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The Indiana University Center for Aging Research and the Indianapolis-based Regenstrief Institute Inc. won a $7.8 million award from the federal government to expand a mental health program for seniors throughout Marion County. A pilot of the program at Wishard Memorial Hospital was shown to reduce participating patients’ emergency room visits 45 percent and hospitalizations 54 percent. The program uses home visits, phone calls and e-mails—both to patients and to their family members—to cut out dangerous medications and daily stressors and to boost brain and physical exercise. The new funding, awarded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, will expand the program to more than 2,000 Medicare patients at 11 community health centers operated by Wishard.

Anderson-based Saint John’s Health System announced a name change and a new $27 million surgery department to its hospital. Beginning Jan. 1, Saint John’s will be called St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital. The hospital system has for nearly a decade been part of the Indianapolis-based St. Vincent Health network of hospitals, which is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ascension Health. Hospital leaders said the new name will better reflect that the hospital serves patients from a wider area, which extends beyond Anderson and Madison County. The regional expansion is driving the need for more operating space. So the new surgery department will include at least nine operating suites, which Saint John’s plans to use to bring in newer technology and recruit more physicians.

St. Catherine Regional Hospital of Indiana LLC near Louisville has filed for bankruptcy protection and plans to sell the hospital as an ongoing operation. The 96-bed hospital has $8.3 million in unpaid debts, but less than $1 million in assets. In the 12 months ended in April, the hospital had an operating loss of nearly $1.3 million, according to court filings. According to the News and Tribune of Jeffersonville, St. Catherine is the second hospital in Clark County to declare file for bankruptcy protection recently. Kentuckiana Medical Center filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2010, but recently announced it has secured $40 million in funding that will bring it out of bankruptcy. St. Catherine has $40 million in annual patient revenue and employs 284 people.

Evansville-based Welborn Health Plans announced last week it would exit the Indiana and Kentucky health insurance markets by year’s end, and recommended that its employer customers shift to Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Welborn said it is exiting the business because changes in health insurance would require significant investments in its staff and systems to maintain a high level of customer service. Welborn insures 30,000 people through its employer clients. The two insurers signed an agreement to help Welborn customers transition smoothly.

The University of Notre Dame received $5 million to fund adult stem cell research from alumnus Michael Gallagher and his wife, Elizabeth, who live in Denver. The gift will fund three new endowed professorships in adult and other non-embryonic forms of stem cell research. Notre Dame already has built a team of researchers focused on adult stem cell research, which it supports over embryonic stem cell research—sparking controversy because the Catholic Church views the destruction of an embryo as destruction of a human life.

Home Health Depot Inc., which ranked as the fifth-fastest-growing company in Indianapolies last year, tacked on even more girth this month by acquiring Fort Wayne-based Medical Mobility LLC. The retailer sells durable medical supplies with a focus on complex rehabilitation equipment. That store will now be consolidated with Home Health Depot’s existing Fort Wayne store. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. This is Home Health Depot’s third acquisition this year. In February, Home Health Depot acquired a majority interest in Advanced Rehab Technologies LLC, the largest provider of complex rehabilitation equipment in Iowa. And in April, Home Health Depot acquired the assets of RCS Management Corp.’s in-home respiratory and sleep therapy business.
 

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