Morning Rounds (10.18.12)

Inc. 5000 has released its 2012 list of the nation’s fastest growing private companies, with 11 North Texas healthcare companies making the list.

Plano-based MediGain has acquired MedBE, a Louisiana  company that handles revenue cycle management.

Most American consumers blame insurers and prescription companies for the rise in healthcare costs instead of their doctors.

The Dallas Regional Chamber’s 4th Annual Healthcare Conference took place yesterday. Click for a brief Q&A taken from the pannel discussion. Full Story

Morning Rounds (10.15.12)

Cyprian Akamnonu, of an Arlington-area health services company, has admitted to Medicare fraud of $374 million in unnecessary services that were never performed.

Healthcare prices in August were 2.4 percent higher than the previous year, the highest year-over-year reading since September 2010.

A Central Texas woman has been confirmed to have the first case of meningitis linked to tainted steroids.

Irving-based VHA Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Lillee Gelinas has been named to The National Patient Safety Foundation board of directors. Full Story

Boutique Private Equity Firm HealthCap Thrives on Niche Players, Sector’s Uncertainty

In May, Dallas-based HealthCap, a boutique private equity firm specializing in healthcare, merged with The Cirrus Group, also based in Dallas, and one of the nation’s biggest medical building developers. In June, HealthCap provided the funding to create Atlanta-based Restora Healthcare Holdings to purchase Trillium Specialty Hospitals of Phoenix, Ariz., as a foundation to become a major player in long-term acute care hospitals (LTAC). The deal involved buying Trillium’s real estate. According to HealthCap’s managing partner Jason Dodd, those two deals were absolutely  linked. “We were able to solve a total transaction because of Cirrus. Neither (HealthCap nor Cirrus) would have been… Full Story

S&P Drops Tenet Ranking From BB- to B+

Tenet Healthcare’s secured debt rating has been changed from ‘BB—’ to ‘B+ by Standard & Poor’s Rating Services. The corporation plans to dispatch $500 million senior secured notes due 2020 and $300 million of unsecured notes due 2020 to settle outstanding debt and handle other issues, according to Reuters. S&P’s rating of Tenet reflects the belief that the company will maintain a rigorous and solid financial liability profile; however, Tenet does not maintain S&P’s preffered level of stability concerning financial liability. Still optimistic, S&P says the rating “reflects our expectation that the hospital company’s revenues in 2012 will increase by about… Full Story

Urgent Care for Kids Plans Expansion After Capital Boost from Healthcap

Urgent Care for Kids, which has clinics in Colleyville and Keller, plans to open five to seven new locations in Texas during the next 24 months. The expansion is made possible by a boost from Healthcap, a private equity firm that has increased its investment in Urgent Care by 160 percent. To provide additional support, Healthcap Managing Partner Jason K. Dodd will take a seat on the Urgent Care for Kids’ board of directors. “We are very excited to expand our relationship with HealthCap as their increased investment and expertise in growing healthcare businesses will give us the resources needed… Full Story

Three out of Four Healthcare Organizations Say They’re Considering a M&A Deal

Three out of four healthcare organizations surveyed last year said they were considering a merger or acquisition deal, according to a report from CompHealth. Among the findings: • 51% of healthcare organizations say the cost of care will get better as a result of current M&A activity. • 14% are exploring M&A deals worth $100 million or more in the next 12-18 months. • 49% say the quality of care will get better as a result of the current M&A activity.

Morning Rounds (09.19.12)

Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare has released its  2011 corporate sustainability report, recognized by Global Report Initiative as meeting GRI’s Application Level C Guidelines. Click for a recap of the report.

Texas currently ranks tenth in obesity, but if the state can slim down by 5 percent it could reduce healthcare costs by more than $19 billion in 10 years.

For-profit systems in the second quarter of the year reported weak patient volume and the challenging operating environment is expected to persist, according to a report from Fitch Ratings.

American Medical News reports EHR systems may make it easy for employees to pull numerous records, but audit functions make them easier to catch in the event of foul play. Full Story

For-profit 2Q Revenue Up, Despite Admissions Dip

For-profit systems reported weak patient volume for the second quarter of the year, and the challenging operating environment is expected to persist, according to a report from Fitch Ratings. Modern Healthcare reports that investor-owned chains experienced a 2.7 percent decline in admissions. It also notes that high unemployment rates, growing numbers of uninsured patients, and federal and state reimbursement pressures will continue to challenge hospital profitability. At for-profit hospitals, same-facility net revenue increased 3.7 percent; Fitch does not expect to downgrade any ratings in the second half of the year.

National Health Spending up 4.2 Percent

The Altarum Institute’s September Health Sector Economic Indicators briefs show an increase in national health spending by 4.2 percent in July 2012 in comparison to one year ago.  Though the numbers are up, they still follow the overall slow trend of health spending. The average rate of growth for 2012 of 4.3 percent, a stark contrast from last year’s estimated 5.2 percent. On a yearly average, healthcare prices are at their lowest since January 1999. The Health Sector Economic Indicators briefs, published monthly, offer in-depth briefings on health sector employment (which are also on the decline), spending, and prices and… Full Story