DFW Medical Costs Rising Three Times Faster Than Inflation Rate

Medical costs are growing nearly three times faster than all consumer costs in Dallas-Fort Worth, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The cost of medical care grew 3.8 percent locally in the 12 months ending July 31, compared with 1.3 percent for the DFW Consumer Price Index. However, DFW medical costs grew at less than the national rate of 4.1 percent. For the past 12 months, only rental costs grew faster than medical costs at 5 percent. The index reflects the cost of services rather than the volume increase. A May report by the Health Care Cost Institute… Full Story

Morning Rounds (08.24.12)

Final rule on Stage 2 of EHR incentive program issued. Physicians’ Capital Investments, Physicians’ Capital Markets, and EDGE Realty Capital Markets announce a strategic alliance. USMD Hospital at Fort Worth ranks in Becker’s top hospitals for patient med guidance. CDC: West Nile Outbreak one of largest in U.S.

What Employers Want

Several years ago, more than I can specifically recall, I was at a dinner meeting with fellow Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health board members and physicians from a local physician group. We were discussing the state of healthcare and looking for ways to partner with the physician community to improve the care being delivered to our employees. This was way before the concepts that form the dialogue about improving healthcare today. One of the physicians asked “What do employers want?”  Without so much as a blink of an eye, I replied, “Reduced death, reduced disability, and early return to… Full Story

Morning Rounds (08.22.12)

Nearly half of U.S. doctors say they’re exhausted. Med-Trans, a Dallas-based air ambulance company, buys Augusta air medical services company AirMed. Does the meningitis vaccination requirement do more harm than good? Ninety-one percent of docs want mobile-enabled EHRs.  

Why People Make Unhealthy Choices

Americans are constantly bombarded by health information. Television, magazines, the internet, and other media sources are full of information about the critical role that healthy behaviors play in preventing disease, improving quality of life, and reducing long-term healthcare costs. As a result, most people understand the crucial importance of regular exercise and healthy eating to long-term health. One would think that this abundance of data would yield a nation full of people who are in excellent shape and run little risk of developing conditions like diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease, says Laura Ten Eyck, Ph.D., a clinical outcomes expert with… Full Story

Hospitals Name Their Most and Least Favorite Insurers

Cigna received the highest favorability rating from hospitals in ReviveHealth’s sixth annual National Payer Survey. Aetna and independent BCBS plans came in at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Hospital executives gave WellPoint and Coventry the lowest scores. More than 400 hospital CEOs, CFOs, and payer relations executives from all 50 states participated in the survey, which covered both broad trends and specific companies. An in-depth report, “Turning the Corner Toward 2014,” reveals the results. When it came to contract negotiations, there were some interesting results involving independent BCBS plans and United: • Easy to Deal With: BCBS ranked best,… Full Story

Morning Rounds (08.17.12)

Hospitals name their most and least favorite insurers. Five compensation options for ACO physicians. Aerial spraying for West Nile Virus began in Dallas last night. The average amount embezzled from medical practices is $1,000. AHA: Black stroke survivors face greater risk from high blood pressure.

Morning Rounds (08.16.12)

Physicians seeing patient visits rebound in 2012. 5 Simple Ways a hospital can build a stellar reputation. Harvard Medical School: New test may speed detection of heart attacks. Having a resident in a surgery increases success rate. Pharma reps with iPads get more physicians to accept samples, prescribe drugs.

Successful Client-Vendor Relationships

As a benefits professional, my phone is always ringing and my inbox is always full, thanks to friendly and eager vendors. I’m bombarded with calls from sales reps, emails about new programs, and invitations to “can’t miss” seminars. Am I aware of the new offerings from such-and-such provider? Would I like to hear more about the ways our company/employees/leadership can take advantage of this tool/program/partnership? The short answer: Maybe. I won’t pretend to speak for all benefits professionals, but I’ve learned a few things about what makes a good pitch and what doesn’t, about what might make sense for our… Full Story

Morning Rounds (08.14.12)

The Magic Johnson Clinic at Fort Worth’s AIDS Outreach Center hosts its grand opening. UT Southwestern shares a video of the quintuplets born at its medical center. Texas’ JAMP initiative helps disadvantage students attend med school. Remote patient monitoring market projected to more than double to $20.9 billion by 2016. FDA approves vaccine formulation for the 2012-2013 influenza season.