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.

Morning Rounds (07.30.12)

Women in healthcare account for 4 percent of CEOs, 73 percent of managers, Forbes reports. Who’s recruiting physicians in 2012? Dispelling conventional wisdom: Why Medicaid users visit the emergency department more than private insurance users. Texas residents should receive $476 million in health insurance rebates during the next three years. What happens to hospitals that provide care to alien residents under the ACA?

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?

Texas Ranks Near Bottom in Overall Child Well-being

One out of every 11 of the country’s children lives in Texas—yet the state ranks 44th in overall child health and well-being, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2012 “Kids Count” Data Book. The book looks at four areas to determine well-being: economic standing, education, health, and the family/community. Texas also has the third-highest teen birth rate in the country, and ranks 49th in children without health insurance, with an uninsured rate of 14 percent in 2010. This is a 22 percent decrease from 2008, likely due to increased coverage through programs such as Medicaid and CHIP. “These numbers cry… Full Story

The Perry Effect: Half-million Fewer Texas Women Will Be Insured Under ACA

Call it The Perry Effect. The Commonwealth Fund, a New York-based health-policy think tank, recently estimated the impact of health reform on the rate of uninsured women in Texas. The authors estimated that the percent would decrease from the current rate of more than 30 percent to less than 12 percent. That decrease did not take into account Gov. Rick Perry’s decision that Texas would not expand the Medicaid program in 2014 as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). D Healthcare Daily asked the authors to recalculate their estimate in light of Perry’s announcement. The result: 20 percent of… Full Story

Morning Rounds (07.25.12)

NTEC is accepting applications for MedVentures 2012. Last year’s presenting companies raised an average of $1.9 million. Deloitte surveys C-suite executives and HR professionals on the U.S. healthcare system, the ACA, and strategies for employee health benefits coverage and cost containment. Becker’s Hospital Review shares five best practices for cultural changes following a hospital transaction. Hospital leaders share their opinions on their organizations’ budgets for EHR deployment? Integrated Healthcare Strategies‘ 2012 national healthcare staff compensation survey results.    

Tenet to Treat Cigna-insured Patients at all of its Hospitals, Outpatient Centers

Tenet Healthcare has agreed to open access to healthcare services at all its hospitals and outpatient centers to those who are Cigna-insured beginning next May. Under the agreement, Cigna customers will have access to healthcare services at all hospitals owned by Tenet subsidiaries, as well as freestanding: • Diagnostic imaging centers • Ambulatory surgery centers • Urgent care centers • Outpatient centers in which Tenet holds majority interest • Physicians under Tenet Physicians Inc. (About 800) This new contract also will allow facilitates the creation of Tenet’s Clinically Integrated Organizations (CIOs) and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) through Cigna’s proprietary Collaborative… Full Story

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

Texas Ranks No. 49 Among U.S. States for Unmet Medical Needs

More than one out of four non-elderly Texas adults did not seek medical care in 2010 because of cost, according to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation analysis. That rate was the second-worst in the nation, which was slightly better than Mississippi, and about 40 percent higher than it was a decade earlier. In raw numbers, that is nearly 3.8 million Texans who said they could not afford to seek medical treatment. The report underscores the devastating effects of being uninsured. Nearly one out of three Texas adults 18-64 years old lacks health insurance—a rate that is the nation’s worst. What’s… Full Story

Annual Healthcare Cost for Dallas Families Tops $20,000

According to the 2012 Milliman Medical Index, the annual household cost of healthcare for a typical Dallas family has cracked the $20,000 mark. The Seattle-based actuarial and consulting firm annually calculates the total cost of care for a family of four enrolled in an employee-sponsored PPO plan. The $20,435 annual cost in Dallas was just below the U.S. estimate of $20,728. The national figure includes $12,144 in employer-cover insurance costs and $8,584 paid by the family—including $5,155 in insurance premiums paid by the employee whose family is covered by the plan, and $3,470 in out-of-pocket expenses. Dallas costs rose 7.1… Full Story