Aboite Counseling
Sunday, September 14th

Wellpoint Cherry Picking

January 24, 2008

Filed under: FSSA, Indiana, insurance, Local (Central IN) News, Politics: Healthcare, Uncategorized
Tags: Anthem, Connecticut, indianapolis star, medicaid, medical loss ratio, Ohio, Wellpoint

From Anthem's parent company, comes this news from the Indianapolis Star. Apparently increasing profit by 7% isn't good enough and executives with the company continue to want more, more, and more...

However, the company also reported that during the quarter, it paid out 82.9 percent of each premium dollar for care - a measure called the "medical loss ratio" in industry jargon - up from 81 percent a year ago.

The increased medical spending came from WellPoint's commercial business and higher-than-expected medical claims in the company's Medicaid contracts in Ohio and Connecticut. WellPoint said it is terminating it's contract with the Ohio Medicaid program because it was unable to reach an agreement with the state that would allow the company to participate in a "financially responsible manner."

Just as a reminder, Anthem was one of the companies chosen by the Indiana Department of Family and Social Services Administration to administer Indiana's Medicaid Program.

Alice on 09.14.14 @ 10:15 PM CST [link] [No Comments]

Wellpoint: Can't Buy Me Luv!

January 25, 2008

Filed under: Indiana, insurance, Politics: Healthcare
Tags: CF0, David Colby, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Journal Gazette, sex, Sexual Harassment, Wellpoint

Money can't buy love, but it can apparently buy a wife, 12 girlfriends, and a sexual harassment suit. Isn't it nice to know where your health insurance premiums were going?

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:

David Colby was one of corporate America's most admired executives before he was abruptly fired last spring for what was vaguely described at the time as misconduct of a "non-business nature."

Now details about his personal life are spilling out, and it's clear he was more than just Wall Street's darling.

In a cluster of lawsuits gathered up by The Associated Press, the former chief financial officer of health insurance giant WellPoint Inc. is depicted as a corporate Casanova - a world-class, love-'em-and-leave-'em sort of guy who romanced dozens of women around the country simultaneously, made them extravagant promises and then went back on his word.

It gets way worse if you click over to the story.

Alice on 09.14.14 @ 10:01 PM CST [link] [No Comments]

Lilly's Cymbalta Sales Grow

Filed under: Depression, Indiana, Local (Central IN) News, Pharmacology, psychiatrist, psychiatry, Rx Meds, Rx Meds: Cymbalta,Rx Meds: Zyprexia, Uncategorized
Tags: Cymbalta, Indiana, Lilly, Sidney Taurel, Zyprexa

From a Bloomberg report, via the Indianapolis Star:

INDIANAPOLIS: Eli Lilly and Co.'s antidepressant Cymbalta exceeded $2 billion in global sales last year, Chief Executive Officer Sidney Taurel said. That would represent at least a 52 percent increase from the $1.32 billion reported in 2006, when Cymbalta was Lilly's third-best-selling product globally. The drug is intended to replace revenue lost to generic competitors for the antipsychotic Zyprexa, Lilly’s top-selling drug, when it loses patent protection in 2011. "Cymbalta is growing very, very fast," Taurel said Friday in Davos, Switzerland, where he is attending the World Economic Forum. "It will be bigger than Zyprexa before Zyprexa loses its patent." (Bloomberg)

They just keep finding new uses for this drug. Some physicians have found it very useful in the treatment of pain managment. New uses equal more prescriptions, which equal more sales.

Alice on 09.14.14 @ 09:51 PM CST [link] [No Comments]

State Lags in Mental Records Reporting (For Guns)

Filed under: Guns, IN Judiciary, Indiana: kurtglmft
Tags: courts, Fort Wayne, gun, Journal Gazette, Paul Helmke

When I read this headline, I was concerned (that's why I included the "For Guns" part). Then I read the story and calmed down. From the story in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:

Indiana hasn't supplied a national database with the names of people its state courts have deemed unfit to own guns because of mental health issues, but gun-control advocates hope federal incentives will change that.

[Paul] Helmke [president of the Brady campaign to prevent gun violence] argues that privacy is one issue that should have no bearing on whether states send records, because the reporting requirement applies only to people who have gone through the state court systems, not those who seek voluntary commitment or counseling.

Oh, so this is a court issue, not a mental health issue... Well why didn't you just say that? Big difference here in that courts have a different standard for judging someone as "mentally ill" than those in the mental health system. Still, if the courts are required to report, why don't they? They seem to notify the BMV when they take someone's license on a regular basis, so it can't be all that hard.

