Articles

St. Francis looks to fill hospice care void: Hospital plans 16-bed facility for south campus

St. Francis Hospital and Health Centers wants to raise $15 million to add an inpatient hospice to its growing campus on the south side of Indianapolis. The free-standing hospice could house as many as 32 beds for terminally ill patients. Even though most hospice patients receive care in their own homes, hospital officials see the project as a chance to fill a market need and reinforce their system’s Franciscan values. “People get caught up, I think, in the definition of…

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Riverview, Irsay take separate paths to exotic getaways: Nancy’s Retreat organizers start dueling events

One retreat tempts central Indiana women to “capture their dreams”-and grab a makeover while they’re at it-during a long weekend in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The other promises “a trip of a lifetime” in nearby Nuevo Vallarta. Last year, a hurricane swept away plans for the second annual Nancy’s Retreat getaway, which was created by Nancy Irsay and the Riverview Memorial Foundation. This year, different visions split the retreat in two and created competing trips that benefit separate charities. Neither side…

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Lilly decides to self-insure for product liability

Eli Lilly and Co. has picked an insurer it knows extremely well to cover future problems in the high-stakes world of product liability litigation–itself. The Indianapolis drugmaker opted for self-insurance after struggling to find coverage in what it terms a “very restrictive insurance market.”

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Charities reap aid, confusion from new federal law: Pension Protection Act opens new avenues for giving

A new law signed last month by President Bush should open the valves to a fresh stream of charitable giving by allowing people to make tax-free donations from their IRAs for the first time. But philanthropy insiders say that, while the law gave, it also hath taken away. The Pension Protection Act encourages contributions from individual retirement accounts, but it crimps the use of popular donor-advised funds, which allow donors to maintain some control over how their contributions are spent….

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St. Vincent makes bigger investment in charity care: Need drives construction of Primary Care Center set to open in mid-2007

Here’s a lesson they don’t teach in business school: Take an entity that loses $4 million annually and expand it 50 percent. That’s the plan St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital unveiled earlier this month when it broke ground on a new, larger Primary Care Center serving indigent, underinsured and uninsured patients. That population of poor, mostly Spanish-speaking patients has more than doubled its annual visits since 2000. St. Vincent officials say the new $4 million center is 10 years overdue. Their…

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Top Conseco executives opt to live in Chicago

Jim Prieur makes a great choice for Conseco Inc. CEO, analysts say. But whether his hiring bodes well for the company’s Carmel headquarters is a different question. Conseco Chairman Glenn Hilliard said last week that Prieur will live in Chicago when he joins the company next month.

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Long-distance diagnoses are company’s specialty: NearMed to provide radiology services to hospitals

An Indianapolis health care startup plans to begin diagnosing patients this fall without actually seeing any of them face to face. NearMed will venture into the fastgrowing market for “teleradiology” by offering a network of doctors around the clock and radiology subspecialists who work days and evenings to read X-rays and other images transmitted over a secure computer network. The Intech Park-based company will call on radiologists in Indiana, Texas and Idaho. In addition, it will provide clients with picture…

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State’s Medicaid goal: better, cheaper care: FSSA says new approach will boost efficiency

Better care through better management. That’s the mantra behind the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s push to limit Medicaid’s cost growth to 5 percent annually. The state entity announced this month that it awarded $4.4 billion in contracts to three managed care organizations to provide coverage for pregnant women and children under its Hoosier Healthwise program. Next, Indiana wants to hire care managers to monitor the well-being of every Medicaid recipient in its aged, blind and disabled category. That…

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Strengthened safety net eases strain on insurers: Companies see more manageable contributions under new format to pay ICHIA’s losses

Indiana’s health insurance safety net has pared enrollment and trimmed the industry support it needs by $18 million a year, thanks to reform efforts that started a few years ago. But M-Plan Inc. CEO Alex Slabosky sees an even greater benefit behind the transformation of the Indiana Comprehensive Health Insurance Association: It allowed his company to remain in business. In 2003, M-Plan had to pay $5.9 million to help support ICHIA, a big chunk of change for a company that…

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Noble Roman’s seeking a return to glory

Noble Roman’s Inc. executives think they’ve found the recipe to lift their company out of its stock malaise. The Indianapolis company started franchising last year restaurants that feature dual branding with its Tuscano’s Italian Style Subs, and it plans 157 locations within three years.

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Gateway shuts the door on benefits enhancement: Indianapolis company will cease operations Aug. 30; CEO hopes to reopen

Gateway Medical Resource Alliance, a niche health care benefits company, will shut down Aug. 30, more than a month after losing the lone Indianapolis hospital in its network. The company, which has shrunk to six workers, provides employers discounts for certain cardiology, orthopedics and oncology care. In return for fees from the employers, Gateway offers flat, all-inclusive prices for procedures. It also offers prescription and wellness services. CEO Terry Kopp said he still hopes to find another hospital to resuscitate…

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New state rule changes annuity landscape: Indiana regulators place burden on the seller to decide what’s right for the buyer

No 75-year-old retiree should drop his or her life savings into an annuity that imposes a 10-year wait before the first payment. Indiana regulators understand this basic investment rule, and they want to ensure that the people who sell annuities follow it as well. The state Department of Insurance now places the burden of deciding whether an annuity is right for a consumer over age 65 on the seller, thanks to a new rule that started July 1. It requires…

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New fiscal year, no cuts for IU School of Medicine: But concern remains about funds for future growth

No layoffs. No seven-figure budget cut to sweat through. IU School of Medicine Dean Dr. Craig Brater had many reasons to raise a toast this month, when a new fiscal year began and the school left behind an old one marked by the worst budget cuts in decades. Indeed, Brater said he is breathing a little easier as the school starts fiscal 2006-2007 with a budget of more than $815 million. An increase in clinical revenue and grant money helped…

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Conseco takes fresh look at product development: New strategy emphasizes shared resources, efficiency

Conseco Inc. rolled out a fresh blueprint for product development earlier this year, and it was high time the insurer did so, say analysts who follow the company. The Carmel-based holding company is combining the resources of its subsidiaries and developing a corporate-wide system to pump out products more efficiently for its two main operating segments, Conseco Insurance Group and Chicago-based Bankers Life. It hopes to see results soon. Conseco Insurance Group launched only four new products in 2004 and…

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Dow AgroSciences seeks better vaccine: Plant-based preventive measure loaded with potential

Imagine a vaccine that kills salmonella bacteria in chickens long before they reach the food-processing center, possibly reducing the chance of a food-borne illness landing on your dinner plate. That’s one of the possibilities researchers are thinking about on the northwest side of Indianapolis, where Dow AgroSciences has become a pioneer in the new frontier of plant-based vaccines. Earlier this year, the subsidiary of Dow Chemical Co. received the world’s first regulatory approval for a plant-made vaccine from the U.S….

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Westview soldiers on amid health care explosion: Hospital fares well against larger, newer competition

A touch-screen directory, a grove of potted trees and a muffin-bearing kiosk greet visitors entering the six-story atrium at the new Clarian North Medical Center in Carmel. A much milder scene awaits people walking into Westview Hospital a few miles away, on the west side of Indianapolis. There, a lonely player piano spills soft tunes into a one-story lobby filled with clusters of chairs and pamphlets on volunteering. “Quiet! Healing in Progress” reads a nearby sign. Indiana’s lone osteopathic hospital…

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