Contributors

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Expert Opinion: Simplifying Health Plans and Controlling Costs

The year was 2003, and a Fortune 500 company in Austin was looking to be the first employer with over 10,000 covered employees to launch a consumer driven health plan (CDHP). The savings the company realized from the federally mandated high deductibles would be redistributed in the form of Health Savings Account (HSA) dollars, so employees and their dependents could be better stewards of their own money. Coming out of an HMO era with low copays, the promise was that healthcare consumers needed “skin in the game” to impact the rising cost of healthcare.  As famed economist Milton Friedman’s once… Full Story

How to Prepare for Texas’ New Maternal Care Levels

Last November, D CEO Healthcare detailed the steps that Texas has taken to address the state’s maternal mortality rate, which is unacceptably high even after a revision of the mortality data. One of the important initiatives enacted by the legislature and signed by the governor is maternal level-of-care designations (MLOCD). MLOCDs, which were endorsed three years ago by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine, and others, are aimed at standardizing care and improving maternal and infant outcomes. Texas joins a handful of other states, including Indiana, Arizona, and Maryland in adopting maternal… Full Story

Tips for Coping with Grief in the Workplace

When it comes to dealing with grief in the workplace, there are three important perspectives to consider: 1) If you are the one grieving, it’s important to determine conditions that will provide time for healing and support. 2) If you are the colleague, it’s all about understanding boundaries. 3) If you are the employer, it’s important to have a plan and resources in place. Grief can affect anyone at any given time – when a loved one passes unexpectedly or after living with a chronic illness, or when something traumatic occurs, such as the case of a mass shooting, a… Full Story

We May Have Lost Amazon, But Biotech Could Be Dallas’ Next Big Move

While no doubt a disappointment, Amazon’s decision to locate its second headquarters in New York and Virginia doesn’t diminish the economic vitality of North Texas. In fact, Dallas’ strong showing in the company’s high-profile national search bolsters our reputation as an attractive region for business. Now, as we take stock of the Amazon decision and explore new ways to grow the local economy, let’s consider the potential of an untapped community asset: biotechnology. Dallas is well-known for its oil industry, corporate headquarters, and technology startups. But did you know that the science behind some of the best-selling prescription drugs of all… Full Story

Collaboration is Key to Improving Health Insurance Coverage

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the the Medicaid program into law as a part of Title XIX of the Social Security Act Amendments. Today, Medicaid covers one in five low-income Americans, as the majority of enrollees lack access to affordable health insurance. Each state administers the Medicaid program and must comply with federal standards. Amongst the successes and failures of the landmark legislation, misunderstandings persist. States have flexibility in determining covered populations, covered services, delivery models and reimbursement. They are also guaranteed federal matching dollars for services to beneficiaries, so the Medicaid program is financed jointly by federal… Full Story

A Call For Action To The Texas Legislature

Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” Regarding the reduction of our uninsured and underinsured population, it’s time for Texas to strive for success. The latest Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index showed the uninsured rate in 2017 rose by significant margins in 17 states, with Texas having the highest rate for the 10th straight year at 22.1 percent. The increases signal a frustrating reversal in the trend previously fostered by health insurance markets. Admittedly, the uninsured rate is still below the high-water mark of 27 percent in 2013, but the numbers… Full Story

How Facility Design Is Keeping Pace With DFW’s Shifting Healthcare Landscape

Today’s healthcare providers must contend with the nuances of health reform while managing age-old concerns of patient care. Several DFW healthcare projects demonstrate how facility design can help healthcare organizations strike the balance of delivering care both efficiently and well. New reimbursement and delivery models, such as accountable care organizations, health insurance exchanges, Medicaid expansion, the patient-centered medical home, and integrated delivery are all part of the latest healthcare paradigm. Empathetic facility designs address these issues along with patient and staff safety, the cost of care, facility adaptability, and speed to market. The acute care hospital and multispecialty clinic being… Full Story

Don’t Let Fear Of Concussions Keep Kids Out Of Sports

Headline-grabbing media coverage about the serious effects of concussions on professional football players has made some parents hesitant to let their kids play football or other sports. Nationwide, the number of teenagers playing high school football has declined about 5 percent since 2008, according to a study published this year in JAMA Pediatrics. And even in Texas, home to Friday Night Lights, we have seen a falloff in participation. As both a researcher who studies brain injuries and as a parent, I believe these fears have become somewhat overblown. While every head injury must be taken seriously, most concussions result… Full Story

Bracing for Impact: Resilient Hospital Design

During a crisis, hospitals are a place of refuge. When confronted with an extreme event, whether anticipated or unexpected, hospital administrators are challenged to maintain seamless operation of facilities and staff while serving as a “command center” for the community. An increased frequency of extreme events, coupled with rising public awareness, has created a new demand for resilient strategies in the healthcare environment. Before considering resilient design strategies, we must first consider the two types of potential impact: acute shocks and chronic stressors. Acute shocks are quick impacts from extreme social, environmental, and economic events spanning everything from civil unrest… Full Story

A Disturbing Rise Of Uninsured Rates In Texas

Many improvements in the healthcare uninsured rates of U.S. citizens are beginning to erode, according to a Commonwealth Fund ACA Tracking Survey released this summer. Recent actions by Congress, the administration, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have further reduced healthcare coverage. We have stated these unacceptable numbers before, but they should be stated again. Approximately 4.5 million people in Texas have no health insurance, including 700,000 children, with our state continuing to lead the nation in both percentages and numbers. Our state is indeed “No. 1” in many surveys, but this ranking is unfortunate for all… Full Story