Alice on 09.14.14 @ 09:29 PM CST [link] [No Comments]

Bill Clinton: I Have a Dream...Literally

Filed under: Bill Clinton, Misc, Uncategorized -- kurtglmft
Tags: Bill Clinton, Martin Luther King, President, sleep, video

Who says there isn't anything good on MTV anymore? Over the weekend I just happened to catch one of those shows that present funny videos of what happened over the week. This was one of them.

Apparently former President Clinton was very tired from all the badmouthing of Obama and decided to attend a Martin Luther King event at a church in New York City. Maybe he should have gotten a little more sleep.

The funniest part for me is when he suddenly wakes up and starts nodding his head like he was deep in thought. Of course the obvious watch checking at the end is pretty good as well. I don't know where the video came from, but the above is from the New York Post, via YouTube.

Alice on 09.14.14 @ 05:24 PM CST [link] [No Comments]

Pay to Play: $25 for Jail, Guilty or Not

Filed under: Indiana, Local (NW IN) News, Substance Abuse, Uncategorized -- kurtglmft
Tags: Addiction, commissioners, dependency, Indiana, Porter County, State board of accounts, Tammy White

All things considered, paying $25 when jailed is about the least of your worries, but should one still pay, even if innocent? Apparently if your arrested in Porter County the answer is a definite "yes", even though the State Board of Accounts found the fee to be um, well, illegal. However;

Tammy White, a State Board of Accounts supervisor, said her agency's reports serve to audit compliance with state laws and regulations but are not legally binding. The Board provides information regarding laws in the hope officials will consult legal counsel and review the appropriateness of findings.

The commissioners who passed the ordinance justify it by explaining;

"The entire fund is used for the benefit of the jail, and most directly the inmates themselves," Lain said. "That's how we pay for the Chemical Addiction and Dependency Program."

Lain said the drug program has a large effect on the number of inmates who return to jail after being released. According to Lain, graduates of the 100-hour class have a recidivism rate of between 40 percent and 45 percent, compared to the typical recidivism rate at the jail of 65 percent to 70 percent.

"The biggest issue we have is how do we keep people from coming back," Lain said. "This has shown to be the single most powerful avenue toward reducing that."

Sounds like someone is massaging their numbers a bit. Any Chemical Addiction program that reduces recidivism to 45% is worthy not only of national acclaim, but patenting and copyrighting. Sell it and make your money that way. Something tells the us that won't happen soon. Second, the reasoning sounds a little circular here. They charge people who come to the jail, guilty or not, for a program that supposedly seeks to stop people from coming to the jail? Maybe it is just my math, but if successful, won't Porter County run out of money for the program?

Those issues aside, doesn't the whole innocent until proven guilty thing come into play? Doesn't that mean you treat, as well as think of a person, as not having done anything until proven otherwise? Now we aren't lawyers, but who would dream of charging someone a fee who hasn't done anything?

Alice on 09.14.14 @ 04:40 PM CST [link] [No Comments]

Mental Health: Fourth Most Expensive Condition to Treat

Filed under: Counselors, Depression, Disorders, Healthcare, marriage counseling, marriage therapy, Mental Health Centers, Mental Health Prof's, Pharmacology, psychiatrist, psychiatry, psychologist, psychology, social work, social worker, Uncategorized -- kurtglmft
Tags: cancer, Cardiologist, Depression, disorder, Emergency Department, Heart, hospital, Mental Health, Oncologist, Pharmaceutical, Prescription

Wow, I was really surprised when I read this today. It's a study estimating the top 10 most expensive health conditions. It has the usual...heart conditions and cancer are numbers 1 and 3, respectively, but "Mental disorders, including depression" came in at number 4 with an estimated cost of 56 billion. I found that hard to believe because Therapists, Psychologists, and Psychiatrists don’t make anything near what a cardiologist or oncologist does. Then I saw this:

The money paid for visits to doctor's offices, clinics and emergency departments, hospital stays, home health care and prescription medicines [were included].

Okay, I get it now. Most of the money in Mental Health care goes to hospitals, emergency departments and prescription medications. This is due to the public perception they can handle any situation, or take a pill, and do not seek help early. When people figure out this strategy is usually ineffective, they usually end up in an emergency room or hospital, where the costs are astronomical. This “solution” is vastly more expensive than outpatient therapy. As an aside, most therapists, this one included, do not consider ER and hospital admissions treatment, but crisis management. With those factors included, the numbers make sense. If costs for "mental disorders including depression" are ever reduced, a correlating change in perception among the public would also have to occur. In that regard, Mental Health is no different from any of the other conditions cited, where prevention and early detection is paramount to decreasing costs.

