Tuesday, March 31, 2009
INDIANAPOLIS – Based on a ruling yesterday (March 30) from the Marion County Superior Court-Civil Division in Indianapolis, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield will continue to recognize facilities operated by the Sisters of St. Francis Health Services (SSFHS) as in-network until the contracts between Anthem and SSFHS expire Sept. 1, 2009.
Although Anthem had sought to terminate the contracts early, the court ruling means that members of Anthem health plans can continue to receive in-network services at SSFHS facilities after May 1. The hospitals include St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers in Beech Grove, Indianapolis and Mooresville; St. Elizabeth Medical Center and Home Hospital in Lafayette; St. Clare Medical Center in Crawfordsville; St. Anthony Memorial Health Centers in Michigan City; St. Anthony Medical Center in Crown Point; St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Center in Hammond and Dyer; and Franciscan Physicians Hospital in Munster.
The current Anthem-SSFHS contracts expire Sept.1, 2009.
But leaders from both organizations emphasized they are committed to continuing contracts talks and securing a new long-term agreement to ensure that Anthem-insured patients receive in-network benefits at the highest level of care at all SSFHS hospitals.
Monday, March 30, 2009
The study, which has been conducted annually since 1993, evaluates performance in nine areas: mortality, medical complications, patient safety, average length of stay, expenses, profitability, cash-to-debt ratio, patient satisfaction and adherence to clinical standards of care.
"We are continually looking at ways to improve our performance to better serve our patients at all of our hospitals," said Alan Gillespie, M.D., St. Francis’ chief medical officer. "We’re honored to be recognized by Thompson Reuters."
St. Francis, which also operates hospitals in Beech Grove and Mooresville, was one of only seven hospitals in Indiana to make the Thompson Reuters list.
"The 100 Top Hospitals winners raised the bar again this year, delivering a higher level of reliable care and greater value for their communities and payers," said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president for performance improvement and 100 Top Hospitals programs at the Ann Arbor-based Thomson Reuters.
To conduct the 100 Top Hospitals study, Thomson Reuters researchers evaluated 3,000 short-term, acute care, non-federal hospitals. They used public information -- Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) data, and core measures and patient satisfaction data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare data set.
To read the full listing of hospitals, go to http://pressrelated.com/press-release-thomson-reuters-announces-100-top-hospitals-award-winners.html.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
They are Robert Colin, Tom Morales and Travis Tucker. They join 30 other members who help guide fundraising efforts to help the needy, care for the dying, assure spiritual care, provide crisis support for patients and employees, encourage professional development for employees, and create a healthier community.
Colin is an audit partner with Deloitte & Touche, LLP, where he leads numerous public and private partnership ventures and has wide experience in corporate governance and mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. He has been active on several not-for-profit boards in the greater Indianapolis area, and he serves on the parish councils at Saints Francis and Clare and Our Lady of Greenwood.
Morales is chief executive officer of Morales Group Inc., a staffing placement firm that bridges the Indianapolis business community with the growing Hispanic population. He held several executive positions over the years, including positions at Procter & Gamble, Union Carbide and the Donaldson Corporation before launching the company that bears his name. Morales attends a non-denominational Christian church.
Tucker is a senior leasing and brokerage associate with BremnerDuke Healthcare Real Estate. In that role, he works closely with hospitals, physician practice groups and other clients to help meet their real estate needs. He worked closely with St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers to develop and manage medical office facilities near the hospital’s south side location. Tucker is a member of Indian Creek Christian Church.
The new members will serve three-year terms on the board of directors.
To learn more about the St. Francis Healthcare Foundation, go to www.stfrancishospitals.org/Foundation.
Friday, March 27, 2009
There are ways to reduce the risk of heart attack and strokes such as knowing the warning signs and knowing how to respond quickly and properly. That’s why the St. Francis Heart Center is offering a special presentation 6:30 p.m., Monday, April 6, at St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville.
Michael Barron, M.D., of the Indiana Heart Physicians will explain what happens to the heart muscle during a heart attack and what long-term complications might result if treatment is delayed. He also will discuss the ways to reduce the risks of heart attack and other cardiovascular disease.
