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Indianapolis Health Care Market Remains Stable - Bucks Trend

Media Advisories
January 2001

Alwyn Cassil: 202/264-3484 or
Richard Sorian: 202/484-3475

ucking trends in other communities, the Indianapolis health care market has remained remarkably stable since 1996, according to a new Community Report from the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC). Indianapolis is one of 12 communities across the country tracked intensively by HSC researchers through site visits and surveys.

Yet there are signs competition is heating up for outpatient surgeries, specialty care and physicians' allegiances among the region's four dominant, not-for-profit hospital systems, according to the report. Other key findings of the report, Provider Systems Thrive in Robust Economy, which is based on HSC's third visit to Indianapolis, include:

  • The Indianapolis market has remained stable despite sharply rising insurance premiums, a federal antitrust investigation and Medicare payment cuts. Preferred provider organizations (PPOs) remain more popular than health maintenance organizations (HMOs).
  • Hospital systems are growing through affiliations outside Indianapolis and joint ventures with physicians, potentially sparking increased competition for specialty services such as cardiology care.
  • State and local health policy activity increased through insurance coverage expansions, safety net improvements and new insurance regulations. Employers, however, have exerted little influence on the market, accepting sharp premium increases because of the tight labor market.
  • Safety net providers are financially healthy because of Medicaid expansions and strong leadership, and they are working together to improve access to care for the poor.

All of these developments raise important questions about the future of Indianapolis' health care market. What effects will rising premiums and a weakening economy have on benefits? Will employers turn to health maintenance organizations (HMOs) if premiums continue to increase? Will competition heat up among the four dominant hospital systems and will that upset the existing market equilibrium? Will collaborations among safety net providers continue?

HSC researchers are available to discuss the findings and put them into a national context. To arrange interviews, please contact HSC Public Affairs. The new report is based on a June 2000 site visit and interviews with more than 85 Indianapolis health care leaders, representing consumers, providers, plans and employers.

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The Center for Studying Health System Change Ceased operation on Dec. 31, 2013.