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STATE AFFAIRS: New Hospital-Business Group Formed Amid Health Care Cost Debate

Feb 8, 2024

By: Tom Davies

A new advocacy group involving some major Indiana businesses and hospital systems aims to influence ways to lower health care costs in the state.

The Indiana Business Health Collaborative was announced Thursday, with former U.S. Rep. Luke Messer as its chief executive.

The organization’s launch comes as the General Assembly has wrestled for the past several years over ways to reduce health care costs — with disagreements between hospitals and insurance providers complicating the debates.

Messer said the Legislature has taken important steps, but the new group would strive to promote cooperation between businesses and health care providers.

“The bottom line is the status quo is unacceptable in Indiana,” Messer said. “Health care costs are too high and outcomes aren't good enough. But we also have opportunities if we get better at partnering together, working together in creating market-based solutions, it can become a real competitive advantage for our state as we have a healthier workforce and lower health care costs.”

The most prominent proposal regarding health care costs during this legislative session failed. Senate Bill 3, which aimed to restrict the use of prior authorization, did not advance from the Senate Appropriations Committee as it faced questions about possibly increasing the state’s already ballooning Medicaid costs.

The coalition announced 15 members of its partnership, including Eli Lilly and Company, Cummins Inc. and Indiana Farm Bureau, along with hospital systems Beacon Health System of South Bend, Indianapolis-based Community Health and Baptist Health Floyd of New Albany.

Messer, who was a Republican legislator before serving in Congress from 2013 through 2019, is a partner and policy adviser for the Indianapolis law firm Bose McKinney & Evans.

Messer said the new group would conduct a “statewide listening tour” in the coming months and planned to release a policy agenda in the fall.

“This is a community-wide problem and far bigger than any divide between a couple different sectors in the health industry,” Messer said.

Republican House Speaker Todd Huston welcomed the new coalition.

“I appreciate and support more stakeholders coming to the table and working together to address this critical issue facing individuals and businesses alike,” Huston said in a statement. “Reducing the high cost of health care continues to be a top priority and Hoosiers deserve meaningful solutions.”

Tom Davies is a Statehouse reporter for State Affairs Pro Indiana. Reach him at or on X at @TomDaviesIND.

Source: State Affairs

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