Morning Rounds (04.16.13)

Pennsylvania-based Post Acute Medical Friday announced the purchase of Twin Creeks Hospital, a 40-bed inpatient rehabilitation facility in Allen.

The Fort Worth Foundation and JPS Health Network will build and operate an adult medical clinic and social services complex near the East Lancaster Avenue homeless shelters.

Giving price information to providers at the time lab orders were placed resulted in a decrease in the numbers of ordered tests. Full Story

Catalyst for Payment Reform Pushes Price Transparency, Value-Based Payments

Employers need to band together to insist on price transparency in healthcare to combat prices that can vary by as much as 1000 percent, according Catalyst for Payment Reform (CPR) program director Andrea Caballero Dilweg. Dilweg addressed a recent Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health luncheon in north Dallas. Catalyst for Payment Reform (CPR) is an independent, nonprofit corporation working on behalf of large employers and other healthcare purchasers to catalyze improvements in how we pay for health services and promote higher-value care in the U.S. A group of employers created CPR in 2009 due to widespread agreement that the current… Full Story

Morning Rounds (04.15.13)

Despite a one-year delay, healthcare providers and payers are still lagging in preparing for the conversion to ICD-10 diagnostic and procedure codes.

More than 2 out of 3 healthcare providers are having problems attracting experienced IT employees.

Young adults who stay on their parents’ health insurance plans have slightly higher costs than those who had their own insurance coverage. Full Story

600,000 Eligible for 2014 Health Exchanges

Nearly 600,000 residents of the four-county Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area will be eligible for subsidies on the health insurance exchanges in 2014, according to an analysis by Families USA. About 2.6 million Texans will be eligible for private coverage assistance, according to the study. Because Texas has chosen not to expand Medicaid, 420,000 Texans could receive help on the exchanges who would have been eligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA will require that most Americans will have to buy health insurance next year. They will qualify for the exchanges based on income and whether their… Full Story

Morning Rounds (04.12.13)

Consumer groups are asking the Obama administration to reconsider its decision to delay enforcement a provision of the Affordable Care Act.

Hospitals and other providers are expected to lose between $10 billion and $11 billion in 2013 due to the 2 percent Medicare cuts because of sequestration.

American Cancer Society report shows decline in smoking and slow growing obesity rates. Full Story

Accolades (04.12.13)

PEOPLE Two local doctors have been honored with a 2013 EmCare Physician of the Year Award. Dr. Bradley Lembcke received the Summit Award for hospital medicine. Lembcke was recognized for his leadership at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. Dr. Elizabeth Fagan received the Commitment to Care Award for emergency medicine. Fagan was recognized for her leadership in the design and implementation of the new emergency department at Baylor Medical Center at McKinney. Nine Methodist Health System nurses were named in the Dallas-Fort Worth Great 100 Nurses awards. The nurses were recognized for their significant impact on the nursing profession… Full Story

Texas Employer Insurance Rate Dropped Sharply Over 10 Years

Rapidly rising health-insurance premium costs have caused a significant erosion in employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) in Texas and the U.S., according to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study released Thursday. The percent of Texans covered by ESI declined from more than 62 percent in 2000 to 52 percent in 2011. That rate was the third lowest in the U.S., with only New Mexico and Louisiana trailing the Lone Star state. Nationally, about 60 percent of Americans are covered by ESI, a decline of about 10 percentage points. ESI coverage is heavily dependent on company size and household income. For Texans earning… Full Story

Morning Rounds (04.11.13)

Medicare may be missing factors that result in return visits to the hospital.

Frisco-based GM-Southwest Inc. and its former owner have been charged with racketeering, conspiracy, money laundering, and fraud.

A new tool is being developed by the NCQA that could better access the care given to patients with diabetes and heart disease.

  Full Story

Texas Health Resources Plans Unprecedented Quality Reporting

Texas Health Resources (THR) is wading into the world of company transparency. Full disclosure is the right thing to do, according to Dan Varga, MD, THR’s chief clinical officer (CCO) and senior executive vice president. THR plans to publish safety and quality information in greater detail than what is available at Hospital Compare and other websites. The challenge is determining what can be disclosed and how to do it, he says. THR is attempting to transform itself from an acute-care hospital system to a cradle-to-grave health system that promotes life-long wellness. THR believes accountability is a strategic advantage. Picking the… Full Story

Morning Rounds (04.10.13)

Baylor Health Care System broke ground Tuesday on a new 299,000 square-foot facility in Waxahachie.

Texas per-capita healthcare costs were well below those of the U.S. in 2009.

The CMS and HHS have proposed new rules regarding the use of electronic health records.

President Obama’s proposed budget plans to cut $400 billion from Medicare and other health programs. Full Story