Morning Rounds (10.03.12)

Dallas’ Lockton Dunning Benefits makes a “game-changer” acquisition.

Urgent Care for Kids plans expansion after a  capital boost from Healthcap.

Report: Drug companies are amping up use of coupons and discount cards to compete with generics.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services warns against using EHRs to “game the system.” Full Story

Morning Rounds (10.02.12)

Tenet Healthcare Corp. has announced a stock split, acquisition plans, and other financial initiatives.

Americans are making fewer trips to the doctor, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report.

American Medical News reports on a study that reveals what makes patients want to come back.

Conifer Health Solutions has agreed to buy InforMed Health Care Solutions, in a deal it says will add $50 million to its bottom line. Full Story

Cardiology Practices Owned by Hospitals Tripled in Five Years

The percentage of cardiology practices owned by hospitals has tripled in five years, according to the American College of Cardiology. The ACC survey of 2,520 practices, representing 21,373 cardiologists and 94,425 other physicians, found that 24 percent of groups were owned by hospitals in 2012, compared with 8 percent in 2007. The proportion with physician owners declined from 73 percent in 2007 to 60 percent in 2012. The percentage of cardiologists employed by hospitals grew from 11 percent  to 35 percent, but those at physician-owned practices went down from 59 percent to 36 percent,  according to American Medical News. In… Full Story

New Devices Do Their Work, Then Dissolve in the Body

Scientists have created tiny medical devices sealed in silk cocoons that dissolve after their work is complete. For now the work is being tested in mice, but if it continues to move forward it could not only increase convenience and safety in human patients, but also cut down on electronic waste, according to Modern Healthcare. Right now doctors already use implants that dispense drugs or provide electrical stimulation, but they don’t dissolve, which causes the need for surgical removal and adds the risk of long-term side effects.

Morning Rounds (09.26.12)

Fred Meyer, vice chairman of the board and CEO of The Cooper Institute, died September 24 at the age of 84.

A co-defendant of a Dallas physician has pleaded guilty to Medicare insurance fraud in a $375 million case.

Parkland Health and Hospital System  reports that it’s more than 80 percent complete with its corrective action plan.

In rural communities, residents are more likely to travel more than 20 miles to larger medical facilities instead of going to local hospitals, study finds. Full Story

Morning Rounds (09.25.12)

Methodist Health System will break ground Sept. 27 on a $120 million hospital expansion at Methodist Richardson Medical Center.

Mandatory spending cuts to Medicare will mean large-scale job losses in physician offices and throughout the healthcare system.

UTA‘s College of Nursing and School of Social Work is using a $900,000 grant to help improve connections between nurses and social workers.

Those with high blood pressure tend to experience poorer sleep quality, according to a report presented to the American Heart Association.

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AHA: Link Between High Blood Pressure and Insomnia

Those with high blood pressure tend to experience poorer sleep quality, according to a University of Pisa study presented at the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions. Of the 234 high blood pressure patients observed, many slept for only six or fewer hours, and those who had poor sleep quality were twice as likely to have resistant hypertension (taking three or more blood pressure medications and still above 140/90 mmHg). Researchers also found that women were more likely to report poor sleep quality than their male counterparts.

$900,000 UTA Study Aims to Increase Connections Between Nurses, Social Workers

The University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Nursing and School of Social Work will use nearly $900,000 during the next three years to fund research that aims to improve connections between nurses and social workers before they meet in the healthcare workplace. An $862,532 Advanced Nursing Education Grant was awarded to Judy LeFlore, interim associate dean for research and professor at UT Arlington College of Nursing. The funding, given by Human Services Health Resources, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will allow 40 graduate students to work together to come up with care plans… Full Story

Obesity More Likely to Affect Blood Pressure of Black Children

According to the American Heart Association, obesity affects the blood pressure of black children more seriously than that of white children. When tested, it was found the even with similar ages and body weights, the blood pressure of black children was 8 percent higher than white children. The AHA said more studies need to be conducted to pinpoint the cause for the racial disparity; researchers and doctors are hopeful that this will lead to more patient-specific care.

Morning Rounds (09.21.12)

Three out of four healthcare organizations say they’re considering an M&A deal, according to a report from CompHealth.

Children’s Medical Center and UT Southwestern have been awarded a $6.9 million grant by The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute for a one-of-a-kind cancer study.

The average medical school has 43 female professors compared with 192 male, meanwhile, women have made up about 50 percent of medical school students for the past decade.

Obese individuals with excess visceral fat are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, according to a new study by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center. However, those with excess abdominal subcutaneous fat were not. Full Story