To register for this free program, call 317-782-4422, or register on-line at www.stfrancishospitals.org/heart.
St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville is located at 1201 Hadley Road.
"Chemotherapy patients may also experience cognitive problems while undergoing chemotherapy or even after chemotherapy has finished," said Nurse Practitioner Janice Leak, a nurse navigator with St. Francis Cancer Care Services. "This decline can be changes in your memory, attention or concentration. Patients can grow very frustrated with the symptoms of the so-called ‘chemo brain.’ "
Other factors that may contribute to chemo brain are aging, fatigue, depression, low blood counts, medications and stress. Managing fatigue can help with the symptoms.
Leak will deliver a special lecture 7 p.m., Monday, May 4, at St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville in Swisher Conference Room-East addressing the problems of chemo brain and how to deal with the condition.
The program – which is free to the public but registration is required – is geared for patients and caregivers.
St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville is located 1201 Hadley Road.
To register, call 317-782-4422 by Friday, May 1, or go to StFrancisHospitals.org/cancer for more information.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
That is why St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is honoring its physicians in observance of National Doctor’s Day on March 30.
“We are blessed to have such dedicated physicians who give tirelessly of themselves,” said Robert J. Brody, St. Francis president and chief operating officer. “So many lives have been touched by St. Francis doctors, who apply their knowledge and follow Franciscan values to serve their patients better.”
Brody and other hospital leaders are encouraging their staff and patients to send notes or cards to their physicians, or to thank them face-to-face.
More than 750 physicians participate on the medical staffs at St. Francis hospitals in Indianapolis, Beech Grove and Mooresville and at the Plainfield Medical Center. Nearly 100 are members of St. Francis Medical Group.
Many St. Francis physicians volunteer their expertise and time outside their normal duties, participating in medical missions at home and abroad, serving on boards and performing a wide range of service in their communities.
The first Doctor’s Day was said to have originated in Winder, Ga., on March 30, 1933. It included the mailing of greeting cards to physicians and placing flowers on the graves of their deceased colleagues.
St. Francis has observed National Doctor’s Day since it was formally recognized by presidential proclamation in 1990.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Emotional eaters may find it difficult to stop on their own. Finding a support group for people dealing with similar issues can provide guidance for dealing with emotional eating.
The Emotional Eating Support Group at the St. Francis Weight Loss Center is for anyone trying to lose weight and struggling with emotional overeating, also known as compulsive overeating or binge eating. This group offers support to patients struggling with emotional eating, or using food for reasons other than physical hunger and feeling unable to stop the behavior.
The groups will be led by Holly Pittman, a therapist at the Center, has extensive experience providing individual, couples, and group therapy to patients with eating, mental health and addiction issues.
The latest session gets under way 6 p.m. Monday, April 13 with each session held Mondays at the St. Francis Weight Loss Center, 5230-A E. Stop 11 Road, across Stop 11 Road from the St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis campus.
There is a fee for those registering for the program. Call 317-782-7525 or visit StFrancisHospitals.org/weightloss for additional information.
In his new role, Duddy works on various projects with St. Francis area physician practices. He comes to his new position after serving as St. Francis’ director of managed care contracting from 2004 until his appointment.
Duddy, who has been associated with St. Francis since 2004, received an undergraduate degree in political science from Purdue University in 1993 and earned his master’s in business administration (finance) from Butler University.
He and his wife and their three children reside on Indianapolis’ northeast side.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Proceeds totaling $25,750 will be donated tonight to several charities associated with Indianapolis Public Schools: IPS Education Foundation, Mind Trust and College Summit.
Tonight’s ceremony will be held in the IPS Board of Education meeting room at the Indianapolis Public School Administration building 120 E. Walnut St.
A short ceremony gets under way tonight (March 17) at 6:45 p.m. with IMM President Carlton Ray and IPS Superintendent Eugene White,
“These three charities improve the quality of life for IPS students and the schools, and we’re excited to be able to support their missions with proceeds from the IMM,” said Ray.
“The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon is a wonderful event and we’re privileged to be asked to part of it,” said White.
