Spending on Neck and Back Treatment Doubles

According to a report published in the September issue of the Spine orthopedic journal, patient spending among those seeking treatment for neck and back problems in the U.S. nearly doubled since the late 1990s. The biggest driver of the 95 percent increase in spending was for medical specialist care, while spending on primary care doctors and chiropractors remained stable. According to the study’s authors, the current approximate cost of diagnosis and management of lower back pain in the United States is $90 billion per year.

AHA: Survival Rates Improve with Lengthier Resuscitation

More patients survive cardiac arrest when treated in hospitals that perform lengthier resuscitation attempts, according to a new American Heart Association study. Revival rates were 12 percent higher at hospitals with median resuscitation times of 25 minutes, as opposed to hospitals treating for an average of 16 minutes. Physicians are still unsure, though, if these improved rates are due to longer attempts or more standardized procedures. However, the study may help physicians improve guidelines, which currently don’t recommend a specific time for resuscitation efforts.

Morning Rounds (09.06.12)

Parker University will add three degree programs in January as part of a plan to develop 12 new programs through 2017. The programs were chosen in response to high demand among students, an increase in industry salaries, and changes in occupational healthcare trends, the university says.

About 7,000 women in DFW must now find an alternative to Planned Parenthood after the state officially cut its funding because the clinics offer abortions. An appeal of the ruling is under way.

A UT Southwestern medical student was featured on three episodes of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” The contestent didn’t win the big prize, but he certainly didn’t go home empty-handed.

Nearly one in three American adults has high blood pressure. The CDC reports that more than half of those people—36 million—don’t have it under control and recommends team-based approaches to help the problem. Full Story

Morning Rounds (09.05.12)

Nearly every major health insurer recorded declining earnings in the second quarter of 2012, mainly because of something that happened more often than they expected: patients going to see their doctors, according to an American Medical Association report.

A Baylor Health Care System director of epidemiology and his team are executing a large national multicenter study to assess the effectiveness of preventive and management strategies and their impact on long-term survival.

The American Heart Association reports that taking vitamin D supplements to compensate for vitamin D deficiency may not improve cholesterol in short term.

A Texas Presbyterian Hospital Dallas Chief nursing officer has been named one of only 20 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellows from across the country for 2012. Full Story

Texas EDs: On the Front Lines of Accountable Care

After more than two decades working in healthcare, I know my way around a hospital, and I’m well versed in our industry’s issues and needs. However, when an accident recently landed me in the emergency room with a fractured wrist, the experience opened my eyes in a very personal way to the challenges in our healthcare system. Don’t get me wrong. I received top-notch care in the emergency department. But after the hospital discharged me with a cast on my wrist, I received no real guidance or help in connecting with a provider for the next steps of my care… Full Story

Morning Rounds (09.04.12)

As part of a deal with the Department of State Health Services, Parkland Health & Hospital System will pay a $1 million fine for patient safety and quality-of-care deficiencies. The agreement resolves and discharges all potential enforcement actions for compliance issues before May 31, 2012

The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) is calling on physicians and other health care professionals to participate in the upcoming large free clinic for uninsured persons at the Dallas Convention Center, Hall A, 650 South Griffin St., on Sept. 29.

Twenty new North Texas schools are joining Troy Aikman and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas in the fight against childhood obesity. Find out which area schools are now part of the Healthy Zone School Recognition.

Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth will begin performing kidney transplants next month. The initiative will operate under the name Fort Worth Transplant Institute, with Dr. George Rofaiel as the surgical director and Dr. Bala Sankar as the medical director. Full Story

Plaza Medical to Begin Kidney Transplants

Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth will begin performing kidney transplants within the next month, according to a report in the Fort Worth Business Press. The United Network for Organ Sharing, the organization that manages the nation’s organ transplant system under contract with the federal government, formally authorized Plaza Medical Center to start a kidney transplant program in early August. The new program will operate under the name Fort Worth Transplant Institute, with Dr. George Rofaiel as the surgical director and Dr. Bala Sankar as the medical director.

Volunteers Needed for Free Medical Clinic for the Uninsured in Dallas

The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) is calling on physicians and other healthcare professionals for an upcoming program in Dallas. The organization is seeking 100 doctors, 300 to 400 nurses, and 500 or more non-medical volunteers for its Sept. 29 clinic, which will provide services for the uninsured. The clinic will take place at the Dallas Convention Center at 650 South Griffin St. NAFC will host its latest C.A.R.E. (Communities Are Responding Everyday) clinic in conjunction with the Lone Star Association of Charitable Clinics (LSACC) and the North Texas Association of Charitable Clinics (NTACC). “We are hopeful that… Full Story

Morning Rounds (08.31.12)

The Dallas office of Duke Realty is working with Scott & White Healthcare to develop two medical office buildings in Texas.

A local CEO is one of 10 contenders for Modern Healthcare’s national Community Leadership Award. Find out who.

The CDC deems aerial spraying in Dallas County a success, with the percentage of disease-carrying mosquitos dropping dramatically after the first two sprays.

The Affordable Care Act began giving women free preventative care Aug. 1. However, because of some exemptions, it has become difficult for doctors to correctly bill patients. See how some doctors are dealing with the issue. Full Story

Morning Rounds (08.30.12)

Three North Texas contenders—AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas Mayor’s Youth Fitness Initiative, and West Dallas Community Centers Inc.—are in the running to win $30,000 as part of an Aetna program that rewards groups for closing racial and ethnic gaps in helping people live healthier lives.

A local infectious disease doctor must pay a former patient $5.2 million for negligence. The patient in the case, David Fitzgerald, filed a complaint in 2005 after an ulcer treatment went tragically awry.

To combat the rising number of West Nile infections, aerial spraying continues. Tarrant County will be sprayed tonight and tomorrow night.

Village Health Partners is expanding. The practice has opened a second location in Plano, at 5501 Independence Pkwy. Full Story