Morning Rounds (01.11.13)

Dallas-based Visiting Nurse Association plans to end its home health-care operations in March and shift to a focus on hospice and private-duty nursing service.

In a provocative Health Affairs study, researcher said the physician shortage is overestimated and could be avoided by the proper deployment of physicians and clinicians.

According to a Mercer salary study, Hospital and health system CFOs earned an average compensation of $227,700 in 2012; those at hospitals with at least $1 billion in net revenue made an average of $428,500. Full Story

Morning Rounds (12.28.12)

Texas produced a record number of newly licensed physicians for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, according to the Texas Medical Association.

Healthcare is among the most vulnerable industries for computer hacking, according to a year-long cybersecurity study by The Washington Post.

Toni Rose will leave her behavioral health post at Parkland Health & Hospital System on Dec. 31, to begin serving in the Texas House of Representatives. Full Story

Parkland Behavioral Health Professional to Serve as Texas State Representative

Toni Rose will end her six-year tenure as a Parkland Health & Hospital System employee on Dec. 31, as she prepares to assume her new role—one of 43 freshman elected to the Texas House of Representatives. Beginning Jan. 8, she’ll serve constituents in District 110, of which she is a longtime resident. At Parkland, Rose works on Parkland’s behavioral health team in the Dallas County Jail. She says her hot-button issues are strengthening the state’s educational system, making healthcare more affordable, securing better jobs for her community, and expanding access to mental health services. “Working as a mental health liaison… Full Story

CDC: Obesity Rates Dropping for Young Children

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show a drop in the number of low-income preschoolers who quality as “obese” or “extremely obese.” The decline was modest, but researchers hope it’s the start of a trend. “It’s extremely important to make sure we’re monitoring obesity in this low-income group,” said the CDC’s Heidi Blanck, who worked on the study. Lower income children are shown to be at higher risk of obesity, partly because access to healthy foods is often restricted in poorer neighborhoods. The researchers looked at stats for 27.5 million children between age 2 and 4.… Full Story

Morning Rounds (12.24.12)

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have identified a molecular mechanism needed to unleash the heart’s ability to regenerate itself.

Debbie Branson, chair of the Parkland Board of Managers, calls the hospital’s tardiness in paying a $750,000 fine to the state “inexcusable.”

Dallas-based Epic Health Services Inc., a provider of pediatric and adult home health care, has acquired Boston-based AmeriCare, a Medicare-certified home health agency. Full Story

Report: Tenet Healthcare to Buy California Physicians Group

Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. has received government approval to acquire Lakewood IPA, a 400-member independent physician association in California, according to a report in Modern Physician. The FTC gave the green-light earlier this week, the report said, but the deal has not been publicly announced and sources from both sides declined to comment. According to Modern Physician, Lakewood IPA is a multi-specialty network of physicians managed by Coast Healthcare Management. The medical group is affiliated with two hospitals in the Lakewood, Calif. area: the 157-bed Lakewood Regional Medical Center, owned by Tenet, and the 420-bed Long Beach Memorial Medical Center,… Full Story

Teladoc Names Mark Hischhorn Chief Financial Officer

  Dallas-based Teladoc has appointed Mark Hirschhorn as its new executive vice president and CFO. He brings more than 20 years of experience to the role. Most recently, he served as CFO of RCS and Media Monitors, an international software firm that caters to the media and entertainment clients. Jason Gorevic, Teladoc’s CEO, said in a statement that Hirschoorn will play a key role in executing the company’s strategy in the coming year. “Having worked with numerous entrepreneurial ventures in a variety of different market segments, his knowledge will help to ensure we continue to expand our business aggressively and… Full Story

THR Names New Chief Clinical Officer: Former KentuckyOne Exec Daniel Varga

With an eye toward advancing clinical quality and operational excellence, Texas Health Resources has named Daniel Varga, M.D., as chief clinical officer and senior executive vice president. He’ll assume his new post on Jan. 14. Varga comes to THR from KentuckyOne, the largest health system in Kentucky, where he served as chief clinical officer. He resigned from that post in late November. At THR, Varga will be responsible for integrating clinical enterprise, including quality, patient safety, and patient experience initiatives. He’ll also oversee physician relationships, clinical integration, care design, and clinical research, and education. Doug Hawthorne, Texas Health Resources’ CEO,… Full Story

Bob Kerrey Rejoins Tenet Healthcare Corp. Board

Bob Kerrey, former U.S. senator and governor of Nebraska, has rejoined the board of Tenet Healthcare Corp. He’ll serve on the company’s audit and compensation committees. Kerrey was on Tenet’s board from March 2001 to March 2012, but left in an unsuccessful bid to retake his senate seat in Nebraska. From 2001 to 2010, he was president of The New School in New York City. While in the Senate, where he served from 1989 to 2001, Kerrey was a member of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare. After retiring, he also served on the 9/11 Commission. “We’re… Full Story

AMA Delegates Outline Principles for Medicare Defined-contribution System

At its 66th interim meeting in Honolulu earlier this month, American Medical Association delegates outlined principles for a Medicare defined-contribution system, if lawmakers seek to move the program away from its current defined-benefits structure. They also called for compensating doctors for time spent on Medicare recovery audit contractor requests. According to the AMA, “House of Delegates did not endorse the defined-contribution model but rather established principles for such a system. The adopted policy supports retaining traditional Medicare coverage as an option for a senior to purchase with a fixed federal subsidy, along with health plan options run by private insurers.… Full Story