities cut off its access to Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement due to deficiencies cited by the Indiana State Department of Health.
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WellPoint to add 100-plus local jobs for new Medicare contract

October 2, 2012
J.K. Wall
WellPoint Inc.’s National Government Services unit will add more than 100 jobs in Indianapolis beginning late this year or early next after the health insurance giant won a new contract with the federal Medicare program.
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WellPoint dragged into Goldman Sachs suit

August 20, 2012
J.K. Wall
WellPoint Inc.’s $4.9 billion offer for Virginia-based Amerigroup Inc. apparently wasn’t the only—or even the most lucrative—offer for the Medicaid managed care company. But it was the deal surest to come to fruition before a key deadline for a big payout for Goldman Sachs & Co., according to a shareholder lawsuit filed Aug. 16 against the Amerigroup board of directors.
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Suburban hospitals charm patients

July 23, 2012
J.K. Wall
A little extra Medicare money will flow to suburban hospitals in the Indianapolis area, based on recent patient satisfaction scores. But hospitals in the core of Indianapolis—and hospitals that do significant amounts of teaching medical students—may take a hit.
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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.

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