Physician Consolidation Leads to Higher Prices, Study Says

A study in from Rice University researchers in the Journal of General Internal Medicine shows that patients spend more when treated by doctors that bill through hospital-owned practices. The past couple decades have seen independent physician practices become more and more scarce, with the fractured industry moving increasingly toward consolidation. The first wave was spurred by large health systems acquiring independent practices, but now Wall Street is a major player in physician acquisition. As practices are rolled into larger organizations, competition decreases, with fewer players fighting for patients. Independent practitioners have little bargaining power with insurance companies for higher reimbursement rates,… Full Story

TMA Foundation Names Two Local Physicians to Board of Trustees

Two Dallas-area physicians have joined the Texas Medical Association Foundation Board of Trustees. The foundation supports statewide and local initiatives that focus on health and awareness, including programs that increase on immunizations, wearing bicycle helmets, and healthy physical activity. Dr. Justin Bishop, a medical resident in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine in Dallas, will serve a one year term on the board. Bishop won the TMA Medical Student Section Student of the Year award in 2014 and served on the TMA Board of Trustees as a representative of the TMA Medical Student Section and the TMA… Full Story

Meet the New TMA Physician Leaders From North Texas

Seventeen North Texas physicians will assume leadership positions at this week’s Texas Medical Association Fall Conference. They were appointed or elected to various boards, councils, and committees and look at healthcare issues to make policy recommendations to support the 53,000 physicians and medical students in the TMA, the nation’s largest medical association. See below to learn about all the new appointments. Dr. John T. Carlo, a public health and preventive care specialist, will be on TMA’s Council on Legislation, which monitors and develops strategies on pending legislation and advocates for legislation at the state and national levels. Dr. Wendy M.… Full Story

Catalyst Health Network’s New Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Jeffrey Bullard will be the Chief Medical Officer for the Catalyst Health Network, a nonprofit network of physicians who coordinate care and share data and best practices. Bullard focuses on integrative medicine, behavioral health, and family medicine, and advocates for enhancing primary care through technology. He designed MaxHealth Family, Internal and Sports Medicine in Colleyville, which addresses everything from nutrition and mental health to sports medicine and chronic disease. He also founded Acuity Brain Center, which addresses mental and brain health needs with technology. “I’ve spent my life working to enrich the lives of patients and the primary care physicians who… Full Story

Report: The Emergence of Clinical Supergroups

Physicians, dentists and vision-care specialists are teaming up to form supergroups as they strive to meet the growing demands for greater value, innovation, and technology while attempting to maintain independence. Law Firm Polsinelli released a white paper addressing the development and examining the movement. Historically, small-group or solo practices have been the norm for physicians, but the report indicates that such traditional clinician practice models are often unable to capitalize on changing payment systems, so consolidation within a supergroup can provide relief from various pressures such as decreasing fee for service  compensation. Other challenges include increasing financial demands on growing… Full Story

Grapevine Physician Suspended For Non-therapeutic Prescriptions

The Texas Medical Board has suspended a Grapevine physician for improperly operating a pain clinic and engaging in consistent non-therapeutic medicine. The board found that his treatment fell below standard for several patients seeking treatment for chronic pain. Dr. Alok Pratap Kushwaha’s medical license has been temporarily suspended with notice for being a threat to public welfare. He is not able to engage in the treatment of any chronic pain and must give up any DEA controlled substances. He is also unable to delegate his prescriptive authority to other physician assistants or nurse practitioners. As the opioid crisis continues to… Full Story

Rural Physician Recruiting: What Administrators Are Missing

Hospital administrators are missing the mark when it comes to recruiting physicians to rural markets, prioritizing salary over other elements that physicians feel is more important. Nationwide, 11 percent of physicians live near 20 percent of the country’s population in rural areas, highlighting the shortage. With Texas on the forefront of rural hospital struggles, the study from Jackson Physician Search highlights why some organizations might have trouble recruiting talent. Only 28 percent of physicians rank compensation as the top priority when considering working in rural communities, but 40 percent of hospital administrators think it is the most important factor. The study… Full Story

Local Physician Named to American Board of Internal Medicine

Dr. Nagendra Gupta has been appointed to the American Board of International Medicine’s (ABIM) Internal Medicine Board. Specialty Board members work with physicians and medical societies to develop Board Certification and Maintenance Certification credentials recognizing physicians for their commitment to staying within their current field. The Board consists of a diverse range of practice types and members who provide multiple perspectives on patient care. Dr. Gupta is a Board Certified Internist and currently serves as a the Program Director of the Hospitalist Program at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, leading a team of more than 20 physicians who oversee the… Full Story

Ann Curry, Dallas Physician to Star on TNT and TBS Medical Show

Dallas’ own Dr. James Pinckney is soon to be on a ten-episode show called Chasing the Cure with Ann Curry on TNT and TBS. Pinckney is a family medicine and founder of direct primary care practice Diamond Physicians, with four locations in North Texas. The Plano native was selected to help behind the scenes and on camera as part of the medical panel for Curry’s return to live television. The show will look at unsolved diagnoses and other complex medical conditions. Part of Pinckney’s role will be to work in the “Crowd Cure Center” for the live show, where viewers… Full Story

Report: Specialists in Demand Amidst Decrease in Calls for Primary Care

Healthcare facilities are looking for more specialists and fewer primary care physicians, according to an annual report from Merritt Hawkins tracking physicians starting salaries and other recruiting patterns. An aging population reveals shortages of both specialist and primary care physicians in years ahead. The report arrives as numerous data points suggest the importance of primary care physicians in reducing overall healthcare costs and avoiding unnecessary and often costly treatment performed by specialists. The 2019 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives analyzed results from a survey of 3,131 physician and advanced practitioners conducted over the last year. Merritt Hawkins is a… Full Story