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.

Accolades (08.06.12)

COMPANIES Texas Health Southlake has been named an Aetna Institute of Quality for Spine Surgery.  This award is in recognition of the hospital’s high-quality, evidence-based care in an intricate area of surgery. UT Southwestern was named to Hospitals & Health Networks magazine’s “Most Wired” list. Texas Health Resources was named among the nation’s “most connected” by U.S. News & World Report. Children’s Medical Center of Dallas received the Emergency Nurses Association’s second annual Lantern Awards. Baylor Medical Center at Waxahachie and Baylor Medical Center at Irving were accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. Methodist Health System, MedSynergies, and NorthStar Anesthesia have… Full Story

Tenet Healthcare Inks Four-year Renewal with Humana Inc.

Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. has signed a new four-year deal with Humana Inc. The agreement ensures that members of Humana’s Medicare and PPO, HMO, POS, and individual plans will have in-network access to services at all hospitals owned and operated by Tenet subsidiaries. Members also will have access to all freestanding outpatient centers in which Tenet holds a majority interest, as well as physicians in several markets that are employed by various Tenet subsidiaries The renewal took effect Aug. 1. The new contract “is designed to expand our market share at key Tenet hospitals in exchange for pricing modifications that are… Full Story

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.  

Government Questions Bills from 45 Percent of Texas Home Health Care Agencies, Urges Moratorium

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has recommended a Medicare moratorium on new home health care agencies in Texas. In a report issued Thursday, the OIG said nearly 40 percent of the nation’s suspicious billings for home health care originated in Texas. Forty-five percent of the state’s home health agencies (HHAs)—or 1,000 out of 2,212—had questionable billing. The Texas rate was five times greater than the national average, the OIG said. In a response to the report, Acting Medicare Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said she agreed with the recommendation to limit the number of agencies permitted by Medicare. “CMS …… Full Story

Morning Rounds (08.02.12)

Dallas-based HealthCap capitalizaes Restora Healthcare Holdings to fund acquisition of Trillium Specialty Hospitals in Phoenix. Study at UT Southwestern suggests new treatment for brain tumors. Medical City lactation consultants and nurses to take part in mass breastfeeding event in Dallas on Saturday. NEJM on how to cut hospital costs without payment reforms. As Texas physicians who treat new Medicaid patients drops to all-time low of 31 percent, TMA looks for realistic solutions.

Baylor Receives State’s First Joint Commission Advanced Certification for Palliative Care

Baylor University Medical Center (BUMC) at Dallas is the first hospital in Texas—and one of the first 10 in the nation—to receive advanced certification for palliative pare from The Joint Commission. The certification process included an on-site visit and review of quality metrics and evidence of effective, timely palliative care using a multidisciplinary approach. It recognizes hospital inpatient programs that demonstrate exceptional patient and family-centered care. Baylor University Medical Center expanded its palliative care team in 2011. The Joint Commission’s certification requires that palliative care patients interact with the specially trained members of four core disciplines: physicians, nursing, social work, and… Full Story

Morning Rounds (08.01.12)

Texas has the country’s lowest physician-to-patient ratio. UNT Health Alliance Clinic hires one of few physical therapists in Tarrant County who treats pelvic problems in both men and women. Dallas is one level away from citywide mosquito spraying to prevent West Nile. Beginning today, Parkland’s Youth and Family Centers will offer expanded hours of operation. Top 21 code reasons  for denied claims, as compiled by RemitDATA.

$120 Million Expansion Approved for Methodist Richardson; Will Add 125-Bed Hospital

Methodist Health System’s board of directors has approved a $120 million expansion that will add a 266,250-square-foot acute care hospital at Methodist Richardson. The 125-bed hospital is slated to open in the fall of 2014 at the southeast corner of Renner Road and State Highway 190. The site, which is known as Methodist Richardson—Bush/Renner, already is home to a medical office building and outpatient hospital, as well as a cancer center that opened in October 2008. Methodist Richardson has a second campus at Campbell Road. “This hospital has served Richardson and the surrounding area with compassionate quality health care at its… Full Story