Report: Specialists in Demand Amidst Decrease in Calls for Primary Care

Healthcare facilities are looking for more specialists and fewer primary care physicians, according to an annual report from Merritt Hawkins tracking physicians starting salaries and other recruiting patterns. An aging population reveals shortages of both specialist and primary care physicians in years ahead. The report arrives as numerous data points suggest the importance of primary care physicians in reducing overall healthcare costs and avoiding unnecessary and often costly treatment performed by specialists. The 2019 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives analyzed results from a survey of 3,131 physician and advanced practitioners conducted over the last year. Merritt Hawkins is a… Full Story

Insights From CEOs of Baylor, UnitedHealthcare, Catalyst, Caddis, and More

Providers, health plans, and pharmacies are uniting into single entities while evidence shows that investing upstream with primary care improves quality and reduces healthcare costs. In a battle against ever increasing premiums, employers are looking at ways to spend less on healthcare, with more and more moving to self-funded plans, educating their employees about how their choices impact everyone’s cost, and redesigning their pharmacy benefit plans for up to 50 percent savings. These are just a few of the insights shared during the D CEO 2019 Healthcare Roundtable, a sponsored discussion from the July issue with North Texas Healthcare leaders.… Full Story

Study: Detecting Depression Rarely Requires Psych Visit

A UT Southwestern study shows that seeing a psychiatrist is not necessarily the most practical solution to diagnosing and treating depression. The research looked at 25,000 patients and concluded that primary care doctors can successfully detect and treat depression without additional help from mental health personnel, and arrives with guidelines asking for expanded depression screenings. “It’s difficult to do proper screening for depression in a busy clinical practice,” says founding Director of UT Southwestern’s Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care, Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, per release. “This study shows that primary care physicians can do this, and do it well,… Full Story

Fighting Physician Shortage Through the Workspace

The physician shortage is likely to get worse before it gets better, but there are best practices facilities can do to recruit and retain top talent, according to Kurt Mosley, VP of Strategic Alliances at Merritt Hawkins, who spoke at the North Texas Hospital, Outpatient Facilities, and Medical Office Buildings Summit. Over half of all doctors today are older 56, according to the American Medical Association. In Texas, more than 27 percent of physicians are over 60, while over a third of doctors in New Mexico are 60 or older. Meanwhile, the population is growing, and will have added 50 million… Full Story

Physician Dispensing in Texas Heads to Court

The 86th Texas Legislative Session came to an end without any movement on physicians’ ability to expense a limited number of common prescription drugs, so two Texas doctors are taking their case to the Travis County Civil District Court, where they are claiming the ban on physician dispensing is unconstitutional. Texas is out of step with the rest of the nation when it comes to the rule, as it is just one of five states to ban physicians from dispensing anything but free samples to their patients, though the state does allow doctors to dispense medications if they live more than… Full Story

The Do’s and Don’ts of Dementia

Around 5.7 million Americans are currently living with dementia, and as many as 13.9 million individuals 65 years or older are projected to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias in the US by 2060. Physicians can help patients reduce their chances of developing dementia and educate families how to cope with a challenging situation. “It can be frustrating for families and caregivers because the disease makes people behave unpredictably,” says Dr. Raja Paspula, senior lead physician at Parkland’s Geriatrics and Senior Care Center, via release. “They no longer have proper judgment or impulse control so they can act… Full Story

Dallas Physician Suspended by Texas Medical Board

Updated with comments from Methodist McKinney president Joe Minissale.  The Texas Medical Board has temporarily suspended Dr. Gerald Patrick Gibson because his practice poses a threat to public welfare. The board found that he violated his Texas Physician Health Program agreement that said he must not use controlled substances. The panel discovered evidence that Gibson suffers from a mental or physical condition that doesn’t allow him to safely practice medicine. The license was suspended without notice, and will remain in place until the board takes further action. Multiple online directories list Gibson as an emergency medicine doctor based in McKinney.… Full Story

Texas Medical Association Names Local CEO

The Texas Medical Association has named Michael J. Darrouzet its new executive vice president and chief executive officer. Beginning September 1, the former chief executive of the Dallas County Medical Society will take over for Dr. Louis J. Goodman, who is retiring after managing the 53,000 physician organization since 1997. Darrouzet has been a part of several initiatives while at DCMS, including Project Access Dallas, My Medical Home, and the north Texas Accounatble Healthcare Partnership. He has been with the 7,500 member society, which is the second largest medical society in the country, since 1997. Prior to that, he was an assistant administrator… Full Story

First-of-its-Kind Neck Surgery Arrives in North Texas

North Texas was home to a novel neck surgery this spring when a Kentucky resident traveled to Plano to have a new FDA-approved artificial cervical disc implanted at the Center for Disc Replacement at Texas Health Center for Diagnostics and Surgery. The surgeons at the center, Drs. Blumenthal, Guyer, and Zigler are well-versed in artificial discs, as they were the first physicians in the country to implant any sort of artificial disc into a patient in 2000. Because of their expertise, they are often the leading edge for FDA studies of new artificial cervical and lumbar discs. When cervical discs… Full Story

Treating Cancer with Car-T in DFW – One Year Later

Around a year ago, a cancer break through arrived in Dallas in the form of CAR-T therapy, where cells are modified and the immune system is used to fight cancer. Since then, immunotherapy has expanded in the region to include two different CAR-T therapies. Over the past year, the partnership between Texas Oncology and and Baylor University Medical Center has treated 16 patients with commercially available CAR-T, which is for lymphoma and acute leukemia. Meanwhile, 30 more patients were enrolled in clinical trials for a number of different cancers. Currently an inpatient procedure, trials are looking at moving the cancer… Full Story