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Company news

October 17, 2011

Franciscan St. Francis Health entered an exclusive-provider agreement with Greenwood-based Indiana Internal Medicine Consultants, one of the largest physician groups working at Franciscan’s hospitals. The practice has 37 doctors specializing in family practice, internal medicine, infectious disease and sleep medicine. The tighter relationship, which took effect Oct. 1, is designed to help Franciscan function as an accountable care organization. That concept, promoted in the 2010 health reform law, calls for hospitals and doctors to work together to care for a specific population of patients—and have some of their pay hinge on how well they maintain the health of that population. Hospitals around Indianapolis and the nation have been acquiring physician practices or entering tight contractual relationships, such as Franciscan’s exclusive-provider agreement, which will not allow Indiana Internal Medicine’s doctors to practice at hospitals outside the Franciscan chain. Franciscan operates hospitals in Beech Grove, Indianapolis and Mooresville.

The pain isn’t ending for the Warsaw-based makers of orthopedic implants. Democrats from the House Energy and Commerce Committee have asked Republican leaders to hold hearings on metal-on-metal hips, saying they have caused "significant harm to human health". The FDA is conducting its own review of metal-on-metal, having requested post-market data from about 20 companies, including Warsaw-based DePuy Orthopaedics, Zimmer and Biomet, as well as New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson.

Bloomington-based Cook Medical Inc.’s drug-coated stent to treat blocked femoral arteries is sailing toward approval. The Zilver PTX got an 11-0 approval vote from a panel of outside advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to Bloomberg News. The FDA does not have to follow the recommendations of its advisory panels, but it usually does. The device would be the first drug-coated stent approved in the U.S. to treat peripheral vascular disease in the largest artery of the upper leg. It would be an alternative to bypass surgery, angioplasty or the use of a stent without a coating of a drug, paclitaxel, which is designed to reduce the build-up of new fatty deposits. Peripheral arterial disease affects 8 million to 12 million people in the U.S., according to the Peripheral Arterial Disease Coalition, and can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

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