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A Commitment to Rural Healthcare

In the mid-1800’s, the western trail took thousands of longhorn cattle through what is now Abilene. Though the city has grown significantly since then, the area is still known as “Big Country” because of its wide-open landscape. But that location, 150 miles west of Dallas-Fort Worth, could have cost Abilene resident Barbara Swisher her life two years ago, when she suffered a massive stroke. Luckily, her hospital had forged a smart long-distance relationship with Medical City Healthcare to anticipate just such a medical crisis. Early in my career I had the good fortune to serve in leadership roles in rural… Full Story

Data and Design: Solving for Health and Retention

By Mary Dickinson and Breeze Glazer Data, especially that which proves positive operational outcomes as a result of design strategies, is a major driver of the health and wellness trend. Health systems have long used data to proactively address patient health while striving to reduce long-term costs. In recent years, “big data,” the use of large data sets analyzed computationally to reveal trends and associations, has prominently entered the discussion. As an example, a New York-based health system is now developing algorithms to predict when an inpatient may develop adverse conditions that require transfer to the ICU. However, an important… Full Story

Nursing Across State Lines: Becoming Stronger

For 17 years, healthcare consumers in Texas have enjoyed increased access to registered nurses, courtesy of an agreement known as the Nurse Licensure Compact, or NLC, a mutual recognition consortium of 25 states. NLC affords eligible nurses who live in Compact States the privilege of practicing in any of these states without having to produce evidence of their qualifications, such as original college transcripts and licensure examination scores. This mutual recognition, or reciprocity, agreement is subject to the laws of each member state, further protecting the interests of the public. With the adoption of the compact 20 years ago and… Full Story

Trump Tackles the ACA Alone

After multiple congressional efforts to repeal/replace/modify the Affordable Care Act failed due to partisan and inter-party disagreements, President Donald Trump recently issued an Executive Order and then announced an end to Cost Sharing Subsidies to force change. The order, titled “Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States,” directed regulatory agencies to focus on three areas, with the goal of facilitating the purchase of insurance across state lines and providing high-quality care at affordable prices. Expand Access to Association Health Plans: The goal is to allow small employers to pool their risk together in an effort to have access… Full Story

The Hospital Trustee’s Role in Advocacy

As community leaders, hospital trustees are a powerful voice for their hospitals or health systems when it comes to advocacy. They can offer legislators “real life” insights and perspectives into the challenges facing patients and community members in the hospital’s service area, as well as how legislation and regulation will affect the women and men who work every day to fulfill their hospital’s promise of help, hope, and healing. Trustees know how hard their hospitals and health systems are working to transform the way health care is delivered in their communities. They have an important role to play in making… Full Story

Modern Medical Marvels That Might Be Just Months Away

New medical innovations are hitting American healthcare just about daily, and several more jaw-dropping technologies might be just a few months away. Here’s a look at a few of them.   Liquid Biopsy-Cancer Screening Every year, 1.6 million cancer cases are diagnosed; tragically, 600,000 will die of the disease. Until now, the standard of diagnosis was a tissue biopsy, which can be costly and painful for the patient. Liquid biopsy uses protein biomarkers in the blood associated with cancer or DNA mutations. It’s quick and easy to administer, and can be performed in just about any clinical setting. In addition… Full Story

Riding Out the Storm: Hospital Planning For a Catastrophe

When disaster strikes, evacuation is not an option for many hospital patients and the people who care for them. As Hurricane Harvey bore down on Texas recently, dedicated health providers sheltered in place at hospital facilities to maintain continuity of care for patients throughout the storm. Designated ride-out and recovery teams remained on site at hospitals for several days before, during, and after the hurricane to ensure critical health care services were not interrupted. The design of a facility can impact a health care organization’s ability to house hospital staff for the duration of an event like Hurricane Harvey. By… Full Story

Long-Term Care: What Dallas Residents Need to Know

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Dallas is among the nation’s fastest-growing cities in the U.S. and, with that growth, Dallas’ senior population is booming. As a result, Dallas is facing increased challenges to provide adequate long-term and post-acute care for patients–especially for seniors. To face these challenges, businesses and the Dallas community must address the changing healthcare needs of seniors, complicated insurance and payment systems, current advances in healthcare technology, legislative developments, and shifts in the consumer and market environment. Payment and insurance While individuals of any age may need long-term care, most people in need of this type… Full Story