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Health Care & Benefits Power Breakfast transcript

Indianapolis Business Journal gathered leaders in the state's health care and benefits sector for a Power Breakfast panel discussion Sept. 26. The panel discussed disruption of employer clinics, health care spending and more.


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Company news

Major Health Partners will construct an $89 million hospital on the north edge of Shelbyville, after nearly a decade of shifting services to that location. According to the Shelbyville News, Major’s board voted Sept. 22 to build a 300,000-square-foot facility in the Intelliplex technology park along Interstate 74 and move from downtown Shelbyville. Construction on the project could begin as early as next month and take about two years to complete. Major first revealed detailed plans for the hospital six weeks ago, but the project could not go forward until the board’s 6-0 vote. The hospital will include 56 beds, all in private rooms, and 38 outpatient observation beds. Major’s current hospital has 72 beds in mostly semi-private rooms. When completed, the new complex will also have four operating rooms and house 57 physicians and a staff of about 930.

Researchers at Purdue University and the Indiana University School of Medicine have received a $3.7 million grant to study how blueberries reduce bone loss in postmenopausal women. The five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine will pay for researchers to conduct human trials aimed at finding the most effective varieties and dosage levels of blueberriers for reducing bone loss. “This is one of the most compelling avenues to pursue in natural products research because blueberries would be a new alternative to osteoporosis drugs and their side effects,” said Connie Weaver, the head of Purdue’s department of nutrition science and one of the grant recipients.

Bernard Health, a health benefits brokerage firm based in Tennessee, opened its second retail store in Indianapolis last week. The 1,270-square-foot store is downtown on Pennsylvania Street, just north of Washington Street. Bernard, which now employs seven here in Indianapolis, opened its first local retail store in the Nora neighborhood in 2012 and now has 12 stores nationwide. For a fee, Bernard helps individuals and small businesses evaluate and purchase health benefits. It is one of several new models being tried out by benefits brokers in Indiana to adapt to new rules and opportunities under Obamacare.

The Indiana University School of Medicine received gifts totaling $1 million on the 40th anniversary of Dr. Larry Einhorn’s discovery of a drug combination therapy that nearly cured testicular cancer. In September 1974, Einhorn, a professor at the IU medical school, first tested the cancer drug cisplatin with two other cancer drugs—a combination that boosted survival rates from the cancer from about 20 percent to 95 percent. According to the medical school, 300,000 patients have survived testicular cancer after receiving the drug therapy Einhorn discovered. The most famous is Lance Armstrong, the cycling champion stripped of his victories after admitting to doping. The gifts will help launch a gene sequencing program among survivors so future patients can be given treatments that reduce side effects and complications. Half the donated money came from A. Farhad Moshiri of Monaco, who previously donated $2 million to IU. Another $300,000 will come from the children of local real estate magnate Sidney Eskenazi and his wife, Lois.


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