Direct Contracts Are Growing Because “PPOs Don’t Work Anymore”

Direct contracting is quickly growing in the insurance world because “PPOs don’t work anymore,” according to Bud Brooks, President of Brooks Healthcare Solutions. Brooks spoke at a Free Market Medical Association luncheon in Dallas earlier this month and has 25 years in the healthcare and benefits space. PPOs artificially inflate the cost of medical care, Brooks says, because the carriers who build the networks need to take a cut for themselves. Direct contracting offers a level playing field for payors and providers, where neither are dependent upon discounts on inflated prices, or threats to cut people out. If the price… Full Story

Nurses Plan One-Day Strike at Tenet Facilities in Three States

Registered nurses are organizing a one day strike on Friday, September 20 at Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare hospitals in Arizona, California, and Florida to draw attention to improve staffing and working conditions. Nurses at Tenet facilities in El Paso will not be striking, but will be handing out pamphlets and doing other public outreach. The Arizona strike will be the first ever for nurses in the state, and the Florida strike will be the first hospital-based nurse strike in the state. Nursing shortages are happening all over the country, and Texas is one of the states most at risk. The shortages give the nurses… Full Story

Physician Consolidation Leads to Higher Prices, Study Says

A study in from Rice University researchers in the Journal of General Internal Medicine shows that patients spend more when treated by doctors that bill through hospital-owned practices. The past couple decades have seen independent physician practices become more and more scarce, with the fractured industry moving increasingly toward consolidation. The first wave was spurred by large health systems acquiring independent practices, but now Wall Street is a major player in physician acquisition. As practices are rolled into larger organizations, competition decreases, with fewer players fighting for patients. Independent practitioners have little bargaining power with insurance companies for higher reimbursement rates,… Full Story

Blue Cross-Knox City Conflict May Be Going to Federal Court

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas is hoping to move the legal battle with Knox County Hospital District to federal court, and the temporary restraining order hearing scheduled for September 10 has been suspended. After 50th District Court Judge Bobby Burnett issued the TRO ordering BCBS to pay Knox County Hospital more than $21 million in what they allege are unpaid insurance claims, BCBS filed a motion in U.S. District Court for Northern Texas in Wichita Falls to move the case to federal court because BCBS of Texas is owned by Health Care Services Corporation in Chicago. “Blue Cross Blue… Full Story

Rural Hospital Group Endorse Dallas-Based Telemedicine Provider to Deliver Care

The Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals has endorsed Dallas-based Access Physicians as its preferred provider for telemedicine. Access Physicians provides inpatient and multispecialty telemedicine for clients across the country in both rural and urban facilities. “Many of the issues confronting our members, including financial challenges, personnel shortages, and access to care, can be addressed by telemedicine,” said Vicki Pascasio, FACHE, President and CEO of TMSI via release. “After a rigorous due diligence process that included research, performance evaluation, and references, our board is delighted to welcome Access Physicians to the family of Endorsed Business Partners.” TORCH-member hospitals and… Full Story

Medical City’s Three-Phase Plan to Fight the Opioid Epidemic

Medical City Healthcare is doing its part to reduce opioid prescriptions in North Texas in the face of a nationwide crisis. The health system is using a three-phase plan to fight the overdose epidemic, which claimed the lives of 70,000 Americans in 2017 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The first phase launched in 2018, and targets opioid reduction in the system’s emergency departments. Over that period, the system has seen a 21 percent reduction in pain treatment with opioids because of less addictive but effective treatment options such as patches, medications, injections, and other therapies. “This… Full Story

Children’s Health’s Football Stadium Sponsorship Under Fire

The ribbon-cutting of Children’s Health Stadium at Prosper ISD on August 17 was supposed to be a celebrated affair that further established the pediatric provider into a new community where they will soon have another hospital. But The Dallas Morning News‘ business columnist Mitchell Schnurman took Children’s Health to task for both where and how they spent their money. The column said Children Health’s credibility will take a hit for paying $2.5 million to sponsor the $53 million, 12,000-seat stadium. The health system is expanding into Prosper, a wealthy and highly insured community north of Frisco, in the coming years, so it makes… Full Story

Parkland Joins Texas-Based Opioid Lawsuit Against Pharma Companies

Parkland Health and Hospital System is among 29 public and private hospitals in Texas that have filed a civil lawsuit against manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of opioids. The Dallas County complaint accuses the defendants of negligence, fraud, and civil conspiracy, which include Irving-based McKesson Corp., Purdue Pharma, Johnson and Johnson, and  40 other companies and individuals in the pharmaceutical industry. Last month, an Oklahoma judge ruled that Johnson and Johnson should pay the state $572 million for obscuring the dangers and overpromising the benefits of opioids. It was one of 2,000 similar lawsuits nationwide, and now Texas has joined the… Full Story

Why Texas Health Hospital Mansfield is Going Modular

Texas Health Hospital Mansfield is set to open early in 2021, but with labor shortages and unpredictable weather plaguing the construction industry all over North Texas, they found a solution that improves quality, consistency, and could be the future of the construction industry. Partnering with design and construction firm Beck Group and Factory Blue, the hospital is being built with modular restroom pods for the surgical and ICU patient rooms. The prefab rooms are built completely offsite and delivered to the hospital when they are complete. Factory Blue is the only multi-trade prefabrication facility in North Texas and is located… Full Story

Texas Doctor and Steward Hospital in Battle Over Rent, Hospital Records

A Radiation Oncologist in Port Arthur, Texas says he is locked out of his office and unable to access his patient records after the cancer center closed without notice in a Steward Health Care owned hospital, KBMT news reports. But Dallas-based Steward says the physician is involved in an ongoing lawsuit for non-payment of rent and that his claims are false. Dr. Tripp Chaudhury says the facility closed after a dispute over repairs following Hurricane Harvey, and that he cannot access patient records in his private cancer practice. “At this time we don’t have any medical records, they’re all locked in… Full Story