Contributors

« »

Expert: The Risks and Rewards of Medical Tourism

Each year, thousands of Americans travel abroad to seek medical care elsewhere. Their motivations vary, but oftentimes, this is motivated by finances. Certain pharmaceutical agents, as well as surgical procedures, can be less costly overseas. However, this portends risks about which the individual may not necessarily be aware. Some patients seek aesthetic surgery in the Caribbean, Mexico, or Central America because it is cheaper than compared to undergoing the procedure by a qualified, trained plastic surgeon in the U.S. While there are many well-trained surgeons in these nations, it may be hard for the average consumer to appropriately evaluate if… Full Story

Expert: Why Disc Replacement Might Be Right for Your Patient

One of the most innovative technologies in spine surgery within the past 20 years has been the ability to replace a damaged cervical or lumbar disc with an artificial joint instead of a fusion. Because cervical and lumbar disc replacements were considered “novel technologies” by the FDA, multicenter randomized studies were required for approval of each new device before commercialization.  These studies were performed under rigorous governmental oversight. The first lumbar disc replacement studies in the US began in 2000, and cervical disc replacement studies started in 2002. Interested patients had to meet strict inclusion and exclusion criteria before they… Full Story

Expert: Misplaced Blame in the 2020 Healthcare Debate

Health insurance companies are on trial, and the charges are theft, deception, and even murder. Many Americans find the healthcare system’s cost, complexity, and quality to be criminal, but have we apprehended the right suspect? The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was referred to as healthcare reform. In reality, it was health insurance reform. The rates, coverages, and even profitability of health insurance companies are completely regulated as a result of the ACA. The key question voters must answer is whether health insurance companies are to blame for our health system problems. If they are, are they acting alone, or are… Full Story

Expert: Why Redefining the $40 Billion Allergy Treatment Industry is Good Business

Each year, more than 50 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies, and it’s getting worse. Allergy seasons are growing longer and more intense. Environmental changes are lengthening the growing seasons of common allergenic plants. And the costs of doctor’s office visits, missed time from work or school, and over the counter symptom relievers are compounding the problem. The standard of allergy treatment for many years has been referral to outside specialists, which adds time and cost and thereby creates additional barriers for many. We can ease the burden on everyday Americans by providing greater access to ancillary services such as… Full Story

Expert: How Bedside Manner Affects the Bottom Line

In the age of Big Data and electronic health records, it is easy to forget that the heart of the relationship between a patient and a health care provider is based on trust and personal interaction during the course of treatment. Mistakes inevitably happen in the workplace, but the patient’s relationship with the provider before they occur goes a long way in determining how that patient will react to inherently negative situations. For example, positive interactions between patients and healthcare providers can help control risk of complaints and malpractice actions that are detrimental to the provider’s reputation and financial bottom… Full Story

Expert: Women’s Equality in Medical Research

When it comes to Women’s Equality Day, your first thought is probably equal pay or fair treatment in the workplace. While these are incredibly important causes in our fight for equality, we should also consider equality in health care, starting with equal representation in biomedical research. Unfortunately, women, especially those who belong to minority communities, are less likely to be included in clinical trials then men in the United States. This becomes particularly important when you consider scientific assessments that every cell in the body has a sex, meaning the biological difference between men and women breaks down to a… Full Story

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