Whitney Downard

Whitney Downard

A native of upstate New York, Whitney previously covered statehouse politics for CNHI’s nine Indiana papers, focusing on long-term healthcare facilities and local government. Prior to her foray into Indiana politics, she worked as a general assignment reporter for The Meridian Star in Meridian, Mississippi. Whitney is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University (#GoBonnies!), a community theater enthusiast and cat mom.

GOP leaders discuss funding for mental health

By: - October 24, 2022

Republican leaders seemed optimistic they could secure funding for mental health during the 2023 budget-writing session, despite the numerous priorities warring for monies from the state’s healthy surplus. “I don’t think (Hoosiers) should be worried and I’m not being cavalier about this,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said Friday about mental health funding. “Will we be able […]

Lawmakers hear testimony on hospital, pharmacy concentration

By: - October 21, 2022

Health economic researchers from the University of California, Berkeley on Thursday shared their analysis of Indiana’s healthcare markets — determining that the concentration of insurers and hospitals has contributed to higher costs over the last decade. Prices at non-merged hospitals, for instance, remained relatively flat over the time period they analyzed, while those entities that […]

Children’s Commission sends recommendation for immigrant insurance coverage to legislators

By: - October 20, 2022

Thousands of immigrant children who came through legal channels to Indiana — roughly 17% — don’t have insurance coverage and the Indiana Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana voted Wednesday to do something about it.  Specifically, the panel is urging lawmakers to fix that gap by waiving a regulatory five-year waiting period. […]

HHC Board ignores protesters, takes no action on Medicaid case

By: - October 19, 2022

The Board of Trustees for the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County declined to halt a federal lawsuit Tuesday that many fear would diminish the civil rights of patients in public facilities, specifically for those using Medicaid in government-owned, long-term care facilities.  Over two dozen activists and lawmakers pushed the board to drop the […]

Indiana has nine congressional races in Indiana: what you need to know

By: and - October 19, 2022

Indiana sends nine representatives to the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. – and all are up for election on November 8, along with the rest of the 435-member chamber. Just one race is expected to be competitive: Indiana’s First Congressional District, which a Republican could represent for the first time in 94 years. […]

State Auditor and Treasurer races on tap Nov. 8

By: - October 18, 2022

Two frequently overlooked statewide elected positions, Treasurer and Auditor, will appear on the November ballot this year, along with the higher-profile races for Congress and Secretary of State.  Both positions are largely administrative roles, with few differences between Republican and Democratic officeholders.  Over a dozen states allow their governors to appoint their Treasury leader and […]

Hoosier Environmental Council gets new leadership

By: - October 17, 2022

Sam Carpenter will be the new leader of the Hoosier Environmental Council following the spring departure of Jesse Kharbanda as executive director for more than 14 years. “Environmental issues are issues of our collective society,” Carpenter said in a release. “That’s why (the Hoosier Environmental Council) is so important: they rally and provide direction for […]

Indiana’s revenues break yearlong streak above projections

By: - October 14, 2022

For the first time in nearly a year Indiana’s revenues didn’t exceed projections, but rather fell short due to repealed taxes and delayed tax collections. After a string of several months with reported revenues coming in higher than the December 2021 forecasts predicted, September’s sum came in at $1.9 billion, or $82 million (4.2%) less […]

DCS failed to properly store health care records for foster children, report finds

By: - October 14, 2022

A federal report released in September found Indiana failed to comply with its own requirements for documenting the use of psychotropic and opioid medications prescribed to foster children, following concerns earlier this year about overmedicating foster children.  The review of 115 children in state custody, 95% of whom had improperly stored healthcare information, confirms part […]

Activists, Indianapolis City-County Councillors push HHC to drop Medicaid suit

By: - October 14, 2022

Healthcare advocates and members of the Indianapolis City-County Council urged a city entity Thursday to drop a Medicaid lawsuit set to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court later this month.  The Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County (HHC) is a defendant in a lawsuit that some worry would impact any Medicaid beneficiary receiving […]

Freeman appointed as Corrections committee chair

By: - October 13, 2022

Sen. Aaron Freeman, R-Indianapolis, will serve as the new chair of the chamber’s Corrections and Criminal Law Committee, starting Thursday. Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, announced the change in a release, noting Freeman’s experience as a practicing attorney and service on the committee since first elected in 2016. “Sen. Freeman is well qualified […]

Hospitals warn of costs ahead of 2023, critic dismisses them

By: - October 13, 2022

Indiana’s hospitals warn of a “fragile” healthcare sector easily damaged by well-meaning but overeager legislation with the release of a recent survey documenting increasing healthcare costs for providers as policymakers prepare for the 2023 legislative session.  “There are very important Medicare funding programs that expire at the end of this year. (In) some of our […]