Articles

CPA firm hopes to deduct waistlines: KSM promotes wellness with weight-loss contest

Katz Sapper & Miller LLP is putting its money where its employees’ mouths are, helping its work force stay fit and healthy during the hectic tax season. In an industry where numbers are king, the local accounting firm is tabulating pounds, inches and cholesterol levels along with deductions, capital gains and tax credits. Some 58 KSM employees are participating in a weight-loss competition from Jan. 15 to April 15. As procrastinating Americans are rushing their tax returns to mailboxes, KSM…

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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: What Hoosiers should know about advance directives

While people had sharply divided opions about the Terri Schiavo case, most could agree on one point: It’s a good idea to make sure your wishes about life-prolonging treatments are clearly known. Indiana residents can sign “advance directives” in order to confirm their wishes about life-prolonging treatment and to authorize others to make decisions and give consents on their behalf. Indiana law offers three main types of advance directive: the Living Will, the Health Care Representative Appointment, and the health…

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Wishard aims to even it up: Health system could break deficit string

About half the bills Wishard Health Services used to send out came back sans payment thanks to an error. Now that happens only 4 percent of the time, a change that saves millions, according to Wishard number-crunchers. Improvements such as these might spur a multimillion-dollar turnaround in Wishard’s ledger this year, said Matt Gutwein, the leader of Marion County’s safetynet hospital. Wishard will attempt to break even by the end of 2005, a far cry from the $77 million deficit…

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Incubator lures biotech upstart: Fish vaccine biz hoping to land on canal

Hatching new businesses is getting to be routine for Indiana University. So it was easy for Richard Wagner to contemplate moving his biotech startup from Columbus, Ohio, into IU’s 2-year-old business incubator on the Central Canal. “It’s an excellent facility. Every time I go up, I’m more and more impressed with it,” Wagner said. “They put a lot of thought into designing it to meet the needs of life science and biotechnology research.” Wagner, who holds a doctorate in plant…

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McIntosh goes to bat for players at hearings: Former politician represents 3 stars grilled about steroids

Hoosiers who saw some of baseball’s biggest stars testify before a congressional committee about steroids may have caught a glimpse of former U.S. Rep. David McIntosh. The Republican Muncie native served Indiana’s second district in the House of Representatives from 1995 until 2001, and he ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2000. He is currently a partner at the Washington, D.C., office of international law firm Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw LLP. Commuting from Indiana to the nation’s capital, McIntosh’s legal…

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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Kenley’s funding plan has momentum despite critics

Remember when Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels felt “car-bombed” by House Democrats when they refused to provide a quorum for votes on 132 bills? Then Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee Chairman Luke Kenley, RNoblesville, must have felt last week that his plan to help finance a new stadium for the Indianapolis Colts and an expansion for the Indiana Convention Center was hit by rocket-propelled grenades. Kenley proposed to finance the two projects through a combination of private, state and local…

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Million dollar baby: Hospital reaps benefits of caring for high-profile boy A public relations jackpot

The Afghan boy may have arrived last month at Riley Hospital for Children with heart trouble and a need for complicated surgery. But behind those soft, brown eyes and that adorable smile lies a 12-cylinder marketing engine. A sample of the 15-month-old’s power: Qudrat’s often-reported story created at least $1 million in free media for Riley, according to hospital officials. That’s 10 times the amount Riley spends on print or broadcast advertising in a year. He could be responsible for…

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National lobbyist meets with gov: Small-business advocate says health care is still the toughest issue for owners

The National Federation of Independent Business is the nation’s largest small-business advocacy group, representing 600,000 members in all 50 states. Its voice in Washington, D.C., is Dan Danner, an Ohio native and Purdue University graduate, who is the organization’s lead lobbyist. During a recent visit to the NFIB’s Indiana office, Danner sat down with IBJ to address issues critical to the state’s smallbusiness owners. IBJ: As chief lobbyist for the NFIB, how do you get the organization’s message to federal…

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Lilly faction seeks split of exec roles: Shareholder group wants to separate chair, CEO jobs

The shareholders think Lilly should separate its chairman and CEO roles. Sidney Taurel currently holds both jobs and the title of president. The group wants an independent chairman. It’s one of six shareholder proposals on the agenda for Lilly’s April 18 annual meeting at its headquarters. The move would address “a leadership crisis at our company” created by the lack of access to affordable medicines, according to the proposal listed in Lilly’s recently filed proxy statement. Lilly’s board disagrees and…

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Smoke carries economic toll: Ban backers cite health, productivity costs

