Conversation With: Texas Health CEO Barclay Berdan On New Construction, Investment Approach

Earlier this month, Texas Health Resources announced its largest construction project in history, a $300 million investment at its Fort Worth campus that will modernize surgery suites and include the addition of a nine-story patient tower. Construction is scheduled to start in the middle of this year and reach completion in late 2021. When all said and done, the new tower will add 144 beds to what is already one of the busiest hospitals in the state. I hopped on the phone with Texas Health CEO Barclay Berdan to hear more about what prompted the massive project and how the… Full Story

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

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

Medical City Fort Worth Remodels Cancer Care Unit As Part of $100M Improvement Plan

Medical City Fort Worth put $700,000 into remodeling its cancer care unit, cutting the ribbon Friday on an opening that fits into $100 million in expansion and improvement projects at the facility. The 18-bed unit got new bathrooms with larger showers, new lighting and flooring, germ-resistant paint, and a new nurses’ station that will help facilitate better assistance for patients, the hospital says. Each room now has a new, more mobile computer station, as well as a 43-inch big screen. Two VIP suites will accommodate patients and families in for longer stays. The pending projects at Medical City Fort With… Full Story

UNT Health Science Center Gets A Federal Endowment To Research Health Disparities

The University of North Texas Health Science Center is the recipient of a $10 million federal research endowment to study the health disparities impacting ethnic, racial, rural, and economically disadvantaged populations in the U.S. The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities awards the endowments, which are paid over five years. UNTHSC is one of just two institutions nationally to get it. The endowment was put in place in 2001 by Congress to help out institutions committed to disparities research. The money goes toward scientists and students rather than the research projects themselves. Fort Worth-based UNTHSC lists its priorities… 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

Cook Children’s Says Census Snag Will Force Hospital To Close, Reopen as Surgical Center

Hurst-based Cook Children’s Northeast Hospital will close on April 20 and begin a transition to become an ambulatory surgery center, with the new name of Cook Children’s Surgery Center, according to a news release. Here’s how the release from Cook Children’s Health Care System describes the decision: In late 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a memo defining the overnight census requirement to operate as a hospital. Cook Children’s Northeast Hospital, located at 6316 Precinct Line Road in Hurst, Texas, does not meet the census requirement and will no longer be able to operate as a… Full Story

Senior Living Facility Planned for Fort Worth

Ascend Partners and Civitas Senior Living said Monday they’re building a senior living facility just southwest of downtown Fort Worth. The facility will be called The Grandview of Chisholm Trail and include 89 senior living residences on a little less than six acres. Contractors are expected to break ground this summer. A news release from the companies says The Grandview will offer “deluxe amenities and the maintenance-free lifestyle that today’s active seniors demand.” It goes on to list private residences, resort-quality amenities, concierge-style services, chef-prepared meals, and 24/7 professional care among the selling points. It’s the first senior living community… Full Story

‘Blue Zones’ Project Ready To Launch In Fort Worth, Aiming To Slice Healthcare Costs, Improve Well-Being

The Blue Zones project, a community engagement effort aimed at increasing the well-being of an entire city, is set to launch in Fort Worth. Cowtown is the largest city to take on the challenge to become Blue Zone certified—what will it mean for its residents? Full Story