The House Call Has Returned to North Texas

Texas Health Resources is teaming up with DispatchHealth to bring back the house call. Dallas-area residents in select zip codes  can now receive urgent care in between Netflix binges. Users make a request via phone, web, or app, and, if the request is medically appropriate, a DispatchHealth medical team will arrive in their vehicle outfitted with medical supplies. Patients should be seen in under two hours, according to DispatchHealth. The teams consist of either a physician assistant or nurse practitioner, medical technician, and includes access to an on-call emergency medicine-trained physician. Reports are made and provided to the patient’s care team… Full Story

AccentCare Inc. Acquires Steward Home Care and Hospice

Steward Home Care and Hospice has been acquired by Dallas-based AccentCare Inc. as of December 31. The acquisition will not impact Steward Home Care’s services, which serve more than 14,000 patients in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. AccentCare, Inc. provides post-acute healthcare and specialized care management before acute episodes. Its services include skilled nursing, rehabilitative therapies, hospice, private duty, care management, and healthcare management services. It employs over 24,000 people in 190 locations and 2,0000 facilities. The purchase of Steward will expand AccentCare’s reach to 16 states and 110,000 patients and clients annually served. Steward Home Care and Hospice was previously owned… Full Story

Southwest Transplant Alliance and Taylor’s Gift Partner to Form the Outlive Yourself Foundation

Southwest Transplant Alliance is creating a foundation to drive research and education, support organ and tissue donation, and serve the needs of donor families and transplant recipients. Called the Outlive Yourself Foundation, it was formed in partnership with Taylor’s Gift Foundation. Todd and Tara Storch founded Taylor’s Gift Foundation in 2010 after their 13-year-old daughter Taylor unexpectedly passed away, and it has supported organ donor families in multiple states since then. STA has been recovering donated organs for individuals awaiting a transplant for more than 40 years, and recently broke ground on a new facility for organ removal, which includes… Full Story

Medical City Plano Adds Single-Dose Radiation For Breast Cancer Patients

A new treatment at Medical City Plano is reducing breast cancer treatment from eight weeks to eight minutes. For early-stage breast cancer patients, the new procedure involves surgery and radiation using iCAD’s Xoft Electronic Brachytherapy System. The FDA-approved treatment uses a miniaturized x-ray to deliver a precise, concentrated dose of radiation to a tumor site directly after surgery, or lumpectomy. The radiation treats the remaining tumor that wasn’t removed during the surgery. The treatment isn’t limited to breast cancer, but can be used for non-melanoma skin cancer and gynecological cancer as well. Worldwide, more than 10,000 patients have been successfully treated.… Full Story

MedStar Bolsters Fleet with First ‘Type 1’ Ambulances

Fort Worth-based MedStar is putting $13.5 million toward a new fleet of ambulances. The governmental authority has typically used the van-like “type 3” vehicles. The new investment gives MedStar “type 1” ambulances, with the patient compartment attached to a pick-up truck chassis. Over the next five years, MedStar will deploy 60 of them. MedStar says it polled its teammates on the investment. Among the input reflected in the new fleet: a better air-conditioning system to withstand the Texas heat, crew seating that allows staff to care for patients while strapped in, a refrigerated safe for secure meds, and five live-view… Full Story

A Dallas Company Is Going After Exorbitant Air Ambulance Bills

While some lawmakers at the federal level push for oversight to curb the enormous air ambulance bills that have grabbed headlines over the last few years, a Dallas company says it has a regulation-free solution. Founded three years ago, Alacura has inserted itself as a middle man between providers—which typically have no financial skin in the game—and commercial insurance companies, which have caught flack for their willingness to pay for only a relatively small portion of transport-related bills, leaving patients with balances that sail into the tens of thousands of dollars. Alacura has been able to cut deals with transport… Full Story

Medical Equipment Firms Partner To Form Combined Fort Worth Company

A couple of medical equipment and med equipment delivery companies are forming a partnership under the brand name JMeds, which will be based in Fort Worth. J-Meds, Inc. and Kalos Health Services are coming together, the two sides announced on Wednesday. The company will have five Texas locations, including two in DFW, plus facilities in McAllen, Houston, and San Antonio. J-Meds CEO Jerry Williams will serve in the same role at the new, combined company. “My position will allow me to deepen relationships with our customers – people who have entrusted their business with us over the years,” Williams said… Full Story

Irving-based Company Predicts Smaller (But Still Sizable) Increase In Drug Prices Next Year

Vizient released its drug price forecast for 2019, and the data-driven company says it expects prices to increase 4.92 percent during 2019. But the prediction comes with a caveat for health systems to latch onto: The percent of price inflation is down nearly three percentage points—from 7.61 percent last year—which Vizient says could signal the beginning of a change in the trend. For now, the specialty pharmacy industry continues to drive up the prices, Vizient says: Although the rate of price increases is projected to slow, the specialty pharmacy market is expected to continue its rapid pace of growth, which… Full Story

JLL Signs Facilities Management Deal With Plano-based LifeCare

Plano-based healthcare services provider LifeCare Health Partners has signed a facilities management deal with JLL, the companies announced earlier this month. It covers 19 facilities—both freestanding and of the “hospital-in-hospital” persuasion—that serve chronically ill and medically complex patients in nine states, including around Dallas-Fort Worth. The deal covers five years. The sides declined to provide financial terms. “Not only does our partnership highlight LifeCare’s dedication to improving the patient and family experience, but it also demonstrates a commitment to enhancing the work environment for medical personnel,” said Michael Marsh, managing director of the south central region for JLL Healthcare Solutions,… Full Story

Report: UnitedHealth Eyeing Tenet’s Conifer

The Wall Street Journal reports this week that UnitedHealth Group is among the companies taking a hard look at Tenet Healthcare’s Frisco-based Conifer Health Solutions. Tenet has been dangling its healthcare management subsidiary on the open market since December, although it has maintained it might choose to keep the division. It accounts for about $1.6 billion in revenue—about eight percent of Tenet’s total—but has been a bright spot for the company amid recent cuts and restructuring. The WSJ says Conifer could fetch $2 billion or more from an acquisition.