The Health Industry Council Names its 2013 Board of Directors

The Health Industry Council has named its board of directors for 2013. The nonprofit, member-driven organization was created to bring together the health industry in North Texas. New members of the board include: Mark Denissen, vice president, Worldwide Strategic Marketing, Texas Instruments Randy Jones, DHA, FACHE, FACMPE, associate vice president and chief administrative officer for ambulatory care,  UT Southwestern Medical Center Karen Kennedy, chief operating officer and chief administrative officer, USMD Matt McMurphy, vice president of strategy and general counsel, Encompass Home Health Steve Mitchell, vice president of healthcare,  AT&T Neil Smiley, CEO, Loopback Analytics For a complete list of… Full Story

Morning Rounds (01.28.13)

Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. has formed a joint venture with California-based John Muir Health.

Hospital merger and acquisition activity in 2012 was the highest in a decade, according to Fitch Ratings.

Physician practices are now able to bill for coordinating care of patients who have been discharged from a hospital or for those who have more than one chronic condition. Full Story

Morning Rounds (01.17.13)

County health department officials in Texas are reporting a worse flu season than in the past.

Children’s Medical Center is opening a new MyChildren’s site at St. Philip’s School and Community Center.

The North Texas Food Bank is funding a study by SMU economics researchers on the  role social networks and isolation play in fighting hunger. Full Story

Fewer Physician Assistants Choosing Primary Care

New physician assistants (PAs) appear to be following the same employment trend as that of medical students: Fewer are opting for careers in primary care. More than half of PAs entered primary care in 1996. That has dropped to less than 1 out of 3 in 2010, according to a study in the Annals of Family Medicine.

Dallas County Health and Education Workers Lose Ground on Wages

Dallas County education and health services employees lost ground in pay during the second quarter of 2012, in new figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the local average still was significantly higher than elsewhere in the U.S. and in Houston. The average weekly wage for an education and health services worker in Dallas County was $964 in April-June 2012, which was 1.7 percent lower than the average wage in the second quarter of 2011. Local employment rose 2.8 percent in the sector to 172,700. Nationally, wages rose 1.4 percent in education and health services to an… Full Story

MedSys Consulting Names New President, Board Chairman

MedSys is shoring up its senior executive ranks. The Frisco-based health IT consulting firm has named Steven Heck as president and Luther Nussbaum as chairman of the board. Heck previously served as First Consulting Group; Nussbaum is the retired chairman and CEO of that same company. At MedSys, Heck will focus on building a new Healthcare IT Advisory Services Division, which will focus on IT resources, practice redesign, working to improve the returns from the IT investments of the last five years, and IT Planning. Nussbaum, who had been serving as a MedSys board member, will step up to chairman… Full Story

Morning Rounds (01.11.13)

Dallas-based Visiting Nurse Association plans to end its home health-care operations in March and shift to a focus on hospice and private-duty nursing service.

In a provocative Health Affairs study, researcher said the physician shortage is overestimated and could be avoided by the proper deployment of physicians and clinicians.

According to a Mercer salary study, Hospital and health system CFOs earned an average compensation of $227,700 in 2012; those at hospitals with at least $1 billion in net revenue made an average of $428,500. Full Story

VNA Plans to End Home Health Care Operations

Dallas-based Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) plans to end its home health-care operations in March, according to a notice filed with the Texas Workforce Commission. The company plans instead to concentrate on its hospice and private-duty nursing service. In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, VNA President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Carpenter cited the fierce competition with 1,400 for-profit home health agencies in North Texas as the reason for exiting that business line. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has recommended a Medicare moratorium on new home health care agencies in Texas. In an August report, the OIG… Full Story

Morning Rounds (01.10.13)

This year, 27 healthcare professions made it onto U.S. News’ top 100 professions list, with four in the top five.

U.S. nonprofit hospitals delivered a record $41.1 billion in uncompensated care in 2011, according to the American Hospital Association’s annual survey.

Hospitals in Dallas and Fort Worth fared better than the national average in Medicare’s new incentive program, which pays for quality of care. Full Story