IBJNews

OrthoIndy looks to loopholes for growth

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

OrthoIndy, the physician practice that owns the Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital, was able to open a new outpatient facility this spring by working around growth restrictions in the 2010 health care reform law. But its choices for further growth are much starker—which is why it's lobbying to repeal that provision of the law.

The hospital continues to pay Krieg DeVault LLP attorneys Deborah Daniels and Tom New to lobby Congress to pass repeal legislation. The hospital spent $90,000 in 2009 and 2010 trying to prevent the provision from taking effect, according to data made available by the Center for Responsive Politics.

In the meantime, the Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital is also developing contingency plans for how to grow in spite of the restrictions. To do so, the hospital would have to qualify for one of various exemptions under what is known as the Stark law.

“Not being able to expand certainly has us concerned,” said hospital CEO Jane Keller, adding, “In order to be a viable business, we need to have the ability to expand going forward.”

One exemption is for a publicly traded company, which Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital could become. But that’s an expensive proposition and might even require Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital to merge with other physician hospitals in order to reach the $75 million asset threshold required by the Stark law.

Another possible exemption would be to qualify as an academic center by operating several resident training programs. But that too is an expensive undertaking.

The Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital could transfer itself to an employee stock ownership plan. Or it could restrict its facility for use only by OrthoIndy physicians and then claim that all its procedures are part of its physicians' consultations with patients.

Dr. John Dietz, chairman of the Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital, said each option would require many more lawyers and many more dollars to put into effect, compared with its current structure. He said the hospital doesn't have a favored option right now, but as the economy recovers and patient demand grows, a decision must be made within a few years.

"They're all about equally flawed as far as I can tell," Dietz said. "It's a choose your poison kind of a deal."

And a last resort would be to sell the operations, which Keller said the hospital and its physician owners do not want to do. OrthoIndy already sold a minority stake in the Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital to St. Vincent Health in 2009.

OrthoIndy is the largest orthopaedics practice in central Indiana, with more than 70 specialists.

The 38-bed Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital currently operates at about 50-percent capacity, on average, but is at full capacity in the middle of each week, when most of its physicians schedule surgeries.

And with aging baby boomers needing more joint replacements, Keller is confident the hospital will run out of room in the not-too-distant future.

The hospital also operates two outpatient centers, one in Avon and one in Greenwood. The second center opened in March, even after the growth restrictions took effect, because the Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital was able to get rid of four beds at its facility in exchange for opening four operating rooms in the Greenwood facility.

But Keller said the hospital cannot afford to give up any more beds in the future.

“Orthopaedics is going to be in very high demand as the baby boomers continue to need our services,” she said. “We’re just hoping that we continue to meet their needs.”

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Angela IS the best RD

  2. We are a nation of speed. All of our younger lives are filled with deadlines, quotas and bottom lines. We start to ease out of the pressured rat-race when we finally see "retirement." The most enjoyable travel on the planet is passenger rail service. Indy to Chicago does not beat Megabus or Southwest Airlines in speed. Passenger rail however has the best seating, mammoth legroon, seat backs that recline to more than 45 degrees and employers that really want you to return as a customer. Indiana municipalities need to maintain subsidies to support this transportation mode. Losing it is loss for all of us.

  3. Good day! I just want to testify how i got my loan from Mr. Eric Lefkofsky after i applied several times from various loan lenders who claimed to also testify right in this forum,i thought the testimonies where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan. Until a friend of mine introduce me to this popular Mr. Eric Lefkofsky who promised to help me and indeed he did as he promised without any form of delay. I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr. Eric lefkofsky who indeed helped me with the loan and changed my belief. I promised to share this testimony after I got my loan. I don't know if you are in any way in need of a genuine and urgent loan,free feel to contact Mr. Eric Lefkofsky via their email{grouponfunding@hotmail.com}

  4. Its a THUG issue. Bleecker Street and NYX are thug bars. They attract thugs of all races. Places that attract thugs need to be kicked out of Broad Ripple. Ain't nobody got time for that!

  5. Hello everyone, My name is Marian Gareth, I am from the Texas, United State, am here to testify of how i got my loan from Mr Andre Frank {frankloancompany@yahoo.com} after i applied Two times from various loan lenders who claimed to be lenders right in this forum,i thought their lending where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan.Until a friend of mine introduce me to Mr Andre Frank the C.E.O of Andre Frank Loan Company who promised to help me with a loan of my desire and he really did as he promised without any form of delay, I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr Andre Frank, who really help me with my loan and changed my lief for better. I don't know if you are in need of an urgent loan, free feel to contact Mr Andre Frank on his email{ Frankloancompany@yahoo.com} for help

ADVERTISEMENT