Medical Community Mourns T. Boone Pickens

T. Boone Pickens’ passing last week rippled through nearly every community in North Texas, and the medical community joined in its mourning of one of the nation’s greatest philanthropists. The old-school oil tycoon, known as the “Oracle of Oil,” was a larger than life character who risked a great deal to become one America’s greatest entrepreneurs. After a series of strokes in 2017 and a fall in 2018, he stopped most public appearances, but he still made it to D CEO‘s Oil and Gas Awards last October where he received the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award. Pickens was known as much for… Full Story

TMA Foundation Names Two Local Physicians to Board of Trustees

Two Dallas-area physicians have joined the Texas Medical Association Foundation Board of Trustees. The foundation supports statewide and local initiatives that focus on health and awareness, including programs that increase on immunizations, wearing bicycle helmets, and healthy physical activity. Dr. Justin Bishop, a medical resident in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine in Dallas, will serve a one year term on the board. Bishop won the TMA Medical Student Section Student of the Year award in 2014 and served on the TMA Board of Trustees as a representative of the TMA Medical Student Section and the TMA… Full Story

UTA Receives $4.7 Million Gift For Gerontology Programs

As America ages and life expectancy increases, the need for highly skilled nursing is becoming equally important. The Deerbrook Charitable Trust has given UT Arlington a $4.7 million gift for its adult gerontology programs to improve the pipeline of nursing professionals in the field.  The gift will fund specialized instruction, scholarships, and create an endowed faculty position for the gerontology-focused graduate nursing programs. “In nursing education, we focus on meeting the changing needs of society by preparing nursing professionals with relevant knowledge and expertise, including in areas such as gerontology,” said Elizabeth Merwin, dean of the College of Nursing and… Full Story

Capital Senior Living Names New Chief Operating Officer

Capital Senior Living has appointed Brandon M. Ribar as chief operating officer. He joins one of the nation’s largest operators of senior living communities after nearly ten years of experience at Golden Living, a $3 billion post-acute healthcare provider. Ribar was most recently senior vice president at Golden Living, where he oversaw 305 skilled nursing and assisted living centers and 20,000 employees across 21 states. Admissions increased 25 percent during his tenure, and his work to streamline overhead resulted in $20 million in annualized savings. He also served as senior vice president of operational finance and strategy as well as corporate… Full Story

Blue Cross-Knox City Conflict May Be Going to Federal Court

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas is hoping to move the legal battle with Knox County Hospital District to federal court, and the temporary restraining order hearing scheduled for September 10 has been suspended. After 50th District Court Judge Bobby Burnett issued the TRO ordering BCBS to pay Knox County Hospital more than $21 million in what they allege are unpaid insurance claims, BCBS filed a motion in U.S. District Court for Northern Texas in Wichita Falls to move the case to federal court because BCBS of Texas is owned by Health Care Services Corporation in Chicago. “Blue Cross Blue… Full Story

Rural Hospital Group Endorse Dallas-Based Telemedicine Provider to Deliver Care

The Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals has endorsed Dallas-based Access Physicians as its preferred provider for telemedicine. Access Physicians provides inpatient and multispecialty telemedicine for clients across the country in both rural and urban facilities. “Many of the issues confronting our members, including financial challenges, personnel shortages, and access to care, can be addressed by telemedicine,” said Vicki Pascasio, FACHE, President and CEO of TMSI via release. “After a rigorous due diligence process that included research, performance evaluation, and references, our board is delighted to welcome Access Physicians to the family of Endorsed Business Partners.” TORCH-member hospitals and… Full Story

Medical City’s Three-Phase Plan to Fight the Opioid Epidemic

Medical City Healthcare is doing its part to reduce opioid prescriptions in North Texas in the face of a nationwide crisis. The health system is using a three-phase plan to fight the overdose epidemic, which claimed the lives of 70,000 Americans in 2017 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The first phase launched in 2018, and targets opioid reduction in the system’s emergency departments. Over that period, the system has seen a 21 percent reduction in pain treatment with opioids because of less addictive but effective treatment options such as patches, medications, injections, and other therapies. “This… Full Story

Addressing Home Health’s Greatest Challenge: Staffing

Home health staffing challenges are negatively impacting business growth, compliance, and patient outcomes. LocDallas-based home healthcare technology solutions provider Axxess teamed up with Home Health Care News to conduct a staffing survey of 570 home health providers to better assess the threats to the industry and how to address them. More than 95 percent of respondents said staffing challenges were impacting their business growth, with nearly two-thirds saying the issue was “very impactful” on growth. Staffing shortages impacted patient experience in 88 percent of the respondents, and 75 percent said it impacted compliance. Popular solutions to address these issues are better… Full Story

Meet the New TMA Physician Leaders From North Texas

Seventeen North Texas physicians will assume leadership positions at this week’s Texas Medical Association Fall Conference. They were appointed or elected to various boards, councils, and committees and look at healthcare issues to make policy recommendations to support the 53,000 physicians and medical students in the TMA, the nation’s largest medical association. See below to learn about all the new appointments. Dr. John T. Carlo, a public health and preventive care specialist, will be on TMA’s Council on Legislation, which monitors and develops strategies on pending legislation and advocates for legislation at the state and national levels. Dr. Wendy M.… Full Story

How Award-Winning Dean Foods Flipped Its Healthcare Spend

One might not expect a dairy company to be a top innovator when it comes to providing healthcare to its employees, but Dallas’ Dean Foods has an award winning benefits plan that is keeping quality high while flipping eight percent annual increases to outright annual reductions. Dean Foods began attracting attention when it won the Texas Star Award from the Texas Business Group on Health and Health Value Award from the Validation Institute, both for healthcare innovation. Behind milk and payroll, healthcare is one of the top spends for Dean Foods and its 15,500 employees, and several years ago they… Full Story