PCCI COO Named by Commerce Department to Innovation Board

Aida Somun, the Chief Operations Officers at Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation was named to the Board of Examiners for the 2019 Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award by the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The Baldridge Award is the nation’s highest honor for organizational innovation as well as excellence in overall performance. Somun has 15 years of experience as a business leader focused on profitable growth and saving costs. She consistently contributes to bottom line efficiency, performance, and process improvements and is passionate about strategic decision-making to create the right innovative programs that will improve the … Full Story

Physician Dispensing in Texas Heads to Court

The 86th Texas Legislative Session came to an end without any movement on physicians’ ability to expense a limited number of common prescription drugs, so two Texas doctors are taking their case to the Travis County Civil District Court, where they are claiming the ban on physician dispensing is unconstitutional. Texas is out of step with the rest of the nation when it comes to the rule, as it is just one of five states to ban physicians from dispensing anything but free samples to their patients, though the state does allow doctors to dispense medications if they live more than… Full Story

How Trump’s Transparency Executive Order Will Impact North Texas Healthcare

Last week, President Trump signed an executive order meant to improve price transparency in healthcare. As the market moves toward increased transparency, local healthcare companies are trying to figure out how it will impact their business, and some are very well-positioned to embrace the move toward a purer market. “Opaque pricing structures may benefit powerful special interest groups, such as large hospital systems and insurance companies, but they generally leave patients and taxpayers worse off than would a more transparent system,” the order reads. In January, a federal law went into place forcing hospitals to post their prices, though these… Full Story

CMS Names Vizient and Parkland Nonprofit Top Contractors

Vizient and the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation have been chosen by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as a Prime awardee of the Network of Quality Improvement and Innovation Contractor for their ability to improve healthcare quality. The designation means PCCI and Vizient can bid on CMS Task Orders over the next five years. The two organizations will serve as innovative quality improvement experts and agents for healthcare transformation. They may provide technical assistance in a variety of segments of the industry, obtain commitments from various stakeholders, team up with patients and families about improved outcomes, and assist providers in obtaining… Full Story

Holmes Murphy Announces Two New Dallas Shareholders

Holmes Murphy announced 12 new employee shareholders this week, two of which are in Dallas, continuing as a privately-held independent insurance brokerage. Shareholders lead the company and help determine the direction of initiatives, establishing culture, and recruiting talent. The two new Dallas shareholders are: Claire Pancerz, Compliance Consultant, Employee Benefits Shawn Quildon, AVP – Client Service Director, Employee Benefits Holmes Murphy is an 87-year-old insurance brokerage that serves businesses via property casualty insurance, employee benefits, captive insurance, risk management and loss control.

Adding Transparency and Curbing Costs: Texas Legislature Round-Up

In the most recent legislative session, Texas lawmakers passed three bills addressing surprise medical billing, freestanding emergency room price-gouging, and prescription drug price transparency. The bills are a win in the fight for patient and consumer protection against unforeseen medical billing, an issue that Texas lawmakers have been seeking to put an end to for years. Perhaps the biggest success of the three is the passing of SB 1264, which prohibits heath care providers from sending surprise bills to patients when the patient had no true choice of providers as when a patient seeks care from an in-network hospital but… Full Story

Expert Opinion: Medicare For All vs. Price Transparency

The cost of healthcare dominates today’s political discussion; the public consistently ranks it as the  number one issue they want government to address. So far, the discussion has centered on two polar opposite two avenues of approach: greater government control thorough various flavors of “Medicare for all;” and unleashing the forces of market competition through greater healthcare price and quality transparency. One of these two approaches ultimately is likely to prevail at the expense of the other.  Which one will is presently in doubt, but the resolution may not be long in coming. Medicare for All is a central theme… Full Story

Texas Needs to Prepare for 2021 – Now

I recently read an interesting article by the Kaiser Family Foundation analyzing uninsured adults in states not expanding Medicaid coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA expanded Medicaid coverage to nearly all adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). In examining the Kaiser fact sheet, some interesting points stood out: In the U.S., only 14 states have not expanded Medicaid; If all states expanded Medicaid, 4.4 million uninsured non-elderly adults would be eligible for coverage (1.4 million live in Texas) Of the Texans eligible under Medicaid expansion, 67 percent are… Full Story

How Local Veterans Are Finding Healthcare Careers

The men and women who serve in the United States armed services do more than just fight on a battlefield, and one of the largest of the system’s sectors is healthcare. From Navy Corpsman working alongside Marine Core units deployed in war zones to hospital administration staff running hospitals all over the world, healthcare careers in the armed services are as diverse as they come. But like other soldiers who find it difficult to adjust to civilian life, healthcare experienced veterans often struggle to find careers in the civilian world, even though they often have the skillsets and character traits… Full Story

Two Garland Physicians Suspended by the Texas Medical Board

Garland physicians Dr. Leovares Antonio Mendez and Dr. Cesar B. Pena-Rodriguez have both been temporarily suspended without notice, as the Texas Medical Board has decided their practice threatens public welfare. The U.S. District Court in Dallas issued a temporary restraining order against Mendez and Pena Rodriguez after finding out that they distributed controlled substances through fraudulent prescriptions to law enforcement between May 2017 and March 2018. Between 2014 and 2019, Mendez handed out other false prescriptions for a variety of schedule II, III, IV, and V controlled substances without any medical purpose. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported earlier this month… Full Story