National Government Services Inc., a subsidiary of Indianapolis-based health insurer WellPoint Inc., is eliminating 112 local jobs due to the loss of a government servicing contract. The company announced the job reductions in a notice to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. The notice called the move a "plant closing" for legal reasons, but NGS is not going out of business, according to a WellPoint spokeswoman. NGS' office at 8115 Knue Road on the northeast side will remain open to service other contracts. The subsidiary will still employ almost 500 people locally after the layoffs and about 2,000 nationally. An office in Michigan with six employees will close due to the loss of the contract. NGS processes claims for the federal government’s Medicare and Medicaid programs.
The merger of Kokomo’s Howard Regional Health System into Indianapolis-based Community Health Network received final approval May 22 when the Howard County Board of Commissioners and County Council voted unanimously for the affiliation of the hospitals. The integration will take effect July 1, when the Kokomo hospital will change its name to Community Howard Regional Health, according to Community spokeswoman Lynda de Widt. The two hospital systems signed a letter of intent to merge back in January, less than four months after Howard Regional broke off a merger deal with Indiana University Health. Howard and Community officials said at that time the decision was driven by “dramatic changes” spurred by the 2010 federal health reform law. The letter of intent called for Howard Regional to join its finances with Community’s, yet retain a local board with at least two-thirds of its members living in Howard or contiguous counties. Indianapolis-based Community Health has similar affiliations with Community Hospital of Anderson and with Westview Hospital in Indianapolis.
WellPoint Inc. will offer an online personal training program to its health insurance customers, the Indianapolis-based company announced last week. WellPoint also made a venture capital investment in Los Angeles-based FitOrbit Inc., which provides online access to a personal trainer any time. The company matches consumers to trainers based on their fitness goals, preferences and lifestyles. FitOrbit also provides healthy recipes and a guide to healthy restaurants in their ZIP codes. WellPoint will begin rolling out FitOrbit and another wellness option to its clients in 2013.