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

Three THR Hospitals Given Joint Commission Recognition for 2011

Texas Health Resources hospitals in Allen, Azle and Hurst-Euless-Bedford have been recognized as “Top Performers on Key Quality Measures” for 2011 by the country’s top accrediting agency for hospitals. Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford was recognized by The Joint Commission in more measures than any other U.S. hospital. The hospital was recognized for high-quality care of six conditions: heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, hospital inpatient psychiatric treatment and stroke. Texas Health Allen was recognized for pneumonia and surgical care, and Texas Health Azle was recognized for heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care. To be considered “Top Performers,”… Full Story

Jeff Reecer Named President of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen

Jeff Reecer has been named president of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen. He previously was vice president of operations at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton, where he worked for 11 years. Steve Hanson, executive vice president and North Zone operations leader for Texas Health Resources, said, “Jeff hit the ground running by developing relationships with key physicians when he became interim president at Texas Health Allen this summer.” The Allen hospital is a 73-bed full service facility. Services include surgery, emergency room, women’s, a Level II neonatal intensive care unit, orthopedics, pediatrics, diagnostic imaging, rehabilitation, and wound care. Reecer’s experience… Full Story

Ozone Days By County

Air pollution is a deeply underappreciated risk to health. More than half of the U.S. population lives in areas where either the ozone or particle pollution—or both—is often dangerous to breathe. Ozone is the primary ingredient of smog. Unlike the beneficial ozone layer in the upper atmosphere that shields the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, ground-level ozone attacks lung tissue by reacting chemically with it. Ozone is formed when nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) come in contact with heat and sunlight. NOx are emitted by power plans, motor vehicles and other sources of high-heat combustion. VOCs sources include motor… Full Story

MinuteClinic Grows Its DFW Footprint with Plano, Frisco Expansions

MinuteClinic, the in-store retail health clinic inside CVS pharmacies, is expanding its North Texas presence with newly opened clinics in Plano and Frisco. The company plans to add 100 new clinics a year, with the goal of having 1,000 locations by 2016. It now has 23 Dallas-Fort Worth outlets and plans to add another in Arlington this fall. Executives declined to disclose how many it ultimately plans to have locally. MinuteClinic considers DFW one of its prime markets. It entered San Antonio earlier this year. MinuteClinics are staffed by nurse practitioners who treat common family illnesses and administer wellness and… Full Story

Premature Death Rate by County

An important health measure is premature death, or years of potential life lost. The standard age for this measure in the developed world is 75 years, meaning most people would live to be that age if not for extenuating circumstances. There is considerable debate about the causes of premature death. Some blame shortcomings in the U.S. health-care system. Others point to destructive health behaviors. Still others cite the effects of poverty. Nearly one-quarter of American women and one-third of American men die before age 75 of causes that potentially could have been prevented by timely and effective health care, according… Full Story

Village Health Partners Opens Second Plano Location

Village Health Partners has opened a second location in Plano. The new site, at 5501 Independence Pkwy., will serve patients in Plano and throughout Collin County. The new facility will be staffed by physicians Gregory Lensing, Todd Wein, Keith Eppich, and Rima Khoury, along with physician assistants and other staff.  

Morning Rounds (08.30.12)

Three North Texas contenders—AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas Mayor’s Youth Fitness Initiative, and West Dallas Community Centers Inc.—are in the running to win $30,000 as part of an Aetna program that rewards groups for closing racial and ethnic gaps in helping people live healthier lives.

A local infectious disease doctor must pay a former patient $5.2 million for negligence. The patient in the case, David Fitzgerald, filed a complaint in 2005 after an ulcer treatment went tragically awry.

To combat the rising number of West Nile infections, aerial spraying continues. Tarrant County will be sprayed tonight and tomorrow night.

Village Health Partners is expanding. The practice has opened a second location in Plano, at 5501 Independence Pkwy. Full Story

Poor or Fair Health by County

The federal government tracks an index called health-related quality of life (HRQOL-4), also known as the Healthy Days Measures. The index is designed to be a measurable summary of a subjective self-evaluation of health, which can be a complex and difficult concept to define. One of the questions is: The questions is: “Would you say that in general your health is excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor?” Health-related quality of life captures a general sense of well-being comfort with life, and reflects the confidence in being to perform physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. It has been suggested that the… Full Story

Baylor First to Update Atrial Fibrillation Therapy Treatment

The Heart Hospital at Baylor Plano is the first in the world to merge multi-electrode mapping (MEM) software with the Epoch platform, for atrial fibrillation therapy. Merging these two technologies means higher levels of efficiencies than before in mapping and correcting the patient’s cardiac arrhythmias. J. Brian DeVille, MD, FACC, FHRS, medical director of Electrophysiology and an electrophysiologist on the medical staff of The Heart Hospital, said this first-in-the-world procedure is an important step to further advancing patient care in the arena of cardiac electrophysiology. “The integration of these two technologies confirms The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano’s commitment to excellence… Full Story