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BusINess » Health Care

Posts Tagged ‘Health Care’

Health care communications specialists balance patient protection and community concern

In an era of instant mass communication, health care providers have a plethora of tools at their disposal to get the word out about new procedures, services, equipment and facilities. Yet, establishing relationships remains at the core of communicating with the public and the press.

Federal patient privacy regulations established by HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), have set new parameters for what information hospital public relations/marketing personnel can release.

HIPAA requires that every patient treated at a health care facility be asked if he or she wants to “opt in” or “opt out” of the hospital’s directory. That directory lists the patient’s name, room number and whether the patient wants visitors or anyone notified of the hospitalization. If the patient is unable to communicate or is a minor, the family is consulted.

If a patient “opts out” of the directory, mail or flowers addressed to that patient will be returned to the sender, says Mylinda Cane, regional director of marketing for the Community Health Care System, which includes the Community Hospital of Munster, St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart.
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$180M in projects bring boost to region

Lake County commissioners voted Wednesday to support $180 million in planned economic development projects in Gary, Hammond and Hobart.

Several business groups applied to the county for tax-exempt bonding authority, allowing them to borrow a total of $23 million in lower-cost loans on commercial projects that could break ground as early as next year.

“These represented 1,000 construction jobs,” Lake County Attorney John Dull said. Commissioners passed a resolution requiring those jobs be filled with union workers. The projects also would create an estimated 535 permanent jobs.
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Health care reform bill—This one’s a clunker

As a physician, I want every American to have access to great health care. As an employer who pays for health care and a father of six who consume it, I worry about health care accessibility and experience the problems of excessive costs. We can and should find ways for all Americans to have access to affordable medical care. The current system is proven to deliver the best care in the world. As we work to improve it, we should not risk wrecking it. The speed with which we are being forced to deal with the new health care plan feels very much like we are racing to a bad answer.

In an effort to prevent what has been labeled a crisis, our president has asked Congress to quickly pass sweeping health care reform. There is heated debate on multiple specific aspects of the bill, including the issues of single payer (now withdrawn), end of life counseling (now withdrawn) and health care rationing based on age, pre-existing conditions, etc . . . However, not much attention has been focused on more important concerns still present in the bill. Everyone should ask, “What will be the immediate impact on my ability to get health care?” and, “Will this bill improve health care for most Americans?”

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Estate plans cover life and death decisions

Christopher W. Yugo, Esq.<br />Vice President and Senior Trust Officer<br />First National Bank, Lansing, Illinois

Christopher W. Yugo, Esq.
Vice President and Senior Trust Officer
First National Bank, Lansing, Illinois

When most people think of estate planning, their first thought is usually of a will or trust. To most people, estate planning equates to who’s getting my stuff. Don’t get me wrong, wills and trusts are an important part of everyone’s estate plan. However, wealth transfer is only one part of a thorough estate plan.

A good estate plan not only plans for death, but also for life. Unfortunately, you are more likely to become disabled or incapacitated in some way than you are to die. That is why a thorough estate plan will consist of documents to address your life as well as your death.

A power of attorney is a common document that most everyone has heard of. Although common, its importance to a person’s estate plan can’t be understated. Essentially a Power of Attorney authorizes a person to act on your behalf during your lifetime. A person that creates a power of attorney is known as the principal, and the person appointed to act on your behalf is known as the attorney-in-fact.

The attorney-in-fact is a fiduciary of the principal and can only act in the principal’s best interests. An attorney-in-fact that crosses the line and acts in self-interest rather than the best interests of the principal violates the law and can be held legally responsible for their actions. Read the rest of this entry »


Biz Buzz, Summer 2009

>> SCHERERVILLE

Resale shop opens for business in Schererville

“etc … a resale marketplace,” a nonprofit resale shop operating for the benefit of Highland Christian School, opened for business. The shop is located at 1650 U.S. 41, Suite D (between Dollar Tree and Champion Windows and Siding.) Donations of nearly new and gently used items of all sorts are welcomed. Donation receipts are available upon request. For more information, call 219.865.5400 or visit etcresale.org.

