Articles

Somerset enjoying freedom: Firm grew under First Indiana, but independence brings control, president says

Leaders of Somerset CPAs PC are soaking in the single life, one year after they split from First Indiana Corp. Twenty-one Somerset partners bought the assets of the accounting firm from the locally based public company on Oct. 25, 2004, ending a four-year relationship in which bad timing contributed more to the breakup than bad karma. The corporation is the holding company of First Indiana Bank. At a time when the Sarbanes-Oxley Act mandates auditor independence, Somerset President Patrick Early,…

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One Call rings up regulatory ire: Carmel telecommmunications firm faces fines, legal action-and increased scrutiny from FCC

The Federal Communications Commission is threatening to revoke the operating authority of Carmel telecommunications firm One Call Communications for allegedly failing to remit millions of dollars in federal fees. In its second action against the firm since 2002, the agency also proposes a $1.1 million fine against One Call and parent OCMC Inc. The FCC complaint quietly launched in August comes after allegations made last spring by state regulators. The state allegations involved so-called “modem hijacking” of dial-up computer users,…

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Emerging Tech, Johnson centers team up: Partnership links incubator’s startups with entrepreneurship students

Now as executive director of Indiana University’s Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, he has high hopes for his latest effort to introduce students to the real world of business. The Johnson Center, based in Bloomington, opened an office earlier this month at the Indiana University Emerging Technologies Center in downtown Indianapolis. The space gives MBA students the opportunity to provide consulting services to the 22 startups at the incubator. Unlike BSU seniors in the “spine-sweating” course who present an…

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NOTIONS: Blessed by quality, cursed by access

Hetrick last week won the Lawrence H. Einhorn, M.D. Award from the Little Red Door Cancer Agency. A cancer survivor himself, Hetrick was recognized, in part, for IBJ columns about people with cancer, especially his wife, Pam Klein, who died in March at 49. He also was honored for advocating anti-smoking legislation. Following are excerpts from his prepared acceptance remarks. I don’t deserve this award. I don’t wield a scalpel, administer chemotherapy, invent drugs, change bed pans, hold patients’ hands,…

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Lee, Willis prosper outside limelight: Former WRTV co-anchors run growing public relations firm

News defined the careers of Clyde Lee and Diane Willis for a combined five decades. And it was the nation’s biggest news event of the last decade-9/11-that served as an ominous backdrop for the duo’s first entrepreneurial venture. “We incorporated in August 2001, and less than a month later, 9/11 hit, and we thought, ‘Oh my,'” Lee recalled. But more than four years later, Lee/Willis Communications is still standing-and prospering. The fiscal swoon that followed 9/11 caused many companies to…

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State changes malpractice tact: Insurance department using more outside legal help

The Indiana Department of Insurance has boosted the outside help it uses to defend its medical malpractice Patients’ Compensation Fund after seeing a record payout this summer. A staff shortage, concern voiced by providers and a ruling that could lead to huge damage sums all spurred the move, said Amy Strati, who oversees the fund as the Insurance Department’s chief counsel. “The provider community has clearly said to us, ‘We want you using experienced [medical malpractice] attorneys on the complex…

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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Employers should prepare for Medicare D compliance

With less than three months until Medicare D takes effect, there is plenty for an employer to do to get ready. If you have done nothing yet, follow these steps. If you are well on your way to compliance, use these to check your progress. Step 1: Learn it Medicare D is the new prescription drug benefit available to Medicare-eligible individuals, effective Jan. 1, 2006. With few exceptions, your retirees and active employees who are Medicare-eligible may enroll in Medicare…

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Willingness to adapt keeps benefits firm growing: Key adjusts to ever-changing health insurance market

Larry Dust capitalized on a then-radical health insurance concept 25 years ago that thrust him to the forefront of the corporate movement to outsource employee benefits services. Much has changed in the world of health care since, but Dust and Key Benefit Administrators Inc. continue to redefine the way employers approach insurance. “The cheese has moved in this business,” Dust said, “and if you don’t believe it, you better get out.” The 57-year-old Knox native entered the insurance industry after…

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VIEWPOINT: Unleash your employees’ service potential

As anyone in the field of emergency management will tell you, the regrettably sluggish governmental response to the Hurricane Katrina natural and manmade disaster boils down to the argument over jurisdictions (a perennial challenge in the world of emergency management) and a gross lack of execution. As a result of the governmental infighting and dearth of critical decision-making in the early stages of this catastrophe, American citizens were victimized. People suffered, people died. In the analysis of the Hurricane Katrina…

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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Smaller communities face largest economic obstacles

The population statistics tell the story-we are a nation of cities. Nationwide in 2000, almost 80 percent of us lived in what the Census Bureau considered urban areas. Yet Indiana has more small cities, and more people who live in rural areas, than do many other states. In 2000, nearly 30 percent of us lived outside urban areas, compared with the national average of 21 percent. And of our 92 counties, 38 have fewer than 30,000 people, with 19 of…

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In a race for robotics: Crash doesn’t quell Jones’ hope of building new industry

