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Community Health Network launched a new smartphone application for scheduling appointments online, WebAhead, making it available to patients at six MedCheck walk-in clinics in central Indiana. WebAhead, developed by Community’s e-business team, allows patients to use their smartphones to search for the most convenient appointment times and MedCheck locations. Patients can schedule appointments up to 24 hours in advance, using an iPhone, Android, BlackBerry or computer. Community likens the service to call-ahead seating services at restaurants. “Almost one-half of all Americans are accessing the Internet using a wireless device or smartphone for work, entertainment and social responsibilities,” said Dan Rench, vice president of e-business at Community Health Network.  “Accessing health care with one’s smartphone is a natural next step.”

It’s been a banner year for the Indiana Economic Development Corp. securing job commitments in the life sciences industry, the agency reported this week. Twenty life sciences companies including Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences, Indianapolis-based AIT Laboratories, Warsaw-based Biomet and Missouri-based Ascension Health promised to bring 4,071 jobs to Indiana in coming years. That commitment total compares with 1,228 life sciences job commitments last year, 1,329 in 2008, 2,990 in 2007, 2,620 in 2006 and 2,272 in 2005. "Life sciences jobs are typically high-wage, which is great news for Indiana workers throughout the state," said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Mitch Roob.

An Indianapolis-based nursing home company will pay $376,000 to the state and federal governments over accusations that it submitted ineligible bills to Medicaid, according to the Associated Press. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said Monday that the bills from American Senior Communities LLC were for the work of seven employees who have been excluded from the Medicaid program. The company has denied liability. Zoeller says the federal government excludes health care workers who are convicted of various crimes from participating in Medicaid and other federally funded health programs He said the settlement is the largest his office has received in a Medicaid excluded-provider case to date. He said the state's share of the settlement is $130,000.

WellPoint Inc.’s management team will shrink to eight following the departures of two more top executives. Cynthia Miller, the health insurer’s chief actuary, and Bradley Fluegel, chief strategy officer, both are leaving the Indianapolis-based company, according to a WellPoint securities filing. It did not precisely say when the officers' employment would end. Both executives, along with CEO Angela Braly, played prominent public roles when the company became the center of controversy in the health care reform debate. Miller appeared with Braly before Congress to defend premium hikes for individual customers in California. Fluegel handled WellPoint’s government relations during the 10-month reform debate. Miller and Fluegel’s departures follow the exit of Dijuana Lewis, who clashed with Braly in October. Lewis was terminated “without cause” but is helping with the transition of her duties to others within the company. In place of Miller, WellPoint Chief Financial Officer Wayne DeVeydt will assume responsibility for the actuarial group. Fluegel’s government relations and communications duties will be assumed by General Counsel John Cannon and his strategic and marketing oversight will be handled by Brian Sassi, WellPoint’s president of consumer business.

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