New CMS Data Shows Dallas County Has the Seventh-most Enrollees for ACA Insurance

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid released final 2017 enrollment numbers relating to Affordable Care Act health insurance Tuesday, and the numbers confirm a report issued in February by an outside group. That report showed us that in Texas, Obamacare sign-ups dipped more than the national average last year. What’s interesting about CMS’ data is that you can download a set that splits it up by county. Doing that, we see that Dallas County has the seventh-highest number of consumers—106,923—who’ve selected a plan via the ACA exchange. About 36,000 of those are new consumers from the fall enrollment period, while… Full Story

A Couple North Texas Counties Pop Up on U.S. News & World Report’s New Healthiest Communities Rankings

Collin County and Denton County cracked the top 500 of an inaugural list from U.S. News & World Report that ranks the healthiest counties in the country. Collin County came in at No. 68, making it Texas’ highest-ranked entrant on the list. Denton County is the 225th-healthiest county, according to the report. The study, called “Healthiest Communities” and done in collaboration with the Aetna Foundation, took into account 10 major categories, including things like equity, housing, and public safety. Nearly 3,000 communities were rated, and the top 500 were ranked. Collin and Denton counties rode high scores in the economy,… Full Story

Report: CMS’ Star Ratings Favor Specialty Hospitals

Higher accolades in Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ star ratings system tend to go to specialty hospitals rather than major teaching hospitals, according to Modern Healthcare. With the help of a consulting firm, the publication analyzed the most recent data and found that 61 percent of specialty hospitals received five stars—the highest-possible rating. Meanwhile, only 15 of the 172 major teaching hospitals, or about nine percent, received five stars. The star ratings is CMS’ attempt to boil down a lot of data into a format that consumers can digest. It’s based on a formula that takes into account up to… Full Story

An Expert Calls Texas “Ground Zero” For the Anti-Vaxxer Movement

The Texas Observer dives into the political influence wielded by anti-vaxxers in a story out today. The piece touches on the recent upswing in measles and mumps here in Texas and its apparent culprit: the skyrocketing number of parents choosing to forego vaccinations for their children. Non-medical exemptions, which the state refers to as “conscientious exemptions,” are up from 2,300 in 2003 to 53,000 in 2017. Among the varying opinions from legislators and others, one physician and vaccination expert calls Texas “ground zero” for the anti-vaccination movement. “We’re getting all the messages that Texas is on the verge of a… Full Story

Medical City Plano and Medical City Frisco Name New CFO

The chief financial officer for Medical City Denton will take on that job at Medical City Healthcare’s Plano and Frisco facilities, the hospitals said Monday. Jon Alford has been named CFO for 513-bed Medical City Plano and 54-bed Medical City Frisco. He’ll relent his duties at the Denton locale, where he’s led the finance team for the last two years. In all, Alford has nearly 15 years in healthcare finance across systems in Arkansas, North Carolina, Michigan, and Oklahoma. Alford is taking over for Melissa McLeroy, who moved on to become CFO of Medical City Dallas earlier this year. “Jon’s… Full Story

Medical Center of Lewisville Lauded for ED Improvement

In 2009, the 18-bed emergency department (ED) at Medical Center of Lewisville (MCL) was underperforming on nearly every standard. The average time of ED from patient arrival to discharge exceeded 200 minutes. The ED was clogged. Hall beds were a daily occurrence. Patient satisfaction and staff morale were low. In 2010, the HCA’s hospital leadership established a goal of reducing turnaround time by about one-third to 130 minutes or less. The facility recruited a multi-disciplinary team to tackle the problem. There were a number of innovative changes: Roving admission nurses hastened patient admissions and discharges. A “bed czar” managed the… Full Story

New Concentra Clinic in Lewisville One of Its Largest

Addison-based Concentra, the nation’s largest operator of urgent-care and occupational health clinics, has opened a Lewisville location at 2403 South Stemmons Freeway.  The 8,300 square foot location is the second center in Denton County and one of the company’s largest centers. The center has 12 patient exam rooms, a physical therapy area and digital x-ray technology. Concentra has 310 clinics, which is more than twice as many as any other competitor, in 40 states. It was purchased by Humana in 2010. For additional details on Concentra, see this recent D Healthcare Daily profile.

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.

Violent Crime Rate By County

Violent crimes are offenses that involve face-to-face confrontation between the victim and the perpetrator, including homicide, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, according to County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. High levels of violent crime compromise physical safety and psychological well-being. Crime rates can also deter residents from pursuing healthy behaviors such as exercising out-of-doors. Increased stress levels also may contribute to the obesity rate, even after controlling for diet and physical activity levels. The Dallas County rate of 618 per 100,000 residents far exceeds that of Texas. The Tarrant County rate of 501 is slightly below the state rate of 503.… Full Story