Ex-owner of Frisco Insurance Firm Pleads Not Guilty

The former owner of a Frisco-based company that provided health insurance to Virginia Tech students has pleaded not guilty to racketeering, conspiracy, money laundering, and fraud charges, according to the Associated Press. John Paul Gutschlag Sr., 73, entered his plea in federal court in Abingdon, Va., this week. A jury trial was set to start Sept. 23. Gutschlag was released on $10,000 unsecured bond. A 57-count federal indictment accuses Gutschlag and GM-Southwest Inc. of overstating claims by more than $9 million to boost profits.The company is a third-party administrator of student health insurance. Major insurance carriers provide coverage but pay… Full Story

Morning Rounds (04.16.13)

Pennsylvania-based Post Acute Medical Friday announced the purchase of Twin Creeks Hospital, a 40-bed inpatient rehabilitation facility in Allen.

The Fort Worth Foundation and JPS Health Network will build and operate an adult medical clinic and social services complex near the East Lancaster Avenue homeless shelters.

Giving price information to providers at the time lab orders were placed resulted in a decrease in the numbers of ordered tests. Full Story

Pennsylvania Company Buys Allen Hospital

Pennsylvania-based Post Acute Medical Friday announced the purchase of Twin Creeks Hospital, a 40-bed inpatient rehabilitation facility in Allen. The hospital name has changed to Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital of Allen and the hospital.  “We are pleased with our continued development efforts that include the expansion into the Dallas market,” Post Acute Medical president and chief executive officer Anthony Misitano, said in a statement. The company also operates hospitals in San Antonio and five other Texas cities.  

Cigna Picks Plano Practice as its Third North Texas Accountable Care Collaborator

Plano-based Village Health Partners is the latest North Texas physician practice to join Cigna’s collaborative accountable care effort. Cigna’s CAC program is designed to help physician practices to achieve the same population health goals of accountable care organizations. The program will include Cigna patients treated by a VHP physician. VHP, which treats more than 50,000 North Texas patients, recently announced that it added a second Plano location. The VHP program 4 is Cigna’s third such collaboration in North Texas and its sixth in the state. VHP clinical care coordinators will help patients with chronic conditions schedule appointments, provide health education… Full Story

Preventable Hospital Stays By County

Preventable hospital stays reflect the hospital discharge rate for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions per 1,000 Medicare enrollees, according to County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. Hospitalization for diagnoses that could be treated with outpatient services suggests quality of care provided in the outpatient setting was less than ideal. The measure may also represent the county’s  tendency to overuse the hospital as a primary source of care. Denton County’s rate of preventable stays per 1,000 Medicare enrollees is 80, which exceeds the Texas rate of 73. Tarrant, Collin and Dallas counties are below the state rate at 67, 66 and 60, respectively.

Violent Crime Rate By County

Violent crimes are offenses that involve face-to-face confrontation between the victim and the perpetrator, including homicide, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, according to County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. High levels of violent crime compromise physical safety and psychological well-being. Crime rates can also deter residents from pursuing healthy behaviors such as exercising out-of-doors. Increased stress levels also may contribute to the obesity rate, even after controlling for diet and physical activity levels. The Dallas County rate of 618 per 100,000 residents far exceeds that of Texas. The Tarrant County rate of 501 is slightly below the state rate of 503.… Full Story

Frisco-Based Organ Transporter Hopes Its Device Is a Game-Changer

It is hard to believe that hearts, which cost more than $1 million to transplant, are still being preserved and transported in picnic coolers. Frisco-based Organ Transport Systems (OTS) wants to change that. The company has created a device called LifeCradle, designed to extend the life of an organ and monitor its condition. Founded in 1999, OTS has been going through the slow and arduous process of getting FDA approval for its device. The company has raised more than $12 million in venture capital and is seeking an additional $8 million to complete the regulatory process and make final improvements.… Full Story

Inadequate Social Support By County

Poor family support, minimal contact with others, and limited involvement in community life are associated with increased disease and disability, as well as premature death. Social support networks have been identified as powerful predictors of health behaviors, suggesting that individuals without a strong social network are less likely to participate in healthy lifestyle choices. Those who say they have family and friends they can count on to help them in times of trouble are more likely to be satisfied with their personal health. Collin County and Denton County residents have high levels of social support. Tarrant County scores better than… Full Story

Sexually Transmitted Diseases By County

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that individuals can get from having sex with someone who has the infection. The causes of STDs are bacteria, parasite,s and viruses. There are more than 20 types of STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, HIV/AIDS, HPV, syphilis and trichomoniasis. Most STDs affect both men and women, but in many cases the health problems they cause can be more severe for women. If a pregnant woman has an STD, it can cause serious health problems for the baby. Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not completely eliminate, the risk of catching… Full Story

Full ACA Expansion Would Cut Local Uninsured Rate By Half, Study Finds

Full expansion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Texas would cut the uninsured rate in the four-county Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area by more than half, according to an estimate by two Rice University demographers. A recent U.S. Census Bureau survey found that 23 percent of Texans lacked health insurance in 2011, which represents the nation’s leading uninsured rate. Demographers Steve Murdock and Michael Cline assert that about 3 million out of 5.9 million uninsured Texans would have insurance in 2014 if the state embraced health reform. Locally, that would mean more than 600,000 in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton… Full Story