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.  

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.

NAFC Bringing Free Clinic in Dallas, Targets Medically Underserved

The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, or NAFC, will host a free C.A.R.E. clinic from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sept. 29 in the Dallas Convention Center. “With future implementation of the Affordable Care Act and expansion of Medicaid in question in Texas and other states, we recognize that it is critical for the medically underserved to receive access to healthcare today and in the immediate future,” said NAFC Executive Director Nicole Lamoureux, in a statement. Nearly 26 percent of adults and children in North Texas are uninsured, Lamoureaux said. Among people living in poverty, the rate… Full Story

Extend Health Inc. Opens Second Center in Richardson; Plans to Hire 200 Employees, Bringing Local Total to 500+

Extend Health Inc., which operates the country’s largest private Medicare exchange, has opened a second service center in Richardson. It plans to hire another 200 employees, bringing its total local jobs base to more than 500. “Richardson is a great place to find highly skilled employees,” said Bryce Williams, managing director of Extend Health for Towers Watson, in a statement. “Having a second service center here will allow us to serve our customers well and grow with them. We have a long-standing, deep commitment to the Richardson community, and we look forward to expanding our employee base in the greater… 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.

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.