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Company news

July 23, 2012

A troubled central Indiana nuclear medicine company said it plans to build a $65 million plant in Gary that would employ up to 50 people within five years, dropping plans to build a smaller facility in Noblesville. Fishers-based Positron Corp. will make radioactive medical imaging isotopes at the new plant, which will be equipped with a 70-million-electron-volt cyclotron, it said in a news release issued Friday. Cyclotrons are molecular particle accelerators that can be used to produce isotopes that can help physicians spot medical anomalies in the human body. The Gary plant will boast the nation's most powerful commercial cyclotron, the company said. Gary has approved $15 million in tax increment financing bonds for Positron and is helping the company land New Market Tax Credits worth another $15 million, Positron said. That's more than the incentives offered last year when the company said it planned to move its operations to Noblesville and build a $55 million cyclotron there, creating 86 jobs. Positron has lost tens of millions of dollars in recent years, and the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission last year accused CEO Patrick G. Rooney of defrauding investors in a hedge fund he operates. The company has racked up more than $110 million in losses since its founding in 1983. Its accounting firm issued a "going concern" warning about Positron in 2010, raising doubt about its ability to remain in business in the long term.

Franciscan St. Francis Health will open an Immediate Care facility on Aug. 1 in the Village Park Plaza strip mall on the edges of Carmel and Westfield. The facility will operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day, with four physicians seeing patients without appointments. Immediate Care, which Franciscan acquired in 2010, operates four other clinics around the Indianapolis area. The newest clinic will complement Franciscan’s new short-stay hospital in Carmel, which is about two miles south of the Immediate Care clinic. The new short-stay hospital offers imaging, surgery and laboratory, and includes six inpatient beds.

Westfield-based MaxIT Healthcare Holdings Inc. has agreed to sell itself for $473 million to Virginia-based Science Applications International Corp., the companies announced July 17. MaxIT’s 1,300 employees provide information technology services to hospitals and physician practices throughout the United States and Canada. Only about 75 of MaxIT’s employees are in Westfield. The company is riding a wave of hospitals’ and medical offices’ switching or adding computer systems to better track patient records, CEO Mike Sweeney told IBJ earlier this year. MaxIT saw revenue shoot up 63 percent in 2011, to $179.4 million. The acquisition is expected to close next month. MaxIT was founded in 2001 by Parker Hinshaw. Healthcare Informatics, a trade journal, ranked MaxIT the 41st-largest health IT firm in the nation in 2011, based on revenue. SAIC ranked No. 18 in the nation, with revenue from health IT businesses topping $554 million. SAIC also performs a variety of secret work for the U.S. departments of defense, homeland security and the U.S. intelligence community.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said July 17 he plans to consult his potential successors before he decides whether the state should set up a health care exchange, according to the Associated Press. States have until Nov. 16 to submit a plan to the federal government for a health exchange. Daniels said he does not want to make a decision that binds the state's next governor without consulting the candidates. "I don't consider it right for me or my administration to make such a decision that the next administration then has to implement. So I'm going to have to find some way to get input from the next governor," the Republican governor said. Libertarian Rupert Boneham, Democrat John Gregg and Republican Mike Pence are running for governor. Daniels is barred by law from seeking a third term. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that the part of the federal law enabling health insurance exchanges is constitutional. States can choose to create their own exchange or have residents seek insurance via a federal exchange. The court also ruled that states cannot be forced to expand Medicaid coverage. Spokespeople for the Gregg and Pence campaigns said they look forward to working with Daniels.

For the first time, Indiana University Health in Indianapolis has been named to U.S. News & World Report's "Best Hospitals Honor Roll," a distinction that goes to the top medical centers in the country. Hospitals on the list, announced July 17, must show high expertise across multiple specialties, scoring at or near the top in at least six of 16 ranked specialties.  IU Health was ranked No. 16 out of 17 hospitals on the Honor Roll. Eleven of its clinical specialties were ranked among the top 50 in the nation: cancer; diabetes; gastroenterology; nephrology; orthopedics; urology; cardiology; ear, nose and throat; geriatrics; neurosurgery; and pulmonology. The hospital's top specialty ranking came in urology, at No. 8 in the nation. U.S. News said it surveyed nearly 10,000 specialists and analyzed data for almost 5,000 hospitals to compile its rankings. Massachusetts General Hospital was ranked No. 1 in the nation for the first time, displacing Johns Hopkins Hospital of Baltimore.
 

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