Forest Park Bariatric Director: “I Did What They Told Me To Do”

After 18 days and 47 witnesses, the federal government rested its case last week against defendants in the Forest Park Medical Center case involving $200 million in insurance payments that were influenced by alleged kickbacks and bribes. On Monday, the defense began with testimony from now-bankrupt Forest Park Medical Center’s Director of Bariatric Services Carli Hempel, who is being accused of selling Medicare and Medicaid referrals to other facilities because Forest Park was not eligible to bill those entities. Hempel worked for Forest Park from 2008 to 2011. She was recruited to Forest Park by Alan Beauchamp, a co-founder who pleaded… Full Story

Take a Look at Medical City Children’s New Pediatric Cancer Unit

There is a new pediatric cancer unit at 208-bed Medical City Children’s Hospital that will focus on all types of youth cancer and blood disorders. Previously, the hospital’s pediatric cancer patients shared space with other pediatric patients, but the new unit will be focused on cancer patients. The newly-constructed unit will include 12 patient rooms equipped with 55-inch smart HD televisions, desks, closets, a family lounge with other amenities, two playrooms, an exercise bike, a conference room and high-efficiency particulate air filters for all rooms, providing purified air for cancer patients. “Opening the new pediatric cancer unit at Medical City Children’s… Full Story

Medical City President Erol Akdamar on How to Make Flu Season Less Deadly

If you feel like you have been hearing more about sepsis recently, you are right. Blame the flu. Sepsis is an overwhelming response to infection that can lead to life-threatening organ failure. It’s a serious healthcare industry concern because each year, sepsis affects more than 26 million people worldwide including 270,000 American deaths, making it more deadly than breast cancer, prostate cancer and AIDS combined. Sepsis is often linked to bacterial infections, but the past two flu seasons it has made headlines as a life-threatening complication from the influenza virus. I follow the trends of sepsis on a daily basis… Full Story

The Government Rests Its Case Against Forest Park

After a morning session on Wednesday, the government rested its case against Forest Park Medical Center. They allege that the for-profit, physician-owned medical center located near Forest Lane and Central Expressway conducted a bribery scheme where it sent payments to doctors to direct surgeries to their facility, resulting in around $200 million in insurance payments between 2009 and 2013. What began as 21 defendants has been whittled down to a weight-loss surgeon, three back surgeons, a pain management doctor, a former top executive and three others affiliated with the hospital, according to the Texas Lawbook. They all deny any wrongdoing,… Full Story

Which Local Healthcare Companies Are Fortune’s Best Place to Work in Texas?

It will be no surprise the businesses that were awarded by Fortune as the best places to work for women and cracked the list of top companies nationwide have also been named to the 2019 Best Workplaces in Texas list by Fortune and Great Place to Work. Encompass Health and Texas Health Resources were both made the list, placing No. 18 and 19 respectively in the Large Company category. Texas Rehabilitation Hospital of Fort Worth placed 28 in the small and medium company category. The rankings are based 42,000 employees’ feedback about respect, opportunities for professional development, or team work for… Full Story

You Need to Know Dr. John Warner – The Strategist Behind the Region’s Top Hospital at UTSW

We have all had that moment at the office when we are pulled away from our main job and are ask/told to help out with another role that we may or may not enjoy. That is precisely what happened when Dr. John Warner, Executive Vice President for Health System Affairs at UT Southwestern, was asked to sit on a committee to help design a facility. It set him on a new career path that would lead to his role in leading the design of the entirely new Clements University Hospital. His inclusive approach and clinical experience allowed him to play… Full Story

North Texas Hospital CEO Pleads Guilty to Millions in Fraud

Former Palo Pinto General Hospital CEO Harris Brooks pleaded guilty to defrauding BlueCross BlueShield of Texas, CIGNA Texas, and United Healthcare for millions of dollars, according to U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox. An FBI investigation revealed that Brooks and his co-conspirators used the hospital’s in-network contracts with the insurance companies to defraud them for laboratory services from September 2017 to June 2018. They used a process called pass-through billing, where a physician orders a service but that physician does not actually complete the service for which he or she billed. They submitted claims for allergy… Full Story

Methodist Mansfield Medical Center Will Have a New President

Juan Fresquez will be the new President of Methodist Mansfield Medical Center. Fresquez began his career at Parkland Hospital in Dallas before his most recent position as Chief Operating Officer of the Arizona Group – Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital. He has been in acute care hospital management for 28 years. “Fresquez is an outstanding leader with a proven track record in operational excellence,” said Pam Stoyanoff, executive vice president and COO of Methodist Health System via release. “His background and experience will be a perfect complement to the Methodist Mansfield culture and our mission to improve and save lives in our… Full Story

First Look: Baylor Scott and White’s Neuro Transitional Rehabilitation Facility

When a patient experiences brain trauma, their path often takes them to the emergency room, possibly to neurotrauma surgery, and they recover in acute inpatient rehab before they head home. But often times, the jump from inpatient facility to the home can be a bumpy one for patients with neurological trauma. Baylor Scott and White’s Neuro Transitional Rehabilitation Facility, which had its grand opening last week, hopes to smooth the transition. The nine bed, 7,000-sqaure-foot facility allows each patient to have their own suite, and provides a domestic environment where they use a kitchen to prepare food, clean up and… Full Story

Forest Park Founder Says They “Didn’t Hide Expectations” for $40 Million in Kickbacks

Forest Park Medical Center co-founder Wade Barker testified that the organization “didn’t hide expectations” from doctors and staff that the $40 million they received was for steering surgeries to the hospital, according to Law 360. Barker, a bariatric surgeon who pleaded guilty last fall, said that the payments were to get surgeons to operate at their facility, and that he knew what he was doing was illegal. Law 360 reports that Barker will be sentenced to 60-77 months in federal prison for the kickback scheme. Barker was the seventh of the 21 indicted individuals to plead guilty to being a part… Full Story