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

Texas Health Says it Spent $140 Million in North Texas Last Year

Texas Health Resources says it spent $121 million on local construction-related costs and another $20 million on medical supplies and services from local vendors. The Arlington-based nonprofit announced the numbers in advance of its Community Responsibility and Sustainability Report, due out in June. Texas Health’s Shaun Clinton, senior vice president for supply chain management, said in a statement that the health system, which has 29 hospital locations, works to keep services like printing and print management local. “While we understand the need for sourcing products around the globe in this day and age, if we can utilize a local company… Full Story

Tenet Plans Volunteer Projects At Corporate Headquarters

Tenet Healthcare Corp., which has been wrestling with activist investors as of late, will do some good this month by setting out to amass 1,000 hours of volunteer service via the employees at its Dallas headquarters. Tenet employees are volunteering at eight non-profits: Visiting Nurse Association, Dallas Afterschool, North Texas Food Bank, Trinity Food Conservancy, Rebuilding Together North Texas, Community Partners of Dallas, Operation Kindness, and Crossroads Community Services. “We are committed to making a difference in the communities we serve and proud to support the important work of these eight exemplary non- profit organizations as they address challenging issues… Full Story

North Texas Experts: Overdose Reversal Drugs, Prescription Monitoring Could Help in Fight Against Opioid Epidemic

Wider utilization of overdose reversal drugs could go a long way in reducing the impact of the opioid epidemic, North Texas experts say. So could responsible prescribing and more use of the state’s prescription monitoring program, which collects and monitors data related to Schedule II, III, IV, and V controlled substances. “Responsible prescribing is one of the cornerstones of addressing the issue,” said Glenn Hardesty, an emergency medicine physician with Texas Health Resources and opioid expert. He said that changes in the approach to prescribing opiates have already curbed access to the legally obtained drugs. He added that building the… Full Story

UT Southwestern Publishes Results of Pediatric Cancer Treatment Trial

Researchers with UT Southwestern’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center found during a recent trial that Larotrectinib, a cancer-treatment drug targeting a specific gene fusion occurring in certain types of cancerous tumors, was 93% effective in treating pediatric cancer cases. The report, published in The Lancet Oncology, covered 24 cases between Dec 21, 2015, and April 13, 2017, that involved a specific gene fusion wherein tropomyosin receptor kinase (TRK) fuses with another gene inside the cancer cell, causing uncontrolled TRK growth. The subjects underwent trials with Larotrectinib. Although TRK fusion occurs in a small amount of common adult cancers, higher… Full Story

Irving-based Vizient Has a New CEO

Byron Jobe has taken over as chief executive officer at Irving-based Vizient Inc. after a multi-year succession plan, the company said. Jobe was previously the president, chief administrative officer, and financial officer at the giant healthcare membership company. He’ll retain the title of president. Former CEO Curt Nonomaque said in the fall that he’d retire this year, ending a 15-year run as the company’s chief executive. After a year at Baylor Health Care System in the 1990s, Jobe started at what was then VHA Inc. in 1994 as a senior director of operations & finance. He left the company for… Full Story

Panelists from Baylor Scott & White, UT Southwestern, and Children’s Weigh In On Hospital Innovation

On Monday afternoon, some innovation-minded hospital administrators gathered at Factory Six03, a trendy spot in downtown Dallas’ West End, to talk about hospital innovation. And they didn’t disappoint, offering some straightforward thoughts on topics ranging from a trend toward smaller, community hospitals, to telemedicine, to navigating a tricky transition period between fee-for-service and value-based care. With myself asking the questions, the panelists for the Dallas Startup Week event were Matthew Chambers, chief information officer at Baylor Scott & White Health; Suresh Gunasekaran, VP and chief of operations at UT Southwestern Health System; and Julie Hall-Barrow, VP of virtual health and… Full Story

Texas Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas Ink Four-Year Contracts in Final Hour

Texas Health Resources and Blue Cross Blue Shied of Texas have come to terms on new four-year contracts to keep the Arlington-based system in-network for BCBSTX plan holders. With the deal set to expire at midnight on Sunday morning, the two sides signed within the final hour, a spokesperson for the insurer says. A short statement from BCBSTX says the agreement came together “through determined efforts from both sides.” “We were diligent in our negotiations, we used all the time we had available to us,” BCBSTX Market President Dr. Paul Hain added over the phone this morning. “We wish were… Full Story

Survey from Dallas Firm Says Physicians Favor Work Requirements for Medicaid Beneficiaries

About 57 percent of physicians take a “very favorable” view of new federal work requirements for Medicaid benefits that call for able-bodied beneficiaries to be employed or engaged in job searches or job training, according to a survey from Dallas-based physician search firm Merritt Hawkins. Another 18 percent say they’re “somewhat favorable” of the new rules, meaning three in four physicians overall are for the requirements. The results come from a one-question national survey by Merritt Hawkins, which received 667 responses. About 10 states have proposed work requirements, and the requests have been approved in Indiana, Kentucky, and Arkansas. Kentucky’s… Full Story

Here’s the Schedule of Healthcare-related Events during Dallas Startup Week

Dallas Startup Week started today, and nestled within this very packed slate are several items related to healthcare. The Dallas-based healthcare startup accelerator Health Wildcatters organized the track, and they’ve also assembled the graphic you see down there on the right. I’ve pulled out the events below, with panelists and links to full event descriptions included: Monday, April 2 (events are at BCBS’ Factory Six03): 3 p.m.: Hospital Innovation: The Future of Healthcare Panelists: Matthew Chambers, Chief Innovation Officer, Baylor Scott & White Health; Suresh Gunasekaran, VP and Chief of Operations, UT Southwestern Health System; Dr. Julie Hall-Barrow, VP of… Full Story