Morning Rounds (06.25.13)

The use of a health information exchange in an ambulatory setting did not reduce the ordering of tests or save money, according to a recent study.

New guidelines are restricting the ability of some family physicians in rural settings to deliver babies—even if they have been doing so for decades.

A number of Texas laws, which take effect Sept. 1, aim to help investigate and prevent Medicaid fraud and abuse, while bringing the state into compliance with federal mandates to ensure eligibility for incentive recoveries. Full Story

Blood-Based Test Detects Colon Cancer Before it Develops

A blood test created at the Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Lab at Baylor may be able to detect colon cancer before it develops. The blood-based test examines the levels of a single microRNA, a small RNA molecule that can be identified in a wide variety of bodily fluids, including blood. Test results of the study, published in the latest issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, show that the blood test can fairly accurately detect cancer-related microRNA in the blood before a tumor develops in the colon. In this seminal study the investigators studied several hundred patients with colorectal… Full Story

Texas Medical Board to Hire Five for ‘Pill Mill’ Prevention

The Texas Medical Board plans to hire five full-time employees to help regulate pain management clinics with an additional $600,000 it was granted by lawmakers, according to the Texas Tribune. As of right now there are 330 pain management clinics are registered with the medical board. According to the article, these clinics can sometimes be associated with “pill mills,” or facilities where drug abusers illegally obtain prescription medications. Five counties, including Dallas and Tarrant, make up 62 percent of the state’s clinics. A recent audit report states that at the end of January 111 pain management clinics that had registered with… Full Story

Baylor Scott & White Move Forward with Merger

Baylor Health Care System and Scott & White Healthcare have signed a definitive agreement to merge. The transaction, which was announced in December 2012, is expected to close this year after regulatory review. The agreement signals the end due diligence. Current Baylor CEO Joel Allison said he doesn’t foresee any regulatory complications since the two hospitals do not overlap, but the companies will continue to review as they can “Never say never,” but he remains optimistic. If everything goes as planned, the merged Baylor Scott & White will have a parent company, Baylor Scott & White Health, that will be based… Full Story

Medical Center of Plano Breaks Ground on Freestanding ER

The Medical Center of Plano broke ground on a satellite emergency room at the southeast corner of Coit Road and State Highway 121 in Plano that is slated to open in January 2014. The ER will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will be staffed by board-certified emergency physicians and registered nurses. The staff will have specialized training in pediatrics, including a child life specialist. It will include 12 private patient rooms. The ER will be backed by the technological resources and medical and surgical specialists of the Level II Trauma Center on The Medical Center of… Full Story