BCBSTX Awards $1.6M in Grants to Fight CKD and COPD

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas will be awarding more than $1.6 million in Healthy Kids, Healthy Families grants to 12 Texas organizations in order to fight against and raise awareness about Chronic Kidney Disease and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Organizations were chosen for their work educating and managing CKD and COPD conditions, as well as their ability to decrease emergency room visits and increase primary care engagement. In communities with education and outreach events about CKD, medical spending decreased $103 per member, per month compared to areas without outreach, according to Richardson-based BCBSTX. “It’s important for us to collaborate with organizations that are making… Full Story

Texas Health Receives Federal Grant Targeting Youth Sports in Pleasant Grove

Texas Health Resources is the only health system in the country to receive a federal grant to promote youth sports through the Salvation Army Pleasant Grove Corps. The $800,000 grant is from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for the federal Youth Engagement in Sports (YES) initiative.  “Texas Health has enhanced its engagement with the communities we are blessed to serve by intentionally partnering with community-based organizations, corporations and funders,” said David Tesmer, Texas Health chief community and public policy officer via release. “We are serving as a catalyst for meeting local needs.” The program is funded through August… Full Story

Dallas County’s Growing Physician Shortage

In Dallas County, the shortage of primary care physicians is expected to grow by 90 percent in coming years, according to a Dallas County Health and Human Services Community Health Needs Assessment.  This complication is compounded by the fact that 60 percent of the ZIP codes in Dallas County are described as places with great “challenges and opportunities for addressing health disparities.” A tall test awaits the North Texas healthcare industry. The report dives deep into a number of health indicators, from sexually transmitted diseases and mortality to housing and physician shortage. Many of the disparities that exist in the… Full Story

Most of the State’s Lowest Life Expectancy Neighborhoods are in North Texas

Seven of the eight census tracts in the state with the lowest life expectancies are in our region, according to National Center for Health Statistics data. North Texas areas included in the lowest life expectancies include a portion of downtown Wichita Falls, near the Hospital District in Fort Worth, the historic Tenth Street Historic District, areas of South Dallas near Fair Park, and east Oak Cliff. The lowest life expectancy census tracts are due to a couple different factors. The neighborhoods are either high poverty areas with low social determinants fo health, such as Tenth Street or neighborhoods near Fair… Full Story

Dallas is Stepping Up its Fight Against HIV

Dallas County Health and Human Services recently released a report that highlights HIV and its effect on Dallas county residents, hoping to gain support behind joining Fast Track Cities, an initiative that allows countries to better collaborate on accelerating local AIDS response and attaining HIV prevention. So far, 21 U.S. cities have signed on to the Paris Declaration, which means they have committed to four goals: achieving a 90-90-90 target (assuring that 90 percent of people living with HIV know their status and are receiving sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 90 percent of people who receive that therapy has an undetectable… Full Story

A New Take on the Sexual Health Clinic

Dallas County led the nation for the highest rate of increase for new Chlamydia and Gonorrhea infections from 2016 to 2017 and is one of 48 counties nationwide with the highest rates of new HIV infections. In response, a number of organizations are teaming up with the Dallas County Health and Human Services department to fight the stigma and impact of HIV in Dallas. The plan involves identifying those who are at risk and have been effected with HIV, and to get those individuals on proper medication and in touch with the health system. It also means reaching the populations… Full Story

Barber Shops, Baylor, and CitySquare are Fighting Health System Stigma

Clippin Crownz 4Christ, Jay Vee Burberry’s shop next to the Forest Theater in South Dallas, is decked out with Dallas Cowboys gear and the plaid pattern that shares his last name. Burberry used to be homeless, but with the help of a nearby nonprofit he was able to start his own business. Every fourth Monday he can be found cutting hair for free at his shop, paying forward his good fortune.  In addition to his services for the homeless, Burberry is one of several barbers in mostly black South Dallas who have partnered with Baylor Scott & White and CitySquare… Full Story

Study: Texas Ranks Dead Last in Nursing Home Quality

Texas ranks 40th in senior health according to the United Health Foundation’s 2019 America’s Health Rankings Senior Report, and scores dead last when it comes to the availability of quality nursing homes. Texas has a low smoking rate that puts it in the top 10 in the country, but still ranks low for obesity and physical activity for the health of its seniors. The number of seniors has grown 45 percent since 2000, and more than 50 million seniors are living in the United States today.  Texas improved one spot since last year, but has hovered around 40th in the country for… Full Story

How Community Health Workers at Baylor are Reducing Trips to the Hospital

As healthcare costs continue to rise, stakeholders are looking for ways to bring down costs. Dallas is one of the most expensive places in the country to receive healthcare, and emergency room visits and hospital admissions are two of the most expensive contacts a patient can have with the healthcare system. Consumers, payers, and even health systems are looking for ways to reduce these high cost visits. One might think that hiring more nurses or social workers might provide patients contact that could help keep them out of the hospital, but at Baylor Scott and White, a grant has helped… Full Story

Genesis Physicians Group Expands Value-Based Care with Population Health Partnership

Genesis Physicians Group has partnered with Innovista Health Solutions, a population health management organization owned by Health Care Services Corporation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas’ parent company. The move will expand Genesis’ independent physicians ability to participate in better coordinated value-based care. The partnership is meant to reduce avoidable health care cost increases by combining Genesis’ experience as an independent physician association and Innovista’s industry expertise and population health technology. It will facilitate Genesis physicians transition to value-based care from the fee-for-service model. It will also improve coordination between primary care and specialist physicians. “Genesis and Innovista have come… Full Story