Payment Reform – Can It Impact Healthcare Costs?

Last month, we began to recap the panel discussion at UT Dallas’s Center for Healthcare Management and Leadership, discussing our country’s healthcare spending and how much we get out of it (spoiler, we don’t fare well). We thought we would continue to recap to share the better (not sure if it is quite good) news. The U.S. government’s largest expenditure is healthcare at 28 percent, and it is 30 percent in Texas. That is more than Social Security, national defense or welfare. But it wasn’t all bad news. The panel also discussed how payment reform could slow the growth and maybe… Full Story

UT Southwestern Now Part of Care ‘N Care’s Health Plan

Care N’ Care Health Plan announced that UT Southwestern Medical Center hospitals and physicians will now be part of its provider network, Business Wire reports. Care N’ Care is a ten-year-old health plan that has more than 10,000 clients in North Texas in its Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO packages. “Having UT Southwestern in the Care N’ Care network will be a tremendous boom for our members as it will provide access to a broader network of hospitals and physicians along with additional added resources that will make healthcare more accessible and affordable,” said Care N’ Care CEO Wendy Karsten via… Full Story

The U.S. Leads the World in Healthcare Spending. Does It Pay Off?

On a cold and rainy Wednesday morning, experts in the business of healthcare were busy predicting the forecast for healthcare costs in this country. Overall, things look gloomy. The Center for Healthcare Management and Leadership at UT Dallas hosted a panel, “Can Payment Reform Control Healthcare Costs?” as part of its annual fall seminar series.  The panel consisted of Don Taylor, the Director of Southwestern Health Resources Integration, Dr. Forney Fleming, the Director of UT Dallas’ graduate Healthcare Leadership and Management program, and John McCracken, the Director of UT Dallas’ graduate Healthcare Management for Physicians program. The panelists provided an overview… Full Story

How Fort Worth is Reducing Healthcare Costs for City Employees

Talk to any healthcare executive, and they will discuss “bending the cost curve.” That means most healthcare providers, insurance networks, and employers are hoping just to slow the increase in healthcare costs, not reduce them. But for Fort Worth’s 14,000 employees, dependents, and retirees, their healthcare spending is heading toward being $4.8 million under budget for fiscal year 2018, according to the Dallas Morning News. How are they doing it? The city is offering an option to sign up with  Southwestern Health Resources, an accountable care organization where UT Southwestern and Texas Health Resources have partnered to offer coordinated care.… Full Story

Blue Cross Blue Shield, UT Southwestern, Texas Health Resources Team Up to Provide Care in North Texas

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and Southwestern Health Resources are coming together to form an Accountable Care Organization that will coordinate services to serve Blue Cross’ more than 130,000 members in North Texas, according to Pharmiweb. The agreement provides access to Southwestern Health Resources Accountable Care Network, which was established as a partnership between Texas Health Resources and UT Southwestern Medical Center that includes doctors, caregivers, hospitals and other facilities throughout the region. An Accountable Care Organization is a group of healthcare providers who voluntarily join to coordinate care to medicare patients. They hope to avoid duplication and errors… Full Story

The Impact of Healthcare Navigator Funding Cuts in Texas

The state of Texas has 4.8 million adults who don’t have health insurance, or about 17.3 percent of the population. That ranks the state dead last in the country in insured adults, according to Community Services. As a part of the Affordable Healthcare Act, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services awards grants to organizations called navigators, who help uninsured Americans work through the healthcare exchanges in each state. But since 2013, the funds for those navigators have decreased by more than 80 percent in Texas, which also voted not to expand medicare. In 2013, CMS awarded more than $10… Full Story

This Study Describes How M&A’s Will Impact the Future of Healthcare

A paper presented at the Texas Health Law Conference this week outlines how mergers and acquisitions and disruptive innovation are creating healthcare world increasingly focused on patients. The Polsinelli law firm’s paper analyzes several mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare industry and makes conclusions about the future of the healthcare industry, and was written by Dallas office lawyers Jon Henderson, Andrew Kinworthy, and Kevin McDonnell. Several themes arose in the study, including private equity ownership, integrated care continuum, consumerism, shifting from in-patient to out-patient care and toward value-based care centered around data analytics. The paper concludes that these changes will improve patient care… Full Story

Grand Prairie Hospital in Danger of Losing Medicaid and Medicare Funding

Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services put Texas General Hospital in Grand Prairie on notice after finding that the facility endangered patients by not providing some services and allowed staff to provide care they are not qualified to give, according to Modern Healthcare. Federal and state auditors made surprise visits to the hospital earlier this year, finding several deficiencies that could result in losing federal reimbursement from CMS. “The (hospital’s) governing body failed to provide a safe setting for patients in that there is no adequate staff to care for the patients, and no supplies and medications needed to provide safe… Full Story

Guilty Plea in Fraud Case From Forest Park Surgeon and Founder

Dr. Wade Neal Barker admitted to being part of a $200 million fraud, bribery and kick back scheme in federal court on Friday, the The Texas Lawbook reports. The bariatric surgeon helped found the since-closed Forest Park Medical Center. Barker is the seventh of the 21 indicted officials associated with the chain of luxury hospitals to admit guilt, according to the The Texas Lawbook. Barker is accused of handing out $40 million in bribes to cooperating doctors. As a founder with access to sources and documents, Barker’s plea may pay dividends for the prosecution. He could end up with a sentence of… Full Story

Texas Health Aetna Hopes to Reduce Drug Costs Through Data and Education

Texas Health Aetna’s new campaign hopes to educate physicians on inexpensive versions of drugs to reduce healthcare costs across the board. Called Go-to Green, the health insurance provider is using data to find cheaper prescription options. Texas Health Aetna’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Delanor Doyle says that the company utilizes data from Texas Health Resources and Aetna to find out what drugs are being prescribed by which physicians and to whom in their netowrk. If they are aware of a medicine that is equally effective and cheaper, they will contact the physicians and let them know about the more inexpensive… Full Story