A Healthcare Services Company is Suing its Former Accountants for $14 Million

A Dallas-based healthcare diagnostic services provider filed a $14 million lawsuit against its former accounting firm for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent misrepresentation, fraud by nondisclosure, unjust enrichment and exemplary damages. The former owners of Alliance Family of Companies filed the Dallas County lawsuit against Armanino LLP. The lawsuit alleges that Armanino, then called Travis Wolff & Co., offered Justin Magnuson and Don Jacobs “fully-integrated” tax, audit, and business advisory services connected to the possible sale of the company, and the former Alliance owners pulled the trigger. During sale negotiations, the lawsuit alleges that Armanino didn’t tell the owners when… Full Story

Texas Medical Association CEO Set to Retire

Executive vice president and CEO of the Texas Medical Association Louis J. Goodman is retiring after 22 years in that position. He helped lead the 53,000 physician and medical student members with 110 component county organizations statewide. Goodman is originally from New Jersey, and earned his bachelor’s master’s and doctorate in public affaris at New York University. He worked with the American Medical Association and at Michael Reese Medical Center in Chicago before joining the TMA staff in 1987. Since 1997 when Goodman took the role of CEO, TMA membership has grown by more than 50 percent while working with… Full Story

Why Home Health is One of the Fastest Growing Healthcare Markets

Home health spending continues to grow in the U.S., outpacing overall healthcare spending and GDP. CMS reported that home health spending reached $103 billion in 2017, and is predicted to grow by 6.7 percent annually by 2020, while healthcare spending overall is only expected to grow 5.5 percent each year, according to Home Health Care News. At a recent webinar presented by law firm Polsinelli, Dallas-based managing partner Jon Henderson hosted leading experts in the field to give an update on the home health market. Cortney Marcin, a director in consulting firm BDO’s Center For Healthcare Excellence and Innovation, discussed the… Full Story

Blue Cross Teaming Up With 11 Texas Institutions to Address Healthcare Costs

Richardson-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas will be teaming up with 11 universities to address the root causes of high cost of health care. The research institutions and insurer will be working on projects that focus on behavioral health, vaccine adherence, and analyzing usage data to improve efficiency.  The collaboration is part of Blue Cross’ Affordability Cures initiative, and hopes to address care delivery, unequal distribution, and waste in the system. “Failure to address access and affordability of health care has real consequences. We need to challenge the status quo by bringing transformative research and ideas to the table,”… Full Story

Bipartisan Texas Bills Go After “Unconscionable” Freestanding ERs

A bipartisan group of State Senators and Representatives, including local Democratic State Senator Nathan Johnson, filed legislation to allow the Texas Attorney General to address the unreasonable prices charged by freestanding emergency rooms. Johnson joined author Senator Kirk Watson, D-Austin and Representative Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont in filing legislation similar to an existing law that allows the AG to stop price-gouging for goods and services during natural emergencies and disasters. Freestanding ERs in the state represent 83 percent of all out-of-network emergency room services and end up costing Texans more than $3 billion a year in avoidable health care costs, which continues… Full Story

Texas Medical Board Suspends Orthopedic Surgeon for Missing Drug Tests

The Texas Medical Board has temporarily suspended a surgeon who formerly had privileges at area hospitals for failing to undergo drug and alcohol testing and testing positive two different times. The TMB says that Dr. Michael Francis O’Brien, an orthopedic surgeon, “poses a continuing threat to public welfare” if he continues in his practice. Past incidents impaired O’Brien, causing him to be put in a Texas Physician Health Program Monitoring and Assistance Agreement. When he missed his drug and alcohol tests, he violated the agreement. O’Brien had privileges at Children’s Health Plano Hospital from November 2015 to June 2017, but… Full Story

Virtual Reality Hypnosis is Improving Surgery Recovery

Virtual reality hypnosis is being explored as an option to treat postoperative pain and anxiety in children at UT Southwestern. A pilot study based in Europe analyzed 21 young patients and found that the hypnosis reduced anxiety, opioid consumption and vomiting in children after scoliosis surgery. The patients experienced 20 minutes of virtual reality hypnosis within three days of surgery, donning virtual reality goggles and experiencing beaches, underwater swims, hiking in the mountains, with soothing words and music which induced hypnosis. UT Southwestern reported the following results via release. “Only 20 percent required pain medication (IV morphine), compared with 62.5… Full Story

The Forest Park Fraud Trial Begins This Week

Ten defendants go on trial Wednesday in the Forest Park Medical Center trial, which involved $40 million dollars in kickbacks to doctors according to a federal indictment. A total of 21 people were indicted in 2016, though several have already pled guilty. The remaining defendants have denied wrongdoing. Dallas is already one of the most expensive places to receive healthcare, and it is also becoming a popular place for medical fraud. With $200 million at stake, 150 witnesses, accusations of helicopter purchases, and defendants claiming to have followed legal advice, the trial promises to be an interesting one. Form Matt… Full Story

A New Old Model That Could Change How Employees Receive Primary Care

Is it possible to get quality primary care without worrying about deductibles, copays, or dealing with the insurance company? An old model is being revamped to simplify primary care and change the incentives. In the fee-for-service model where many primary care physicians are owned by large hospital systems, the incentives for the doctors may be skewed away from patient care and cost. More tests, procedures, and appointments mean more revenue for the doctor or hospital system, and if they are part of a large system, physicians have added pressure to refer their patients to specialists and surgeons in that network,… Full Story

Baylor Scott and White’s Net Income Down 55 Percent in First Half of Year

On the heels of a canceled merger with Memorial Hermann in the Houston area, Baylor Scott and White saw it’s income drop to $267.7 million in the first half of the 2019 fiscal year compared to $595.5 million at the same time last year according to unaudited financial documents. Much of the losses have been due to market volatility, with the stock market causing similar if not greater losses in other health systems around the country. Kaiser Permanente in California saw a 71 percent loss in income compared to last year due to shaky markets as well. Baylor hasn’t provided… Full Story