Electronic Health Record Standards to be Set

The American Health Information Management Association is convening healthcare stakeholders in November to discuss the way data is obtained, stored, and used by electronic health record systems (EHRs), according to American Medical News. The leading health information management organization hopes to standardize EHRs so their potential will be realized and successfully utilized by healthcare officials. The organization plans to set guidelines that can be referred to in order to avoid jeopardizing the physicians that use EHRs. These guidelines will help vendors and healthcare organizations address the technology’s integrity, data quality, patient safety, and prevent billing errors. The organization’s move comes… Full Story

Dallas-based Market Center Management Co. Suspends Nashville Plans

Dallas-based developer Market Center Management Co. has suspended plans for its Nashville Medical Trade Center project. It announced the news in a statement from CEO Bill Winsor. It read, in part: “I have been in the trade center business for more than three decades, and I was never more enthusiastic about a trade center concept. The idea was bold, the location was advantageous, the design was compelling, and our team worked diligently to make it a reality. We were always met with enthusiasm by companies and organizations, and we were joined by partners with the foresight to offer durable benefits… Full Story

Medical Center of Plano First in Texas to Use New Stroke Treatment

The Medical Center of Plano is the first hospital in Texas to utilize new technology for the improved treatment of stroke patients. Called “the Trevo Pro Retriever,” the device integrates blood into clots and subsequently removes them. This helps restore blood flow at a quicker rate and increase patient’s chance of full recovery. The technology has already been used at the Plano hospital, a designated Primary Stroke Center. Vallabh Janardhan,M.D., director of the Texas Stroke Institute, worked with an interventional neurology team to successfully treat a stroke victim. “The Trevo Pro Retriever is easy to use and very effective in quickly restoring… Full Story

Poll: Romney Closes Healthcare Gap With Obama

Romney’s performance in last Wednesday’s Presidential Debate has closed the gap between the two candidates when it comes matters of healthcare, according to the Pew Research Center. Prior to the first presidential debate, Obama held a significant lead on issues of healthcare and Medicare, but the two candidates now run about even on both issues. In the latest national survey, conducted Oct. 4-7 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 47 percent of those polled said they believe Obama would be better deal with healthcare, compared the 44 percent that responded in support of Romney. These… Full Story

Study: Physicians Working Fewer Hours, Seeing Fewer Patients

Merritt Hawkins & Associates reports that physicians are working fewer hours and seeing fewer patients. The doctor-recruiting firm conducted a survey for the Physicians Foundation and found a number of the 14,000 physicians wary of the future of healthcare, according to American Medical News. Nine in 10 physicians agreed that most doctors “are unsure where the health system will be or how they will fit into it” during the next five years. The survey reports the average number of hours physicians worked per week fell by 5.9 percent, from 57 hours to 53 hours a week, between 2008 and 2012.  Physicians… Full Story

Two Dallas Physicians and Four Nurses Indicted For Defrauding Medicare

Two Dallas-area physicians and four registered nurses were indicted Thursday for allegedly defrauding Medicare, as first reported by the Dallas Morning News. The two cases totaled more than $104 million and involved more than 30,000 prescriptions and home health care services. Both were part of a nationwide investigation that included 91 defendants and alleged fraud totaling $429.3 million. Dr. Joseph Megwa, owner of Arlington’s Raphem Medical Practice, allegedly signed 33,000 prescription pads, sometimes without review, for more than 2,000 Medicare users. Ferguson Ikhile, a registered nurse and owner of PTM Healthcare Services Inc. in Irving, and Ebolose Echobor, director of… Full Story

Four DFW Leaders Among “100 Women Hospital and Health System Leaders To Know”

Four North Texas leaders have been named to Becker’s Hospital Review’s “100 Women Hospital and Health System Leaders To Know.” The list recognizes women who demonstrate exceptional leadership within the hospital and healthcare industry.. Local women who made the annual list include Laura Irvine (President of Methodist Dallas Medical Center), Raji Kumar (CEO of Dallas Medical Center), Pamela Stoyanoff (Executive Vice President and COO of Methodist Health System- Dallas), and Nancy Vish (President and CNO of Baylor Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital- Dallas).

Nine of 10 Seniors Satisfied with Medicare Drug Coverage (Part D)

A national survey released yesterday found that nine out of 10 seniors are satisfied with their Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D). The survey, conducted annually by Medicare Today and KRC Research, found that more than eight in 10 seniors find their plan predictable, affordable, reasonable, and offering good value. “[Part D] has become an essential component of seniors’ healthcare,” said Mary R. Grealy, chairman of Medicare Today and president of the Healthcare Leadership Council. The survey shows that overall satisfaction with Part D has increased from 78 percent to 90 percent since the program began. Ninety-six percent say that their… Full Story

HHS Warns Against Using EHRs to “Game the System”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sent a letter last week to major national medical organizations voicing concerns over the use of EHR technology. In the letter, HHS Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder drafted the letter and stated that “There are troubling indications that some providers are using [EHR] technology to game the system, possibly to obtain payments to which they are not entitled.” The letter was sent amid recent questions raised about EHRs. A column in The Wall Street Journal cited data from a scientific review of 36,000 studies on the subject, and challenged whether… Full Story

More Than 70 Percent of U.S. Hospitals Plan to Buy New HIE Technology

CapSite, a healthcare research firm, has released a report that 71 percent of surveyed U.S. hospitals plan to purchase new health information exchange technology. The research firm polled representatives of more than 370 U.S. hospitals for the report, titled “2012 U.S. Health Information Exchange Study,” and found a decrease from the 74 percent that was reported last year. Twenty-five percent of the hospitals that reported planning to purchase new health data exchange technology said they hope to buy tools within seven months to one year, according to ihealthbeat, Additionally, the report found that 50 percent of surveyed U.S. hospitals have… Full Story