Indiana University Health and Aetna Inc. have extended their contract 60 days to try to work out a new deal. The Indianapolis-based hospital system was set to fall out of the provider network of Connecticut-based Aetna on July 1, but the sides agreed to extend their contract until Sept. 1. Aetna has a modest presence in Indiana, claiming about 6 percent of enrollment in all preferred provider networks, according to a recent report by HealthLeaders-InterStudy. Aetna has a strong presence in the Bloomington area, which IU Health serves via the IU Health Bloomington Hospital. In February, IU Health and Minnesota-based UnitedHealthcare agreed to terms after IU Health fell out of UnitedHealthcare’s network of discounts Jan. 1.
Covidien LP will consolidate its U.S. operations for repairing and upgrading medical-device products at its Plainfield facility, hiring up to 112 more workers by the end of 2015. The firm currently employs about 50 in its technical service center at 2824 Airwest Blvd. It will hire new workers and relocate similar operations from Boulder, Colo. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered the company up to $1.12 million in conditional tax credits based on its job-creation plans. The credits are performance-based, meaning the company cannot claim them until it hires workers. In June, Minneapolis-based Medtronic Inc., the second-largest maker of medical devices, agreed to buy Ireland-based parent Covidien Plc for $42.9 billion in cash and stock.
The Pence administration submitted its HIP 2.0 plan to the Obama administration last week, asking to use an altered version of the Healthy Indiana Plan to expand coverage to as many as 350,000 low-income Hoosiers, according to the Associated Press. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services must approve the proposal before the state can put it into action. In a letter submitting the waiver request, Gov. Mike Pence said the plan offers a “broader set of consumer-driven health care choices.”