Texas Ranks No. 49 Among U.S. States for Unmet Medical Needs

More than one out of four non-elderly Texas adults did not seek medical care in 2010 because of cost, according to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation analysis. That rate was the second-worst in the nation, which was slightly better than Mississippi, and about 40 percent higher than it was a decade earlier. In raw numbers, that is nearly 3.8 million Texans who said they could not afford to seek medical treatment. The report underscores the devastating effects of being uninsured. Nearly one out of three Texas adults 18-64 years old lacks health insurance—a rate that is the nation’s worst. What’s… Full Story

Morning Rounds (07.16.12)

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano has been certified as primary stroke center.   A 22,074-square-foot medical/dental complex at 3232 Broadway in Garland will be auctioned off on Aug. 1 at 11 a.m. The three-building complex sits on a 3-acre lot and has space for 13 practices and 163 parking spaces.   Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital has become one of the first facilities in North Texas to support the American Orthopedic Association’s “Own the Bone” program, which aims to decrease the rising number of fragility fractures in America.   Methodist Health System will participate in the Medicare Shared Savings program and… Full Story

Accolades (07.16.12)

PEOPLE               Linda Allison, a clinical education specialist at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano, was honored among the region’s Great 100 Nurses for 2012.   David Campbell, manager of education for Methodist Richardson, is a South Region finalist in the 2012 Nurse.com Nursing Excellence Awards, in the category of “Education and Mentorship.” He will be honored at an Aug. 17 event at the Houston Omni Galleria.   Karen Langston, perinatal outreach coordinator at Texas Health Harris Methodist, has earned the Fetal Heart Monitoring Program Award from The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal… Full Story

Local Hospitals Perform Better than National Average

Dallas-Fort Worth hospitals, many within this same system, have widely varying scores on patient safety, according to the annual Leapfrog Group survey. The nonprofit quality-improvement organization ranked more than 2,600 hospitals nationally, grading them on an A-through-F scale for hospital safety and posting the results on hospitalsafetyscore.org. The group did not disclose hospitals earning a D or an F. Local hospitals performed better than the national average. Of the 46 graded in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, 35 percent earned an “A,” 24 percent received a “B,” and 41 percent were given a “C.” Nationwide, 27 percent earned an “A,” 26… Full Story

Proposed Legislation Targets Healthcare Price Transparency

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) is cosponsoring legislation aimed at fostering greater healthcare price transparency. Burgess, a former Flower Mound obstetrician, joined Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas) in introducing the Health Care Price Transparency Promotion Act of 2012. The proposal would mandate that states have laws requiring hospitals disclose prices for inpatient and outpatient services. The legislation also instructs the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to study what healthcare cost information would be most useful to patients. “Patients could review their options with up-front information about the costs of a medical procedure and other expenses in healthcare services, said Burgess, in… Full Story

Annual Healthcare Cost for Dallas Families Tops $20,000

According to the 2012 Milliman Medical Index, the annual household cost of healthcare for a typical Dallas family has cracked the $20,000 mark. The Seattle-based actuarial and consulting firm annually calculates the total cost of care for a family of four enrolled in an employee-sponsored PPO plan. The $20,435 annual cost in Dallas was just below the U.S. estimate of $20,728. The national figure includes $12,144 in employer-cover insurance costs and $8,584 paid by the family—including $5,155 in insurance premiums paid by the employee whose family is covered by the plan, and $3,470 in out-of-pocket expenses. Dallas costs rose 7.1… Full Story

More Males Entering Nursing Programs at UTA

The number of male students enrolled in the University of Arlington’s Nurse Practitioner Program has risen more than 9 percent in the past three years. The upsurge at UTA, which ranks in the top 15 largest schools of nursing in the United States, reflects a trend noted in a recent New York Times article, which reports that the number of male nurses working in the field has nearly doubled in the past decade. Mary Schira, associate dean and chair in the department of advanced practice nursing at UTA, said the number of males in the master’s program has been increasing,… Full Story

Emcare: The Largest Medical Group in Texas

The largest medical group in Texas is a company few have heard of outside the hospital sector. Emcare, a national leader in physician outsourcing services, is the nation’s largest emergency department (ED) contractor, according to Modern Healthcare. The nation’s 10th largest medical group has 158 offices nationally and nearly 800 physicians, according to SK&A. The company’s first client was Baylor, which was seeking to outsource its ED physician staffing in 1972. Three decades later, Emcare provides services to more than 500 hospitals in 40 states and treats more than nine million patients annually. Its ED services include management, recruiting, billing… Full Story

Groups Merge to form “Physician-led Integrated Health System”

Irving-based USMD is merging with Urology Associates of North Texas (UANT) and Medical Clinic of North Texas (MCNT) to form what it calls a “physician-led integrated health system.” The move unites more than 240 physicians and associate practitioners, 18 specialties, and 64 clinics in Dallas-Fort Worth. The larger corporate entity, USMD Holdings, owns or operates hospitals, cancer treatment centers, and kidney stone treatment service providers with more than 400 physicians in 10 states. USMD has hospitals in Fort Worth and Arlington governed by physician-led boards of directors. All three organizations were originally formed in the 1990s. Dr. John House, managing… Full Story

Job Satisfaction Key Driver in Employee Healthcare Costs

A company’s health-related costs are not due simply to health problems, according to consultant and author Wendy Lynch. She contends that a rewarding job and performance-based compensation are the most cost-effective investments employers can make for employee health and performance. Lynch, co-director of Altarum Institute’s Center for Consumer Choice in Health Care, addressed the Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health luncheon May 23 at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Dallas. Her speech—Rethinking benefits, wellness, and incentives strategies: How performance-based benefits and compensation policies improve both health and business outcomes—emphasized the role of human capital in the workplace. That capital is… Full Story