St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is the title sponsor of the IMM, which also includes a half marathon of 13.1 miles.
“The marathon is an excellent way to promote health and wellness and is an outstanding opportunity to support children in the Indianapolis Public Schools,” said St. Francis CEO Robert J. Brody
The 2009 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon will be held on Nov. 7The urban courses are sanctioned and certified by the standards of USA Track and Field, the national body of road racing, with the marathon course serving as a qualifier for the 2010 and 2011 Boston Marathon.
To learn more about the event, its supported charities and its organization, go to www.monumentalmarathon.com.
For more information about St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers visit www.stfrancishospitals.org.
Monday, March 16, 2009
This marks the 23rd year St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers has sponsored the event, which raises funds and educates youth about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco use. Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit Mooresville Consolidated School Corporation’s substance abuse awareness and prevention programs.
The action gets under way at 7 p.m. at the high school gymnasium, pitting St. Francis physicians against Mooresville High School faculty and staff, and both teams will get a major boost with Smits. Pacers mascot “Boomer” also is expected to be on hand before the tipoff and throughout the game.
The 7-foot-4-inch center averaged nearly 15 points and more than six rebounds a game during his NBA career. Those attending the game also will have the opportunity to meet Smits and have their photo taken with him. He also will sign autographs before the game.
Half-time entertainment will include a free-throw shooting contest between St. Francis CEO Robert J. Brody and Mooresville Schools Superintendent Curt Freeman.
Tickets are $5 per person and are available at Mooresville High School and at the gym door the night of the event. Children 5 years old and younger are admitted free.
Mooresville High School is located at 550 N. Indiana St.
The annual game has visited high school courts all over south-central Indiana, raising students’ awareness of the dangers of drug use and abuse. The program has raised more than $100,000 since its inception.
Donald J. Kerner, M.D., retired chief medical director at St. Francis, is the driving force behind Docs vs. Jocks vs. Drugs. He was awarded the 2004 Hulman Award for founding the annual event.
Friday, March 13, 2009
The group includes Teresita Ramilo, M.D., William Wiseman, M.D., and Caroline Martin, certified nurse specialist. They are the first tenants to occupy the 20,000-square-foot facility. Future tenants will include other members of the growing St. Francis Medical Group.
To schedule an appointment with St. Francis Psychiatric Associates, call 317-781-4588. It also has a 24-hour crisis line at 317-782-6495.
To learn more about the psychiatric group, go to www.stfrancishospitals.org/sfmg/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=51.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
St. Francis officials announced that action March 11, emphasizing that construction will resume as the economy improves.
“Traditionally, hospitals have avoided such economic slumps, but that paradigm no longer exists,” said Robert J. Brody, St. Francis president and chief executive officer. “St. Francis is fortunate that it has a strong financial foundation because of its conservative planning and strong stewardship of its resources. This decision helps to reinforce our sound footing.”
The decision to postpone further construction will help shield the hospital system from the most negative effects of the recession and continue to provide health care to the patients St. Francis serves at not only Indianapolis, but also its campuses in Beech Grove and Mooresville.
At present, the concrete pouring at each of the floors of the inpatient bed tower is nearly complete and work to enclose the exterior is expected to be finished by mid-summer. At that time, the remaining construction will be put on hold. The overall project is about 40 percent complete.
The slowdown of construction and other capital projects is reverberating nationally with hospital systems. The American Hospital Association reported in January that nearly half of hospitals nationwide have put capital projects on hold, and many have stopped projects already in process.
A January report from the Healthcare Financial Management Association places the number of postponements or cancellations at an even higher estimate of 78 percent.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The meeting is at the St. Francis Education Center, 5935 S. Emerson Ave., Suite 100. Come share your experiences and learn from other oral, head and neck cancer patients. Ample time will be provided for participants’ questions and discussion.
This monthly support group meets the first Thursday of each month and is for anyone with oral, head or neck cancer, regardless of stage or type of cancer. Caregivers are welcome.
For more information, call 317-782-4422.
That’s the focus of a free program sponsored by the St. Francis Heart Center Thursday, March 19. The event gets under way at 6:30 p.m. at the Heart Center’s community center at 8111 S. Emerson Ave. on the city’s south side.
