In an effort to reduce Indiana’s shortage of psychiatrists, Community Health Network will establish a psychiatry residency program in 2016 to provide specialized training to recent medical school graduates. According to Community, 43 of Indiana’s 92 counties have no practicing psychiatrist. “Based on the state’s population, there should be 650 psychiatrists in Indiana, but in 2013 that number was down to 356,” said Bryan Mills, CEO of Community, which operates eight hospitals and hundreds of other medical locations in Indianapolis, Anderson and Kokomo. “This comes at a time when Indiana communities are seeing an increase in individuals needing mental health treatment.” The Indiana University School of Medicine’s psychiatry residency program has newly minted doctors train at Indiana University Health’s Methodist and Riley hospitals, as well as at Eskenazi Health, the Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Larue D. Carter Memorial Hospital.
Franciscan Alliance, the first major Indianapolis-area hospital system to report 2014 financial results, grew profits 430 percent last year even as inpatient visits dropped 6.6 percent. Franciscan’s profit of $211.3 million was boosted by an extra $17 million in payments from the state Medicaid program and by cost reductions stemming from its 2013 move to eliminate 925 jobs. Even after adjusting for the extra Medicaid payments, Franciscan earned $194.3 million from its health care operations, up from $36.7 million the year before. Franciscan’s 2013 profit was depressed from the previous couple of years, when it hit $79.8 million and $114.8 million, respectively. In spite of the decline in hospital stays, Franciscan's revenue from patients grew 3.9 percent to $2.4 billion. The 13-hospital chain also ended the year on a high note, with inpatient stays in the fourth quarter rising 2.1 percent to 19,301 compared with the same quarter the year before. That ended five straight quarters of declining inpatient stays.
Eli Lilly and Co. and other makers of testosterone drugs were ordered by federal regulators last week to make their labels clear that they are not to help men deal with the normal loss of testosterone that comes with aging, according to Bloomberg News. Uses listed for the medications, such as AbbVie Inc.’s AndroGel and Eli Lilly and Co.’s Axiron, are being restricted and warnings are being required in the labels about a potential risk of heart attack and stroke from using testosterone, according to the Food and Drug Administration. AndroGel ranked second in AbbVie’s drug sales last year, with $934 million, according to Bloomberg. Indianapolis-based Lilly sold about $179 million of Axiron in 2013 and $122.9 million through the first three quarters of 2014. In 2013, 2.3 million patients received a prescription for testosterone, almost double the number in 2010, the FDA staff said in documents in September, when it called outside advisers together to discuss testosterone safety. The FDA also is requiring testosterone makers to conduct clinical trials on the increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
The Indiana Senate is considering a bill that would give terminally ill patients the chance to try experimental medicines that have cleared basic safety tests, so long as the patient's doctor and the drug manufacturer approve, according to the Associated Press. The "right to try" legislation passed the House last month. Indiana is one of nearly two dozen states considering the legislation. Michigan, Colorado, Missouri and Louisiana have passed similar measures, and Arizona put a proposal in place through voter referendum. Under current law, patients can obtain experimental drugs by enrolling in a clinical trial or asking their doctors to file an application with the FDA for a single investigational or compassionate use.