Contributors

« »

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

Expert Opinion: Four Steps to Reduce Workplace Stress

As a manager or leader, the well-being of your staff should be of utmost importance. Workplace stress is detrimental to the overall health and productivity of employees. In recognition of April being National Stress Awareness Month, the following strategies help foster a reduced-stress environment with engaged employees. Understand the Negative Effects of Stress A 2012 study that monitored about 22,000 women over the course of 10 years showed that work-related stress significantly increased the risk of cardiovascular disease. The long hours associated with high-stress jobs present further health problems, which was shown in another study: “Employees who work long hours… Full Story

Expert Opinion: How to Fix the Cost of Care Dilemma

Like most Americans, I am worried about the rising cost of healthcare, but the terrible news is that the real healthcare cost problem hasn’t even arrived yet. And like many people, I’m tired of our health insurance premiums going up. As a business owner, for the last few years I’ve had to make the tough decision of raising premiums on our employees, increasing deductibles, or having our company absorb the increase. Unfortunately, our company’s health premiums have gone up an average of 17% each of the last four years while maintaining the same benefit plan. A 87% increase in insurance… Full Story

Medical City President Erol Akdamar on How to Make Flu Season Less Deadly

If you feel like you have been hearing more about sepsis recently, you are right. Blame the flu. Sepsis is an overwhelming response to infection that can lead to life-threatening organ failure. It’s a serious healthcare industry concern because each year, sepsis affects more than 26 million people worldwide including 270,000 American deaths, making it more deadly than breast cancer, prostate cancer and AIDS combined. Sepsis is often linked to bacterial infections, but the past two flu seasons it has made headlines as a life-threatening complication from the influenza virus. I follow the trends of sepsis on a daily basis… Full Story

Expert Opinion: How to Address the Physician Shortage in Booming DFW

Almost 500 people move to the Metroplex every day. Census data backs it up, and if you pull the lens back to look at the entire state of Texas, we are growing in a big way – 29 million at last count. It won’t be long before we overtake Chicago as the 3rd largest metropolis in the country. Change is coming with this type of growth. Big D is getting bigger, and older. Projections show that by 2030, Texans over the age of 65 will more than double since the last census in 2010. With age, comes the need for… Full Story

TMA President: “Our Vision for Improving the Health of All Texans”

With the 2019 Texas Legislature now well underway, the time is right to issue a stark reminder: Patient care in Texas is at a critical crossroads. Let us collaborate thoughtfully and purposefully to choose the right path forward and improve the health of all Texans. Among our concerns: Texas still ranks 47th nationally in active primary care physicians per 100,000 population. Not every Texan has timely access to affordable, quality lifesaving services. Not enough of our health care dollars are going to actual health care. Corporations are pressing harder to micromanage patient care decisions in an effort to boost profits.… Full Story

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