D Healthcare Daily’s Launch Party Recap

D Magazine Partners celebrated the launch of its healthcare business news site in the company of its advisory council, contributing editors, partner organization officials, and top executives in the healthcare community. Among those attending were Baylor’s Joel Allison, Robert Earley of JPS, Doug Hawthorne of Texas Health Resources, Steve Love of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council, and Methodist’s Stephen Mansfield. The private reception included a presentation by D Healthcare Daily editor Steve Jacob, who said the news site is a platform for people in the business of healthcare—an industry that adds $52 billion to the North Texas economy each year… Full Story

Morning Rounds (09.05.12)

Nearly every major health insurer recorded declining earnings in the second quarter of 2012, mainly because of something that happened more often than they expected: patients going to see their doctors, according to an American Medical Association report.

A Baylor Health Care System director of epidemiology and his team are executing a large national multicenter study to assess the effectiveness of preventive and management strategies and their impact on long-term survival.

The American Heart Association reports that taking vitamin D supplements to compensate for vitamin D deficiency may not improve cholesterol in short term.

A Texas Presbyterian Hospital Dallas Chief nursing officer has been named one of only 20 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellows from across the country for 2012. Full Story

Kindred Expands DFW Presence with Acquisition of Grapevine-based IntegraCare

Post-acute care powerhouse Kindred Healthcare has finalized its acquisition of Grapevine-based IntegraCare Holdings for $71 million. Both companies have significant operations in Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston. Kindred CEO Paul Diaz said the transaction “continues the expansion of our continuum of post-acute services in our key Dallas and Houston cluster markets … IntegraCare already has home health and hospice operations, which can serve our Dallas cluster market.” Kindred had 13 North Texas facilities, including seven long-term acute care hospitals and three transitional care and rehabilitation centers. IntegraCare has hospice and home health facilities in Dallas, Tarrant and Denton counties. It operates a… Full Story

Morning Rounds (09.04.12)

As part of a deal with the Department of State Health Services, Parkland Health & Hospital System will pay a $1 million fine for patient safety and quality-of-care deficiencies. The agreement resolves and discharges all potential enforcement actions for compliance issues before May 31, 2012

The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) is calling on physicians and other health care professionals to participate in the upcoming large free clinic for uninsured persons at the Dallas Convention Center, Hall A, 650 South Griffin St., on Sept. 29.

Twenty new North Texas schools are joining Troy Aikman and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas in the fight against childhood obesity. Find out which area schools are now part of the Healthy Zone School Recognition.

Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth will begin performing kidney transplants next month. The initiative will operate under the name Fort Worth Transplant Institute, with Dr. George Rofaiel as the surgical director and Dr. Bala Sankar as the medical director. Full Story

Cooper, UT Southwestern Study: Fitness Has Greater Impact on Disease than Survival

Middle-age fitness has a greater impact on preventing chronic disease than overall survival, according to Cooper Institute and UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers. In a study just published online by the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers looked at data for more than 73,000 people in the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study database. They also looked at Medicare records for more than 18,600 of those from up to 46 years later. Participants who were the most fit age 30 through 59 had fewer chronic conditions after age 65. Those conditions included heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain cancers. Among… Full Story

Dallas Has Second-Highest Uninsured Rate Among Large U.S. Counties

Dallas County had the second-highest rate among the nation’s large counties of uninsured residents under 65 years old in 2010, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data released this week. Slightly more than 31 percent of Dallas County residents lacked insurance. The nation’s highest uninsured rate was Miami-Dade County, at 35.8 percent. The rates for other Texas counties of more than 1 million residents were Harris, 29.9 percent; Tarrant, 23.6 percent; and Bexar, 23.1 percent. The uninsured rates for Collin and Denton counties were 16.7 and 17.2 percent, respectively. The U.S. Census Bureau summary is the only source of health… Full Story

Morning Rounds (08.31.12)

The Dallas office of Duke Realty is working with Scott & White Healthcare to develop two medical office buildings in Texas.

A local CEO is one of 10 contenders for Modern Healthcare’s national Community Leadership Award. Find out who.

The CDC deems aerial spraying in Dallas County a success, with the percentage of disease-carrying mosquitos dropping dramatically after the first two sprays.

The Affordable Care Act began giving women free preventative care Aug. 1. However, because of some exemptions, it has become difficult for doctors to correctly bill patients. See how some doctors are dealing with the issue. Full Story

Baylor ACO Will Be the System’s Provider Network in 2013

Baylor Health Care System is launching its accountable care organization by covering its employees in 2013. The ACO, called Baylor Quality Alliance, officially announced its first contract with the BHCS Employee Benefit Plan Wednesday. In a letter to Baylor employees, chief executive officer Joel Allison said, “As Baylor employees we have the opportunity to be the first to benefit from Baylor Quality Alliance. Beginning January 2013, Baylor Quality Alliance will become the preferred provider network for our medical plan, and if we choose to use a physician in the BQA, we will experience a savings. “Baylor Quality Alliance allows us to… Full Story

Morning Rounds (08.30.12)

Three North Texas contenders—AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas Mayor’s Youth Fitness Initiative, and West Dallas Community Centers Inc.—are in the running to win $30,000 as part of an Aetna program that rewards groups for closing racial and ethnic gaps in helping people live healthier lives.

A local infectious disease doctor must pay a former patient $5.2 million for negligence. The patient in the case, David Fitzgerald, filed a complaint in 2005 after an ulcer treatment went tragically awry.

To combat the rising number of West Nile infections, aerial spraying continues. Tarrant County will be sprayed tonight and tomorrow night.

Village Health Partners is expanding. The practice has opened a second location in Plano, at 5501 Independence Pkwy. Full Story

THR’s Plus ACO Picking Up Momentum

Plus ACO, an accountable care organization partnership between Texas Health Resources and Fort Worth-based North Texas Specialty Physicians (NTSP) is more than halfway through its first year. The ACO, awarded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in December, was the first in North Texas and one of just 32 nationally under the Pioneer ACO model. NTSP, which serves patients in Tarrant, Parker, and Johnson counties, has more than 10 years of experience in population health management and has participated in quality initiatives tied to financial incentives. It cares for about 30,000 Medicare Advantage patients—including 25,000 in UnitedHealthcare’s Secure Horizons plan and… Full Story