Morning Rounds (08.02.12)

Dallas-based HealthCap capitalizaes Restora Healthcare Holdings to fund acquisition of Trillium Specialty Hospitals in Phoenix. Study at UT Southwestern suggests new treatment for brain tumors. Medical City lactation consultants and nurses to take part in mass breastfeeding event in Dallas on Saturday. NEJM on how to cut hospital costs without payment reforms. As Texas physicians who treat new Medicaid patients drops to all-time low of 31 percent, TMA looks for realistic solutions.

Texas Law Aimed at Curbing Physician Shortages May Make Them Worse, Experts Say

A law designed to address the physician shortage in Texas may have the unintended consequence of making it worse. Texas and New York have passed legislation limiting where international medical graduates (IMGs) can practice. Beginning Sept. 1, the Texas State Medical Board will require non-citizen and non-permanent resident physicians who apply for a Texas license to agree to practice in a medical underserved area or health professional shortage area (HPSA) for three years. Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) sponsored the law. About one out of four Texas physicians are international medical graduates. They have played an increasingly important role in… Full Story

$120 Million Expansion Approved for Methodist Richardson; Will Add 125-Bed Hospital

Methodist Health System’s board of directors has approved a $120 million expansion that will add a 266,250-square-foot acute care hospital at Methodist Richardson. The 125-bed hospital is slated to open in the fall of 2014 at the southeast corner of Renner Road and State Highway 190. The site, which is known as Methodist Richardson—Bush/Renner, already is home to a medical office building and outpatient hospital, as well as a cancer center that opened in October 2008. Methodist Richardson has a second campus at Campbell Road. “This hospital has served Richardson and the surrounding area with compassionate quality health care at its… Full Story

Morning Rounds (07.31.12)

Parkland to temporarily close its psychiatric ER for renovation while suspending longer-term care for the mentally ill. Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare announces $110 million expansion at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. Eleven North Texas companies and organizations make the cut in Modern Healthcare’s 2012 “Best Places to Work in Healthcare.” Weekend patients have a higher chance of dying than those admitted during the week, reports American Medical News. Is mandated physician retirement at a certain age a thing of the future?  

Morning Rounds (07.30.12)

Women in healthcare account for 4 percent of CEOs, 73 percent of managers, Forbes reports. Who’s recruiting physicians in 2012? Dispelling conventional wisdom: Why Medicaid users visit the emergency department more than private insurance users. Texas residents should receive $476 million in health insurance rebates during the next three years. What happens to hospitals that provide care to alien residents under the ACA?

Nine Texas Vascular Associates Doctors Sued for Alleged Medicare, Insurance Fraud

A former employee of Dallas’ Texas Vascular Associates is suing the practice and its nine doctors. Cortez Mills, a former medical coding professional at TVA, alleges that she was fired in May after discovering fraudulent billing practices. According to the complaint, Mills discovered the irregularities while reviewing and releasing patient bills to Medicare and private insurers for payment. They include double-billing insurance carriers, coding insurance claims so certain services would not be bundled, and billing for services that were never performed. TVA is based in the Baylor Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital on the Baylor Dallas campus near downtown Dallas. Baylor, however, is not… Full Story

Morning Rounds (07.25.12)

NTEC is accepting applications for MedVentures 2012. Last year’s presenting companies raised an average of $1.9 million. Deloitte surveys C-suite executives and HR professionals on the U.S. healthcare system, the ACA, and strategies for employee health benefits coverage and cost containment. Becker’s Hospital Review shares five best practices for cultural changes following a hospital transaction. Hospital leaders share their opinions on their organizations’ budgets for EHR deployment? Integrated Healthcare Strategies‘ 2012 national healthcare staff compensation survey results.    

Legislation Could Stave Off Medicare Cuts for Doctors

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) has introduced legislation to provide a one-year extension for Medicare physician payment rates to ensure continued access for Medicare beneficiaries and TRICARE recipients. The legislation, called H.R. 6142, The Assuring Medicare Stability and Access for Seniors Act of 2012, is the latest in a set of attempts from Congress to stave off a nearly 30 percent pay cut for doctors accepting Medicare. “Despite Congress’ continual enactment of last-minute legislation to prevent these cuts from going into effect over the last few years, 11th-hour legislative maneuvers should no longer take the place of a stable and secure… Full Story

MedSynergies, Methodist, and NorthStar Anesthesia Named to Fastest-growing Healthcare Companies List

Three North Texas companies are among the 40 fastest-growing healthcare companies in the country, according to Modern Healthcare. The magazine released the names of the 40 contenders this morning; rankings will be revealed in September. Vying for recognition locally are Irving-based MedSynergies, Dallas-based Methodist Health System, and NorthStar Anesthesia, which is based in Arlington. One other Texas company—Hospital Housekeeping Systems of Austin—also made the list. The “fast 40” companies fall into four categories: hospitals/hospital systems, physician group practices, payers/insurers, and suppliers. Qualifying concerns must be based in the United States, have generated at least $20 million in revenue in 2011,… Full Story

Patience and Strategy Needed for Healthcare Reform

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Texas will need patience and strategy with two important decisions regarding Medicaid expansion and the implementation of the State Health Insurance Exchange. Texas Governor Rick Perry recently announced Texas would not expand Medicaid coverage or implement a state health insurance exchange. Texas leads the nation with an overall 27 percent uninsured population. Those numbers climb to 30 percent in North Texas. Within our state, 1.2 million children have no medical insurance and 40 percent of Texas women do not receive appropriate prenatal… Full Story