Dallas Group Says Healthy Texas Women Site is Rife With Providers Who Aren’t In the Program

A group of muckraking East Dallas women say the state’s Healthy Texas Women website is loaded with providers who’ve never had a hand in the program, making it difficult for women to find their way to the physicians who do. The group, called “East Dallas Persistent Women,” put out a study today that shows 66 percent of providers listed on HTW’s site aren’t actually providers of the program. That’s based on a statistically representative survey of 54 counties in Texas. For the study, a dozen volunteers made nearly 1,500 calls over two months, asking the listed providers whether they accepted… Full Story

UT Southwestern Receives More Than a Third of Latest Round of CPRIT Grant Funding

UT Southwestern Medical Center has been awarded $27,827,022 in grant funding, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas announced last Wednesday. Through 22 awards, UT Southwestern received 38% of the $73.5 million in total grant money disbursed. CPRIT spread the money across 57 payments to 11 different institutions. UT Southwestern had received 258 taxpayer-funded grants through CPRIT prior to this round. “Texas taxpayers’ support of CPRIT furthers research by UT Southwestern basic scientists, physician-scientists, and clinical investigators to learn more about how cancer occurs, to develop improved cancer therapies, and to step up prevention efforts,” Dr. Carlos L. Arteaga… Full Story

Despite Turnover, Red Ink, and Other Issues, CEO Says Metrocare Services Has Been ‘Enormously Successful’

Dallas County’s largest provider of mental health services sold its software division at a significant loss, divested properties, and saw at least two high-ranking executives head for the exits during a financially tumultuous stretch over the last year. The financial situation got so bad at Metrocare Services that, for a time, the agency ran out of prescription stock and had to send patients elsewhere, the result of vendor relationships put on pause due to the agency’s inability to pay. The difficulties at Metrocare, a government agency that serves more than 57,000 people at various facilities across the county, stemmed from… 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

The State’s CPRIT Program Comes with Risk, But One of Its Top Dogs is Optimistic

Since the state of Texas put $3 billion behind the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) a decade ago, much of the news coming out has been less than flattering. After lawmakers questioned potential conflicts of interest at the program, state auditors discovered issues with regard to the way a small portion of the grants associated with the $3 billion fund were handed out. Not a good look, to be sure, but the taxpayers who’d originally backed the institute might have found it easier to move past the problems had the news been balanced by, say, the development of… Full Story

Yep, Dallas’ Medicare Acceptance Rate Really Is Low Compared to Other Markets

Thanks to the alert D CEO Healthcare readers at Dallas-based Merritt Hawkins, we have some additional context to our post yesterday looking at the number of physicians who’ve opted out of Medicare here in Dallas. Slicing into CMS data, we saw that Texas docs have submitted 169 opt-out affidavits, bested in the state of Texas only by Houston. Merritt Hawkins helps us put those two cities within a national context. Among the 15 major markets they surveyed last year, Houston and Dallas are dead last and second-to-dead last, respectively. As you’ll see in the chart, Dallas’ Medicare acceptance rate sits… Full Story

Let’s See How Many Dallas Doctors Have Opted Out of Medicare

After 7,400 physicians submitted paperwork to opt-out of medicare in 2016, the number cut in half last year, according to new data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The entirely reasonable explanation cited in this Modern Healthcare piece attributes the decrease to the end of a stipulation that required providers to renew their opt-outs every two years. The renewal requirement went away—you guessed it—two years ago, hence the drop now. But whether the trend is more about paperwork than anything else, the news did get me thinking about how many doctors in Dallas choose to opt-out of Medicare. So,… Full Story

Report: Obamacare Sign-Ups in Texas Dipped More Than the National Average Last Year

After President Donald Trump used an executive order to peel back pieces of Obamacare in October, some of the ensuing discussion circulated around what the actions could mean for enrollment in the Affordable Care Act marketplace. We got a look at a report compiling the year-end totals on Wednesday, and overall, it appears that the changes didn’t impact the 2017 enrollment period in the drastic way that many opponents of Trump’s order feared. Here in Texas, though, we saw some of the most significant drops of any state. Sign-ups through the federal exchange fell 8.2 percent here last year, down… Full Story

Measuring the AHCA’s Impact on Medicaid Policy

The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Thursday on the American Health Care Act, the proposed legislation that aims to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act. With regard to Medicaid, the AHCA would end federal funding for future expansion packages to states effective in 2020, and transition Medicaid’s program to a per-capita funding model. The Congressional Budget Office released estimates on March 13 stating the AHCA would leave 14 million people without coverage in 2018, with 5 million of those being Medicaid recipients. By 2026, the CBO reported, nearly 24 million people would lose coverage—14 million… Full Story