Alice on 09.14.14 @ 04:27 PM CST [link] [No Comments]

Zyprexa, Cymbalta Fuel Growth for Lilly

January 29, 2008

Filed under: Depression, Disorders, Healthcare, Indiana, Local (Central IN) News, Marion county, Pharmacology, psychiatrist, psychiatry, Rx Meds, Rx Meds: Cymbalta, Rx Meds: Zyprexia kurtglmft @ 11:22 am
Tags: Cymbalta, Eli Lilly, Indiana, Lilly, sales growth, Sidney Taurel, Zyprexa

From the Indianapolis Star:

Driven by solid sales of its antidepressant Cymbalta, Indianapolis drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co. today said fourth-quarter profits grew to $854.4 million and 78 cents per share, beating many analysts' estimates.

Earnings jumped six-fold from the same period in 2006, when Lilly recorded income of $132.3 million and 12 cents per share as it took a big charge to settle claims with patients who said they were harmed by Lilly's Zyprexa schizophrenia drug.

But showing how little harmed it was by that publicity, Lilly said Zyprexa sales were again No. 1 in its sales lineup, accounting for $1.27 billion. Cymbalta was next up with $628.3 million. Overall, its sales increased 16 percent to $5.19 billion.

"Lilly completed a very successful year by continuing to deliver strong financial results to our shareholders in the fourth quarter," said CEO and chairman Sidney Taurel. "Our additional investment in sales and marketing helped fuel accelerated double-digit sales growth."

Alice on 09.14.14 @ 12:21 AM CST [link] [No Comments]

Autism and Vaccines: Pediatricians Speak Out

Filed under: autism, Disorders, kurtglmft
Tags: ABC, autism, Eli Stone, Genetics, vaccine

This from the Evansville Courier Press:

The nation's largest pediatricians' group on Monday said ABC should cancel the first episode of a new series because it perpetuates the myth that vaccines can cause autism.

ABC's new drama, "Eli Stone," debuts Thursday. It features British actor Jonny Lee Miller as a prophet like lawyer who in the opening episode argues in court that a flu vaccine made a child autistic. When it is revealed in court that an executive at the fictional vaccine maker didn't allow his own child to get the shot, jurors side with the family, giving them a huge award.

"If parents watch this program and choose to deny their children immunizations, ABC will share in the responsibility for the suffering and deaths that occur as a result. The consequences of a decline in immunization rates could be devastating to the health of our nation’s children," Jenkins said in a statement.

Autism is a complex disorder featuring repetitive behaviors and poor social interaction and communication skills. Scientists generally believe that genetics plays a role in causing the disorder; a theory that a mercury-based preservative once widely used in childhood vaccines is to blame has been repeatedly discounted in scientific studies.

Remember folks, this is a fictional series. Sometimes the whole "bad things happen to good people" way of thinking is too much to handle. We look for reasons and people to blame because the real explanation is too difficult to accept. However, please don't forgo vaccinating your child, as it is a proven way to make sure they will never develop a myriad of diseases, because of some theory that has little, if any basis in fact or research.

Alice on 09.14.14 @ 12:02 AM CST [link] [No Comments]

Saturday, September 13th

Lilly Changing Marketing Payment Scheme?

Filed under: Blogs, Healthcare, Pharmacology, psychiatrist, psychiatry, Rx Meds, Rx Meds: Cymbalta, Rx Meds: Zyprexia - kurtglmft
Tags: Cymbalta, Eli Lilly, Lilly, Marketing, physicians, Zyprexa

The only authority for this is Dr. Daniel Carlat, who publishes the Carlat Psychiatry Blog. Rather than try to summarize, here is his article:

Eli Lilly "Slashes" Hired Gun Payments in Response to Dr. Drug Rep

One of my moles in the upper echelons of the pharmaceutical industry informed me that officials at Eli Lilly are changing some payment policies to hired guns in response to the article, Dr. Drug Rep.

Prepare to be underwhelmed.

The officials involved were apparently discussing the negative publicity generated by the article, and decided to put a more stringent cap on their payments to physicians who hawk their drugs to other doctors. In the past, there was a $100,000/year maximum for regular talks, with an option of tacking on an extra $50,000 for certain "brand-specific" talks, such as talks specifically relating to Zyprexa or Cymbalta. So the maximum was $150,000 per year, and many doctors were happily maxing out at that figure. Reportedly, Lilly is worried that allowing physicians to make “6 figures” for whoring themselves appears unseemly, so as of 2009, the total cap will be slashed to...drum roll please...$75,000/year. That's only 5 figures.

The physicians affected are unlikely to be hitting the welfare rolls soon, however, as they might be able to make up this lifestyle-threatening shortfall by engaging in a novel professional activity-treating patients.

Alice on 09.13.14 @ 11:56 PM CST [link] [No Comments]

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