Fort Worth is Bucking National Health Trends With an Assist From Blue Zones

Launching in 2014, Blue Zones came to Fort Worth hoping to make the city healthier. Since Blue Zone launched, Fort Worth’s emergency room and hospital utilization have been reduced by 2 percent, resulting in tens of millions of healthcare savings. The initiative’s goal is to improve a community’s well being and is based on nine evidence-based formed from some of the world’s healthiest communities in Japan, Greece, and Costa Rica. In 2014, Gallup’s Healthways survey put Fort Worth at 185th out of 190 cities in the poll. Now the city ranks 58th, and its score is above the national average.… Full Story

How Do You Make Your Workplace Great For Women? We Asked the Healthcare Experts

When Fortune released its 75 Best Large Workplaces for Women, two North Texas healthcare companies made the list. Texas Health Resources and Encompass Home Health were both included, and we talked to leaders at the two providers to find out what makes their companies work well for women. Based on employee feedback surveys, mutual respect, opportunities for professional development, and team work are all taken into account to make the list. Michelle Kirby is the chief people officer at THR, and has been there for 28 years. She says that her career serves as an example of what THR can… Full Story

SimplyWell Acquired by Richard Branson’s Workplace Health Company Virgin Pulse

SimplyWell, a Dallas-based workplace wellness program and one of D CEO’s Healthcare Awards Finalists, has been acquired by Virgin Pulse, the world’s largest digital health and well-being company. With the acquisition, Virgin Pulse expands its access to condition management across 22 ailments, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. The company hopes to expand its coaching capabilities and better serve all employees, from the healthiest to the highest risk who need the costliest support and interventions. Virgin Pulse has members in more than 190 countries and 3,300 organizations. Virgin will incorporate SimplyWell’s analytics and claims reporting capabilities, allowing them a better… Full Story

Mavs and Lympo Partner with Blockchain Fitness App Where You Earn While You Burn

A new partnership between the Dallas Mavericks and Lympo hopes to change the fitness app world the way frequent flyer miles changed the way people travel. Mavs owner Mark Cuban and Atunas Guoga, Lympo’s co-founder and head of Lympo’s Blockchain for Sports Foundation announced the partnership last week. Lympo app rewards users for staying healthy with a cryptocurrency called LYM tokens which can be spent on sports and fitness merchandise in the Lympo shop, like a frequent flyer earning miles toward free flights by flying. At the press conference Friday, Cuban says he hopes that Mavs gear and even tickets… Full Story

Texas Health is Fifth on Fortune’s List of Best Places to Work for Women

Texas Health is number five on Fortune’s 75 Best Large Workplaces for Women, making the list for the third year in a row. It is both the top-ranked Texas business as well as health system on the list. The rankings value organizations that highlight transparency and are committed to creating a positive work environment, and are based on employee feedback surveys. Mutual respect, opportunities for professional development and team work are some of the criteria for excellence. At Texas Health, almost 80 percent of employees are female, and it offers a maternity support program, tuition reimbursement for mothers who want… Full Story

Catapult Health Names New Chief Sales Officer

Shannon Schaul has been promoted to Chief Sales Officer of Dallas-basedCatapult Health, which conducts preventive checkups at the workplace in all 50 states. Previously serving as Vice President of Sales, Schaul and her team expanded sales from five states to 50, serving employers nationwide with staffs as large as 100,000. She also made connections with national health plans and leaders in the benefits consulting field. Catapult connect patients with a nurse practitioner who helps measure and deliver a number of health results in real time. A typical day for Catapult involves over 1,000 worksite checkups, testing and assessment for high blood… Full Story

Dealing with Prescription Drug Abuse in the Workplace

As opioid use continues to plague the country, employers are looking for ways to reduce addiction, missed work, and safety issues caused by addiction to highly addictive painkillers. Bonnie Merz is a Dallas-based Senior Claims Consultant at Holmes Murphy, and she advises employers about how to best manage risk in response to drug abuse. The healthcare industry is particularly vulnerable to this problem, as a Hazeldon Betty Ford study shows that Health Care Providers are more likely than the general public to abuse opioids. Starting in the 1840s when surgeons would abuse their own anesthesia for “ether frolics,” today 10 to 15 percent… Full Story

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

Baylor Scott and White and Methodist Make Healthiest Employers Top 100 List

Two Dallas-based health systems have been ranked in Healthiest Employers 2018 list of 100 organizations recognized for employee well-being. Methodist Health System was ranked 38 nationally, and Baylor Scott and White Health ranked 59th. Neither made the list last year. Healthiest Employers gathers corporate health data to provide insight into managing population health in the wellness industry. Their assessment focuses on employers who plan for a healthy, productive, and high achieving workforce rather than reacting to sickness and injury. As the Healthiest Employers website describes, “Companies in the Healthiest 100 recognize that employee wellbeing is a strategic corporate capability, just like… Full Story

A Tale Of Genetics And Questionable Science

The last thing Molly Bray told me before we ended our call was the sort of quote that pops out of the receiver and floats right onto the page. The no-nonsense Bray, a geneticist at UT Austin who has studied the intersection of genetics and weight management, was on the phone to discuss a Dallas company I’d been talking to called Genetix Health Institute. She offered this: “Their team is really solid, and I think they’re probably giving solid advice about weight loss,” Bray tells me before we hang up. “Whatever they’re doing in terms of genes—it’s not founded in… Full Story