Polly Moore, a cardiologist with the St. Francis-based Indiana Heart Physicians, will discuss how men and women have different signs and symptoms of a heart attack, diagnosis of heart disease and treatments. She also will give participants health strategies and techniques to reduce their risk of heart attack and disease.
To register for the program, call 317-782-4422, or register on line at www.stfrancishospitals.org/Heart
St. Francis heart physicians are internationally recognized for their creation and development of the revolutionary Emergency Heart Attack Response Team protocol. EHART cuts down the time between a patient's arrival at the ER and treatment, lessening the severity of the attack and saving substantially more heart muscle. This greatly improves the patient's chances of making a full recovery.
To learn more about EHART, go to www.heartattackcare.net/ehart.php
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Anthem announced the termination in a March 3 communication to its insurance brokers and employer groups.
"We are deeply disappointed by Anthem’s action," said Kevin Leahy, SSFHS president and chief executive officer. "While progress throughout our negotiations has been slow and painstaking, there is a clear understanding between Anthem and SSFHS regarding the issues that keep the parties from agreeing to new contracts."
Leahy added, "Our patients remain our primary concern, and we will continue – as we have done throughout all phases of these discussions – to ensure Anthem-insured policyholders receive the level of benefits and quality of care they expect at all of our medical facilities."
Leahy emphasized that specifics of the negotiations fall under a mutually agreed upon confidentiality agreement, which SSFHS has strictly observed.
During negotiations last fall, SSFHS announced that it had rescinded the termination of the SSFHS contracts with Anthem because progress was being made in discussions. This action also guaranteed that Anthem-insured patients would continue to be served at St. Francis medical facilities throughout the state.
SSFHS officials believe Anthem’s termination announcement is a reaction to the hospital system’s filing of a lawsuit last November in Marion County Superior Court. The litigation, in part, pertains to the use of arbitration under current contracts between St. Francis and Anthem.
SSFHS’ other concerns are related to Anthem’s lack of timely claims reimbursement and the denial of claims related to their processing problems, a situation that has persisted since the fourth quarter of 2007.
The Indiana State Medical Association also has investigated similar problems with Anthem on behalf of its membership.
In a January 2009 report to its shareholders and posted on its Web site, Anthem said it generated net income of $2.5 billion in 2008. In 2007, Anthem generated $3.3 billion in net income for its shareholders. Anthem/WellPoint’s CFO predicts that Anthem will "generate significant positive cash flow in 2009" – standing in stark contrast to the struggle for financial survival facing every other Indiana business, working families and mission-driven hospitals like St. Francis.
Any inquiry into the causes of today’s health care crisis must consider the harmful impact of diverting multiple billions of premium dollars away from providing vital health services for working families.
A Feb. 22 Indianapolis Star article details the growth WellPoint/ Anthem has experienced and anticipates for its future. The article states: "WellPoint’s grip on its hometown health insurance market has more than doubled in the past five years, with nearly 70 percent of common policies now issued by the Indianapolis-based insurance giant… The growing market share gives WellPoint increasing clout in negotiating fees paid to doctors and hospitals throughout the region, contributing to a string of public feuds between WellPoint’s Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and local health-care providers…"
Contracts currently cover the following SSFHS medical facilities and physicians:
- St. Francis Hospital & Health Center (Indianapolis)
- St. Francis Hospital & Health Center (Beech Grove)
- St. Francis Hospital & Health Center (Mooresville)
- St. Elizabeth Regional Health (Lafayette)
- Home Hospital (Lafayette)
- St. Anthony Medical Center (Crown Point)
- St. Anthony Memorial Health Center (Michigan City)
- St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Center (Hammond)
- St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Center (Dyer)
- St. Clare Medical Center (Crawfordsville)
- Franciscan Physicians Hospital (Munster)
- More than 300 physicians in the different SSFHS service areas
The affected plans are:
- Anthem Blue Access PPO
- Anthem Blue Preferred HMO
- Anthem Traditional
- Anthem Medicare Advantage PPO
- Anthem Healthy Indiana Plan.
