Indiana hospitals should create nonprofit fund to reinvest profits, former state economic leader says

The Indiana Hospital Association should establish a nonprofit fund to invest net income from the state's nonprofit hospitals back into the community, the former president of the state's economic development corporation told Inside INdiana Business.

Eric Doden, former president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., made the comments in reference to a recent study from Muncie-based Ball State University's Center for Business and Economic Research. The study argued Indiana's healthcare market shows broad signs of monopolization that leads to higher healthcare prices.

The report, which is disputed by Indiana nonprofit hospitals, said five of the state's largest hospitals made $27 billion in net income as of 2017. Mr. Doden said IHA should create a "Main Street Indiana Fund" that hospitals initially contribute $10 billion into to "advance Indiana's economy by providing much-needed capital to support Indiana business and community development," he told Inside INdiana Business.

In response to Mr. Doden's suggestion, IHA said the idea "is not a serious policy proposal, but rather another step in a coordinated campaign to influence contributions to a specific economic development project. Eric Doden, who heads up a real estate development company based in Fort Wayne, has called for hospitals to contribute to a fund that would advance projects such as those promoted by his firm. His call for this fund is based on a flawed and misleading report … which makes outrageous accusations against Indiana's hospitals."

Read more here.

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