Articles

Company helps keep students on course: College Network offers college-study assistance

There may be no shortcuts to a college education, but Indianapolis-based The College Network says it can offer some passing lanes for working people who want to add to their professional credentials. The College Network, 3815 River Crossing Parkway, Suite 260, is a nationwide business that publishes educational materials for adult students who want to earn an undergraduate degree, graduate degree or professional certification in their current field. TCN is not a school and does not provide degrees itself, but…

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New providers fill up the market for air-rescue services: Indiana sees growth spurt in helicopter transport firms

Medical helicopters are filling the skies over Indiana in an unprecedented growth spurt that has sparked a heated debate about overuse and quality of care. A market once dominated by not-forprofit Clarian Health Partners’ LifeLine program has seen three out-of-state companies plant seven new helicopter bases in central and southern Indiana over the past few years. PHI Air Medical Group Indiana, a subsidiary of Phoenix-based PHI Air Medical Services, opened bases in West Lafayette, Anderson and Columbus last year. They…

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HSAs picking up steam: Enrollment tops 1 million; biz tax breaks proposed

Earlier this year, employees of Indianapolis-based N.K. Hurst Co. became part of the growing fraternity of workers in the United States who are eligible for health savings accounts as part of their benefits package. As of March, the membership in HSAs numbered more than 1 million people, twice as many as the estimated 438,000 in September, according to a study by America’s Health Insurance Plans. The Washington, D.C.-based trade association for insurers said enrollment numbers are growing because more companies…

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Wishard owner fishes growing revenue stream: Health and Hospital Corp. buys 19th nursing home

The owner of Wishard Memorial Hospital added a 19th nursing home to its investment portfolio earlier this year, as it continues to pull revenue from a market filled with struggling competitors. Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County purchased American Village Retirement Community, a complex of garden homes, apartments and a nursing home near the intersection of East 54th Street and Keystone Avenue, for $2.6 million, said Matt Gutwein, Health and Hospital president and CEO. Gutwein said the deal, like…

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BULLS & BEARS: To avoid pension turmoil take the money and invest

On May 13, Tiger Woods missed a putt and, for the first time in seven years, didn’t make the cut in a PGA tournament. Tiger wasn’t so happy, but the guy who made the cut because of Tiger’s miss was delighted. Two days before Tiger’s historic miss, in a crowded Chicago courtroom, United Airlines won permission from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to renege on some of the pension payments it owed to retirees and employees. The decision was historic, as…

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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: With growth at both ends, job spectrum requires skill

When you study economic statistics for a living, it’s easy to lose perspective on a lot of things. Take the labor market, for instance. In any given month, millions of American workers are hired and fired, promoted, demoted and transferred. Some drop out of the labor force to raise children or to go to school, while others retire altogether or begin new careers. When the smoke clears after all those changes, the statisticians in Indiana and in Washington tally it…

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Busy session for insurance forces: Compact passage highlights plethora of industry-related legislation considered by the General Assembly

State lawmakers also killed a bill that offers “mandate lite” health coverage and kept the topic of vicious dogs at bay during the 2005 legislative session. Insurance lobbyists and regulators say they just wrapped up one of the busiest sessions in recent memory. Topics ran a wide gamut and crowded committee calendars. Last year, five industry-supported bills made it through the General Assembly, according to Dan Tollefson, corporate counsel for the state Department of Insurance. This year, 15 did, and…

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A business-friendly approach: New insurance boss hopes to speed approval process, attract firms to state

Jim Atterholt may not have been the governor’s top choice to lead the Indiana Department of Insurance. But the former state representative who has dedicated his career to public service is no consolation pick, either. Those who know the 43-year-old Atterholt say his calm demeanor and his sharp people skills should serve him well in his new role as an administrator. He took the helm as commissioner Feb. 22, about a month after Harold Calloway declined the appointment. Atterholt since…

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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Expect more rate hikes by the Federal Reserve

If the Federal Reserve’s steady diet of interest rate increases is giving you or your business indigestion, I’ve got a suggestion for you-get used to it. The inflation winds in the U.S. economy are whipping up like they haven’t in almost a decade, and it’s up to our central bank to do something about it. We learned a few years ago that rapid advances in technology and globalization didn’t make the national economy recession-proof, as some foolishly boasted. It looks…

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Vote sets up big switch for Standard: Company awaits insurance department’s approval of sale

With two key shareholder votes in his favor, Standard Management Corp. Chairman and CEO Ron Hunter made major strides last week in remaking the Indianapolis holding company. Common-stock shareholders overwhelmingly approved the sale of Standard Life Insurance Co. and Dixie National Life Insurance Co. to Louisville-based Capital Assurance Corp. May 18. Later that day, the company announced most of the holders of its trust-preferred securities agreed to a plan that preserves more than $20 million in cash for Standard in…

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TOM HARTON Commentary: The twins that hold us back

Stubbornness and stupidity are twins. I’ve remembered that notion from Sophocles ever since a high school friend said it to a teacher as they argued about the way she’d scored his test. He lost that fight, but went on to become a successful lawyer. I don’t know what happened to the teacher, but I’m reminded of the phrase as I observe the decisions made by our elected representatives. Two examples come to mind, one recent and the other long ago….

