Consumers Blame Insurers and Prescription Companies—Not Physicians—for Rising Healthcare Costs

Most American consumers blame insurers and prescription companies for the rise in healthcare costs instead of their doctors, according to a Harris Interactive survey done on behalf of the Physicians Foundation. In July, more than 2,200 adults were surveyed, with 78 percent saying they had a primary-care doctor or family physician, according to Modern Physician. Those who visited their doctor in the last year reported being satisfied overall with those visits. Only 1 percent said they were not satisfied. Three-fourths of survey participants blamed insurance companies for spiking healthcare costs and 74 percent pointed the finger at prescription companies. Government, the consumers themselves,… Full Story

Plano-based MediGain Acquires Louisiana-based MedBE

Plano-based MediGain has acquired MedBE, a Louisiana  company that handles revenue cycle management (RCM) and practice management services (PMS), according to the PR Newswire. MedBE provides services for physicians across Louisiana and the Southeastern United States. MediGain is a full-service RCM company with locations throughout the world. MediGain has more than 400 employees. It provides solutions for physician groups, provider networks, ambulatory surgery centers, and hospitals.    

11 North Texas Healthcare Companies Make Inc.’s “Fast Growing” List

Inc. magazine has released its annual ranking of the nation’s 5,000 fastest-growing private companies, with 11 North Texas healthcare companies making the list. Aspen Healthcare Services, based in Lewisville, ranks the highest, at No. 150. Here is a complete rundown of local healthcare companies listed on the Inc. 5,000. No. 150—Aspen Healthcare Services No. 921—MedSynergies No. 1,406—Homecare Homebase No. 2,268—First Choice Emergency Room  No. 3,077—Swiss American Products No. 3,423—LiquidAgents Healthcare No. 3,576—Encompass Home Health No. 4,040—Behavioral Health Group No. 4,318—OraMetrix No. 4,611—LifeCare No. 4,651—The Delta Cos.

Healthcare Sector Leads Nation in Job Creation

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said in a preliminary report that the healthcare industry added 43,500 jobs in September, significantly contributing to the nation’s 114,000 new jobs. According to the report, healthcare added more jobs than any other sector; most—29,800—were in ambulatory care. For the 12 months ending September 2012, healthcare employment was up by 295,000 new jobs, bringing the sector’s total to about 14.4 million.

FCC Plans to Make Wireless Patient Monitoring a Reality

The FCC has devised a plan to implement the driving force behind making the widespread use of uninterrupted, untethered, wireless patient monitoring devices a reality. Things are set to become final starting Oct. 11 with the implementation of such technology once used only for flight testing, according to American Medical News. Concerns abound because of the number of mobile devices in use, which rely heavily on wireless networks. It has been speculated that perhaps wireless networks are not strong enough to sustain the increased utilization of the new patient monitoring devices.

S&P Drops Tenet Ranking From BB- to B+

Tenet Healthcare’s secured debt rating has been changed from ‘BB—’ to ‘B+ by Standard & Poor’s Rating Services. The corporation plans to dispatch $500 million senior secured notes due 2020 and $300 million of unsecured notes due 2020 to settle outstanding debt and handle other issues, according to Reuters. S&P’s rating of Tenet reflects the belief that the company will maintain a rigorous and solid financial liability profile; however, Tenet does not maintain S&P’s preffered level of stability concerning financial liability. Still optimistic, S&P says the rating “reflects our expectation that the hospital company’s revenues in 2012 will increase by about… Full Story

Urgent Care for Kids Plans Expansion After Capital Boost from Healthcap

Urgent Care for Kids, which has clinics in Colleyville and Keller, plans to open five to seven new locations in Texas during the next 24 months. The expansion is made possible by a boost from Healthcap, a private equity firm that has increased its investment in Urgent Care by 160 percent. To provide additional support, Healthcap Managing Partner Jason K. Dodd will take a seat on the Urgent Care for Kids’ board of directors. “We are very excited to expand our relationship with HealthCap as their increased investment and expertise in growing healthcare businesses will give us the resources needed… Full Story

U.S. Supreme Court Takes Three Healthcare Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to pursue action in three cases regarding boundaries for acquisitions by public hospital authorities, Medicare payment appeals, and settlements in wage-and-hour class-action lawsuits. Proceedings are set to begin November 26 starting with FTC v. Phoebe Putney Health System and will handle such issues as whether or not the Albany-Dougherty Hospital Authority has the right to forge monopolies as a state government does, Modern Healthcare reports. Proceedings will follow early December regarding the cases of Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk and Sebelius v. Auburn Regional Medical. 

Parkland on Track for Improvement

After one of their busiest summers on record, Parkland Health and Hospital System said it is more than 80 percent complete with the action or work plan entries listed on its Corrective Action Plan (CAP). CAP continues to be a course of action for Parkland as the hospital system has seen increased patient volume, inducted a plan to accommodate the volume effectively, and completed detailing the restructuring of Care Management. “These initiatives are extremely important to the safety and well-being of our patients,” said Debbie Branson, chair, Parkland Board of Managers in a statement. “As we continue to hardwire these… Full Story

By 2030, Half of Texas Adults Could be Obese

Texas weighs in on the national scale as the 10th fattest state. With a third of adults in Texas being obese, the numbers aren’t projected to slim down any time soon. Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Foundation estimated that 50 percent of the adults in Texas could be obese by 2030. The report suggests that the state could reduce healthcare costs by more than $19 billion in 10 years if Texans lower the average body mass index by 5 percent.