How Much Does it Cost to Treat Diabetes in Texas?

Diabetes treatment is becoming more frequent and more expensive, according to CDC data compiled by QuoteWizard, an insurance comparison service. The company analyzed the rise of diabetes and cost increases in insulin state by state from 2007 to 2017. The analysis found that the number of people with diabetes in Texas increased from 10.3% to 11.9% over the last 10 years, an overall 16% growth. Comparatively, the national diabetes percentage increased by 29% from 2007 to 2017. Medical costs nationwide increased 26% from 2007 to 2017, indicating that insurance premiums for diabetic treatment may likely follow the same rise. According… 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

DFW is the 13th Best “Hospital City” in the Country

DFW is the 13th best city for overall healthcare, and 74th in the world, according to a report from healthcare technology company Medbelle. There have long been rankings of the best hospitals in the country, but this survey looks at the overall medical framework, including access to the system in the region rather than individual institutions. The study looked at infrastructure, quality of care, and access. Dallas scored well (11th in the country) on infrastructure, with good numbers of providers per capita and quality hospitals and universities, but had the second-fewest mental health providers in the rankings, only beating out… 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

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

Report: Substance Abuse Death Rates in North Texas Outpacing State and National Averages

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says that more than 15,000 people die from prescription opioid overdose each year, while 88,000 people die annually from alcohol-related injuries. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that substance abuse costs the country $232 billion each year, with $740 billion lost in crime and lost work productivity. North Texas counties have higher death rates due to drug and alcohol misuse than state and national average, according to a report from the North Texas Community Health Collaborative. The Substance Abuse/Misuse Community Needs Assessment Report of North Texas report showed that eleven regional counties have higher… Full Story

Self-Interested Altruism: Impacting Health Through Social Determinants

Social determinants of health have an outsized impact on the health of vulnerable populations. Access to quality housing, nutrition, and transportation can greatly improve communities’ health, but it can be difficult to sell to investors because these determinants are in effect public goods, and not limited to those who pay for them. But healthcare economists hope they can use the self interest of community health stakeholders to improve these determinants. During the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce Healthcare Conference, economist Len Nichols of George Mason University shared his research that details how to get self-interested healthcare systems to collaborate to… Full Story

Texas Drops to 37 in Nationwide Health Rankings, Worst Insured Rate and Increased Diabetes to Blame

Texas continued its slide in United Health Foundation’s 2018 “America’s Health Rankings Annual Report,” where it went from 33rd in the nation in 2016 to 37th in 2018. On the brighter side, the report found that high school graduation increased, cancer and drug deaths decreased, smoking rates went down while the number of primary care physicians increased. But the worst insured rate in the nation and increases in diabetes rates, physical activity, cardiovascular deaths and mental distress were enough to bump Texas down a few spots. The report measures states’ health via 35 measures across five categories: behaviors, community and… Full Story

Dealing with Prescription Drug Abuse in the Workplace

As opioid use continues to plague the country, employers are looking for ways to reduce addiction, missed work, and safety issues caused by addiction to highly addictive painkillers. Bonnie Merz is a Dallas-based Senior Claims Consultant at Holmes Murphy, and she advises employers about how to best manage risk in response to drug abuse. The healthcare industry is particularly vulnerable to this problem, as a Hazeldon Betty Ford study shows that Health Care Providers are more likely than the general public to abuse opioids. Starting in the 1840s when surgeons would abuse their own anesthesia for “ether frolics,” today 10 to 15 percent… Full Story

DFW Hospital Council Foundation to Aid Mental Health Shortfalls with Grant

The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation will receive a Community Mental Health Grant from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. The grant will support the Foundation’s work through the North Texas Community Health Collaborative and provide mental health first aid training to 12 rural North Texas counties, including Ellis, Erath, Grayson, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell and Wise counties. According to a Behavioral Health Community Needs Assessment Report released by the Community Health Collaborative earlier this year, rural North Texas counties have higher rates of behavioral health hospital visits than urban or suburban counties. Many of them… Full Story