Pieces Technologies Raises $25.7 Million in Effort to Address Social Determinants of Health

Healthcare artificial intelligence and technology company Pieces Technologies has raised $25.7 million in funding from healthcare-focused investment firm Concord Health. The company developed platforms to address the social determinants of health and power clinical analytics, helping connect providers with community service providers. Clients include hospitals, health systems, community clinics, food banks, job assistance, and educational services. The technology analyzes real-time patient information to connect health systems with community organizations to improve patient outcomes. The technology has enabled a half-day reduction in hospital stays and a reduction in readmissions to the hospital where it has been deployed, which include Children’s Health… Full Story

Texas Improves Three Spots to 34th in the American Health Rankings

Texas moved up and is the 34th healthiest state in the latest American Health Rankings from UnitedHealthcare, but the improvement might have little to do with healthier people in Texas. Part of the improvement is because other states’ health is declining at a faster rate than the Lone Star State. That isn’t to say Texas was without bright spots. The report notes that Texas’ high school graduation rate, low smoking rates, decreased violent crime, improved birthweight and increased number of mental health providers helped boost its ranking from 37 to 34 this year. But in several other important health measures,… Full Story

Do Texas Voters Care About Healthcare?

Texas and the surrounding states make up the region that is least likely to vote for a candidate based on their healthcare agenda, according to PwC’s annual report about the top issues in the healthcare industry. For many of the other questions in the survey about diversity of workforce and the impact of healthcare mergers, Texas’ region fell at or near the middle. For a state as big and diverse as Texas, being in the middle makes sense, says Ben Isgur, leader of PwC’s Health Research Institute. But  North Texas is on the extreme when it comes to price and uninsured… Full Story

New South Dallas NTBHA Facility Looks to Reduce Hospital Readmission

North Texas’ mental health resources are constantly strained by the region’s booming population and lack of beds. While the entities that manage mental health in the region work well together to make sure those that need inpatient services receive them, there are even fewer resources for patients discharged from a mental health facility in the region. But a new clinic in South Dallas operated by the North Texas Behavioral Health Authority is meant to bridge the gap between a mental health facility and a return to independence, while reducing the number of high utilizers of healthcare in the region, reports… Full Story

BCBSTX Awards $1.6M in Grants to Fight CKD and COPD

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas will be awarding more than $1.6 million in Healthy Kids, Healthy Families grants to 12 Texas organizations in order to fight against and raise awareness about Chronic Kidney Disease and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Organizations were chosen for their work educating and managing CKD and COPD conditions, as well as their ability to decrease emergency room visits and increase primary care engagement. In communities with education and outreach events about CKD, medical spending decreased $103 per member, per month compared to areas without outreach, according to Richardson-based BCBSTX. “It’s important for us to collaborate with organizations that are making… Full Story

Texas Health Receives Federal Grant Targeting Youth Sports in Pleasant Grove

Texas Health Resources is the only health system in the country to receive a federal grant to promote youth sports through the Salvation Army Pleasant Grove Corps. The $800,000 grant is from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for the federal Youth Engagement in Sports (YES) initiative.  “Texas Health has enhanced its engagement with the communities we are blessed to serve by intentionally partnering with community-based organizations, corporations and funders,” said David Tesmer, Texas Health chief community and public policy officer via release. “We are serving as a catalyst for meeting local needs.” The program is funded through August… Full Story

Dallas County’s Growing Physician Shortage

In Dallas County, the shortage of primary care physicians is expected to grow by 90 percent in coming years, according to a Dallas County Health and Human Services Community Health Needs Assessment.  This complication is compounded by the fact that 60 percent of the ZIP codes in Dallas County are described as places with great “challenges and opportunities for addressing health disparities.” A tall test awaits the North Texas healthcare industry. The report dives deep into a number of health indicators, from sexually transmitted diseases and mortality to housing and physician shortage. Many of the disparities that exist in the… Full Story

Most of the State’s Lowest Life Expectancy Neighborhoods are in North Texas

Seven of the eight census tracts in the state with the lowest life expectancies are in our region, according to National Center for Health Statistics data. North Texas areas included in the lowest life expectancies include a portion of downtown Wichita Falls, near the Hospital District in Fort Worth, the historic Tenth Street Historic District, areas of South Dallas near Fair Park, and east Oak Cliff. The lowest life expectancy census tracts are due to a couple different factors. The neighborhoods are either high poverty areas with low social determinants fo health, such as Tenth Street or neighborhoods near Fair… Full Story

Dallas is Stepping Up its Fight Against HIV

Dallas County Health and Human Services recently released a report that highlights HIV and its effect on Dallas county residents, hoping to gain support behind joining Fast Track Cities, an initiative that allows countries to better collaborate on accelerating local AIDS response and attaining HIV prevention. So far, 21 U.S. cities have signed on to the Paris Declaration, which means they have committed to four goals: achieving a 90-90-90 target (assuring that 90 percent of people living with HIV know their status and are receiving sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 90 percent of people who receive that therapy has an undetectable… Full Story

A New Take on the Sexual Health Clinic

Dallas County led the nation for the highest rate of increase for new Chlamydia and Gonorrhea infections from 2016 to 2017 and is one of 48 counties nationwide with the highest rates of new HIV infections. In response, a number of organizations are teaming up with the Dallas County Health and Human Services department to fight the stigma and impact of HIV in Dallas. The plan involves identifying those who are at risk and have been effected with HIV, and to get those individuals on proper medication and in touch with the health system. It also means reaching the populations… Full Story