Morning Rounds (08.07.12)

UT Southwestern investigators awarded $48.2 million in latest round of CPRIT grants. Baylor University Medical Center’s dermatology program gets $450,000 boost from Fort Worth-based Galderma Laboratories. Children’s Medical Center to commemorate its latest My Children’s clinic opening Lake Highlands this morning. U.S. News & World Report: Feds humming along on national health insurance exchange programs; on track for Fall 2013 startup. Becker’s Clinical Quality and Infection Control lists three top ways to reduce hospital heart attack readmission rates.

Morning Rounds (08.06.12)

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the national physician shortage will reach about 62,900 physicians in 2015. The free contraception for women provision of Accountable Care Act is now in effect. Twenty apps engineered specifically for nurses. The CMS has proposed new exemptions for doctors regarding e-prescriptions.

Morning Rounds (08.03.12)

Medicare payments to acute-care hospitals expected to increase by 2.3 percent in FY 2013. Three tips for avoiding potential hospital M&A land mines. See photos of Texas Health Southwest’s spruced-up ER waiting area and triage rooms. More hospitals are deciding to participate in ACO programs; several pioneers, including Baylor, share their experiences. One view on how Latinos in Texas will be affected by Rick Perry’s Medicaid decision.  

Texas Law Aimed at Curbing Physician Shortages May Make Them Worse, Experts Say

A law designed to address the physician shortage in Texas may have the unintended consequence of making it worse. Texas and New York have passed legislation limiting where international medical graduates (IMGs) can practice. Beginning Sept. 1, the Texas State Medical Board will require non-citizen and non-permanent resident physicians who apply for a Texas license to agree to practice in a medical underserved area or health professional shortage area (HPSA) for three years. Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) sponsored the law. About one out of four Texas physicians are international medical graduates. They have played an increasingly important role in… Full Story

Morning Rounds (07.27.12)

Texas Woman’s University of Dallas receives $452,500 grant from the National Institutes of Health. Medical City Children’s Hospital sees a baby boom in June, with births setting a 12-year record. Healthcare.gov launches tool to help consumers determine if their insurer is providing value for premiums under new 80/20 rule. The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation is examining the “gray market” impact on drug shortages. The Advisory Board Co. releases fun infographic comparing Olympic athletes to average Americans. Plus: Who’s healthiest in a hospital—nurses, physicians, or patients?

Nine Texas Vascular Associates Doctors Sued for Alleged Medicare, Insurance Fraud

A former employee of Dallas’ Texas Vascular Associates is suing the practice and its nine doctors. Cortez Mills, a former medical coding professional at TVA, alleges that she was fired in May after discovering fraudulent billing practices. According to the complaint, Mills discovered the irregularities while reviewing and releasing patient bills to Medicare and private insurers for payment. They include double-billing insurance carriers, coding insurance claims so certain services would not be bundled, and billing for services that were never performed. TVA is based in the Baylor Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital on the Baylor Dallas campus near downtown Dallas. Baylor, however, is not… Full Story

Legislation Could Stave Off Medicare Cuts for Doctors

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) has introduced legislation to provide a one-year extension for Medicare physician payment rates to ensure continued access for Medicare beneficiaries and TRICARE recipients. The legislation, called H.R. 6142, The Assuring Medicare Stability and Access for Seniors Act of 2012, is the latest in a set of attempts from Congress to stave off a nearly 30 percent pay cut for doctors accepting Medicare. “Despite Congress’ continual enactment of last-minute legislation to prevent these cuts from going into effect over the last few years, 11th-hour legislative maneuvers should no longer take the place of a stable and secure… Full Story

Morning Rounds (07.23.12)

Texas’ new privacy law is more stringent than HIPAA, says the Texas Medical Association. UT Southwestern releases new strategies for treating Type 2 diabetes. Claimsnet.com Inc., a Dallas-based claims processor for the healthcare industry, reported its 2nd quarter results. SP Express will operate Mannatech’s Dallas based distribution center. State’s HHS Commissioner Tom Suehs explains why he thinks the Medicaid expansion won’t work for Texas.  

Patience and Strategy Needed for Healthcare Reform

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Texas will need patience and strategy with two important decisions regarding Medicaid expansion and the implementation of the State Health Insurance Exchange. Texas Governor Rick Perry recently announced Texas would not expand Medicaid coverage or implement a state health insurance exchange. Texas leads the nation with an overall 27 percent uninsured population. Those numbers climb to 30 percent in North Texas. Within our state, 1.2 million children have no medical insurance and 40 percent of Texas women do not receive appropriate prenatal… Full Story

SDCMC Physician Assistant Pleads Guilty to Healthcare Fraud

Cal Graves, who worked as a physician assistant at South Dallas Community Medical Center, pleaded guilty earlier this week to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and restitution. Graves and physician Daniel Leong, who owned SDCMC, were charged in September 2011 with seven counts of healthcare fraud and conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud for their roles in a Medicare and Medicaid scheme involving prescription drugs and diagnostic testing. The offenses took place at a SDCMC clinic on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Dallas. According to Federal Bureau of… Full Story