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Meet the Dean of UNT’s New College of Pharmacy

Over the last few months I have received a number of questions related to the new University of North Texas System College of Pharmacy. I was able to deflect a few questions but realized it was time I got up to speed on this initiative. I had the chance to visit with Myron K. Jacobson, Ph.D., dean of the College of Pharmacy and a Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences. I have to admit that I half expected the program to be designed for training up those pharmacists at Kroger or Tom Thumb. Although that, of course, is true, I quickly learned… Full Story

Down With OPM: Why Fixing Healthcare is so Hard

A few weeks ago, my family and I had dinner at a friend’s house in Irving. It was one of those refreshingly cool early September Saturday nights, so we lingered after dinner on the back deck, well past sunset. Jim is a dentist and I’m a healthcare lawyer, so it’s not surprising that our post-prandial conversation turned to the troubles of the American healthcare system. That gave me the opportunity to tell my favorite parable about the healthcare system—which is actually a story about working at McDonald’s. When I was a teenager, a McDonald’s restaurant was built in my home… Full Story

Looking beyond November

Signed into law by U.S. President Barack Obama in 2011, the Budget Control Act created a potential 2013 sequestration, a procedure where automatic spending cuts are triggered within the government. The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction had to find these cuts by November, 2011 to prevent this sequestration from happening on Jan. 2, 2013. Due to rigid bipartisan politics, the committee failed to reach a workable solution. Mandated by the Budget Control Act, the automatic sequestration is now upon us, representing a massive $1.2 trillion in spending cuts evenly divided between defense and non-defense spending. Cuts to Medicare providers… Full Story

Five Strategies to Build a Better AMC

Academic Medical Centers are big, expensive and complicated—in a world that is moving toward faster, cheaper, and better. All three of those factors could work against AMCs under new payment models soon to go into effect, according to a recent PwC Health Research Institute study. The study found that up to 10 percent of future AMC revenue could be at risk due to reimbursement changes, including those that favor quality over the quantity of care delivered. That the payment system is moving from volume to value is hardly a secret. Yet a recent study revealed that only 5 percent of… Full Story

Changing the Model

The healthcare landscape is undergoing tremendous changes. We don’t know the outcome of the elections this fall, but we do know that healthcare reform will continue to be a critical issue because the system as it has existed for decades is not sustainable for the long term. No matter what happens in the nation’s capital, the most effective reforms will happen through cooperation at the local level, not because of directives from Washington, D.C., or Austin. Effective change will happen only through close collaboration among physicians, health systems, employers, community leaders, and payers. Here are some eye-opening statistics. Companies in… Full Story

Bracing for the Next Storm

Lessons learned in a crisis should not go to waste. In fact, the source of the next round of code and safety measure upgrades often comes from the previous round of disasters. Disasters during the early 1900’s in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York were the basis for the nation’s first earthquake, fire, and high-rise construction codes. In light of recent weather events, the topic of “storm hardening” critical facilities has been a topic of interest among our Healthcare Group. Storm hardening, or building-in protection against high-weather damage, has become an increasing priority for many of our healthcare and critical… Full Story

The Healthy Benefits of Texas Medical Liability Reform

NOTE: This article is written in response to D Healthcare Daily’s article: Studies: Texas Tort Reform Has Had No Effect on Physician Supply, Lowering Costs It’s clockwork. Nine years ago this week, Texas voters approved our desperately needed medical liability reforms. Just like every other year at this time, the trial lawyers’ propaganda machine is once again trying to convince Texans to ignore the improvements they’re seeing all around them. I’m pleased to report on some new research that soundly contradicts the naysayers’ rhetoric. In 2003, the Texas Legislature passed sweeping liability reforms to combat healthcare lawsuit abuse, reverse physicians’… Full Story

Strategies for Leadership Development

The purpose of leadership is to create more leaders not more followers. Any leader, amidst all his or her responsibilities, should ensure their organization has a robust leadership development program that strengthens existing and emerging talent to assume roles of greater responsibility. As a former military officer, especially in combat, there was an ever-looming reality that I could be injured or killed in the next enemy engagement and the next ranking soldier had to be prepared to assume command. If I really cared about my unit and the soldiers in it, then it was imperative that I prepared them to… Full Story

How ACA Will Change the Business of Real Estate

The recent Supreme Court ruling affirming the Affordable Care Act placed an emphatic exclamation point on what many already know: healthcare is changing in profound and fundamental ways. Less-known, but no less relevant for real estate executive focused on healthcare, is that important changes are also impacting healthcare real estate. This inaugural contribution to D Healthcare Daily addresses these trends. The first key theme is expansion. Under the ACA, many millions of previously under-served patients will now enter the healthcare market. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) projects that national health expenditures will rise to $3.5 trillion in… Full Story

Texas EDs: On the Front Lines of Accountable Care

After more than two decades working in healthcare, I know my way around a hospital, and I’m well versed in our industry’s issues and needs. However, when an accident recently landed me in the emergency room with a fractured wrist, the experience opened my eyes in a very personal way to the challenges in our healthcare system. Don’t get me wrong. I received top-notch care in the emergency department. But after the hospital discharged me with a cast on my wrist, I received no real guidance or help in connecting with a provider for the next steps of my care… Full Story