Articles

Forum Credit Union buys health-care consultant: Financial institution beefing up commercial services

Forum Credit Union, central Indiana’s largest credit union, has acquired Indianapolis-based health-care consulting firm Health Care Economics Inc. And banks are piping mad about it. “It’s part of our effort to meet the needs of what our members have been asking us to do,” said Andrew Mattingly, senior vice president of strategy and marketing for Fishers-based Forum. “They want to put all of their finances together [at one institution].” Health Care Economics primarily serves as a business consultant to medical…

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How Family Friendly is: Duke Realty Corp.: Locally based, publicly traded, commercial real estate firm

Duke Realty Corp. Locally based, publicly traded, commercial real estate firm Flexible work arrangements Duke managers support flexible work arrangements whenever possible. Some associates work flexible hours, compressed workweeks, part-time schedules or take advantage of part-time telecommuting. Child care Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts are offered and allow associates to set aside money on a before-tax basis through payroll deductions to cover daycare expenses. Family leave/military leave Eligible associates may take FMLA leave up to 12 weeks. Employees can also…

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Wishard bounces back, projects $23M surplus: Improved billing, debt collection dry up red ink

Wishard Health Services made it back into the black in 2005, three years after posting a staggering loss of $77 million. The not-for-profit, public hospital system expects to record a $23 million surplus on $362 million in revenue when budget totals are final in a few months. Its leaders expect to wind up with another surplus in 2006. Such performance is a noteworthy achievement in the public health universe, said Lynne Fagnani, senior vice president for the Washington, D.C.-based National…

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Making the grade: Pay-for-performance system nearing reality for local physicians

Central Indiana stands on the leading edge of a national push by health care insurance systems to link doctors’ pay with their performance. The Indiana Health Information Exchange-a not-for-profit collaboration among some of the state’s largest health care providers-is developing a program that uses data collected from insurers and care providers to produce quality reports. Those reports then will be sent to doctors and used by the insurers to develop incentive programs for reimbursement. The goal: Start a system by…

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Banning ‘McLawsuits’: State bill outlawing fast-food litigation nears passage

A bill nearing the governor’s desk would make it illegal to sue Indiana restaurants-including the state’s ubiquitous fast-food joints-for those extra notches in the belt. Commonly referred to as the “cheeseburger bill,” the measure is part of a national effort by restaurants and small-business owners to protect themselves from enormous class-action lawsuits that have been filed against some national chains. House Bill 1113 passed out of the Senate Committee on Corrections, Criminal, and Civil Matters on Feb. 14 by a…

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Clarian sizing up south side: Agreement with Morgan Hospital could lead to development projects in St. Francis’ back yard

The largest hospital network in Indianapolis will start stretching its reach once again next month, this time south of town, where it could challenge the dominance of St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers. Clarian Health Partners is embarking on a five-year development agreement with Martinsville’s Morgan Hospital & Medical Center that could place more building projects on Clarian’s already crowded construction agenda. The two systems plan to focus their relationship on improving patient care and research, but representatives of both…

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Startup receives first Indiana Seed Fund investment: Purdue-bred SonarMed plans move to Indianapolis

Until recently, SonarMed Inc., a startup developing a new type of breathing tube, was just a mailbox at Purdue University. But having recently been awarded the first investment from the BioCrossroads’ Indiana Seed Fund, SonarMed plans to move into office space in Indianapolis, hire 15 to 20 employees before the end of the year and begin seeking U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for its device. The Indiana Seed Fund was formed last summer and now has $6 million to…

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Entrepreneurship the Indian way: A day with a Bangalore software-maker reveals business parallels

BANGALORE, India-HealthAsyst CEO Umesh Bajaj remembers when the only computers allowed in India were self-assembled. As recently as 20 years ago, the Indian government’s protectionist measures prohibited foreign companies from directly selling PCs. Instead, Indians imported microchips and built the computers themselves. In his first job as an electronics engineer for an Indian conglomerate, Bajaj crisscrossed the country marketing versions of mainframes and desktops made in India. Today Bajaj, a 55-year-old born in New Delhi, owns his own Bangalore-based health…

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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Obesity must be conquered

By now, everybody knows obesity is a huge health problem in our country. The Centers for Disease Control reports that obesity is linked to 112,000 deaths per year and leads to an extra $75 billion in direct medical costs annually. We Hoosiers can hold up a mirror. Depending on which study you look at, Indiana ranks either fourth or fifth as the most obese state in the nation. Our local daily newspaper just published a series of articles on how…

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Emerging India: Passage to Bangalore: Hoosiers seek outsourcing and investment opportunities

Passage to Bangalore Hoosiers seek outsourcing and investment opportunities BANGALORE, India-The deal was falling apart. Despite a week of flirtation and friendly negotiations, the two young Indian entrepreneurs rejected the offer from the group of Hoosier investors. Frustrated, the investors walked out of the hotel conference room. The chance to speculate on an Indian software startup called Picsquare.comhad fizzled. But none of the six Indiana business leaders was demoralized. After all, they’d crossed the globe to pursue business opportunities in…

