Medicare Offers Tips for Hospitals on Reducing Readmissions

Two-thirds of hospitals will soon suffer penalties for above-average readmissions, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). Beginning Oct. 1, a penalty of up to 1 percent for readmissions related to acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and pneumonia will be set to impact hospitals in 2013, with the percentage increasing to up to 3 percent into 2015. MedPAC has released extensive information to help hospitals reduce readmissions, including these tips: • Identify at-risk populations. • Improve communication with providers outside of the hospital. • Educate the patient on taking charge of his or her care. • Schedule follow-up appointments… Full Story

Expansion of Forney Medical Plaza Under Way

PM Realty has broken ground on phase II of  Forney Medical Plaza along East Hwy. 80 at F.M. 548 and Broad Street. The expansion includes 5,000 square feet of medical office space and a 13,248-square-foot emergency room. The project is slated for completion early next year, at which time Lake Pointe Health Network will take over operations. WB Kibler is serving as the general contractor and GSR Andrade is the project’s architect. “Growing population trends in urban and suburban communities, where patients are seeking convenient care closer to home, without the difficulties and time required to go to a traditional hospital emergency room,… Full Story

USMD Holdings Formed by Merger of Four DFW Groups

USMD Inc., Urology Associates of North Texas LLP, Medical Clinic of North Texas PA, and IMPEL Management Services LLC have completed their business combination, resulting in the formation of Irving-based USMD Holdings Inc. Although the companies will continue to operate under their existing brands, the merger means patients now have access to more than 240 physicians and associate practitioners in 18 different specialties operating in 64 facilities across North Texas. In addition to operating two local hospitals with more than 400 physicians, USMD Holdings manages cancer treatment centers and kidney stone treatment facilities in 10 other states. “This is a… Full Story

Morning Rounds (09.11.12)

Four of the 10 med-tech startups selected to present at NTEC’s MedVentures 2012 are from North Texas. Last year, presenting firms went on to raise a total of about $14 million.

Dallas-based hospital operator Tenet Healthcare Corp. has promoted Daniel Cancelmi to chief financial officer. The former senior vice president replaces Biggs Porter, who left Tenet in late March to join Irving-based global engineering firm Fluor Corp.

Irving-based CHRISTUS Health has launched a free mobile app to provide 24/7 healthcare information, offering everything from first-aid tips to a symptom navigator.

The American Heart Association reports that nearly 5 percent of pregnant women are prescribed drugs to treat high blood pressure, including some that aren’t considered safe for mothers or their babies. Full Story

Tenet Healthcare Names New CFO

Dallas-based hospital operator Tenet Healthcare Corp. has promoted Daniel Cancelmi to chief financial officer. The former senior vice president and principal accounting officer replaces Biggs Porter, who left Tenet in late March to join Irving-based global engineering firm Fluor Corp. “Dan Cancelmi has succeeded in every assignment he has led for Tenet,” said Trevor Fetter, president and CEO, in a statement. “His knowledge of our business, proven ability to partner with our operators, and his commitment to integrity in financial reporting and accounting control systems exemplify our values.” Prior to joining Tenet 17 years ago, Cancelmi held various positions at… Full Story

CHRISTUS Launches Mobile Healthcare App

Irving-based CHRISTUS Health has launched a free mobile app to provide users with 24/7 access to healthcare information. Available for both iPhone and Android phones, through iTunes and Google Play, the app offers the following features: • First aid tips • Find a doctor • Find a location • Symptom navigator The mobile app is designed to help patients get medical information whenever and wherever they need it, said Ernie Sadau, CHRISTUS Health president and CEO, in a statement: “By providing dependable health information on the go, we can continue to further our mission through all those touched by our… Full Story

Morning Rounds (09.10.12)

Just half of all physicians meet federal standards for Electronic Health Record systems. Click to see which doctors are most and least likely to be in compliance.

An increase in cholesterol screenings has led to more diagnosed cases of high cholesterol, from 33.2 percent to 35 percent nationwide. Texas saw a 21.2 percent increase—the second highest increase in diagnoses behind Arizona (22.2 percent).

Fewer than 25 percent of people with hypertension treat it correctly. Out of 66.9 million, 35.8 million do not have their hypertension controlled, 14.1 million are unaware they have hypertension, and 5.7 million were aware of their diagnosis but not receiving treatment, while only 16 million were aware and receiving treatment.

The 2011 National Immunization Survey finds that nationwide vaccination coverage among children aged 19 to 35 months increased or remained stable in the last year and met or exceeded national objectives. Trends in Texas are consistent with national data, with the state experiencing a significant increase in coverage for the HepB birth vaccine since 2010.

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Accolades (09.10.12)

Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, Novation, Aprima, HealthTexas Provider Network and North Texas Specialty Physicians get recognized in this week’s edition of Accolades. Full Story

Fewer than 25 Percent With Hypertension Treat it Correctly

According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 66.9 million Americans suffer from hypertension, a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease that can lead to morbidity or mortality. Of this population, 35.8 million do not have their hypertension controlled, 14.1 million are unaware they have hypertension, and 5.7 million were aware of their diagnosis but not receiving treatment, while only 16 million were aware and receiving pharmacologic treatment. Nearly 90 percent of American adults with hypertension have a healthcare provider and insurance, so it is believed that improved hypertension control across the board will require increased focus… Full Story

Texas Oncology, Baylor to Build Area’s Second Proton Beam Therapy Center in Irving

Dallas-Fort Worth will have competing proton-therapy facilities by 2015. Dallas-based Texas Oncology, supported by McKesson Specialty Health; and Baylor Health Enterprises, an affiliate of Baylor Health Care System, announced Friday it will build a $105 million proton therapy facility in Irving. As D Healthcare Daily reported in July, UT Southwestern plans to operate a 100,000-square foot proton therapy center near its Medical District campus in Dallas. The $225 million center is being built and funded by San Diego-based Advanced Particle Therapy (ATP). The company hopes to break ground on a 4.5-acre site in early 2013. The three-story building, which will have… Full Story