Welcome to the Jan. 14 Monday Business Briefing, your weekly business intelligence digest from Insider Louisville.
Wiltshire Pantry adding breakfast, Friday night Speed event
Although it has nearly 30 years in business under its belt, Wiltshire Pantry and its owner Susan Hershberg aren’t slowing down.
Hershberg told Insider that come Tuesday, the business’ bakery and cafe, 901 Barret Ave., will start serving hot breakfast items from open until 10 a.m. While the cafe has always been a good place to stop for baked breakfast goodies like muffins, scones and pastries, customers will be able to enjoy made-to-order items, including Tunisian baked eggs, a bagel and lox, chorizo frittata and egg and biscuit sandwich.
The breakfast menu also will feature offerings for those on paleo and Whole30 diets. Hershberg herself cut sugar and gluten out of her diet — a feat for someone surrounded by delicious smelling bread each day — and said she wanted to provide something “new, fresh and different” to customers. It also makes the menu more accessible for those with dietary restrictions, she said.
The menu was inspired by a trip to Los Angeles and got its first test on 800 to 1,000 guests at Churchill Downs for the Breeders’ Cup this past fall.
And starting Monday, Jan. 28, the bakery and cafe will be open on Mondays. Its current hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
In addition to all that, Wiltshire’s cafe in the Speed Art Museum is gearing up for some later nights. Starting on Feb. 1, the Speed will stay open on Friday nights until 8 p.m. Wiltshire will also stay open serving up a fried chicken bar where guests can pair fried chicken with biscuits, a salad and more; vegetarian and vegan dishes also will be available.
People can eat and enjoy a cocktail before or after an evening stroll through the museum. Wiltshire at the Speed also will offer happy hour specials, with deals on charcuterie boards, wine and cocktails, and appetizers. —Caitlin Bowling
Garden, gathering space planned at Paristown Pointe
Paristown Pointe is in the midst of construction work that those involved and surrounding residents view as a revival of the small neighborhood nestled between the Highlands, Germantown, Phoenix Hill and Smoketown.
The multimillion-dollar development, which includes the renovation and expansion of Louisville Stoneware and a new performance venue for the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, broke ground in September 2017. In addition to larger aspects of the plans, Steve Smith, owner of Louisville Stoneware and the face of the project, noted that it would include outdoor public space.
Now, formal plans for a garden have been filed with Louisville Metro Planning & Design Services. Named the Harmony Music Garden, the documents filed call for a nearly half-an-acre garden with a synthetic turf field, a concession and projection booth, places to sit, some type of structure to provide shade and a series of walking paths.
Harmony Music Garden would sit between the new Kentucky Center venue and the parking lot for The Café on Brent Street. It will be “the front door” of the performance venue, said Turney Berry, a partner with Wyatt Tarrant & Combs law firm who represents the interests of Christina Lee Brown.
Brown has had an interest in the neighborhood for a long time, with investment in Louisville Stoneware and the purchase of the property that the Kentucky Center venue and garden will occupy, Berry said. He could not put a figure to her overall involvement but said, “it will be one of the more significant commitments she and the Brown family have made in a part of town.”
The garden is designed for heavy use, Berry said, with the hope being that residents will treat it as an everyday hangout and that it can serve as an event space. He added that the Kentucky Center venue has a large space on its exterior for a projector screen that will allow for the center to project performances taking place inside on the exterior of the building, among other things, similar to the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Fla.
The documents also state that the garden could host a temporary outdoor ice skating rink in the winter.
Report: Humana to target more Medicaid beneficiaries
Humana CFO Brian Kane said that the insurer sees a big growth opportunity among patients who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.
Kane made the remarks last week at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, according to a report in National Law Review.
Humana initially is focusing on Florida and Texas markets but may be interested in an acquisition to boost its Medicaid offerings, the author suggested.
Nearly 12 million people were simultaneously enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid in 2016, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Medicare pays covered medical services first, and Medicaid, a “payer of last resort” may cover costs that are not — or only partially — covered by Medicare, such as nursing home care and home-based services.
Dual eligible patients’ health challenges align with the capabilities that Humana has been trying to bolster.
“These dually eligible beneficiaries experience high rates of chronic illness, with many having
multiple chronic conditions and/or long-term care needs,” CMS said last year. “Forty-one percent of dually eligible beneficiaries have at least one mental health diagnosis, while 68 percent have three or more chronic conditions. About half of dually eligible beneficiaries use some kind of long-term supports and services (be it institutional, home and community-based supports.”
The dual eligible patients also account for a disproportionate share of costs, 34 percent of Medicare spending, although they represent just 20 percent of enrollees.
Humana CEO Bruce Broussard had said about a year ago that the insurer had bought a stake in Kindred Healthcare in part to increase its capabilities to manage patients’ chronic diseases in their homes.
“Most of our members have severe chronic conditions and the more we can engage with them, keep them out of the hospital systems, the institutions, staying at home and preventing the disease from progressing, the more impact that we have on both them … from a health point of view, cost point of view and societal point of view,” Broussard said. —Boris Ladwig
Fitch: Pension bill ruling unlikely to affect Kentucky’s credit rating
A report of one of the “big three” credit rating agencies last week questioned whether the Kentucky Supreme Court ruling striking down last year’s public pension bill – and the failed special session to pass a replacement bill – would actually have an impact on the state’s credit rating.
The report from Fitch stated that these proposed changes to pension benefits and any future litigation to block it would not affect the state’s rating “given the modest savings anticipated,” as the most crucial factor is maintaining the full funding of pensions that the legislature has done in recent years.
This appeared to contradict the reasoning of Gov. Matt Bevin for calling the special session in December, as he asserted that the failure to pass a similar replacement bill would cause such agencies to downgrade the state’s credit rating.
A spokeswoman for Bevin, Elizabeth Kuhn, pushed back against media coverage of the Fitch report, stating that “the left-wing media should be embarrassed of itself for celebrating a credit rating report that reaffirms the systemic problems facing our pension systems.” She did not identify who was “celebrating” the report.
In December, the credit rating agency Moody’s issued a report calling the Supreme Court voiding of the pension law a “credit negative” event but did not downgrade Kentucky’s credit rating. – Joe Sonka
Kentucky REALTORS has hired Richard Wilson, most recently the small business advocate for the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, as its director of governmental affairs. His first day is Jan. 21.
A record-setting 106 kidney transplants were performed at the Jewish Hospital Trager Transplant Center last year. The center’s previous annual record was set in 1993 and broken on Dec. 27, 2018.
Some Kentucky smokers have cut back on their habit since a higher excise tax on cigarettes went into effect July 1, according to the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. A Kentucky Health Issues Poll found that 39 percent of adult smokers used fewer cigarettes per day and 33 percent considered quitting. Twenty-six percent said they tried to quit because of the cigarette price increase. The poll also found that 24 percent of Kentucky adults have tried electronic cigarettes.