IU Health, facing profit questions, gives med school $416M

Indianapolis-based Indiana University Health donated $416 million to the Indiana University School of Medicine, more than any donations it's given the school in the last decade, as it faces questions about its prices and profits, Indiana Business Journal reported recently.

IU Health and the medical school have not formally announced the donation, the Journal reported March 7. 

A critic of the system told the Journal the contribution seems to be a way to make the system's profits fall below $1 billion in 2021. IU Health reported $861.5 million in total earnings in 2021, compared to $1.11 billion in 2020.

"It looks like it was an attempt to reduce their profitability so it didn’t look like it was so high," said Al Hubbard, chair of Hoosiers for Affordable Healthcare, a not-for-profit consumer organization.

IU Health told the Journal the money will be used to support education and research at the school, as well as recruitment, diversity and inclusion. The system also said it gave a larger amount than last year to support programs to improve health outcomes in the state.

"It is important that Hoosiers have access to cutting-edge, destination medicine and top doctors. That cannot happen without significant resources to compete with other large academic health systems across the nation," IU Health told the Journal.

IU Health officials said a public announcement of the gift would be made this year.

A 2020 Rand study found IU Health's prices were 33 percent higher than the national average. The system announced in December that it would freeze its prices for the next four years to bring costs in line with the national average.

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