How UTSW and Children’s Health’s Master Affiliation Could Impact Cost

UT Southwestern and Children’s Health have long been partners in providing healthcare for North Texas children. For over six decades, the two organizations have had a clinical, academic, and research affiliation, but now they have created a separate nonprofit entity to develop a joint pediatric enterprise in the form of a master affiliation. So is the increased partnership a boon for North Texas residents that will improve quality and best practices, or will the organization have more leverage against payers and be able to increase prices? The affiliation involves two of the biggest players in North Texas healthcare. The Dallas… Full Story

Steward Hospital in Phoenix to Close

St. Luke’s Medical Center in Phoenix will close later this month according to a letter posted to the hospital’s website describing “many years of steady patient census decline.” The hospital is in Dallas-based Steward Health Care’s network. The hospital has been serving Phoenix for 100 years, but President James Flinn writes that “St. Luke’s, patient demand has stayed extremely low and our facility remains significantly underutilized.”The letter says that the hospital usually is below 40 percent occupied, with an average of just 70 patients in the 219-bed facility. Emergency department visits are down 16 percent as well. Steward has three… Full Story

Texas Health Protocol Has Cut Opioid Use by 70 Percent

Physicians at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth are using a protocol that reduces the use of opioids after a C-section called Enhanced Recovery After Surgery. Normally, a small amount of fentanyl is used in the surgery, and opioids are prescribed every three hours after the surgery, but the new protocol uses a long lasting medication called liposomal bupivacaine, which is injected into the incision and paired with oral acetaminophen and ibuprofen. The protocol allows the physicians to stay ahead of the pain and not need opioids. Though patients still have the option of taking opioids, hospital staff says… Full Story

Medicare-for-All: The DFW Hospital Perspective

What to do about the United States’ ever-expanding medical costs has been a key issue during the presidential primary season. Medicare-for-All, Medicare-for-more, Medicare-if-you-want-it, and a bevy of other healthcare policies have been key talking points for every serious Democratic presidential candidate. Steve Love is the CEO of the DFW Hospital Council, a 90 member hospital organization that helps hospitals collaborate and advocate for initiatives they value, and he says that while the hospitals want to be politically neutral and are for increased coverage, Medicare for all is not the answer. He calls it a “cry for help.” There is a… Full Story

Texas Health’s Senior Meal Programs are Reducing Emergency Care Usage

A Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas pilot program is delivering food to seniors via Meals on Wheels and using the interaction to determine if future medical care is needed. The program, called Meals that Heal, is reducing visits to the emergency room by senior patients who have been recently discharged. The meals are delivered through the Visiting Nurse Association and Meals on Wheels. Deliverers ask patients a series of questions when they visit the patient’s home. They typically ask open-ended questions regarding a patient’s medication schedule and feelings of health since their discharge. Are they feeling better? Taking their medication,… Full Story

Texas Health Southwest Expands Heart Attack Treatment

In an effort to serve more cardiovascular patients, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth began last month treating ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction, a potentially lethal type of heart attack. The program meets The Joint Commission criteria and is an official STEMI-Receiving Center that provides treatment 24 hours, seven days a week. Part of the criteria is measuring the door-to-balloon time, which is the time between the patient’s arrival after the attack until they receive a Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, a procedure that uses a catheter to place a stent and open up blood vessels in the heart. The American College of Cardiology… Full Story

Tenet Promotes New President from Within

Saum Sutaria will be promoted from Chief Operating Officer of Tenet Healthcare Corp. to President and COO, where he will continue to run Hospital Operations while assuming responsibility for United Surgical Partners International and Conifer Health Solutions, which is becoming its own publicly traded company. “This promotion of Saum reflects my tremendous confidence in his leadership,” said CEO Ron Rittenmeyer via release. “Since joining the company as COO, Saum has demonstrated superb business judgment and greatly contributed to the improvements in our financial results over the last few quarters.” Sutaria joined Tenet in January 2019 as COO, and previously worked… Full Story

Texas Health Aetna Takes Its Network Nationwide

Texas Health Aetna’s President and Chief Operating Officer Genevieve Caruncho-Simpson says the joint venture between insurer and provider is a total cost of care solution for the region utilizing virtual care, national coverage, and other innovations to bring down healthcare costs for North Texans. The organization covers 110,000 lives, and is working to reduce the pain points that plague the medical industry. Texas Health Aetna is making significant progress against the physician shortage, an over-reliance on emergency care care, and a significant population with chronic conditions, Caruncho-Simpson says. Embracing technology has been a key to the success. THA’s Anytime-MD has been… Full Story

Tenet Hires Humana Veteran for VP of Investor Relations

Regina Nethery will be Tenet Healthcare Corp.’s Vice President of Investor Relations, after most recently serving as Enterprise Vice President for Humana Inc. “Regina has an impressive background – both in terms of her skills across finance and investor relations, as well as more than two decades of experience in healthcare services,” said Ron Rittenmeyer, Tenet’s Executive Chairman and CEO via release. “At Humana, she cultivated a strong rapport with the investment community and built an incredibly effective and responsive investor relations organization. Regina is well-respected as a leader in her field, and she will be a tremendous addition to… Full Story

Judge Temporarily Stops Cook Children’s from Taking Baby off Life Support

A judge has temporarily stopped physicians at Cook Children’s hospital in Fort Worth from removing a nine-month-old from life support. The hospital says that her health will not improve, but her family is still looking for a facility that will accept and treat her. Tinslee Lewis was born with Ebstein’s anomaly, a rare heart defect that has required several surgeries to improve heart function. She also has chronic lung disease and severe chronic pulmonary hypertension. Lewis has spent her entire life in the hospital, and has been on a ventilator since July. “Despite our best efforts, her condition is irreversible,… Full Story