Brain Imaging May Help Detect Depression

UT Southwestern researchers have found brain imaging to be useful when prescribing medication for depression. It turns out that making images of the brain’s activity in various states, such as being at rest or engulfed in emotional turmoil, helps sketch an accurate picture of how depression manifests a particular patient. “Much like technology can discern individuals through fingerprints and facial scans, studies prove we can utilize imaging to identify specific signatures of depression in people,” says Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, founding director of UT Southwestern’s Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care, via release. Artificial intelligence played a role in segments… Full Story

Tenet and NTT DATA Enter Multi-Year Agreement

Local organizations Tenet Healthcare Corp. and NTT DATA Services have agreed to a new multi-year agreement to advance technology in the Tenet network, continuing more than 20 years of collaboration. Efficient infrastructure, application systems will be the focus for the Tenet facilities. Tenet is working to streamline several service delivery models, and NTT DATA will improve the care provided with their technology solutions and platforms. “This agreement fits into our larger digital transformation strategy that prioritizes innovation and a customer-first mentality,” said Ron Rittenmeyer, Executive Chairman and CEO of Tenet Healthcare via release. “Together with NTT DATA, we are committed… Full Story

Texas Health Wins Best Employer, Top 5 Best Place for Women

For the fourth consecutive year, Texas Health Resources scored two prestigious recognitions. Texas Health received Platinum-level recognition as a Best Employer: Excellence in Health & Well-Being award winner by the National Business Group on Health, and achieved was ranked 5th of 75 Best Large Workplaces for Women by Great Places to Work. The Platinum designation is awarded to organizations that have demonstrated exceptional commitments to the increase of employee well-being. Healthy work environment contributors include job satisfaction, community involvement, financial security, emotional health and social connectedness. Texas Health was one of only 19 employers to receive this distinction. “We are… Full Story

Report: Infant Mortality and Suicide Increases Nationwide

A report from America’s Health Rankings found an increase in teen suicide by 25 percent and an increase in infant mortality by 6 percent since their last report in 2016. The most significant indicator of influence on youth health is geography. Teen suicide is 7.3 times higher in Alaska than in Rhode Island. Tobacco use among youth is 2.8 times higher in Kentucky than in Hawaii. Male youth have notably higher rates of child mortality and teen suicide than female youth. Child mortality is 1.8 times higher among males than females and teen suicide is three times higher among males… Full Story

Watch a North Texas Opioid Pill Mill in Action

In a report from WFAA, viewers can watch as an undercover agent posing as a truck driver obtains opioids from a pill-mill doctor in North Texas. In May, Dr. Tad Taylor and another North Texas physician were sentenced to federal prison for illegally distributing opioids and other controlled substances. The video of the DEA investigation shows a conversation between Taylor of Taylor Texas Medicine and Nick Bristow, who was then a DeSoto police officer. Bristow and Taylor speak briefly, and Taylor says that he needs to put something in the chart about an injury in case he gets audited. On a… Full Story

Battling the Behavioral Health Shortage in North Texas

Over the past several years, a number of behavioral health facilities in North Texas have closed, adding stress to a system that already had much fewer beds per capita than other urban areas in Texas. As of this summer, North Texas had about 580 licensed behavioral health beds, while Houston’s Harris County has nearly triple the number of beds at 1,549, and even San Antonio has 847 licensed beds. Most major public hospitals have upwards of 150 behavioral health beds, and John Peter Smith has more than 150. Parkland Hospital in Dallas County has just 20.  Health providers have their work… Full Story

15 North Texas Hospitals Earn Cardiology Achievement Award

Several North Texas hospitals have received the American College of Cardiology’s NCDR Chest Pain – MI Registry Performance Achievement Award which recognizes quality heart attack care. Texas Health facilities took home six of the awards, with Baylor Scott and White receiving five honors, Methodist had two hospitals recognized, and UT Southwestern and Medical City Plano were also named. The honor comes as the rate of heart disease is increasing. A study from the National Vital Statics Reports, says that heart disease death rates increased by four percent between 2011 and 2017. “That’s a trend we want to see diminish quickly,” said Lenetra… Full Story

UnitedHealth Brief: High Value Physicians Can Save Medicare $286 Billion

If all the U.S. physicians who treat Medicare Fee-For-Service patients were to meet quality and cost-efficiency criteria, Medicare would save $286.8 billion between 2020 and 2029, according to a new UnitedHealth brief. The savings in 2020 would be $20.5 billion for Medicare fee-for-service. Meeting these criteria would create “high value” physicians, whose per-episode cost of care is 6.9 percent lower than other physicians according to the brief. These physicians also experience 21 percent lower risk-adjusted spending relative to other physicians, with 64 percent fewer inpatient hospital days and 35 percent fewer emergency department visits. If primary care physicians meet quality… Full Story

Flower Mound Doctor Named in “One of the Largest Health Care Fraud Schemes Ever”

Federal authorities have charged 35 individuals in a fraudulent genetic testing operation that resulted in $2.1 billion in losses, including a Flower Mound physician. The defendants are associated with numerous telemedicine companies and cancer genetic testing laboratories that fraudulently billed Medicare. Dr. Daniel R. Canchola of Flower Mound Texas was charged for referring Medicare patients for unnecessary “cancer screening” tests, and received kickbacks and bribes for the orders. Canchola allegedly made the orders without seeing or having a relationship with patients, and beneficiaries often never received their testing results. He is allegedly responsible for $69 million in fraudulent claims to… Full Story

Dallas Medical Device Company Launches Cervical Surgery System

CTL Amedica Corp. is launching a device to give surgeons more flexibility during cervical fusion surgery. The MONET ACIF Integrated Cage System with Supplementary Fixation has multiple configurations giving surgeons low-profile and zero-profile options. The device was presented at the North American Spine Surgery conference last week. “The MONET enables greater flexibility during anterior cervical spine surgery, which can help surgeons to better serve their patients’ individual needs,” says Daniel Chon, CTL Amedica president and CEO via release. “We’ve been working on the product for quite some time and received FDA approval to market it several months ago. We’re excited to officially… Full Story