Morning Rounds (07.19.12)

Texas Health Resources has agreed to participate in the work of the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare.   The American College of Surgeons has reverified Parkland’s trauma center as a Level One, the highest classification.   Denton Regional Medical Center wants to be first in cardiac care. See where it succeeded.   Baylor Health Care System has released a virtual tour of its new medical center in McKinney.   University of Texas Regents recognized 40 faculty members for outstanding teaching practices at UT health institutions.  

Teladoc Co-founder Gary Wald Named Chief Operating Officer of InteractiveMD

Gary Wald has been named chief operating officer of InteractiveMD. The co-founder of Dallas-based Teladoc brings a solid background in telehealth, telecommunications, medical devices, and advertising to his new role. Wald—who will divide his time between Dallas and InteractiveMD’s Boca Raton, Fla., headquarters—said telehealth communications is his passion. His mission at InteractiveMD will be to help develop customized telehealth solutions and bundle medical devices and telecom tools into a patient-centric, advanced remote telehealth consultation, he said. Before co-founding Teladoc in 2002, Wald was vice president of marketing at Medtronic, where he focused on the company’s insulin pump division. He also spent five years… Full Story

SDCMC Physician Assistant Pleads Guilty to Healthcare Fraud

Cal Graves, who worked as a physician assistant at South Dallas Community Medical Center, pleaded guilty earlier this week to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and restitution. Graves and physician Daniel Leong, who owned SDCMC, were charged in September 2011 with seven counts of healthcare fraud and conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud for their roles in a Medicare and Medicaid scheme involving prescription drugs and diagnostic testing. The offenses took place at a SDCMC clinic on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Dallas. According to Federal Bureau of… Full Story

As Solo Physician Practices Dwindle, Economic Impact is Felt

The burden of healthcare delivery reforms and declining reimbursements quietly are driving solo physician practitioners to close up shop, merge, or become employees of hospitals or government agencies. A little-recognized impact of that trend is the lost economic benefit of a physician office. According to a  2011 Lewin Group analysis, the 11,700 Dallas-Fort Worth office-based physicians accounted for nearly $18 billion in economic output, about 70,000 jobs, and more than $11.5 billion in wages and benefits in 2009. Additionally, Texas office-based physicians generate 95 cents in indirect economic output for every dollar the practice generates. Examples include purchases of office… Full Story

Morning Rounds (07.18.12)

More troubles for Lewisville-based Orthofix. The company has agreed to pay $5.2 million to settle federal regulatory charges that its subsidiary bribed Mexican officials for sales contracts with government hospitals.   The American Heart Association reported fewer patients needed long-term care when primary care doctors focused on the health hazards of high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, irregular heartbeats, and depression.   Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. boasts 33 hospitals that have received 71 designations for cardiac care, cardiac surgery, and heart rhythm disorders; and 21 designations as UnitedHealth Premium Surgical Spine and Total Joint Replacement Specialty Centers.   Texas healthcare ranks worst in nation, according to NYDaily News.   Arlington Occupational… Full Story

MedSynergies Aligns with Staubach’s Allies in Service to Help Provide Jobs for Veterans

Fifteen percent of MedSynergies’ new hires through 2013 will be veterans or their spouses, as part of the company’s commitment to help improve the 10 percent unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans. “We understand the need that exists for reliable career paths among veterans and their spouses, and relish the opportunity to hire more employees with the kind of teamwork, commitment and discipline these individuals bring,” said J.R. Thomas, CEO of MedSynergies, in a statement. “As a growing business, it is absolutely critical for us to hire new employees who will help build leadership throughout our organization, and our partnership with… Full Story

Edgemere Implements “Masterpiece Living” Aging Program

Edgemere, a senior living community in Dallas, is now offering residents the option to participate in the “Masterpiece Living” program, an aging program focused on maximizing one’s quality of life. Developed in 1999 by a board of health advisors, and informed by aging research and reviews of ongoing outcome measurement completed in conjunction with Mayo Clinic, there are four tenets to the Masterpiece Living philosophy: use it or lose it, loneliness hurts but involvement heals, there are no age limits, and I can make a difference. Edgemere is one of five senior living communities in Texas owned by Senior Quality… Full Story

Baylor Health Care System’s Expansion—and Contraction

Like many North Texas healthcare organizations, Baylor Health Care System is expanding and contracting at the same time. As chief operating officer Gary Brock points out, North Texas is adding population annually that’s the equivalent of the city of Richardson. The healthcare organization must keep up with the growth. For example, Baylor recently announced a joint venture to build eight freestanding emergency departments within the next year with The Woodlands-based Emerus. Meanwhile, Baylor is cutting more than a half billion in expenses through 2014. Hospitals have to adjust to the reality of shrinking government health insurance reimbursement. Baylor will receive… Full Story

BUMC Captures Top Spot Locally in U.S. News’ Annual Hospital Rankings

Baylor University Medical Center (BUMC) captured the top Dallas-Fort Worth spot in the 2012 U.S. News & World Report annual Best Hospitals rankings, released today. BUMC was nationally ranked in six specialties—gastroenterology, nephrology, orthopedics, pulmonology, urology, and gynecology. UT Southwestern, which was No. 1 locally last year, slipped to No. 2, with national rankings in neurology and neurosurgery, and urology. This year’s Best Hospitals, the 23rd annual edition, highlights more than 720 of the nation’s roughly 5,000 hospitals. Fewer than 150 are nationally ranked in at least one of 16 medical specialties. Complete  2012-13 rankings will appear in the U.S. News… Full Story

Morning Rounds (07.17.12)

Texas Health Resources has implemented 3D technology for mammograms.   Dallas-based Aprima Medical Software has released an app that helps doctors manage their appointments, look up patient information, review patient visits, check and respond to messages, and other tasks. Seniors Helping Seniors, a non-medical home care company for senior citizens—with all work provided by seniors—is opening  a new location in Denton County.   The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has created a website with an interactive map to assist people searching for heart disease and stroke care.   Irving-based The LaSalle Group plans to build a memory care assisted-living community that will… Full Story