Indianapolis hospital leaders have spent the past two months ironing out a plan to deal with any cases of Ebola that emerge in Indiana. The plan is aimed at ensuring effective care while minimizing the need to bring other hospital services to a virtual halt while patients are under care. Eskenazi Hospital, St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital and Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital have volunteered to care for Hoosiers who contract Ebola. And the Indianapolis EMS ambulance service has volunteered to transport any patient suspected of having Ebola, anywhere in the state. The plan was spearheaded by the Mesh Coalition, a not-for-profit formed in 2009 to bring together the region’s health care systems, police forces and government agencies to make sure they respond efficiently and effectively in a crisis. The shuttering of Texas Presbyterian Hospital’s emergency room for nine days in October due to caring for one Ebola patient meant nearly 2,400 fewer patients were treated there, costing the hospital $8.1 million.
Federal prosecutors in Indianapolis dropped all charges against two scientists accused of stealing trade secrets worth $55 million from Eli Lilly and Co., according to a motion filed Friday in federal court in Indianapolis. The case against former Lilly scientists Guoqing Cao and Shuyu Li collapsed less than a month after Indianapolis-based Lilly provided "additional information" to the U.S. Department of Justice that changed “the investigative facts initially relied upon by the government” in its case against the men, according to court documents. Spokesmen for the U.S. Attorney's Office and Lilly declined to specify the additional information, but defense attorneys said it was an ackowledgment by Lilly that information it intially characterized as proprietary was in fact already in the public domain. It is a stunning reversal for Cao and Li. The Carmel residents were arrested Oct. 1, 2013, and charged with theft of information about nine experimental drugs Lilly was developing.
In an attempt to establish a presence in downtown Indianapolis, the Franciscan St. Francis Health hospital system will open a 13,000-square-foot medical clinic at the CityWay YMCA facility under construction on South Alabama Street. The Franciscan site, scheduled to open in January 2016, will include physician offices as well as imaging and lab testing. It will also offer therapy services with the 100,000-square-foot YMCA. CityWay is a mix of retail stores, a hotel, apartments and office space being developed just southeast of Bankers Life Fieldhouse by Buckingham Cos.
WellPoint Inc. became Anthem Inc.—again—Dec. 3, by unveiling a new sign with its new name outside its headquarters on Monument Circle. According to the Associated Press, the Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer sells health insurance in 14 states under the Anthem name, the company's corporate name before it bought California-based WellPoint Health Networks in 2004 for $16.5 billion. It sells no plans under the WellPoint name. CEO Joseph Swedish has said the insurer must call itself by the name customers know best. Anthem Inc. was originally formed in 1995 when Indianapolis-based insurer Associated Group merged with Cincinnati-based Community Mutual Insurance Co. Anthem demutualized and conducted an initial public offering in 2001.
Indianapolis-based Home Health Depot Inc. sold its Custom Wheelchair and Seating Division to National Seating & Mobility for undisclosed terms. As part of the divestiture, 65 Home Health Depot employees will join National Seating, with 38 of those employees located in Indiana. Home Health Depot plans to focus on its growing complex respiratory equipment, such as ventilators, and hospice medical equipment services.