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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Those who put head in sand put next generation in peril

I have always been fascinated with one particular aspect of the life story of Al Smith. Here was a poor, unsophisticated, relatively uneducated kid from the Lower East Side of Manhattan who showed up at the New York Legislature in 1903 as a nobody, but in the space of 10 years became a major power broker, ultimately running for president. The secret to his success? Unlike his socializing, partying colleagues, Al Smith spent his evenings actually reading legislation. When it…

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Hospitals battle for bone biz: St. Vincent’s ortho upgrade ups ante in lucrative niche

St. Vincent Health is spending $9 million to capture more of the city’s lucrative market for orthopedic care, a specialty that could trigger a new arms race among local hospitals. The Catholic hospital network is reworking existing space at its 86th Street campus to create a 61-bed St. Vincent Orthopedic Center that will open in July. The new center aims to consolidate care in one location and raise the quality bar to new heights. “We think we’re creating something that…

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Ex-Winona owner under fire: Leland Medical Centers CEO faces fraud accusations, questions about his own bankruptcy

Accusations of fraud and other misconduct are piling up against the former owner of Winona Memorial Hospital. Two companies recently joined Winona’s creditors in questioning money transfers made by Texasbased Leland Medical Centers Inc., which owned the nowdefunct Indianapolis hospital from 2002 until a short time before it closed in 2004. Meanwhile, lawyers sorting through the liquidation of Winona still have no explanation for why Leland took $3.6 million from the struggling Indianapolis hospital before it slid into bankruptcy and…

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Hospitals still find room to grow in Hamilton County: More competition doesn’t crowd the market, experts say

Clarian Health Partners made a big splash last December in Hamilton County when it opened a 154-bed medical center, but competitors in that market are showing they know how to flex development muscles, too. The county’s three other hospitals all have planned, started or completed expansion projects in the last few years, and those who know the market see plenty of room for more health care. “If you’re in the hospital business, it’s hard to fail in a market like…

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BRIAN WILLIAMS Commentary: Health care is hurting Indiana’s economy

Nearly 875,000 Hoosiers lack health insurance, including 165,350 children. Lack of health insurance takes a devastating toll on Hoosiers and the state’s economic health, and the effect of the uninsured will only get worse as their numbers grow. As companies confront rising health care costs, the obvious solution is dropping or scaling back health-insurance benefits. As a result, the number of uninsured increases, resulting in a premium cost shift to the insured and increased cost for government-provided health care. Over…

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Sarbanes-Oxley spreads beyond public companies: Hospitals, other not-for-profits consider tightening rules

Few topics might kill a cocktail conversation faster than the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, unless the dinner party includes hospital administrators, university presidents or other not-for-profit leaders. A desire to boost credibility-coupled with prodding from bond-rating ratings agencies-has broadened interest in the 4-year-old federal law far beyond the public companies it actually targets. Sarbanes-Oxley-passed by Congress in the wake of high-profile scandals at Enron, WorldCom and elsewhere-was intended to enhance financial disclosure and eliminate arrangements that could undermine the independence of auditors….

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Mr. Buick makes bid to dethrone Carson: Automobile dealer Dickerson takes grass-roots approach

Eric Dickerson held his hands out, palms facing each other, as if playing an accordion. He moved them closer to illustrate the narrowing margin of victory by which 7th District congresswoman Julia Carson has won re-election since 2000. A couple of tables away in the Starbucks near Broad Ripple, the founder of a private Indianapolis company sat listening to the political polka. Suddenly, he was up and talking to Dickerson, who wants to be Carson’s Republican challenger. “I want to…

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NOTIONS Playing both sides against the political middle:

Last weekend, I took my sons to see Woody Allen’s “Match Point.” It’s about a former tennis pro named Chris who gets himself into a jam. Chris is working at an upscale London tennis club when he meets a wealthy fellow named Tom. Tom introduces Chris to his sister, Chloe, with whom he falls in love (or, at least, “in like”). To help enhance Chris’ social stature and bank account, Chloe gets Chris a cushy job with her daddy’s firm….

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Firms face choice: Spend or be swallowed: Independent third-party benefits administrators watch consolidation wave sweep through state

For small companies, “their systems costs are just eating them alive,” said Donley, president of Donley & Co. Inc. “If they lose a couple large clients, all of a sudden they go from being in the black to being in the red.” Donley and others say the skyrocketing cost of doing business has triggered a wave of consolidation in the Indiana market for benefits administration. Since 2003, larger companies have gobbled or plan to gobble at least seven independently owned…

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NOTIONS: Will House protect Hoosier families?

Last fall, the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce invited members to an event called “Pancakes and Politics.” The invitation said that Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma would preview the upcoming legislative session. Ever curious, I e- mailed the Chamber and said I’d attend. When I arrived, I was puzzled. There were, indeed, pancakes. Bosma was working the crowd. But instead of signaling a legislative overview, the PowerPoint slide on the screen said we’d be hearing about the accomplishments and goals…

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