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Q&A

J.K. Wall
January 6, 2010
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Mike Rinebold, director of government relations for the Indiana State Medical Association, discussed the national health reform effort of 2009 as well as the 2010 sessions of the Indiana Legislature that began Jan. 5.

IBJ: From the view of the physicians you represent, what's the biggest win and what's the biggest disappointment to come out of the health care reform bills passed in the Senate at year's end?

A: Pretty much, there is no winner. No one group walked away with everything they were asking for. There have been some positives that I think you could point to: providing access to insurance for everyone. Now, how that's going to be paid for is obviously still a question mark.

IBJ: There's a shortage of primary-care physicians in Indiana that's predicted to only get worse in future years. What's the most important thing the state could do to alleviate this problem?

A: With the cuts in Medicare combined with the lack of a fix to the sustainable growth formula (which calls for a 21-percent Medicare rate cut), it's severely going to impact access. If you have Medicare rates drop, the fear is so will private insurance. As you roll that out, it becomes more and more difficult for practices to keep their doors open when you have practice costs growing at double-digit rates. In Indiana, we want to acknowledge and thank the General Assembly for last year establishing the framework and the structure for a grant- and a loan-forgiveness program. It still needs to be funded, but that's a step in the right direction.

IBJ: What are ISMA's key issues for this coming legislative session?

A: We are asking the legislature to bar contract language [inserted by some health insurers] that would restrict [physicians] from having control of their patient panels. Also, allowing patients to direct their health insurer to pay their doctor directly, even if that doctor has no contract with the insurer. Physician shortage and recruitment—we want to build on the foundation laid last year. And anything that reduces administrative burden for physicians.

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  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

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