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

Morning Rounds (08.10.12)

Methodist Health System shares its cost-cutting strategies.  Area hospital executives Joel Allison, Britt Berrett, Trevor Fetter, and Stephen Mansfield made Becker’s Healthcare “Top 300 Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know” list. Texas Children’s Hospital reveals results of its long-term Berlin Heart study. Palliative care challenged by physician shortage. Employers becoming more of a catalyst for driving healthcare change.      

TMA: More Texas Doctors Abandoning Medicaid and Medicare

Cedar Hill orthopedic surgeon Stephen Ozanne had not accepted Medicaid patients in the past, but decided he would try to accept two a month. Things quickly unraveled. He found his patients had transportation problems getting to the office and tended not to follow prescribed treatment. He also found Medicaid’s reimbursement process cumbersome. He calculated that he spent $500 in staff time to collect less than $50. End of experiment. Ozanne, the former president of the Dallas County Medical Society (DCMS), is not alone. Texas physicians are turning their backs on Medicaid and Medicare in growing numbers. According to a recent Texas… Full Story

Morning Rounds (08.09.12)

Parkland says it has completed about 70 percent of the tasks on its corrective action plan. Tenet‘s stock climbed nearly 3 percent Wednesday, after the company reported its 2Q results. PwC offers tips for treating patients like a valued customer. HHS: Electronic payments could save hospitals $9 billion. Children with Crohn’s Disease may benefit from new treatment.  

Morning Rounds (08.08.12)

Children’s Medical Center levels up patient’s gaming systems and electronics with $150,000 gift from MMK Foundation. One-third of doctors declined to take new Medicaid patients in 2011. New HHS rule may save up to $9 billion over the next 10 years and give doctors more time with patients. The Institute of Medicine wants doctors’ Medicare pay to reflect city population. HIPAA has changed; new compliance training can be found online.  

The “Piggly Wiggly” Effect

I once worked for a company in Georgia that owned hospitals across the United States. Each year, executives gave every employee a gift certificate for a free Thanksgiving turkey at the grocery store Piggly Wiggly. A nice gesture, but employees in California and Colorado had never heard of the chain, as no branches were within their states. So, although hundreds of employees were given a free turkey, they had no access to Piggly Wiggly. Something akin to this could happen in Texas. Many residents do not have a primary care provider to assist in coordinating their healthcare. They seek treatment… Full Story