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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: With session behind him, Daniels readying for next one

At the beginning of the session, Gov. Mitch Daniels told Hoosiers to fasten their seat belts. We told you to expect the session to follow Mario Andretti’s philosophy: “If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.” The session began like a heat at the U.S. Nationals drag races in Clermont-quickly out of the blocks. Things seemed to bog down midway, reminding us of the Brickyard 400. The finish held form, however, with the governor downing the legislative…

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Twilight fund fades away: Meanwhile, six BioCrossroads-backed VCs are just getting started

Its specialty is developing local life sciences startups. But its partners can’t raise any more money. So the sun is setting on Twilight Venture Partners. Meanwhile, the six venture capital firms BioCrossroads staked with its $73 million Indiana Future Fund have just three local investments to show among them. Venture investments take time, the six IFF recipients argue. And their first duty is to earn the high rate of return the IFF’s organizers demand. That means significant proof of concept…

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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Giving credit where credit’s due

CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary Giving credit where credit’s due Over the last 25 years, one of the ways we’ve tried to give back to the business community that supports us is to recognize the people and companies who’ve made a difference. These programs have given us the opportunity to celebrate honorees and their accomplishments both in our pages and at public events. Each in their own way, the programs have been not only gratifying but, well, fun. I’d like to take…

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Health builders thinking small: Local hospital development in for change

Just north of Indianapolis, Clarian Health Partners plans to open a 170-bed hospital this December, a suburban complement to the 76-bed hospital it opened last December in Avon. To the south, St. Francis Hospital and Health Centers unveiled a heart center in March, counterbalancing the two stand-alone heart hospitals that sprang up on the north side a few years ago. These projects offer a snapshot of how health care development has progressed over the past few years in central Indiana….

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Union puts Harborside Healthcare on defensive: Publicity campaign highlights problems at local homes

Feces in the shower. Pressure sores. Dead worms in the corner of one building. “Be careful who you trust with nursing home care,” shout four billboards placed recently around Indianapolis by a union that wants to warn people about problems like chronic understaffing at Harborside Healthcare nursing homes. Nonsense, counter Boston-based Harborside managers. They claim the union is using isolated events to “extort” more pay and benefits from Harborside and expand union membership. Either way, Indianapolis appears to be the…

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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Going behind the numbers to understand price indexes

The joke about economists is that we talk about money but we don’t have any. And when it comes to having power and wealth, the status of those who compile the economic statistics we all consume is usually several notches below even that of the lowly economist. Most are employed by government agencies, after all. And the last time I checked, I didn’t see anyone from the Forbes 100 list on a public payroll. But the numbers these anonymous statisticians…

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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Pondering the world from an economist’s viewpoint

In case you’ve ever wondered what it is like to look at life through the eyes of an economist, here are some questions to ponder: Has anyone else noticed that public schools these days are in the transportation business, the sports entertainment business, the restaurant business, the health care business, not to mention the day care business? It’s no wonder their jobs are so difficult. To those who decry the risk of diverting Social Security revenue towards personal accounts in…

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VIEWPOINT: We need Social Security as a safety net

The proposed use of personal savings accounts for Social Security tax investment fundamentally changes what Social Security was meant to provide. It was meant to be a minimum guaranteed platform of financial security in old age. If everyone could and would save a material amount of their lifetime earnings, investing in a disciplined diversified manner, we wouldn’t need Social Security. But the reality is, that’s never going to happen. The poor, non-earners and the profligate simply aren’t up to the…

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As market correction plays out, good buys remain INVESTING Keenan Hauke:

It’s week five of the correction that began in early March. Major market indexes have declined anywhere from 3 percent to 8 percent, and the selling may not be over. Does it matter? Is this simply another minor setback on the march to new highs? It definitely matters. As I’ve said since January, the bull market that began in March 2003 has now changed so that you can’t depend on the broad rising tide to bail you out. Micro-cap-size companies…

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