>> PORTAGE

Chicago Industrial joins Northwest Indiana Forum

Chicago Industrial Real Estate has joined the Northwest Indiana Forum, said Forum President and Chief Executive Officer Vince Galbiati. Forum members address the greatest economic, environmental and governmental issues facing the region. CIRE was founded by Ogden Dunes resident Matt Rogatz, whom has been in the industrial real estate field for more than 20 years. CIRE offers many client services such as sales, leasing and development of large commercial and industrial properties. The organization also provides demographic analysis and investment programs for incoming industry.
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Why I Believe Northwest Indiana is Entering a Golden Age of Health Care and Quality of Life

Dear Reader,

If you are lucky enough to be in good health, you probably don’t give much thought to what would happen if that should change. But the odds against the status quo, especially among the 40+ age group strongly favor you or your loved ones will need health care services within the next 12 months:

1. Quality: The persistent myth that you need to go to Chicago for health care services is still strong enough that an estimated $1 billion of business leaves our market to satisfy a perception that is just an allusion. The Sisters of St. Francis Hospitals are consistently ranked at the tops in the country for orthopedic and cardiac services; cancer care, research and supplemental services is only the most renowned category in which Community Hospital continues to set the standard for the entire south Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Region. (Community is one of the 50 Best Hospitals in America.) Porter Health System is another 5-star rated facility known for Coronary Interventional Procedures, has 350 physicians on staff and two outstanding facilities. Methodist Hospital is among the 50 top hospitals in the country for Neurology and Neurosurgery. Did you know that if you have a stroke and get treatment right away, you can reverse the damage 100 percent? You would if you had attended Methodist’s Outreach programs. (You will also learn that strokes are easily prevented with behavior modification and medication.) Did you know that if all patients were treated at hospitals like St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart—which ranks in the top 5 percent in the country for patient safety—34,393 lives might have been saved, as well as $1.74 million in costs?
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By the Numbers, Winter 2009

Employment

Lake County
November 2008

Labor Force: 228,626
Employed: 212,144
Unemployed: 16,482
Rate: 7.2 percent

November 2007
Labor Force: 226,043
Employed: 214,683
Unemployed: 11,360
Rate: 5.0 percent
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Business Roundup, Winter 2009

[ november ]

Gary Works cuts production

GARY | U.S. Steel Corp. cut production at its Gary Works plant, removing 800 or more contractors and shuttering several operations as domestic and global steel demand continues to drop. The company said that because of the volatile global economic climate having significant negative effects on the business, it expects “to continue to operate at reduced production levels, corresponding with customer order rates” in the fourth quarter.

NiSource earnings rise $9 million

MERRILLVILLE | NiSource Inc. earnings rose to $20 million or 8 cents a share for the third quarter from $11 million or 44 cents a share for the same period in 2007. NiSource, the parent of the Northern Indiana Public Service Co., reported income from continuing operations for the recent quarter of $32.6 million, or 12 cents per share, compared with $7.9 million, or 3 cents per share, in the same year ago period. The increase in income from continuing operations resulted primarily from the sale of an equity interest in JOF Transportation Co. for a pre-tax gain of $16.7 million, and a $13.5 million reduction in NiSource’s deferred income tax
liability and income tax expense.
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Biz Buzz, Winter 2009

(Photography by Matt Huss.)

(Photography by Matt Huss.)

>> MERRILLVILLE

Citizens Bank branch wins architecture award
Citizens Financial Bank’s Merrillville Banking Center, 6101 Harrison Street, has been presented with the 2008 Merrillville Chamber of Commerce Landscape & Architectural Excellence in Design Award. The branch was newly built last year when the bank relocated from its original facility at 803 W. 57th Ave. “This award is given to recognize efforts made by Citizens Financial Bank to enhance the built environment in Merrillville and Ross Township.” Taghi Arshami, chairman of the Landscape & Architectural Committee, said. “(The) new banking center design has added to blending of business and residential neighborhoods that is special to Merrillville.” For more information, call (219) 513-5156 or visit www.mybankcitizens.com.
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Biz Buzz, Fall 2008

>> MERRILLVILLE/PORTAGE

Region labs become accredited
Southlake Heart Care in Merrillville and Portage Heart Care in Portage have announced newly accredited laboratories by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission for the Accreditation of Nuclear Medicine and Echocardiography Laboratories. The classification ranks the heart care centers among the top 5 percent of laboratories in the country, officials with the two centers said. The IAC granted the accreditation based on high quality patient care and quality diagnostic testing, the centers reported.
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