When it Comes to Mortality and Health Insurance Rates, A Racial and Ethnic Divide Remains Prominent in Dallas County

In Dallas County, racial and ethnic disparities remain prominent in areas like maternal mortality and the ability to withstand chronic diseases, even as the disparities among those without health insurance have tightened in recent years. Those are a few takeaways from the Dallas Economic Opportunity Assessment, a new report commissioned by the Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) and conducted by the Austin-based Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP). The groups convened Tuesday morning at CFT to go through the findings at an event featuring comments by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. The day revolved around… Full Story

New CMS Data Shows Dallas County Has the Seventh-most Enrollees for ACA Insurance

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid released final 2017 enrollment numbers relating to Affordable Care Act health insurance Tuesday, and the numbers confirm a report issued in February by an outside group. That report showed us that in Texas, Obamacare sign-ups dipped more than the national average last year. What’s interesting about CMS’ data is that you can download a set that splits it up by county. Doing that, we see that Dallas County has the seventh-highest number of consumers—106,923—who’ve selected a plan via the ACA exchange. About 36,000 of those are new consumers from the fall enrollment period, while… Full Story

Report: CMS’ Star Ratings Favor Specialty Hospitals

Higher accolades in Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ star ratings system tend to go to specialty hospitals rather than major teaching hospitals, according to Modern Healthcare. With the help of a consulting firm, the publication analyzed the most recent data and found that 61 percent of specialty hospitals received five stars—the highest-possible rating. Meanwhile, only 15 of the 172 major teaching hospitals, or about nine percent, received five stars. The star ratings is CMS’ attempt to boil down a lot of data into a format that consumers can digest. It’s based on a formula that takes into account up to… Full Story

A Look at the Medical Issues That Prompt the Most Crowdfunding Efforts in Dallas

Dallas-based crowdfunding campaigns more often target cancer than any other medical-related issue, according to research from the crowdfunding site YouCaring. The site, one of several that allow individuals to set up pages to ask for donations, fed me some Dallas-specific numbers recently. YouCaring gives us a look at how the campaigns break down by category within Dallas: 45% of fundraisers are for cancer and cancerous tumors 28% for surgical interventions 11% neurological disorders 10% mental health 6% cardiovascular diseases 6% organ transplantation 6% gender and gender transition 6% immunology 2% dentistry 2% reproductive system and infertility The top Dallas campaign… Full Story

Texas Hospital Association Recognizes Project in Vickery Meadow

The Texas Hospital Association has awarded its 2017 Excellence in Community Service Award to Texas Health Dallas for its collaboration on a project in Dallas’ refugee-heavy Vickery Meadow neighborhood. The Northwest Community Center is the result of a group effort between Texas health Resources, Texas Health Dallas, Northwest Bible Church, and Healing Hands Ministries. The organizations built a center to provide english classes, pastoral care, job training tutoring, and a primary care clinic operated by Healing Hands. Vickery Meadow is a community of more than 26,000 people speaking more than 40 languages. The staff at Northwest Community Center covers an impressive… Full Story

Despite Turnover, Red Ink, and Other Issues, CEO Says Metrocare Services Has Been ‘Enormously Successful’

Dallas County’s largest provider of mental health services sold its software division at a significant loss, divested properties, and saw at least two high-ranking executives head for the exits during a financially tumultuous stretch over the last year. The financial situation got so bad at Metrocare Services that, for a time, the agency ran out of prescription stock and had to send patients elsewhere, the result of vendor relationships put on pause due to the agency’s inability to pay. The difficulties at Metrocare, a government agency that serves more than 57,000 people at various facilities across the county, stemmed from… Full Story

An Expert Calls Texas “Ground Zero” For the Anti-Vaxxer Movement

The Texas Observer dives into the political influence wielded by anti-vaxxers in a story out today. The piece touches on the recent upswing in measles and mumps here in Texas and its apparent culprit: the skyrocketing number of parents choosing to forego vaccinations for their children. Non-medical exemptions, which the state refers to as “conscientious exemptions,” are up from 2,300 in 2003 to 53,000 in 2017. Among the varying opinions from legislators and others, one physician and vaccination expert calls Texas “ground zero” for the anti-vaccination movement. “We’re getting all the messages that Texas is on the verge of a… Full Story

How A Nurse’s Perceptions Changed When She Became the Patient

In the March issue of D Magazine, Online Editorial Director Matt Goodman—the fella’ who used to run the very site you’re on now—has a good one on nurse Kathleen Shuey. One of five clinical nurse specialists at Baylor University Medical Center, near downtown Dallas, Shuey has spent her professional life researching and fighting cancer. In January of 2015, however, a mammogram and biopsy found that the disease had struck Shuey herself. She had breast cancer. The story dips into Shuey’s career path and all the ways, big and small, that her perception of cancer and cancer treatment changed once she… Full Story

Boston-Based Hospital Operator Moving HQ to Dallas, Report Says

A hospital operator and employer of 37,000 people is moving its corporate executive team to downtown Dallas, real estate sources told the Dallas Business Journal. Steward Health Care System LLC is moving 100 high-rankers to three floors at 1900 Pearl St., a new office building it’ll share with law firm Baker McKenzie. Read the DBJ’s scoop here. Steward hasn’t confirmed the news yet and didn’t answer my attempts to get in touch. The company’s website lists six hospitals in Texas, yet none in Dallas-Fort Worth. The Texas locations are in Port Arthur, Beaumont, Odessa, San Antonio, Houston, and Texarkana. Its… Full Story