Morning Rounds (07.30.12)

Women in healthcare account for 4 percent of CEOs, 73 percent of managers, Forbes reports. Who’s recruiting physicians in 2012? Dispelling conventional wisdom: Why Medicaid users visit the emergency department more than private insurance users. Texas residents should receive $476 million in health insurance rebates during the next three years. What happens to hospitals that provide care to alien residents under the ACA?

THR’s New Emergency Department Will Offer Elderly a Primary Care Option in Fort Worth

A portion of the Texas Health Harris Methodist Fort Worth emergency-department expansion underscores the importance of giving special attention to geriatric patients. The hospital broke ground recently on a new three-story, 75,000-square-foot ED, one block south of its current facility. The facility, which will connect to the main hospital through a skybridge, is expected to open December 2013. It will be three times larger than its current ED and have 90 beds—a 50 percent increase. The ED facility will also include a geriatric care clinic for follow-up care, addresses two pressing needs: the growing number of elderly ED patients and… Full Story

Children’s Medical Center Research Institute Gets $1 million Gift

A joint venture between Children’s Medical Center and UT Southwestern Medical Center is getting a $1 million boost, thanks to a donation from Emy Lou and Jerry Baldridge. The Baldridge’s gift will fund a study of stem cell metabolism  at Children’s Medical Center Research Institute. The research could lead to new ways of regenerating damaged tissues and more effectively treat cancer. It will assess the extent to which tissue stem cells are metabolically different from other types of cells. Sean Morrison, M.D., director of the Children’s Research Institute, said the goal of the Institute is to discover the therapies of… Full Story

UT Southwestern Gearing Up to Operate New $225 Million Proton Therapy Center

UT Southwestern Medical Center has signed a letter of intent to operate a 100,000-square-foot proton therapy center to treat cancer near its Medical District campus in Dallas. The $225 million center is being built and funded by San Diego-based Advanced Particle Therapy (APT). The company hopes to break ground on a 4.5-acre site in early 2013. The three-story building, which will have five treatment rooms, will take about three years to build and equip. The company has built centers and has similar agreements in San Diego with Scripps Health and Scripps Medical Group; in Baltimore with the University of Maryland… Full Story

Morning Rounds (07.27.12)

Texas Woman’s University of Dallas receives $452,500 grant from the National Institutes of Health. Medical City Children’s Hospital sees a baby boom in June, with births setting a 12-year record. Healthcare.gov launches tool to help consumers determine if their insurer is providing value for premiums under new 80/20 rule. The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation is examining the “gray market” impact on drug shortages. The Advisory Board Co. releases fun infographic comparing Olympic athletes to average Americans. Plus: Who’s healthiest in a hospital—nurses, physicians, or patients?

Nine Texas Vascular Associates Doctors Sued for Alleged Medicare, Insurance Fraud

A former employee of Dallas’ Texas Vascular Associates is suing the practice and its nine doctors. Cortez Mills, a former medical coding professional at TVA, alleges that she was fired in May after discovering fraudulent billing practices. According to the complaint, Mills discovered the irregularities while reviewing and releasing patient bills to Medicare and private insurers for payment. They include double-billing insurance carriers, coding insurance claims so certain services would not be bundled, and billing for services that were never performed. TVA is based in the Baylor Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital on the Baylor Dallas campus near downtown Dallas. Baylor, however, is not… Full Story

LHP Doubles Employees Since January; Well-positioned for Continued Growth

Plano-based LHP Group Inc. is on a roll. The company just moved into a 41,000 square-foot facility off the Dallas North Tollway in Plano, after expanding twice in its previous location. It now has 60 employees—double what it had in January. The new facility has the capacity for 120 employees. It closed a deal this month on a joint venture with Hackensack (N.J.) University Health Network  to take over ownership of Mountainside Hospital in Monclair, N.J. The two partners previously had HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley. In June, LHP opened a new 83-bed facility with Austin-based Seton Family of Hospitals in… Full Story

Morning Rounds (07.26.12)

Health IT mergers and acquisitions up 28 percent in the first half of 2011. Dallas-based T-System is among the most active, with three acquisitions this year. Dallas Regional Medical Center will open new Bariatric Surgery Institute at its Mesquite campus in August. Dallas-based AT&T aligns with National LambdaRail to connect researchers in the area of genomic medicine. The U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services on changing policies and practices regarding patient input on health records. Harvard researchers find Medicaid expansion may lower death rate.

Texas Ranks Near Bottom in Overall Child Well-being

One out of every 11 of the country’s children lives in Texas—yet the state ranks 44th in overall child health and well-being, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2012 “Kids Count” Data Book. The book looks at four areas to determine well-being: economic standing, education, health, and the family/community. Texas also has the third-highest teen birth rate in the country, and ranks 49th in children without health insurance, with an uninsured rate of 14 percent in 2010. This is a 22 percent decrease from 2008, likely due to increased coverage through programs such as Medicaid and CHIP. “These numbers cry… Full Story

The Perry Effect: Half-million Fewer Texas Women Will Be Insured Under ACA

Call it The Perry Effect. The Commonwealth Fund, a New York-based health-policy think tank, recently estimated the impact of health reform on the rate of uninsured women in Texas. The authors estimated that the percent would decrease from the current rate of more than 30 percent to less than 12 percent. That decrease did not take into account Gov. Rick Perry’s decision that Texas would not expand the Medicaid program in 2014 as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). D Healthcare Daily asked the authors to recalculate their estimate in light of Perry’s announcement. The result: 20 percent of… Full Story