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Expert: How Entrepreneurs Can Own a Medical Practice

The wellness sector has been booming, and that has made various healthcare players interested in performing procedures and even owning clinics. However, these would-be entrepreneurs should proceed with caution, because they could cross the line into prohibited—and illegal—activity. Here in Texas, and in many states around the country, the “corporate practice of medicine” law prohibits corporations, entities, or non-physicians from owning medical practices. Its aim is to protect the general public from business owners more interested in maximizing their incomes than in providing patients with high-quality healthcare. But non-physicians interested in owning a health-related business often struggle to identify what… Full Story

CEO Perspective: How Self-Insurance Slashed Our Healthcare Spending

By self-insuring our healthcare benefits, our small company is able to save 20 to 30 percent annually on healthcare costs. Our firm consists of 63 employees, most of whom rely on us for their healthcare insurance. Outside of payroll expense, healthcare insurance was our second largest expense as a company. From 2014 to 2018, our health insurance premiums increased 67 percent (or 17 percent on average per year).  The cost of our single employee’s PPO election increased from $380 to $805 per month and our High Deductible Plan increased from $409 to $627 per month.  The only reason the high… Full Story

Expert: The Impact of Texas’ $745 Million Investment in Mental Health

Texas state lawmakers just wrapped up the 86th legislative session, and as a part of their work, they approved $745 million for the construction of mental health facilities specifically designed to improve the lives of Texans receiving treatment. That’s an investment our country desperately needs. In the United States, nearly one in five adults live with mental illness, and almost one in 20 experience severe mental illness. It is clear mental health is an issue that should get our collective attention. However, Texas ranked third to last in the nation in mental health care spending per capita in 2013 —… Full Story

Expert Opinion: W-2 Employee vs. 1099 for On Demand Nursing

The on-demand economy is disrupting nearly every industry, and nursing is no different. Technology is allowing workers with a variety of skillsets to connect with businesses and individuals who have unmet demand for their services. Connecting facilities directly to healthcare professionals without an agency middleman means nurses make more money, healthcare facilities pay less, and patients receive higher quality of care. But creating an uber for nursing or any other industry has its drawbacks. For an industry as complex and important as nursing, two priorities have emerged. First, nurses needed to be in control of their schedules, and the technology… Full Story

Hispanics Need Wellness Education With a Twist

I am the third generation of my family to be diagnosed with cancer: my grandmother, mother, father, and even my stepmom all passed away because of it. Six years ago, I got the news of my Stage 3A Breast Cancer. Having health insurance, family support and higher education, and being bilingual, were not enough to protect me from cancer.  Cancer is the leading cause of death among Latinos in this country: according to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 3 Latino women living in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer. Today there are 59.8 million Latinos in the U.S.;… Full Story

Expert Opinion: Medicare For All vs. Price Transparency

The cost of healthcare dominates today’s political discussion; the public consistently ranks it as the  number one issue they want government to address. So far, the discussion has centered on two polar opposite two avenues of approach: greater government control thorough various flavors of “Medicare for all;” and unleashing the forces of market competition through greater healthcare price and quality transparency. One of these two approaches ultimately is likely to prevail at the expense of the other.  Which one will is presently in doubt, but the resolution may not be long in coming. Medicare for All is a central theme… Full Story

Texas Needs to Prepare for 2021 – Now

I recently read an interesting article by the Kaiser Family Foundation analyzing uninsured adults in states not expanding Medicaid coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA expanded Medicaid coverage to nearly all adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). In examining the Kaiser fact sheet, some interesting points stood out: In the U.S., only 14 states have not expanded Medicaid; If all states expanded Medicaid, 4.4 million uninsured non-elderly adults would be eligible for coverage (1.4 million live in Texas) Of the Texans eligible under Medicaid expansion, 67 percent are… Full Story

How PTSD Changed the Way I Care For Pregnant Women

Appointments with my doctor make me nervous. That’s highly ironic because I’m a doctor, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist who regularly deals with high-risk pregnancies. But ever since developing preeclampsia during my first pregnancy eight years ago, the thought of having my blood pressure taken triggers flashbacks and anxiety. The silver lining is that my experience has changed the way that I care for patients. I was diagnosed with preeclampsia at 32 weeks after my blood pressure rose and I experienced headaches and blurred vision. The condition, which affects upwards of 10 percent of pregnant women, can lead to seizures or… Full Story

The Future of Senior Care in North Texas

There is a boom coming – seniors in need of living quarters that fit their needs. The senior population in the US is approximately 47 million people, but by 2060, the Population Reference Bureau predicts this number will be more than 100 million. The Baby Boomer generation hails as the largest living adult generation, projected to surpass the number of children by the year 2030 for the very first time in U.S. history. With such an unprecedented number of seniors, we are seeing a rising need for facilities that can accommodate those who want help for convenience or find it… Full Story

Does Price Transparency Help You Shop Around?

As of January 1, 2019, all hospitals in Texas have to publish what they charge for all tests, imaging, surgeries, or other procedures. Though many welcome the move toward price transparency, the lists of charges can be difficult to interpret, and, when insurance is factored in, the out-of-pocket costs might look nothing like the posted charge. We spoke with Paul Hain, chief medical officer and divisional senior vice president of market delivery at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, about the impact of the new law.  Comparison shopping is key, right? Price transparency is important because it allows people to understand… Full Story