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

New Emergency Care Center on Tap for Texas Health Harris Methodist in Fort Worth

Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth is constructing a $57.7 million emergency care center at the corner of West Terrell Street and Fifth Avenue. The goal of the clinic is to provide a continuum of care for geriatric patients and reduce unnecessary hospital admissions. The three-story, 75,000-square-foot emergency care center, slated for completion in fall 2013, will be one block south of the hospital’s current emergency department and will connect to the main hospital through a sky bridge. It will nearly triple the square footage of the existing department and increase patient beds to 90 from the current 63.… Full Story

BioDFW Merged Into Health Industry Council

The Irving-based Health Industry Council (HIC) of North Texas has absorbed BioDFW. The integration of the two nonprofit organizations, which was effective June 1, included a transfer of assets from BioDFW to HIC’s foundation. Formed in 2003 to promote life science locally, BioDFW was an alliance of leaders in industry, education, government and nonprofit organizations that represented several healthcare disciplines, such as research, medical devices, information technology, and finance. BioDFW’s board will serve on the HIC’s healthcare technology taskforce and help produce an annual half-day forum to showcase the life science industry in North Texas. Leslie Casey, HIC vice president… Full Story

Lewisville-based Orthofix to Pay $34 Million in False Claims Act Fines

Orthofix, a Lewisville medical-device company, will pay more than $34 million to settle allegations stemming from a whistleblower lawsuit. The suit, filed by Jeffrey Bierman, alleged that the company improperly waived patient co-payments, resulting in a misstatement of the device costs and resulting in excess reimbursement by the federal government. The suit also claimed the company “paid kickbacks to physicians and their staffs in the form of ‘fitter fee,’ ” as well as other fees, according to a Justice Department news release. Under to the agreement, Orthofix did not accept liability and denied the Justice Department allegations. The company will… Full Story

Meet the CEO: Bruce Sammis, Lockton Dunning

What kind of CEO is Bruce Sammis? The kind that holds onto good advice for 23 years. When Sammis was working for Cigna Healthcare in the 1980s, he found himself at the helm of a huge project. “I was put in charge way before I was ready,” he says. “I tried to fix everything from Day One.” A higher-up in the company gave Sammis advice that has since become a guiding tenet in his life. “He told me that when people ask how things are going, they want to hear the words, ‘Never better,’ not something negative,” Sammis says. “To… Full Story

Thriving in the New Healthcare Environment

There were two big takeaways from the Health Industry Council’s 2012 Southwest Healthcare Transactions Conference in Dallas. First, regardless of whatever shape the health-reform law takes, its impact on delivery transformation will endure. The law has prompted physicians and hospitals—which historically have coexisted warily—to join forces to satisfy payers who are demanding greater value instead of volume. Accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes are rapidly forming to create higher-quality, lower-cost and better-coordinated patient care. Second, keynote speaker Paul Kusserow of Humana made it clear Dallas-Fort Worth has arrived as a center of healthcare innovation. He listed the North Texas… Full Story