Morning Rounds (10.03.12)

Dallas’ Lockton Dunning Benefits makes a “game-changer” acquisition.

Urgent Care for Kids plans expansion after a  capital boost from Healthcap.

Report: Drug companies are amping up use of coupons and discount cards to compete with generics.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services warns against using EHRs to “game the system.” Full Story

Lockton Dunning Benefits Makes “Game-Changer” Acquisition

Dallas-based Lockton Dunning Benefits has acquired Excelsior Solutions, a pharmaceutical and healthcare consulting company out of Minneapolis that represents more than 16 million people. “With this acquisition, we were looking for a game-changer that could bring extensive clinical and prescription benefit management consulting expertise not previously available to employers in our market,” said Lockton Dunning Benefits CEO Bruce Sammis, in a statement. “The tremendous experience of the Excelsior Solutions team, combined with their market influence, tools and resources, will enable our client service teams to more actively and effectively manage prescription benefit costs for our clients.” Former Excelsior Solutions President… Full Story

Morning Rounds (10.02.12)

Tenet Healthcare Corp. has announced a stock split, acquisition plans, and other financial initiatives.

Americans are making fewer trips to the doctor, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report.

American Medical News reports on a study that reveals what makes patients want to come back.

Conifer Health Solutions has agreed to buy InforMed Health Care Solutions, in a deal it says will add $50 million to its bottom line. Full Story

Methodist Rolling Out Medical Home to Employers, After Successful In-House Pilot

Linda Miller, manager of infection control at Methodist Charlton Medical Center, spent Christmas Day 2010 having her gall bladder removed in an emergency department. Prior to the surgery, she wept —because she knew what was coming. She could not believe she was in this situation. Her weight had crept up to 240 pounds. She decided it was the wakeup call she needed. She began eating healthier and exercising right after the procedure. However, her return to work meant the return of the weight she lost. In late January 2011, she received an invitation to be part of Methodist Health System’s patient-centered… Full Story

Morning Rounds (10.01.12)

Nearly 1,200 uninsured people received care at a free health clinic held this past weekend in Dallas.

Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. is in negotiations to buy a 209-bed hospital in Turlock, Calif.

Corporate CFOs say their companies’ growth is hindered by the escalating cost of employee benefits.

UTA’s College of Nursing is seeking to increase enrollment through a partnership with HCA Methodist Healthcare in San Antonio. Full Story

Healthcare is Companies Biggest Barrier to Financial Growth, Study Says

Employee and company financial growth is hindered by cost of employee benefits, according to a Grant Thorton study of 400 CFOs. The same study says 56 percent identify healthcare and pensions as the main reason the cost has increased. And, as the cost of healthcare grows, 77 percent of those surveyed believe healthcare benefits such as life insurance and disability are expected to remain constant while both employee and employer contributions are expected to increase. The survey also shows that 45 percent of CFOs believe that deficit reduction is the number one initiative to improve overall economic optimism, while 27 percent believe… Full Story

Full ACA Expansion Would Cut Local Uninsured Rate By Half, Study Finds

Full expansion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Texas would cut the uninsured rate in the four-county Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area by more than half, according to an estimate by two Rice University demographers. A recent U.S. Census Bureau survey found that 23 percent of Texans lacked health insurance in 2011, which represents the nation’s leading uninsured rate. Demographers Steve Murdock and Michael Cline assert that about 3 million out of 5.9 million uninsured Texans would have insurance in 2014 if the state embraced health reform. Locally, that would mean more than 600,000 in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton… Full Story

Physician Income on the Decline

More than 86 percent of physicians said income in their practices has been flat or declining over the past three years, according to a survey from Merritt Hawkins. Primary care physicians were more inclined to see income increases while specialists were more likely to point out income declines due to their Medicare reimbursement cuts, Becker’s reported. The survey fielded responses from more than 13,500 physicians and covers topics, ranging from physician work schedule to job satisfaction. Below are 24 statistics on how physicians described income levels over the past three years.   Physicians aged 40 and younger Increasing: 22.6 percent… Full Story

Morning Rounds (09.27.12)

Prime Healthcare Services  has purchased Dallas Medical Center, a 155-bed full service acute-care hospital in Farmers Branch.

Three North Texas companies have made Modern Healthcare’s “Healthcare’s Hottest” list.

Two Dallas clinics have been awarded $500,000 in grants under the GE Foundation’s Developing Health initiative.

The U.S. Supreme Court has taken on three healthcare cases. Full Story

Morning Rounds (09.26.12)

Fred Meyer, vice chairman of the board and CEO of The Cooper Institute, died September 24 at the age of 84.

A co-defendant of a Dallas physician has pleaded guilty to Medicare insurance fraud in a $375 million case.

Parkland Health and Hospital System  reports that it’s more than 80 percent complete with its corrective action plan.

In rural communities, residents are more likely to travel more than 20 miles to larger medical facilities instead of going to local hospitals, study finds. Full Story