The Soccer Player Who Couldn’t Walk: Annie Altizer’s Battle With Transverse Myelitis

When Annie Altizer woke up one morning at the age of 13, her life changed. Her legs felt as if they were on fire. The pain gave way to numbness, which blotted out the feeling in her toes, her calves, her thighs. Soon, she would be diagnosed with the rare autoimmune disease known as transverse myelitis. And then the rest of her life began. Full Story

Morning Rounds (05.03.13)

Physician starting pay and benefits are on the rise as as concerns mount over the physician workforce shortage.

The former owner of a Frisco-based company that provided health insurance to Virginia Tech students has pleaded not guilty to racketeering, conspiracy, money laundering, and fraud charges,

Patient satisfaction has reached a 20-year high of 80 out of 100. Full Story

Ex-owner of Frisco Insurance Firm Pleads Not Guilty

The former owner of a Frisco-based company that provided health insurance to Virginia Tech students has pleaded not guilty to racketeering, conspiracy, money laundering, and fraud charges, according to the Associated Press. John Paul Gutschlag Sr., 73, entered his plea in federal court in Abingdon, Va., this week. A jury trial was set to start Sept. 23. Gutschlag was released on $10,000 unsecured bond. A 57-count federal indictment accuses Gutschlag and GM-Southwest Inc. of overstating claims by more than $9 million to boost profits.The company is a third-party administrator of student health insurance. Major insurance carriers provide coverage but pay… Full Story

Morning Rounds (04.16.13)

Pennsylvania-based Post Acute Medical Friday announced the purchase of Twin Creeks Hospital, a 40-bed inpatient rehabilitation facility in Allen.

The Fort Worth Foundation and JPS Health Network will build and operate an adult medical clinic and social services complex near the East Lancaster Avenue homeless shelters.

Giving price information to providers at the time lab orders were placed resulted in a decrease in the numbers of ordered tests. Full Story

Pennsylvania Company Buys Allen Hospital

Pennsylvania-based Post Acute Medical Friday announced the purchase of Twin Creeks Hospital, a 40-bed inpatient rehabilitation facility in Allen. The hospital name has changed to Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital of Allen and the hospital.  “We are pleased with our continued development efforts that include the expansion into the Dallas market,” Post Acute Medical president and chief executive officer Anthony Misitano, said in a statement. The company also operates hospitals in San Antonio and five other Texas cities.  

Cigna Picks Plano Practice as its Third North Texas Accountable Care Collaborator

Plano-based Village Health Partners is the latest North Texas physician practice to join Cigna’s collaborative accountable care effort. Cigna’s CAC program is designed to help physician practices to achieve the same population health goals of accountable care organizations. The program will include Cigna patients treated by a VHP physician. VHP, which treats more than 50,000 North Texas patients, recently announced that it added a second Plano location. The VHP program 4 is Cigna’s third such collaboration in North Texas and its sixth in the state. VHP clinical care coordinators will help patients with chronic conditions schedule appointments, provide health education… Full Story

Preventable Hospital Stays By County

Preventable hospital stays reflect the hospital discharge rate for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions per 1,000 Medicare enrollees, according to County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. Hospitalization for diagnoses that could be treated with outpatient services suggests quality of care provided in the outpatient setting was less than ideal. The measure may also represent the county’s  tendency to overuse the hospital as a primary source of care. Denton County’s rate of preventable stays per 1,000 Medicare enrollees is 80, which exceeds the Texas rate of 73. Tarrant, Collin and Dallas counties are below the state rate at 67, 66 and 60, respectively.