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Tuesday, March 3, 2009
That’s why it is coordinating an event Thursday, April 16, at St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis. Hospice staff will be joined by St. Francis nurses, social workers and chaplains, along with representatives from Rose Commons, Forest Creek Commons, Right at Home, an attorney specializing in health care law and a notary public.
The event coincides with the National Health Care Decisions Day, designed to raise awareness and the importance of advance care planning.
Advance health care directives instructions given by individuals specifying what actions should be taken for their health in the event that they are no longer able to make decisions due to illness or incapacity.
"Our ultimate goal is to provide much-needed information to the public and reduce the number of problems that occur when a patient’s wishes are unknown and to enhance the ability of health-care facilities and provides to offer their patients and their families informed and thoughtful guidance," said Monica Burkhart-Negri, R.N., community liaison at St. Francis Hospice.
The event will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the hospital’s main lobby. St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis is located at 8111 S. Emerson Ave.
Monday, March 2, 2009
More than 400 participants learned the latest dance moves and embraced new ways to get heart-healthy during St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers’ sixth annual Spirit of Women Day of Dance.
By all measures, the Feb. 28, held at the Benedict Inn Retreat & Conference Center in Beech Grove, was a resounding success, event organizers say.
“I'm knocked out by the number of participants who literally danced six hours straight! It was terrific,” said Michele Wood, manager of St. Francis’ Spirit of Women program.
WRTV-6’s health reporter Stacia Matthews kicked off the day welcoming participants to the sixth annual Day of Dance sponsored by St. Francis Hospital. She emceed the event and introduced dance instructors throughout the day.
Participants learned different types of dance ranging from contemporary dance by Julie Bandy Performing Arts Centre to salsa from IntoSalsa from a short routine from our own Indiana Pacemates. There also was Nia, swing and party dances.
Although the event, which promotes exercise and healthy living, was targeted to women, men also came to join in on the fun. Along with the dancing, several participants won door prizes from local sponsors.
More than 80 hospitals across the country sponsored Day of Dance in February as part of Spirit of Women, an elite network of hospitals nationwide committed to caring for women. The goal of the event is to offer an exciting and interactive way to get people moving through exercise that is creative, expressive and fun.
The 2010 Day of Dance is scheduled Saturday, Feb. 27.
The Hospice Foundation of America’s 16th annual National Bereavement Teleconference “Diversity and End-of-Life Care is 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 29.
The program will be moderated by Frank Sesno, professor of media and public affairs at the George Washington University and a special correspondent with CNN. He will be joined by several medical experts, counselors, educators, and representatives from various cultural and faith-based organizations.
One of the goals of the teleconference is to examine the impact culture has at the time of death and bereavement.
Locally, the conference will be broadcast at the St. Francis Hospital auditorium, 1600 Albany St., Beech Grove.
To register or learn more about the conference, call Dawn Webb at 317-783-8930.
More information about the St. Francis Palliative Medicine program is at www.stfrancishospitals.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=322.
Death is a part of the life cycle, and it’s especially difficult for children to grasp and make sense out of it, particularly when they lose a loved one. And that’s why St. Francis Hospice offers Caterpillar Kids, a support program that offers learning experiences for children ages 5 to 12.
The program gets under way again Wednesday, April 8 and ending May 13. The workshops, which are free, are from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and continue each Wednesday.
Meetings are at Christ United Methodist Church, 8540 U.S. 31 South, one mile north of Greenwood Park Mall.
To register or for more information about Caterpillar Kids, call Karla Riggs Norton at 317-865-2092 or toll-free at 800-390-9915.
The practice is now at 8325 E. Southport Road, Suite 100, Indianapolis, 46259.
Tours of the new facility, which will be blessed by St. Francis clergy, will be offered from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. free blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose screenings and refreshments will be made available. The public also will get the chance to meet the physicians and staff at Wanamaker Family Medicine.
Wanamaker’s physicians are Cynthia Williams, M.D.; Gary Creed, M.D.; and Sara Bruns, D.O.
Hours of operations at Wanamaker Family Medicine are from 8 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and 1p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
To make an appointment, call 317-862-6609.