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Franciscan Alliance, which operates three hospitals in the Indianapolis area, has signed an affiliation agreement with the University of Chicago Medicine that will affect its facilities in northwest Indiana. Both institutions said they plan to work together to develop new models for delivering health care services, such as accountable care organizations. Franciscan, based in Mishawaka, operates 13 hospitals in Indiana and Illinois. The partnership with the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine will involve the Franciscan facilities in Crown Point, Dyer, Hammond, Michigan City and Munster.

Indiana will not allow health insurers to reinstate customers’ policies that were canceled due to new requirements of Obamacare, the state Insurance Department announced Nov. 20, saying that would “create logistical chaos” and “destabilize” Indiana’s individual insurance market. The announcement, which affects an estimated 108,000 Hoosiers who have had their policies canceled, came in response to President Obama’s request Nov. 14 that state insurance commissioners let insurers reinstate policies that they had decided to cancel for 2014. Indiana is the eighth state that has announced it will not allow insurers to reinstate canceled policies. According to the Atlantic Information Services, another five states have said they have allowed insurers to do so. However, some Hoosiers still have the option of renewing their canceled policies for 2014, as long as they do so before Dec. 31. The state's ruling announced on Wednesday would apply to customers whose policies had been canceled, and who waited until 2014 to buy coverage for that year.

The Hoosier Healthcare Innovation Challenge helped launch three young health information technology companies. CreateIT won the entire competition by developing an application for sending educational articles, event alerts and baby updates to the mobile phones of low-income pregnant moms. The goal is to help reduce infant mortality, which has surged to high levels in Indiana. Other companies that received awards during the competition were DeDupIt, which created a way to merge electronic medical records about a patient into a single report; and MedDiary, which created a new system of care that tracks all medications, over the-counter and prescriptions, being taken by a single patient. Each company received cash prizes and free professional services.

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