DFW Hospitals Require Flu Shots, But Allow Exemptions

As a stronger-than-normal influenza outbreak sweeps the nation, a growing list of groups are recommending mandatory flu vaccinations for all healthcare workers. The American College of Physicians (ACP) has urged mandatory immunizations, except for staff with valid medical reasons or religious objections. The ACP estimates that 40,000 to 50,000 Americans die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases.  The American Medical Association endorsed mandatory shots for nursing-home employees with direct patient contact. The American Nurses Association backs mandatory shots if required by individual states. Mandatory immunization appears to be the standard policy for healthcare workers at Dallas-Fort Worth hospitals. “We crafted our… Full Story

Forest Park Medical Developer to Break Ground on Fort Worth Hospital

Neal Richards Group will soon start construction on Forest Park Medical-Fort Worth. The 140,000-square-foot facility will sit on 7 acres along the Trinity River within the Clearfork mixed-use community. The specialty surgical center is expected to employ about 250. It was designed by Perkins + Will and will be built by Balfour Beatty. Along with 12 operating rooms, it will feature two procedure rooms, 44 private patient rooms, 10 ICU rooms, full ancillary services, structured parking, outdoor spaces, vegetated roof systems, and an outdoor reflection pond. This will be the fourth North Texas hospital for for Dallas-based Neal Richards Group, led… Full Story

Morning Rounds (01.18.13)

Getting older doesn’t mean losing the ability to make decisions, according to the UT Dallas Center for BreanHealth and the MetLife Mature Market Institute.

Physician leaders believe consumer-website ratings are inaccurate and unreliable, according to the American College of Physician Executives.

The OIG says private contractors tasked with finding fraud and abuse in Medicare community mental health centers have been ineffective in Texas and other states. Full Story

Cigna Picks Plano Practice as its Third North Texas Accountable Care Collaborator

Plano-based Village Health Partners is the latest North Texas physician practice to join Cigna’s collaborative accountable care effort. Cigna’s CAC program is designed to help physician practices to achieve the same population health goals of accountable care organizations. The program will include Cigna patients treated by a VHP physician. VHP, which treats more than 50,000 North Texas patients, recently announced that it added a second Plano location. The VHP program 4 is Cigna’s third such collaboration in North Texas and its sixth in the state. VHP clinical care coordinators will help patients with chronic conditions schedule appointments, provide health education… Full Story

Morning Rounds (01.17.13)

County health department officials in Texas are reporting a worse flu season than in the past.

Children’s Medical Center is opening a new MyChildren’s site at St. Philip’s School and Community Center.

The North Texas Food Bank is funding a study by SMU economics researchers on the  role social networks and isolation play in fighting hunger. Full Story

UTSW Moving Carefully Toward an Accountable Care World

Before he arrived at UT Southwestern, Bruce Meyer, MD, was part of a team that was able to decrease the average number of days babies were in the neonatal intensive care unit from 27 to 19. The more-efficient care cost his hospital $20 million in reimbursements. Hospital executives asked the physicians to return to the old protocols to drive up the number of NICU days to the old levels. Meyer, executive vice president of health system affairs at UT Southwestern, said, “We need healthcare leaders who think this is a perverse conversation.” Meyer is leading UTSW’s drive to refashion itself… Full Story

HCA’s Medical Center of Plano to Break Ground on $66 Million Expansion

The Medical Center of Plano will break ground on a $66 million expansion and renovation in May 2013.  The upgrade is slated for completion in late 2014. The hospital, at 3901 West 15th Street in Plano, is part of HCA North Texas, one of the region’s largest, most comprehensive healthcare providers. The Plano expansion is the second major project announced by HCA in the past week. The company also is building a new $71 million full-service hospital in the Alliance area north of Fort Worth. Renovations to The Medical Center of Plano will allow what’s now a 427-bed acute-care center to support a… Full Story