Addison-Based Concentra Plans Major Expansion Into Primary Care

Concentra, the nation’s largest operator of urgent-care and occupational health clinics, is planning a major expansion into primary care. Thomas Fogarty, the company’s chief medical officer and one of its founders, said Concentra and parent company Humana see a demographic opportunity, with 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day. The elderly require far more medical care, yet the nation is facing a primary-care physician (PCP) shortage. Addison-based Concentra has 310 clinics—more than twice as many as any other competitor—in 40 states. The company was founded in 1979 by three primary-care physicians who opened an occupational health clinic in Amarillo. The trio’s second… Full Story

Détente in Scope-of-Practice Issue for Physicians, APRNs?

Scope of practice for advance-practice nurses has been a toxic issue in recent legislative sessions. Nursing organizations have sought independent prescribing and practice authority; the powerful Texas Medical Association (TMA) has swatted away what it sees as a challenge to physicians’ oversight authority. The TMA and the Coalition for Nurses in Advanced Practice appear to have reached a détente in advance of the 2013 legislative session. Since 1989, Texas has had a site-based model for advanced practice registered nurses (APRN). More than 20 years created a polyglot of physician oversight regulations—some based on geographical distance, others based on care delivery,… Full Story

DFW Ranks No. 73 on “Best Cities for Successful Aging” List

Dallas-Fort Worth ranks 73rd among the 100 largest metropolitan areas for healthcare and amenities that promote successful aging, according to a California non-partisan think tank. The study, called “Best Cities for Successful Aging,” by the Milken Institute in Santa Monica, looked for “safe, affordable, engaging and connected” communities for people 65 and older that offer “quality healthcare and an active lifestyle with ready access to transportation, education, employment and recreation.” Researchers developed 78 indicators of success for seniors to rank the “best cities for successful aging.” The factors were grouped in eight categories—healthcare, wellness, living arrangements, transportation and convenience of… Full Story

Morning Rounds (08.21.12)

Planned Parenthood to use $3 million donations after Komen flap for new breast health initiative. UT Southwestern named the official healthcare team of the Dallas Stars. Ten social media tips for docs. Drugmakers use coupons to fight generics.  

Morning Rounds (08.20.12)

Lewisville’s ClearPoint Diagnostic Laboratories chosen as in-network provider for United Healthcare. UT System to add medical school in South Texas. Northstar Healthcare announces equity restructuring of Dallas-area surgery center. Dallas physician recounts surviving West Nile Virus.

Morning Rounds (08.17.12)

Hospitals name their most and least favorite insurers. Five compensation options for ACO physicians. Aerial spraying for West Nile Virus began in Dallas last night. The average amount embezzled from medical practices is $1,000. AHA: Black stroke survivors face greater risk from high blood pressure.

Morning Rounds (08.16.12)

Physicians seeing patient visits rebound in 2012. 5 Simple Ways a hospital can build a stellar reputation. Harvard Medical School: New test may speed detection of heart attacks. Having a resident in a surgery increases success rate. Pharma reps with iPads get more physicians to accept samples, prescribe drugs.

THR Pilot Study: Wireless Monitoring Cuts Heart Failure Readmissions by 27 Percent

At most hospitals, chronic heart failure (CHF) is the No. 1 reason for hospital readmissions. In a typical hospital, CHF patients comprise nearly a third of those cases. In a pilot project, Texas Health Resources has been able to lower CHF readmission rates from 14 percent to about 10 percent—a drop of 27 percent. THR’s research arm, Texas Health Research & Education Institute, has been working with AT&T and Plano-based software maker Intuitive Health since April 2011 to monitor CHF patients remotely for 90 days after their hospital discharge. Patients are equipped with tools to help identify potential complications that… Full Story

Morning Rounds (08.13.12)

UT Southwestern Medical Center to provide more details on the quintuplets delivered last Thursday. Dallas County is conducting aerial sprays to combat the West Nile Virus. The CDC has updated its treatment guidelines for STDs. Hospital mass layoffs spiked in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. AMA: Patient satisfaction scores seen as critical to physician success.

Solo Physicians Practices Melting Away as Costs Rise and Reimbursements Drop

As Dallas physician Darrel Jordan strode past his receptionist’s desk, he heard her tell a patient: “Yes, ma’am. This is the last day Dr. Jordan will be seeing patients.” “That,” said the obstetrician and gynecologist, “put a knot in my stomach.” Jordan closed his Forest Lane office July 31. He is becoming medical director for an organization he declined to identify that runs 21 North Texas family planning clinics. Although Jordan said he was “eager about the new opportunity,” it was clear he simply has had enough of running a solo physician practice. In a letter sent to his patients… Full Story