The annual cost of treating the secondhand-smoke-related illnesses of Marion County residents likely exceeds $16 million, a cost borne partly by businesses that provide their employees health insurance. Businesses also shoulder harder-to-calculate costs in the form of lost productivity and absenteeism, according to a 2002 study for the Marion County Health Department believed to be the best estimate yet of the local impact of cigarettes. But backers of the proposed City-County Council ordinance that would ban smoking in Indianapolis’ bars…

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Ownership change draws near for Robin Run: NBA reorganization plan calls for sale to Brookdale

Robin Run Village, a northwest-side retirement complex, could start spring under new management if it and other National Benevolent Association properties are sold in the next few weeks as expected. Robin Run and 10 other NBA locations around the country are slated to become the property of Chicago-based Brookdale Living Communities. Brookdale’s parent, Fortress NBA Acquisition LLC, bid $210 million last year to buy the senior living locations from the bankrupt NBA for Brookdale, but the deal still has some…

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Anthem, docs still skirmish: Insurer’s new pre-approval rules rankle some A rocky marriage

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield just dumped a load of extra work on the office staff of the average ear, nose and throat specialist, according Dr. Thomas Whiteman. The WellPoint Inc. subsidiary now requires pre-approval for nonemergency, high-tech imaging such as MRI or CAT scans. The insurer started the new policy March 1 to curb overuse. Whiteman said the average otolaryngologist-or ear, nose and throat specialist-schedules as many as eight of these tests a day. If Anthem insures just…

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Ex-hospital administrator sues St. Vincent: Doctor says former employer owes him severance pay

Dr. Harry Laws blames money for the reason his tenure as the first leader of St. Vincent Children’s Hospital ended in January 2004 after only a year. Money also is the reason he decided to sue St. Vincent over the dismissal. The longtime pediatrician wants St. Vincent to pay him $230,000 in severance, according to a complaint filed in Marion County court. Laws contends that St. Vincent fabricated reasons for his dismissal and breached its employment contract with him by…

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TOM HARTON Commentary: It’s your right to make me sick

Smoking is legal, after all. The medical community says secondhand smoke causes diseases associated with slow, painful death. Doctors have been telling us this for 40 years, but who knows if it’s really true? Even if you believe it, all that science shouldn’t get in the way of someone’s right to indulge in something they enjoy. Life is tough enough on smokers already. Most can’t light up while they’re at work. If they fly somewhere-on a business trip, maybe, or…

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Clarian’s capabilities keep Combine here: Medical services lure NFL officials, owners back to Indy

When Mayor Bart Peterson announced in December plans to build a new stadium for the Indianapolis Colts, he mentioned as a side note the $600 million facility would help retain the National Football League Scouting Combine. The mayor’s pronouncement is no side note to Clarian Health Partners, the hospital system that handles all the athlete medical testing for the four-day Combine, which runs this year through March 1. “We were told by Clarian officials this event adds $1 million to…

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Alliance seeks to grow survey: Employers coalition wants companies to get more information about insurers

An employer’s coalition has launched a plan to expand what Indiana companies know about the health care insurance they buy for their workers. Earlier this month, the Indiana Employers Quality Health Alliance mailed invitations to several insurers asking them to participate in their 2005 eValue8 performance assessment. The concept is nothing new. However, this year, alliance President Dr. Ned Lamkin hopes more insurers respond and their ensuing report reaches a wider audience of employers, right before they choose their health…

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Supporters predict passage of waiver bill: Measure would allow uninsured to sign up for health care policies that exclude some pre-existing conditions

Indiana is one of only a few states in which individuals cannot agree to waive coverage for pre-existing conditions in order to get at least some type of health insurance. That could change this year, however. Dueling bills in front of the Legislature have passed out of the House and Senate and are being considered by the opposite chamber. Rep. Gerald Torr, R-Carmel, authored one of the measures and is confident some form of his legislation will pass. The object…

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St. Vincent buys land near Lafayette for hospital: Market has long intrigued Indianapolis-based network

St. Vincent Health paid Arnett Health-System $3 million to $4 million for land Arnett owned along Interstate 65 in Tippecanoe County, said Rebecca Carl, Arnett vice president for marketing and communications. The two sides closed the deal in mid-February. Lafayette-based Arnett includes a health care plan and a physician group of 150 doctors, and covers a 14-county area centered on Lafayette. Its leaders want another hospital there even though Lafayette already has two, Home Hospital and St. Elizabeth Medical Center….

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Bill keeps mandate debate swirling: Biz community favors stripped-down option

Small-business owner Gail Piltz, who is paying 31 percent more this year than he did a year ago to insure himself and his four employees, has a somewhat radical philosophy regarding health care insurance. His suggestion: Everyone should be responsible for his or her own health care plan, just like they are with their automobile and homeowner’s insurance. That way, he said, people might abuse the system less and make coverage more affordable. Piltz’s proposition has failed to gain traction…

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