Morning Rounds (10.03.12)

Dallas’ Lockton Dunning Benefits makes a “game-changer” acquisition.

Urgent Care for Kids plans expansion after a  capital boost from Healthcap.

Report: Drug companies are amping up use of coupons and discount cards to compete with generics.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services warns against using EHRs to “game the system.” Full Story

Morning Rounds (10.02.12)

Tenet Healthcare Corp. has announced a stock split, acquisition plans, and other financial initiatives.

Americans are making fewer trips to the doctor, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report.

American Medical News reports on a study that reveals what makes patients want to come back.

Conifer Health Solutions has agreed to buy InforMed Health Care Solutions, in a deal it says will add $50 million to its bottom line. Full Story

Study: What Makes Patients Want to Come Back

Well-trained physicians, easy access to patients’ histories, and long appointments are more likely to leave patients feeling satisfied, according to an American Medical News report. Harris Interactive Poll researchers surveyed 2,311 people, 84 percent of whom had visited a doctor’s office in the past 12 months. Of this group, 83 percent were satisfied or very satisfied, actually ranking highrt than satisfaction scores for restaurants and banks. According to the same study, 97 percent of people rated a doctor’s knowledge, training, and expertise as important to create positive customer experience; 94 percent considered a physician being able to access a patient’s… Full Story

Americans Making Fewer Trips to the Doctor, Census Bureau Finds

In 2010, working-age adults made an average of 3.9 visits to medical providers, down from 4.8 in 2001, according to a report by the U.S. Census Bureau. More Americans consider themselves to be healthy with nearly two in three reporting their health as being either “excellent” or “very good.” Another 24 percent said their health was “good,” while 8 percent described it as “fair” and 2 percent as “poor.” Non-Hispanic blacks were more likely to consider their health to be fair or poor (13 percent) than non-Hispanic whites (10 percent) or Hispanics (9 percent). Other findings from the report: •… Full Story

Morning Rounds (10.01.12)

Nearly 1,200 uninsured people received care at a free health clinic held this past weekend in Dallas.

Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. is in negotiations to buy a 209-bed hospital in Turlock, Calif.

Corporate CFOs say their companies’ growth is hindered by the escalating cost of employee benefits.

UTA’s College of Nursing is seeking to increase enrollment through a partnership with HCA Methodist Healthcare in San Antonio. Full Story

Morning Rounds (09.28.12)

More than 86 percent of physicians say income in their practices has been flat or declining over the past three years.

The percentage of cardiology practices owned by hospitals has tripled in five years.

Scientists have created tiny medical devices sealed in silk cocoons that dissolve after their work is complete.

More than 70 percent of surveyed U.S. hospitals plan to purchase new health information exchange technology. Full Story

Physician Income on the Decline

More than 86 percent of physicians said income in their practices has been flat or declining over the past three years, according to a survey from Merritt Hawkins. Primary care physicians were more inclined to see income increases while specialists were more likely to point out income declines due to their Medicare reimbursement cuts, Becker’s reported. The survey fielded responses from more than 13,500 physicians and covers topics, ranging from physician work schedule to job satisfaction. Below are 24 statistics on how physicians described income levels over the past three years.   Physicians aged 40 and younger Increasing: 22.6 percent… Full Story

Physician Practice Valuation Expert: Look Before You Leap

A local expert has a simple message for physicians looking to sell their practices: Look before you leap. Don Barbo, a Deloitte Financial Advisory Services director, specializes in valuation of physician practices. He had practice management experience before becoming a valuation specialist in 1998. The number of hospital-owned physician practices reached 55 percent in 2009, up from 50 percent in 2008 and 30 percent five years ago, according to the Medical Group Management Association. The pace of acquisition has not abated. Most often, hospitals call Barbo to place a value on potential acquisition targets. However, physicians occasionally call him for… Full Story

Morning Rounds (09.27.12)

Prime Healthcare Services  has purchased Dallas Medical Center, a 155-bed full service acute-care hospital in Farmers Branch.

Three North Texas companies have made Modern Healthcare’s “Healthcare’s Hottest” list.

Two Dallas clinics have been awarded $500,000 in grants under the GE Foundation’s Developing Health initiative.

The U.S. Supreme Court has taken on three healthcare cases. Full Story

Morning Rounds (09.26.12)

Fred Meyer, vice chairman of the board and CEO of The Cooper Institute, died September 24 at the age of 84.

A co-defendant of a Dallas physician has pleaded guilty to Medicare insurance fraud in a $375 million case.

Parkland Health and Hospital System  reports that it’s more than 80 percent complete with its corrective action plan.

In rural communities, residents are more likely to travel more than 20 miles to larger medical facilities instead of going to local hospitals, study finds. Full Story