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Avoiding Legal Pitfalls in Your Healthcare Practice

What to write, or what not to write, that is the question. Knowing the right answer can help healthcare providers avoid substantial legal pitfalls, as well as the considerable costs associated with defending a medical malpractice lawsuit. Just as proper documentation can help prove that you have met the medical standard of care, the lack of documentation provides a perfect opportunity for a plaintiff’s lawyer to convince a jury otherwise. That is why it is crucial to know what should be documented and how to chronicle your efforts on behalf of patients. Whether you are simply striving for better practice… Full Story

Medicare and Medicaid Funding Must be Addressed

The election results provide direction for many areas in our country—including the future of healthcare. The healthcare plan put into effect during President Obama’s first term will continue, but what does this mean for America? In terms of rolling out the details of the healthcare reform law, it will likely stay on schedule with few changes, because of the Republican majority in the House and a Democratic majority in the Senate. The upcoming fiscal cliff will likely create some concessions in the law’s subsidies. There is no way to keep from falling off the cliff without addressing funding of Medicare… Full Story

The 83rd Texas Legislative Session

The 83rd Texas Legislative Session for Texas convenes at noon on Jan. 8, 2013. We thank our legislators for their public service to the State of Texas and hope for a constructive, collaborative bipartisan session regarding our state issues. Many priorities relating to the budget, public education, transportation, labor and workforce, and the state’s environment will be discussed and reviewed. Healthcare, especially Medicaid, will be front and center, as most components of the Affordable Care Act  will now be implemented in 2013 and 2014 across our state and in North Texas. These healthcare reform initiatives are very important because the healthcare… Full Story

The Smart Consumer: The More They Know, the Healthier We Will All Be

There was a day when consumers had little awareness or control over what healthcare services they used, much less what they spent. However, the Internet and new technology are changing all that. With a few clicks of a mouse or taps on a smartphone, we’ve become accustomed to researching symptoms, evaluating prescriptions, and investigating our own diagnoses. More information has meant consumers have more control over their medical decisions and can demand higher quality and better value, which has led the way for continued improvements to the healthcare system. With rising medical costs continuing in an uncertain economy, it’s more… Full Story

Bad Leaders Don’t Do These Things

A friend of mine just got back from a full day of fishing at Lake Livingstone deep in the heart of Texas. He was hoping to “catch and release” several trophy bass—all would be greater than 5 pounds. When he returned from the trip, we asked him how the trip went. After glancing at the floor, he said, “Well … I didn’t catch any, but I sure influenced a whole lot of them.” As leaders in a very complex industry—and it will only become more complicated—we want a whole lot more than just passive influence. We want to use our… Full Story

Leveraging Technology in a Time of Unprecedented Change

Seasoned executives confirm that we are entering into one of most tumultuous times in the history of healthcare. When Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, declares that, “I have never seen so much change occur in such a short period of time. It is unprecedented and we’d better be ready.” Well, we need to be ready! Not only are we experiencing a virtual explosion of new technology that combines high-speed image processing and technological capacity, we are experiencing breakthroughs in genome research that are beginning to enter our oncology treatment through clinical trails. Yes, indeed, we are entering an… Full Story

FitWorth: An Obesity Impact Plan that Works

When Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price decided she wanted to focus some of her passion for biking and her vision for having young leaders shape the progress and culture in her city, I’m not sure she could imagine the results: nearly 27,000 kids having a greater awareness of their own healthy behaviors, a pilot school cafeteria program serving kale chips and hummus wraps, and big employers like Oncor being involved. Or maybe she did. Government officials around the United States are recognizing the link between high obesity rates and the vitality of a city or region. Leaders in Fort Worth… Full Story

Jumping Off the Cliff: Can We Build Good Wings?

Ray Bradbury once said, “Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down.” Admittedly, he was referring to a sense of adventure and embracing boldness in life. His quote might also describe the financial cliff we’re facing at the beginning of 2013. This cliff includes tax increases due to the expiration of the Tax Relief Act, unemployment insurance reauthorization, the Job Creation Act of 2010, and the spending reductions (sequestrations) under the Budget Control Act of 2011. Now that the presidential election is over, President Obama must work with a lame-duck Congress. The… Full Story

The History and Future of Healthcare

Like many people born in Dallas in the late 1950s, my early experience with healthcare was simpler. We wouldn’t know to call it a healthcare “system” for a couple of decades. I was born in the original St. Paul Hospital (when it was in Oak Lawn, not off Harry Hines). My twin sister and I had a pediatrician, Dr. Ramsay Moore, whom I have come to learn was quite a legend in Dallas. When he died, we got a new physician, whose name made us cringe— Dr. Payne. He was a fine man and caring physician, and we saw him… Full Story

The Prevention Incentive

Without trying too hard, a company’s wellness program can start to sound like a parent negotiating with a child to eat his or her vegetables. Some parents may try the route of cooperation: “Eat your broccoli because it’s good for you.” Others may steer toward consequence: “Eat your broccoli or no TV tonight.” The methods may differ, but the goal is the same. So, too, with wellness programs, in which employers urge employees to adopt good, healthy habits. “Exercise regularly. Manage your weight. Don’t drink to excess. Don’t use tobacco. Get your regular check-ups. And, sure, eat your broccoli, too.”… Full Story