Morning Rounds (10.10.12)

Parkland Health & Hospital System has formed a nonprofit research and development corporation to support software that predicts patient problems before they occur.

The Medical Center of Plano is the first hospital in Texas to use a new stroke treatment.

More health systems self-insuring the combined hospital-physician malpractice risk.

Post-debate bounce: Romney closes the gap with Obama when it comes to healthcare matters. Full Story

Texas Physicians More Pessimistic About Reform, State of Medicine, Survey Finds

Texas physicians are more frustrated and more pessimistic than their colleagues are nationally, according to a Physicians Foundation survey. Moreover, if they do what they say they’re going to do in the near future, Texas’ physician shortage may get significantly worse. Among Texas physicians, the survey found: 56 percent said their income practice declined over the past three years—10 percentage points higher than the U.S. average. Nearly 75 percent said their practices either were at full capacity or overextended. More than half said they plan to cut back their workload, restrict the number of patients they see or retire. About… Full Story

Morning Rounds (10.09.12)

One North Texan makes Modern Healthcare’s 2012 “Up and Comers” list.

Dallas-based MediSend International is providing 50 Nigerian technicians with professional training and technical support.

Engineers at UTD made a material small enough to read DNA, which opens the possibility of using it as a low-cost tool to sequence DNA.

The Dallas Regional Chamber Chamber will host its fourth annual healthcare conference Oct. 17, bringing in experts across the sector’s various industries. Full Story

Study: Physicians Working Fewer Hours, Seeing Fewer Patients

Merritt Hawkins & Associates reports that physicians are working fewer hours and seeing fewer patients. The doctor-recruiting firm conducted a survey for the Physicians Foundation and found a number of the 14,000 physicians wary of the future of healthcare, according to American Medical News. Nine in 10 physicians agreed that most doctors “are unsure where the health system will be or how they will fit into it” during the next five years. The survey reports the average number of hours physicians worked per week fell by 5.9 percent, from 57 hours to 53 hours a week, between 2008 and 2012.  Physicians… Full Story

MedPAC: Let Geographic Pay Cuts for Physicians Proceed

The staff of Congress’ primary Medicare advisory body recommended that geographic-based payment cuts for physicians be allowed to go into effect, according to a report Modern Healthcare:  The draft recommendations, on which the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has yet to vote, applied to the program’s system for supplementing or cutting physician payments based on a comparison of costs in the area in which they practice to a national average. A legislative freeze on the cuts side of that equation is scheduled to expire Dec. 31. MedPAC’s report on the geographic adjustments is not due to Congress until June 2013, but because… Full Story

Morning Rounds (10.05.12)

Six Dallas healthcare professionals have been indicted for defrauding Medicare, as indicted defrauding Medicare part of a national investigation that involves 91 individuals.

Four North Texas leaders have been named to Becker’s Hospital Review’s “100 Women Hospital and Health System Leaders To Know.

Four months after launching an organ-donation campaign in the United States, Facebook is taking the program to Canada and Mexico.

Novation hosts 50 suppliers at first Innovative Technology Supplier Expo in Irving. Full Story

Two Dallas Physicians and Four Nurses Indicted For Defrauding Medicare

Two Dallas-area physicians and four registered nurses were indicted Thursday for allegedly defrauding Medicare, as first reported by the Dallas Morning News. The two cases totaled more than $104 million and involved more than 30,000 prescriptions and home health care services. Both were part of a nationwide investigation that included 91 defendants and alleged fraud totaling $429.3 million. Dr. Joseph Megwa, owner of Arlington’s Raphem Medical Practice, allegedly signed 33,000 prescription pads, sometimes without review, for more than 2,000 Medicare users. Ferguson Ikhile, a registered nurse and owner of PTM Healthcare Services Inc. in Irving, and Ebolose Echobor, director of… Full Story

Morning Rounds (10.04.12)

Meet the first female chief of the medical staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.

Healthcare IT News ranks Dallas company No. 2 on its “Where to Work: Top IT Departments” list in the large hospitals category.

Tenet Healthcare’s S&P rating has been cut from ‘BB—’ to ‘B+.” 

Nine out of 10 seniors are satisfied with their Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D). Full Story

Healthcare Reform: The Changing Patient Experience—and How Doctors Can Help

As the dust settles following the Supreme Court’s healthcare reform ruling, early provisions and preparation for full implementation in 2014 have affected how patients receive care and provided the medical community with many opportunities for our approach to patient care. I frequently get asked what I think about the ruling and the ACA.  Most people want a black or white answer. I generally tell them that it is way too broad to label it good or bad.  There are positive aspects, areas of concern and general opportunity for healthcare providers—especially those in primary care. Positive Changes As a family doctor,… Full Story