Squint and You Just Might See the End of Flu Seas—Nevermind, That’s Just More Flu

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the Walgreens Flu Index, which at the time showed that seven of the 10 most active U.S. markets for the flu, at least by drugs prescribed, were right here in Texas. Since then, the state has made some improvement, with just three local markets remaining on the list. Nice! Except one problem: Dallas-Fort Worth has actually climbed during that period, from fourth-worst in the country to second-worst, slotted just behind Oklahoma City. By the numbers, getting a grasp on where we stand within the evolution of this very bad flu season is difficult. DFW… Full Story

East Texas Medical Center To Rebrand Under UT System After Being Acquired by Nashville Operator

The East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System will become UT Health East Texas. The University of Texas System Board of Regents approved the rebrand and a $35 million investment last week, the Tyler Morning Telegraph reported. Nashville-based operator Ardent Health Services took majority ownership of ETMC in September, pledging a $150 million investment in a deal that also brought on UT System to create what they’re calling a new health care system. Ardent will run all the hospitals and clinics, which includes 502-bed East Texas Medical Center Tyler and nine other hospitals. UT will be able to expand its… Full Story

Not Just Timberlawn: Report Finds Major Safety Incidents At Other DFW Psych Hospitals

Timberlawn isn’t the only psychiatric hospital to have seen major safety incidents over the last half decade, according to an investigation published Sunday by The Dallas Morning News. The News dug into inspection records and lawsuits dating back to 2011. It reports that about half the psych hospitals in Dallas-Fort Worth have had a major safety incident during that timeframe, defining the parameters of that distinction with three main events: “a suicide or significant attempt; a report of unwanted sexual contact; or a serious physical attack.” The story makes specific note of Millwood Hospital, in Arlington, and Sundance, which has… Full Story

Texas Health Resources Comes In High on Fortune’s List of Best Companies to Work For

Texas Health Resources comes in at 15th on Fortune’s newly released list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, making it the highest-ranking Texas company listed. The nonprofit system registered at 31st last year. Fortune says 92 percent of the 1,107 Texas Health employees who answered their survey said their workplace is great. They pointed to pride, atmosphere, rewards, and bosses as some of the top-notch attributes. The hospital has 24,569 employees, with another 1,154 job openings currently, according to Fortune. Texas Health did $4.5 billion in revenue last year. If you’re curious about what other perks vaulted Texas… Full Story

Lawsuit Claims Botched Anesthesia at Texas Institute for Surgery Resulted in Brain Damage

A workers’ compensation insurer is suing the Texas Institute for Surgery at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas for a series of missteps they say led a woman to flatline after ankle surgery, resulting in brain damage. Zenith Insurance Co. is suing to recoup millions of dollars in medical and indemnity obligations made to or on behalf of Tyra Price. The lawsuit was filed Jan. 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. According to the complaint, Price works as an employee of Star Dunkin’ LP, which, from what I can tell, is affiliated with Dunkin’ Donuts. Price… Full Story

UTA Researcher Gets $3.3 Million to Study Cardiovascular Disease, Including Gender’s Role

An assistant professor of kinesiology at the university of Texas at Arlington, Michael Nelson, has secured a five-year, $3.3 million grant to study the link between fat storage in the heart and cardiovascular disease. He’ll also look at how gender influences the development of cardiac dysfunction. The grant comes from the National Institutes of Health. Here’s Nelson and UTA with more about the genesis of the project: “You’re not supposed to store fat in the heart, but patients who suffer from obesity, diabetes or heart disease tend to store more fat in the heart,” Nelson said. “This excess fat is… Full Story

Baylor Scott & White Health Operating Income Soared in the First Half of Fiscal 2018

Baylor Scott & White Health brought in operating income of $383 million during the first half of fiscal year 2018, which lands during the second half of the calendar year. That income represents an increase of 80 percent over the same period the previous year. The numbers came out as a part of the system’s quarterly disclosure report this week. Overall, the nonprofit brought in $4.81 billion in revenue during the first half of fiscal 2018, up about 7 percent from $4.49 billion the year before. The system did note that premium revenue was down 13.5 percent for the period… Full Story

Texas Tech Pharmacy Program to Move All Four Years to DFW

The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy will move all four years of its program to Dallas-Fort Worth. The area has been home to years three and four since 1999, including partnering with 240 hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies. But students have traditionally had to move to Amarillo, Abilene, or Lubbock for their first two years. About half of the program’s enrollment comes from DFW and surrounding areas, but TTUHSC President Tedd Mitchell said in a statement that qualified candidates have been left on the table due to their inability to relocate. “So bringing all four years of… Full Story

Former Children’s Health CMO, Texas Ebola ‘Czar’ Gets a Job with the HHS

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ new assistant secretary for health is a formerly Dallas-based pediatrician who did a stint as chief medical officer at Children’s Health. He also served as head of Texas’ task force on infectious Disease Preparedness and Response during the Ebola scare. The Senate confirmed Dr. Brett Giroir to the spot last week in a move that largely went unnoticed, despite Democrats previously voicing disapproval for the Trump nominee. Giroir earned his MD through UT Southwestern and later served there as a professor; a representative said he was last affiliated with the school around… Full Story

Sizable DFW Employer AmerisourceBergen Could be Bought by Walgreens, Report says

Walgreens executives have approached AmerisourceBergen Corp. about a buyout, according to a scoop from the Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the matter. The drug distributor Amerisource is building a 300,000-square-foot regional headquarters in Carrollton that could eventually house as many as 3,000 employees, so there’s potential for local impact here. Walgreens already owns about a quarter of the company. The Carrollton facility is set to reach completion this year, and a good portion of the first 1,200 move-ins will come from Amerisource’s current offices in Frisco as the company consolidates its North Texas presence. I’ve reached out to… Full Story