Morning Rounds (04.29.13)

Acute- and long-term-care hospitals will see small increases in Medicare payments beginning in 2014, under a proposed payment schedule released Friday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Services.

Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare was among the 25 hospitals featured in the Healthier Hospitals Initiative’s 2012 Milestone Report.

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that alternative splicing—a process that allows a single gene to code for multiple proteins—appears to be a new potential target for anti-telomerase cancer therapy. Full Story

Local HFMA Mission to Benefit Peru Clinic

Texas de Peru, a medical-mission non-profit formed by a North Texas medical organization, will journey to the High Andes in southern Peru this summer to provide care to the region’s poor. Initiated by the local chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), the mission expects to see 150-200 patients and perform 50 orthopedic surgeries July 29-Aug. 1 at the Kausay Wasi Clinic in Coya. The 22-member team includes two physicians and 10 nurses. Organizers formed the nonprofit group to send medical missions, equipment, supplies and expertise year-round to needy areas worldwide. It  has raised $30,000 of the $50,000 it… Full Story

Morning Rounds (04.26.13)

A Cedar Hill physician who ran a now-closed Terrell hospital has been indicted in a more than $1 million healthcare fraud investigation.

Pension obligations, expenses, and contributions are weighing down U.S. not-for-profit hospitals—and those demands are likely to continue for years.

CMS reports that more than 50,000 health IT jobs have been created since the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act was enacted in 2009. Full Story

North Texas Defies Trend Toward Lower Life Expectancy for Women

A recent study in the journal Health Affairs found that death rates of women under age 75 were rising in nearly half of U.S. counties, especially in the South, between 1992 and 2006. However, the local four-county Dallas-Fort Worth area has shown strong improvement in death rates for both genders. By comparison, nearly all other North and East Texas counties showed minimal or worsening death rates for women. Although the study’s authors declined to release data for specific counties, author Erika Cheng did confirm for D Healthcare Daily that the improvement for women in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton counties… Full Story

Morning Rounds (04.25.13)

Former Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas executive Eduardo Sanchez, MD, has been named deputy chief medical officer of Dallas-based American Heart Association.

Two Dallas hospital system chief executives were among 30 U.S. recipients of the inaugural Becker’s Healthcare Leadership Awards.

Texas Health Resources is merging Texas Health Presbyterian Foundation and Texas Health Harris Methodist Foundation into a single organization that will have a regional focus. Full Story

Digital Health Accelerator Opens Its Doors to Startups

Health Wildcatters is now open for business. The digital health accelerator began accepting applications for its first class of entrepreneurs yesterday. Executive Director Hubert Zajicek, MD, co-founder of the accelerator, previously was medical technology director at the Frisco technology incubator NTEC. Health Wildcatters provides health startups with up to $35,000 in seed money in exchange for 8 percent of equity. It is modeled after the highly successful Tech Wildcatters program and housed in the Tech Church in Uptown Dallas. Fifteen startups will be selected out of what Zajicek predicts will be at least 100 applicants to participate in a 90-day… Full Story

Morning Rounds (04.24.13)

Physicians across the country are applauding a Georgia bill that shields them from lawsuits brought on the basis of federal quality-of-care and payment standards authorized by the ACA.

The average wait time for a physician in Dallas in 2012 was more than 19 minutes, according to a study that analyzed data from more than 870,000 U.S. physicians. Statewide, Texas came in at 22 minutes, ranking No. 42 out of the 50 states.

UNT System Chancellor Lee Jackson has appointed a 17-member presidential search advisory committee to identify candidates to lead the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. Full Story

Unique Cardiac Rehab Program Specializes in ‘Industrial Athletes’

Dallas homicide detective Scott Sayers, 38, had difficulty catching his breath. He was athletic. He played soccer and ice hockey, but felt like he wasn’t getting in better shape as his season went on. Even climbing the stairs caused a pinching in his chest. As a precaution, Sayers had a stress test. The results showed that eight of his arteries were blocked, restricting blood flow to his heart to just 20 percent. He had eight stents implanted. One artery was so blocked, he required double-bypass surgery. Sayers’ father had quadruple bypass surgery at the same age, and died at age… Full Story

Morning Rounds (04.23.13)

Irving-based Novation has created a new company to help hospitals negotiate contracts for medical supplies.

Baylor and Emerus, a freestanding emergency care operator based in The Woodlands, plan to build a joint-venture medical center in Colleyville.

Two North Texans have been named to Modern Healthcare’s ’50 Most Influential Physician Executives’ list for 2013. Full Story

Baylor ACO Embraces Future With Lower Volume of Care

Baylor Quality Alliance President Carl Couch, MD, was trying to recruit a local 45-physician specialty group for Baylor Health Care System’s new accountable care organization. The doctors wondered why they should pay $1,500 to join an organization whose aim is to reduce the number of procedures they perform. Couch asked if they believed there would be a lower rate of procedures done in the future. They did. If they joined BQA, Couch said, they would help the ACO define the basis for doing the procedures. Couch said the group would have to shrink if it wanted its physicians to be… Full Story