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Eli Lilly and Co. announced that an experimental drug it is developing to treat psoriasis also proved effective against psoriatic arthritis. The drug, called ixekizumab, was statistically superior to a placebo when studied in a Phase 3 trial, the Indianapolis-based drugmaker announced Monday. It also reported that adverse events were higher for patients taking ixekizumab than for those taking placebos. Lilly will announce more detailed results from its latest clinical trial in coming months. In August, Lilly announced that ixekizumab helped six times more patients with psoriasis than an existing therapy for psoriasis in two Phase 3 clinical trials. Lilly is now seeking approval by regulators to bring ixekizumab to market.

A federal whistleblower lawsuit charges that Indiana University Health and HealthNet Inc. put low-income pregnant women and their newborn babies at risk in a fraud scheme to increase revenue and bilk taxpayers out of millions of dollars. The suit, brought by Dr. Judith Robinson and recently unsealed, claims that the two health care providers left their pregnant patients' care to lower-cost nurse midwives instead of having them treated by doctors. But when billing Medicaid, the two providers claimed the services were provided by doctors, Robinson’s complaint alleges. Robinson formerly served as director of women’s services at HealthNet, as well as medical director of ob-gyn services at IU Health. When Robinson learned of three instances of babies with permanent neurological injuries within a six-month period, allegedly due to the subpar care, she alerted IU Health executives as early as February 2013, according to her suit. Four months later, she was fired. HealthNet is the largest provider of midwifery services in the state. MDWise Inc., a Medicaid claims processor, also is named in the suit. Robinson filed her suit in December 2013 and amended the complaint in October 2014. Per the court’s order, both remained sealed from public view until March 10 of this year. "In keeping with our corporate policy and out of respect for those involved, IU Health does not comment on matters involving active litigation," IU Health said Friday in an email to IBJ. "We will fully cooperate with any requests throughout the investigation."

Indiana University Health plans to construct a new hospital in Bloomington four or five years from now after striking a deal with Indiana University to build on the school's golf driving range. The project, which would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, still must win approval from the IU Health board of directors and IU trustees. IU Health’s executives in Bloomington said in December they were considering a new hospital either in a new location or on the existing IU Health campus in downtown Bloomington. In February, IU Health’s Bloomington executives said a study had found that building on the existing site was not feasible. IU Health officials considered building on 85 acres the hospital system owns on the northwestern outskirts of Bloomington. But the IU driving range sits closer to the heart of the city, on 75 acres northeast of the IU campus and adjacent to the IU Technology Park. The exact timing and cost of the project will be determined by a year-long design process, according to IU Health spokeswoman Amanda Roach.

The state budget would cut property taxes in half for for-profit hospitals, according to The Times of Northwest Indiana. Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, said the tax break was included to help for-profit hospitals compete more equally with not-for-profit hospitals, which are not required to pay property taxes. The break would apply to buildings and equipment at such hospitals as Porter Regional Hospital in northwestern Indiana and Lutheran Health Network in Fort Wayne. In Porter County, Auditor Vicki Urbanik told The Times that Porter Regional would save $381,000 if its property taxes for 2016 remain about the same as this year.

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