How Community Health Workers at Baylor are Reducing Trips to the Hospital

As healthcare costs continue to rise, stakeholders are looking for ways to bring down costs. Dallas is one of the most expensive places in the country to receive healthcare, and emergency room visits and hospital admissions are two of the most expensive contacts a patient can have with the healthcare system. Consumers, payers, and even health systems are looking for ways to reduce these high cost visits. One might think that hiring more nurses or social workers might provide patients contact that could help keep them out of the hospital, but at Baylor Scott and White, a grant has helped… Full Story

Genesis Physicians Group Expands Value-Based Care with Population Health Partnership

Genesis Physicians Group has partnered with Innovista Health Solutions, a population health management organization owned by Health Care Services Corporation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas’ parent company. The move will expand Genesis’ independent physicians ability to participate in better coordinated value-based care. The partnership is meant to reduce avoidable health care cost increases by combining Genesis’ experience as an independent physician association and Innovista’s industry expertise and population health technology. It will facilitate Genesis physicians transition to value-based care from the fee-for-service model. It will also improve coordination between primary care and specialist physicians. “Genesis and Innovista have come… Full Story

Texas Ranks 49th in the Country for Children’s Healthcare

Texas ranked near the very bottom when indicators of cost, quality and access were analyzed for children’s healthcare by WalletHub. The study revealed that children will cost around $230,000 to raise, and that while insurance rates have increased, costs have also risen nearly 20 percent between 2013 and 2017. The rankings rated each state and the District of Columbia based on health and access to healthcare, nutrition, physical activity and obesity, and oral health. Texas’ overall rank was 49 out of 51, and ranked 50 in access, 38 in nutrition, and 31 in oral health, ahead of only Louisiana and… Full Story

Report: Substance Abuse Death Rates in North Texas Outpacing State and National Averages

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says that more than 15,000 people die from prescription opioid overdose each year, while 88,000 people die annually from alcohol-related injuries. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that substance abuse costs the country $232 billion each year, with $740 billion lost in crime and lost work productivity. North Texas counties have higher death rates due to drug and alcohol misuse than state and national average, according to a report from the North Texas Community Health Collaborative. The Substance Abuse/Misuse Community Needs Assessment Report of North Texas report showed that eleven regional counties have higher… Full Story

THR Awards $5.2 Million to Address Social Determinants of Health

In Johnson County, the suicide rate for seniors is 25 percent above the Texas average, but a grant from Texas Health Resources is working to help isolated seniors. THR will be distributing $5.2 million worth of community impact grants all across North Texas to address everything from depression to food scarcity. The initiative is called Texas Health Community Impact and focuses on specific ZIP codes where chronic disease and premature death are more common, and partners with agencies in education, healthcare, and government. The funds will be directed toward 12 agencies across five geographic regions made up of 401 ZIP codes… Full Story

Autonomous Vehicles and Drones May Help Address Rural Healthcare Disparities

Autonomous vehicles, drones, and tele-enabled ambulance services are being considered to address rural health disparities by a partnership between Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas and Texas A&M Health Science Center. The joint project will research innovative care delivery strategies and other rural health issues. BCBS of Texas is contributing $10 million to the Health Science Center as a part of the Affordability Cures program to reduce healthcare costs, address health disparities and improve social determinants of health. Projects will look at engaging vulnerabilities and improving access to healthcare, which will include the use of autonomous vehicles, drones, and… Full Story

Prism Health North Texas and Uptown Physicians Group Join Forces Against HIV

Prism Health North Texas and Uptown Physicians Group are teaming up to expand access and specialty care for those living with HIV, at risk for HIV, or other care needs. Prism Health North Texas is a nonprofit whose mission is to provide care for those living with HIV/AIDS in North Texas, and Uptown Physicians Group has been practicing for 30 years in Dallas, specializing in treatment of infectious and sexually transmitted diseases. Both locations will maintain the same location, staff and providers, as well as name and branding. PHNT has the opportunity to benefit from UPG’s expertise with health insurance and… Full Story

Physician Partners of America is Expanding From Texas to California

The root causes of the United State’s opioid crisis are numerous and complex, but at least some of the blame lays at the feet of overprescription of pills in order to reduce pain for patients. Hospital evaluations were tied to patients’ pain, and many patients were prescribed addictive opioids for chronic pain to keep their evaluations positive. According to Physicians Partners of America founder Dr. Rodolfo Gari, physicians believed these medicines were not as addictive as they ended up being. At the 13 Dallas-area PPOA clinics, physicians focus on avoiding addictive painkillers and look for alternative ways to treat pain.… Full Story

Two Miles in Dallas Improves Men’s Life Expectancy by 26 Years

A new study from the University of Texas health systems shows that just two miles can mean 26 years of life expectancy in Dallas. Researchers at the UT Southwestern Medical Center Department of Population and Data Sciences has created an interactive map that shows how life expectancy changes between ZIP codes. Within each ZIP code, it allows users to see life expectancy differences between male, female, black, white, and Hispanic residents. While much of the data lines up with what other social determinants of health have been telling us about how education, poverty, environmental and social factors impact overall health,… Full Story

Blue Cross Teaming Up With 11 Texas Institutions to Address Healthcare Costs

Richardson-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas will be teaming up with 11 universities to address the root causes of high cost of health care. The research institutions and insurer will be working on projects that focus on behavioral health, vaccine adherence, and analyzing usage data to improve efficiency.  The collaboration is part of Blue Cross’ Affordability Cures initiative, and hopes to address care delivery, unequal distribution, and waste in the system. “Failure to address access and affordability of health care has real consequences. We need to challenge the status quo by bringing transformative research and ideas to the table,”… Full Story