Dallas Entreprenuer Risks It All on Promising Device for Diabetics

On Monday, Scott Smith quit his day job. Smith’s Socrates Health Solutions is one of 12 startups in the first class selected last month by seed accelerator Health Wildcatters. But until this week, Smith was working nights and weekends to nurture the birth of a non-invasive self-monitoring blood glucose device, while punching in every day for a Boston-based, post-acute care software firm. At 47, Smith is a serial entrepreneur, participating in five previous startups. Two were sold, one became a public company, and two failed. For the past year, the divorced father of three has leveraged his life savings for… Full Story

Prime Therapeutics Expands in Irving

Prime Therapeutics, a pharmacy benefit manager, is adding 200 customer service positions at its contact center in Irving. The new employees will support the company’s member growth in the Medicare, pharmacy home delivery and health care exchange businesses. “Irving has been, and continues to be, an excellent market for the skill set we need to deliver a superior experience for our members,” Glen Laschober, Prime’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. “In return, the creation of 200 more professional jobs in Irving helps the local economy, making this a win-win for everyone.” Customer service representatives will handle incoming calls from… Full Story

FDA Alert Targets Dallas-based NuVision Pharmacy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an alert to healthcare providers not to use sterile products made and distributed by Dallas-based compounding pharmacy NuVision Pharmacy because of concerns about a lack of sterility. The FDA issued the alert after a recent inspection of the NuVision Dallas facility, where FDA investigators observed what they considered poor sterile production practices. In April, NuVision recalled methylcobalamin and lyophilized injection products due to a lack of sterility assurance and concerns associated with the quality control processes identified a previous FDA inspection.

Irving Proton Therapy Facility Dedication Next Week

Texas Center for Proton Therapy plans a dedication ceremony Wednesday for its $105 million proton therapy facility in Irving. The construction of the facility will begin after that ceremony and is expected to be complete by June 2014. Company officials plan to begin treating patients by early 2016. The center,  located at 1501 W. Royal Lane, is expected to employ about 50 people. The project is spearheaded by Dallas-based Texas Oncology, and supported by McKesson Specialty Health; and Baylor Health Enterprises, an affiliate of Baylor Health Care System, Gary Barlow was hired as the facility’s director in January. Barlow previously… Full Story

Morning Rounds (03.13.13)

Dallas-based Surgical Notes has launched a new networking site called Surgery Center Network that connects Ambulatory Service Centers to healthcare consumers.

Nearly 1 out of 3 physicians with electronic health records either plan to switch vendors in 2013 or would like to do so.

The law firm of Polsinelli Shugart will shorten its name to Polsinelli PC in late April

The CDC uses social media sites to track levels of illness based on use of the company’s search engine to look at flu-related topics.

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Polsinelli Shugart to Change Name in April

The law firm of Polsinelli Shugart will shorten its name to Polsinelli PC in late April, according to its chairman W. Russell Welsh. The law firm, which has an office serving the healthcare industry in Dallas, has 630 attorneys in 16 offices nationwide. The law firm merged with Shughart Thomson & Kilroy in February 2009. Since that merger, 150 additional attorney have joined the firm.

Compass Buys ACAP Clinical Care Initiative

ACAP Health Consulting has sold its Clinical Care Engineering (CCE) product to Compass Professional Health Services. The sale, effective Jan. 1, will create Compass Care Engineering, which will be headed by David Toomey, former principal of ACAP Health. Both ACAP and Compass are based in Dallas. CCE initially was developed in late 2011 as part of ACAP Health’s “accountable care” initiative.  It aims to establish and communicate clinical care and service standards directly to physicians and hospitals. The goal is to close the communication gap between employers and health care providers. “As CCE developed under ACAP Health, it became clear… Full Story

Parkland: 97 Percent of Improvement Plan on Schedule

Parkland Health & Hospital System officials say they plan to tell the Board of Managers at a Jan. 22 meeting that the hospital is on schedule to meet 97 percent of the action items on its Corrective Action Plan (CAP). Because of the progress, management said it plans to shift its focus to improving staff communication on the CAP changes and ensuring proper implementation. Ron Laxton, Parkland’s chief implementation officer and interim chief operations officer, said in a statement, “We are now entering the most challenging and the most crucial phase of our corrective action plan. Parkland has always anticipated… 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.