“There is No Silver Bullet” for Fixing Texas’ Uninsured Problem: D CEO Breakfast Panel Recap

Last week, D CEO and the Dallas Regional Chamber hosted another installment of our D CEO Healthcare Breakfast Panels. We were fortunate to have some of the brightest minds in health insurance join us and educate guests on what is next for health insurance in North Texas. With representatives from the C-suites of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, UnitedHealthcare, Cigna, and Texas Health Aetna, we discussed what role the major health insurers have in everything from improving the social determinants of health to price transparency. Improving the social determinants of health is not an easy task, but research shows… Full Story

76 Percent of Female Physicians Said They Have Experienced Gender Discrimination

Around three-fourths of women physicians said they have been discriminated against because of their gender and believe men are paid more for the same position, a new survey from Dallas-based physician search firm Merritt Hawkins says. Unconscious employer discrimination and a lack of negotiating assertiveness are believed to be the main culprit. “Women are entering medicine in record numbers and are having a profound impact on the medical profession,” said Travis Singleton, executive vice president of Merritt Hawkins via release. “However, despite these achievements, female physicians continue to be paid less than their male counterparts and face other forms of… Full Story

McKesson Names New EVP, CIO, and CTO

Nancy Flores will be McKesson’s new executive vice president, chief information officer and chief technology officer beginning Jan. 13, 2020. She is currently the CIO for Johnson Controls, a multinational company that makes fire, HVAC, and building security equipment now based in Ireland. Flores will succeed Kathy McElligott, who announced her retirement earlier this year. Flores will be responsible for the enterprise business technology strategy and technology governance for the corporation. She will also lead the development and application of healthcare technology products at the company. Prior to her time at Johnson Controls, Flores was vice president for business and technology… Full Story

Cigna Contract with Southwestern Health Resources Could End Jan. 1

The new year may mark the end of a relationship between two of the largest players in the local healthcare industry, as Southwestern Health Resources and Cigna have been unable to agree to a new contract, meaning SWHR will be out of of network for Cigna members on January 1. The conflict centers upon the connection between cost and quality, and how each organization measures them. The conflict could impact hundreds of thousands of people across the region. Over the past 18 months, there have been 136,000 interactions between Cigna members and SWHR, 66,000 of those interactions were at SWHR… Full Story

How CMS Rules May Impact Hospital Expansion

Last year, CMS announced that clinic visits would fall under its site neutral reimbursement model, meaning it would pay doctors the same amount for a doctor visit whether it takes place in a hospital outpatient facility or a regular office. This change means that “Healthcare systems whose real estate strategic plans included expansion of hospital outpatient departments and associated services likely will need to reassess their business cases for these sites to account for reduced reimbursements,” according to Cushman and Wakefield’s Vital Signs report detailing healthcare and medical office building real estate. CMS estimates it will save $800 million in 2020,… Full Story

SMU Study Finds Drug to Prevent Spread of HIV Cousin

Research from SMU may have found a way to prevent the spread of HTLV-1, a cousin of HIV that infects 10-15 million people. The virus causes cells to divide uncontrollably, which can lead to leukemia, neurological disease, and an inflammatory disease of the nervous system whose symptoms include affecting one’s ability to walk, coma, and even death. The drug is called Oleandrin and is derived from the Nerium oleander plant. It targets a stage in the reproduction process of the virus that has yet to be attempted by other treatment. There is no known treatment for the virus, which attacks white… Full Story

Texas Medical Board Withdraws Surprise Billing Rules

The Texas Medical Board is changing its tune about how to interpret Texas’ latest surprise billing legislation. Last week, controversy arose about rules written by the Texas Medical Board in the interpretation of Senate Bill 1264, which was meant to prevent patients from being involved in the balance billing process, were criticized for creating a large loophole for physicians to exploit. Critics said the rules would have put confusing paperwork in the hands of patients, with a potential result being that patients may sign away their protections under the new legislation. The Texas Medical Board said it would not have… Full Story

Dallas to be One of Optum’s “Wired Together” Markets

Dallas will be one of 10 markets where UnitedHealthcare’s Optum healthcare services is rolling out a plan to integrate medical care across the country. At the 2019 Forbes Healthcare Summit, UnitedHealth Group president and Optum CEO Andrew Witty said that hundreds of clinics, surgery centers, and urgent care facilities acquired by the growing group will be “wired together,” Forbes reports. The thought is that increased connection will increase access to health data revealing new insights that will improve patient care across the country. Dallas will join Denver, Seattle, Southern California, Las Vegas, and the New York and New Jersey markets in the… Full Story

Methodist Health System Names CEO

Jim Scoggin has been named Chief Executive Office of Methodist Health System after serving as interim CEO since April. Scoggin’s 34-year healthcare career includes a several years as president of the Hospital Corporation of America’s North Texas division. At Methodist, Scoggin succeeds Stephen Mansfield, the recipient of D CEO’s Excellence in Healthcare Lifetime Achievement Award, who led the Oak Cliff-based health system for 13 years. Scoggin began his career with Humana in 1980 and rose to be hospital Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. He joined Methodist Hospital in San Antonio as COO in 1987, eventually becoming CEO of… Full Story

Most Texas Individual Marketplace Health Plans Are Getting Cheaper

On the individual marketplace, the average cost of health insurance is down 14 percent from 2018 to $508 per month, according to the 2020 Health Insurance report from LendingTree. Nationwide, the individual marketplace for health insurance has stabilized with decreased premiums, attracting companies like Oscar to return to North Texas and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas to enter the market. Enrollment in the marketplace peaked in 2016, with more than 1.3 million people selecting plans. In 2019, that number was down to just over a million. There are eight insurers in the Texas marketplace this year, including Blue Cross… Full Story