One day in the not-so-distant future, robot drones will drive the military’s supply vehicles through dangerous war zones. They’ll pilot tractors across farm fields and steer plows as they scrape snowy highways. Automatic cars will even whisk you to and from work. High-tech entrepreneur Scott Jones, 44, believes with a zealot’s fervor this all will happen. More than a gee-whiz observer, the man who helped invent voice mail hopes to establish a robotic vehicle business-and ultimately the robotic vehicle industry-in…

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Premiums continue to climb: Rate increases may dip, but not by very much

After four years of double-digit rate hikes, average health care insurance premiums rose less than 10 percent in 2005. And they’re expected to rise less than 10 percent again in 2006, according to several national surveys. But excuse employers if they don’t get excited about the trend. They are still faced with having to pay much higher prices or trimming benefits-or both. Health care insurance premiums this year increased 9.2 percent, a 2-percent drop in the average increase from the…

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Hancock explores ‘mean, lean operating room machine’: Hospital officials believe time is right for surgery center

Hancock Regional Hospital has dusted off plans to build an outpatient surgery center with some of its doctors, and it may turn for help to a business run by the competition. The Greenfield hospital has talked with Visionary Enterprises Inc., a for-profit subsidiary of Community Health Network; and another Indianapolis company, Russell Associates LLC, about forming a partnership to build the center. Hancock Regional executive Rob Matt called the discussions preliminary but said officials hope to pick a partner by…

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Pumping out healthy profits: Stand-alone heart hospitals now bustling, earning millions after overcoming slow starts

Business heated up so fast for The Heart Center of Indiana last winter that it averaged 103-percent occupancy for an entire month. That meant the Carmel hospital often had to hold patients in an emergency room or short-stay location until space opened for them, Heart Center CEO John Stewart said. “We literally, multiple times, had to refuse [patient] transfers,” said Stewart, whose hospital is spending $4 million to add 20 beds that should be ready for patients next month. After…

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Free market is best hope for health care:

Clearly, the U.S. health care system has its share of problems. Costs are rising rapidly, some 45 million Americans are without health insurance, and both doctors and patients decry their loss of options and control. But, would a government-run health care system be any better? Single-payer health care systems have been proposed in a handful of states as the solution to the problem of access for the uninsured. While single-payer plans can offer all citizens some type of health insurance…

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Bob Wilson & Associates Inc.: Consultant helps companies predict workers’ potential Personality test provides key information to guide businesses’ personnel decisions

Personality test provides key information to guide businesses’ personnel decisions It may not be fortunetelling, but the Predictive Index gives important clues about an individual’s success or failure in certain jobs. In Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, the trademarked personality test is licensed to Bob Wilson & Associates Inc., a Carmel consulting firm that works with more than 200 companies, helping with hiring, retaining, managing and motivating employees. The firm also works with corporations on strategy and other management services. Wilson,…

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Speaking of health care: Local experts weigh in on rising costs, the uninsured and whether our current system needs an overhaul Public health priorities, executive salaries and the “gold rush” of health care construction were among the topics tackled Sept

Public health priorities, executive salaries and the “gold rush” of health care construction were among the topics tackled Sept. 21 in the latest installment of Indianapolis Business Journal’s Power Breakfast Series. IBJ reporter Tom Murphy moderated the panel discussion, attended by some of the area’s foremost health care experts. Following is an edited transcript of the often-spirited discussion, which included a brief interruption by protestors seeking medical insurance coverage for janitorial staff who clean Anthem Inc. buildings. IBJ: Can you…

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Insurer may be low on targets: WellPoint’s latest megadeal could be last for a while

A lack of available targets may steer Well-Point Inc. away from its diet of multibilliondollar acquisitions after it digests the latest purchase, New York-based Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurer WellChoice Inc. That, in turn, might slow the company’s frenetic growth rate, according to analysts who follow the health insurance industry. Blockbuster deals like the $20.8 billion merger that created WellPoint last year swelled the health insurer into the biggest player in its industry. In 2004, it reported a $960 million profit,…

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WellPoint company slapped over Medicare: AdminaStar Federal agrees to pay $6 million to resolve old fraud allegations

A WellPoint Inc. subsidiary has agreed to pay $6 million to the federal government to resolve whistleblower accusations of rampant Medicare fraud over a seven-year span in the 1990s. AdminaStar Federal altered claims information, overcharged the government, and even hung up on customers to reduce call times and improve evaluations, according to civil lawsuits filed by several whistleblowers in 1999 and 2000 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. The Indianapolis-based company administers and processes Medicare claims…

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Coalition targets disparities in minority health care: Group enlists CEOs to help it develop plan of action

Black people are nearly twice as likely to have diabetes than white people, less likely to engage in leisure activity and, on average, die five years earlier. Those statistics from the Centers for Disease Control provide motivation for a local consortium that wants to improve health care for minorities. Known as the CEO Health Disparities Roundtable, the year-old group has moved from setting objectives to developing a plan of action. The plan is aimed at reducing health care disparities among…

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