Signify Health Will Have a New Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Joseph Jasser will be the Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of Complex Care Management for Dallas-based Signify Health. With 20 years in the healthcare field, Hasser served as president of Humana’s Care Delivery Organization, overseeing all the ambulatory clinics, population health management, recruitment and retention, and a $3.3 billion integrated clinical delivery system. He was also the President and CEO of Dignity Health Medical Foundation, where he focused on strategic design and implementing the ambulatory clinical infrastructure. Signify health partners with health plans, providers, biotech and pharmaceutical companies to provide a logistics and workflow technology platform. The provide… Full Story

We May Have Lost Amazon, But Biotech Could Be Dallas’ Next Big Move

While no doubt a disappointment, Amazon’s decision to locate its second headquarters in New York and Virginia doesn’t diminish the economic vitality of North Texas. In fact, Dallas’ strong showing in the company’s high-profile national search bolsters our reputation as an attractive region for business. Now, as we take stock of the Amazon decision and explore new ways to grow the local economy, let’s consider the potential of an untapped community asset: biotechnology. Dallas is well-known for its oil industry, corporate headquarters, and technology startups. But did you know that the science behind some of the best-selling prescription drugs of all… Full Story

Collaboration is Key to Improving Health Insurance Coverage

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the the Medicaid program into law as a part of Title XIX of the Social Security Act Amendments. Today, Medicaid covers one in five low-income Americans, as the majority of enrollees lack access to affordable health insurance. Each state administers the Medicaid program and must comply with federal standards. Amongst the successes and failures of the landmark legislation, misunderstandings persist. States have flexibility in determining covered populations, covered services, delivery models and reimbursement. They are also guaranteed federal matching dollars for services to beneficiaries, so the Medicaid program is financed jointly by federal… Full Story

UT System Employees Have a New Medical Plan Via Southwestern Health Resources

Employees and retirees of the University of Texas System in North Texas will now have access to a new medical plan through Southwestern Health Resources, the accountable care organization formed by UT Southwestern and Texas Health Resources. More than 4,000 people have enrolled in the medical benefit option, named UT CONNECT, since it opened September. This is the first time the UT system has offered a program based on the ACO model of care, where providers collaborate and have payments tied to quality of care rather than fee for service. The UT system in the area, which include UT Arlington, UT… Full Story

Stratifi Health and Catalyst Leaders Recognized by The Texas Academy of Family Physicians

Dr. Christopher Crow, Lance Spivey, and Jeff Lawrence of StratiFi Health and Catalyst Health Network received the Presidential Award of Merit from the The Texas Academy of Family Physicians last week. The award was given for their leadership and dedication to family medicine. TAFP is an organization that unites family doctors of Texas with advocacy, education, and services for their members, with 33 chapters statewide. Crow is a family physician and who has helped build Catalyst Health Network, a group of primary care physicians who coordinate care to improve quality, and is co-founder and CEO of StatiFi Health, which helps… Full Story

Forensic Scientist Who Helped Identify Victims of Sept. 11 and Katrina Passes Away

Forensic genetics pioneer Arthur Eisenberg, who helped thousands of families identify missing loved ones, died last Thursday. He was 62. Eisenberg helped found UNTHSC’s Center for Human Identification and their graduate program for forensic genetics, where he worked from 1989 until his retirement in 2017.  He helped mentor forensic scientists who went on to solve cases for state and federal law enforcement agencies. He also assisted in identifying victims of serial killers, mass graves in Chile, Hurricane Katrina, and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. “It wasn’t the science that was driving Art. It was the knowledge that he was making a… Full Story

Plastic Surgeon in Colleyville Accused of Solo Liposuction Procedure While Watching Football

The Texas Medical Board made a number of accusations against Colleyville plastic surgeon Peter Van Halen, including watching football during a procedure, performing it without any support staff in an inappropriate facility, and prescribing drugs to a woman with whom he was having an affair, the Dallas Morning News reports. One patient described her “botched” liposuction procedure as being performed on a Sunday when no support staff was in the office, even though the facility is only for consultations and not equipped for surgeries, DMN says. DMN reports that Medical Board’s complain says that Van Halen’s practice was “inconsistent with… Full Story

Blue Cross Blue Shield Teams Up With Texas A&M to Improve Rural Healthcare

In order to address rural healthcare challenges, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas is partnering with Texas A&M University in order to learn more about the problems that face these underserved communities and find solutions to solve them. BCBSTX is committing $10 million to the Texas A&M Health Science Center to reduce healthcare costs and improve outcomes by improving health disparities and social determinants of health. They will join other organizations that are working to improve rural healthcare, such as the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation, who received a Community Mental Health Grant to provide mental health first aid training… Full Story

A New Robotic Arm for Spine Surgery at Medical City Frisco

Medical City Frisco is the first hospital in the region to employ a new robotic arm for spine surgery. The Globus Medical ExcelsiusGPS allows surgeons to use the precision and navigation of the new technology to reduce blood loss and muscle damage. For patients with back or spine pain, the robotic arm can lead to a faster recovery, with smaller incisions that reduce infection risk, nerve damage, and scarring. The first surgery was performed using ExcelsiusGPS this October. For spine surgeries, the robotic arm can position the instruments and place screws according to the surgeon’s plans, provide visualization of the… Full Story

Southwest Transplant Alliance Breaks Ground on First-of-its-Kind Facility

Southwest Transplant Alliance, a nonprofit organization that connects organ donors to recipients, broke ground on a new facility that will be the first-of-its-kind in Texas on Wednesday. The new 77,000 square-foot building will feature operating rooms, a donor recovery center, and offices. The new building is built to save time for the medical professionals who often spent hours on the road between the organ donor locations and the transplant centers. The building will allow STA staff to bring organ donors to the facility where the organs can be removed before being sent to a transplant center. Prior to the new… Full Story