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

Parkland Among First in the U.S. to Debut Speedier Heart Attack Test

Parkland Health & Hospital System says a new test the hospital put into play in December can diagnose heart attacks faster and with greater precision. The Trop T-hs assay is a more sensitive version of the Trop T-hs blood test, which checks the blood for cardiac troponin, a protein released from the heart when it’s damaged. The new version has shown the ability to rule out heart attack within the first hour in about half the patients presenting with chest pain, according to the pre-implementation tests run by Parkland. The traditional test requires three to six hours. Heart attack presents… Full Story

Baylor Scott & White Health Executive Shake-up Continues as CFO Departs

Baylor Scott & White Health’s chief financial officer has resigned, throwing a vacancy into an executive suite that has seen some shake-up recently. Fred Savelsbergh left on February 1, according to a letter sent to employees by Baylor Scott & White Health President Pete McCanna. Savelsbergh had been with the company for 35 years. He was named Baylor Health Care System’s CFO in 2009 and retained the role after the merger. Savelsbergh’s resignation comes hand-in-hand with the departure of Janie Wade, who had been senior vide president of finance for Baylor Scott & White Health since 2013. She took the… Full Story

Medical City Healthcare Gets a New CMO

Medical City Healthcare has named a new chief medical officer. Dr. Miguel Benet will take the job on March 1 to provide clinical direction and collaborate with physicians, clinicians, employees, and leadership. Benet comes from Denver-based Swedish Medical Center. He was CMO of the level I trauma center. Prior to that, he was a CMO at North Suburban Medical Center in Colorado. A lot of CMO experience here. He also did his residency at Harvard Medical School before going on to practice anesthesiology. Benet takes over for Scott Robins, who is retiring after 46 years as a physician and administrator.… 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

UT Southwestern Selects New Leader for Clinical Operations

UT Southwestern named a leader of its patient care enterprise on Thursday, announcing cardiologist Dr. John Warner will take up the role starting March 1. Warner will be Executive Vice President for Health Systems Affairs, overseeing the UT Southwestern Medical Center’s clinical operations. The medical group delivers care to 100,000 hospitalized patients, 600,000 ER patients, and 2.2 million outpatients a year. Warner, previously one of D’s Best Doctors for cardiology, is currently serving as CEO of UT Southwestern’s University Hospitals. He is also currently president of the American Heart Association. Warner did his residency at UT Southwestern and returned in… 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

With Cases on the Rise, Parkland Recognizes Burn Awareness Week

In 2017, Parkland admitted more than 230 children for specialized burn treatments. More than half of them were three years old or younger. “The number of both pediatric and adult patients admitted to the burn center has steadily increased over the years along with the population growth in North Texas,” Parkland Burn Program Manager Stephanie Campbell says. “The rate of pediatric admissions has remained steady, representing about a third of our total admissions each year,” Campbell says. With burn cases on the rise, experts at Parkland, the fourth busiest pediatric burn center in the U.S., are reiterating the importance of… Full Story

DFW Emergency Medicine Group Bought by Major Hospital Staffing Firm

Fort Worth-based Emergency Medicine Consultants Ltd. has been acquired by hospital staffing firm TeamHealth, the companies said on Monday. EMC provides emergency medicine staffing, deploying about 330 physicians to 24 facilities and an urgent care center across Dallas-Fort Worth. The company also has 80 advanced practice clinicians and, overall, cares for 900,000 patients a year. EMC physicians staff hospitals within Texas Health Resources and Methodist Health System, among others. TeamHealth was bought by private equity firm Blackstone Group in a $6.1-billion deal that took the company private in early 2017. In the Knoxville, Tennessee-based TeamHealth, EMC joins a firm with… Full Story