Morning Rounds (09.05.12)

Nearly every major health insurer recorded declining earnings in the second quarter of 2012, mainly because of something that happened more often than they expected: patients going to see their doctors, according to an American Medical Association report.

A Baylor Health Care System director of epidemiology and his team are executing a large national multicenter study to assess the effectiveness of preventive and management strategies and their impact on long-term survival.

The American Heart Association reports that taking vitamin D supplements to compensate for vitamin D deficiency may not improve cholesterol in short term.

A Texas Presbyterian Hospital Dallas Chief nursing officer has been named one of only 20 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellows from across the country for 2012. Full Story

Cooper, UT Southwestern Study: Fitness Has Greater Impact on Disease than Survival

Middle-age fitness has a greater impact on preventing chronic disease than overall survival, according to Cooper Institute and UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers. In a study just published online by the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers looked at data for more than 73,000 people in the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study database. They also looked at Medicare records for more than 18,600 of those from up to 46 years later. Participants who were the most fit age 30 through 59 had fewer chronic conditions after age 65. Those conditions included heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain cancers. Among… Full Story

Dallas Has Second-Highest Uninsured Rate Among Large U.S. Counties

Dallas County had the second-highest rate among the nation’s large counties of uninsured residents under 65 years old in 2010, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data released this week. Slightly more than 31 percent of Dallas County residents lacked insurance. The nation’s highest uninsured rate was Miami-Dade County, at 35.8 percent. The rates for other Texas counties of more than 1 million residents were Harris, 29.9 percent; Tarrant, 23.6 percent; and Bexar, 23.1 percent. The uninsured rates for Collin and Denton counties were 16.7 and 17.2 percent, respectively. The U.S. Census Bureau summary is the only source of health… Full Story

Studies: Texas Tort Reform Has Had No Effect on Physician Supply, Lowering Costs

Conventional wisdom for many is that the 2003 Texas constitutional amendment limiting medical malpractice lawsuits has created in an influx of physicians from out-of-state and tempered healthcare costs. Others argued that medical malpractice caps would bring down healthcare costs. The assumption is that physicians would be less inclined to practice defensive medicine. Also, fewer malpractice cases would be filed, with savings from lower litigation costs and less expensive malpractice premiums resulting in lower healthcare costs. However, three studies have sharply challenged all of these assumptions. Four researchers—including a University of Texas law professor—concluded that there was no evidence that Texas… Full Story

Baylor First to Update Atrial Fibrillation Therapy Treatment

The Heart Hospital at Baylor Plano is the first in the world to merge multi-electrode mapping (MEM) software with the Epoch platform, for atrial fibrillation therapy. Merging these two technologies means higher levels of efficiencies than before in mapping and correcting the patient’s cardiac arrhythmias. J. Brian DeVille, MD, FACC, FHRS, medical director of Electrophysiology and an electrophysiologist on the medical staff of The Heart Hospital, said this first-in-the-world procedure is an important step to further advancing patient care in the arena of cardiac electrophysiology. “The integration of these two technologies confirms The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano’s commitment to excellence… Full Story

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.

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.      

Morning Rounds (08.07.12)

UT Southwestern investigators awarded $48.2 million in latest round of CPRIT grants. Baylor University Medical Center’s dermatology program gets $450,000 boost from Fort Worth-based Galderma Laboratories. Children’s Medical Center to commemorate its latest My Children’s clinic opening Lake Highlands this morning. U.S. News & World Report: Feds humming along on national health insurance exchange programs; on track for Fall 2013 startup. Becker’s Clinical Quality and Infection Control lists three top ways to reduce hospital heart attack readmission rates.

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.

Children’s Medical Center Research Institute Gets $1 million Gift

A joint venture between Children’s Medical Center and UT Southwestern Medical Center is getting a $1 million boost, thanks to a donation from Emy Lou and Jerry Baldridge. The Baldridge’s gift will fund a study of stem cell metabolism  at Children’s Medical Center Research Institute. The research could lead to new ways of regenerating damaged tissues and more effectively treat cancer. It will assess the extent to which tissue stem cells are metabolically different from other types of cells. Sean Morrison, M.D., director of the Children’s Research Institute, said the goal of the Institute is to discover the therapies of… Full Story