Cook Children’s CEO on What it Takes to be a “Best Place to Work”

Modern Healthcare has published online video interviews with some of its “Best Places to Work” winners, including Rick Merrill, president and CEO of Cook Children’s Healthcare System in Fort Worth. In the video, Merrill discusses what it takes to make employees and patients happy. He also shares his plan to integrate companies that provide care for Cook Children’s patients to help make the Fort Worth area one of the healthiest place to raise a child. To see the full video interview, click here.

Tarrant County Project Access Completes Successful First Year

M.D. Jahangir, a convenience store clerk, felt hopeless. He had cataracts in both eyes. He had three near misses on auto accidents. He was also laid off because he couldn’t drive himself to work and was making too many mistakes as a cashier. Jahangir was referred to Tarrant County Medical Society’s Project Access (PATC) for surgery. His worst eye was repaired, and is awaiting surgery on his other eye. “After surgery, I opened my eyes and saw everything clearly for the first time in many years. I was so excited to actually distinguish road signs, cars, and trees. I was so… Full Story

Fort Worth’s Healthpoint Biotherapeutics Sold to UK Company for $782 Million

Smith & Nephew of London has agreed to acquire Fort Worth-based Healthpoint Biotherapeutics for $782 million in an all-cash deal. The acquisition is expected to close next month, subject to regulatory approval. Privately owned Healthpoint Biotherapeutics was founded in 1992 by Paul Dorman, chairman and CEO. It specializes in acute, chronic, and burn-related wound care. Its lead commercial product is its Collagenase Santyl product. It also just completed a second successful trial of a promising new cell therapy product (see additional info below). A third trial is under way. “Healthpoint and Smith & Nephew have much in common,” Dorman said, in a statement.… Full Story

Insurance Prior Authorization “Unfunded Mandate,” Keller Physician Says

Keller family physician Erica Swegler was quoted earlier this year in an article in The Wall Street Journal about the growing number of insurance company prior authorizations for treatments. She said approvals take 48-72 hours and “costs me a tremendous amount of time. It’s a huge headache.” But that, she told D Healthcare Daily, is only part of the story. Swegler contends that prior authorization “is a symptom of a broken payment system. It is an unfunded mandate because healthcare isn’t paid for properly. Prior authorization does not address waste and abuse.” She believes insurance companies should focus on the top 10… Full Story

Moncrief Cancer Institute Unveils New Fort Worth Facility Today

The Moncrief Cancer Institute will unveil its $22 million cancer center today in the Fort Worth Medical District. The organization will hold an invitation-only dedication at 11:30 a.m. and conduct an open house at 4 p.m. at 400 W. Magnolia Ave. The 4-acre, 60,000-square-foot facility includes Moncrief’s Community Survivorship Clinic, along with an expanded fitness center, demonstration kitchen, and an education center featuring a 90-seat auditorium. It also includes areas for patient genetics counseling and evaluation for participation in UT Southwestern-based clinical trials of newly developed drugs. The institute is a nonprofit cancer prevention and support center. An affiliate of… Full Story

TMA Gives UNTHSC Grant to Immunize the Uninsured

The Texas Medical Association (TMA) medical student chapter at the University of North Texas Health Science Center-Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNTHSC-TCOM) has received a $2,000 grant from TMA’s Be Wise — Immunize program. The grant is helping students provide flu vaccinations to uninsured residents in Fort Worth. The student chapter gave more than 70 flu vaccinations to community members and participants in a UNTHSC geriatrics research study at Northside Community Health Center Nov. 3. Medical students will host another flu shot clinic Saturday with Mission Fort Worth, a volunteer-run health clinic that serves low-income, uninsured patients in a predominantly Hispanic… Full Story

FitWorth: An Obesity Impact Plan that Works

When Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price decided she wanted to focus some of her passion for biking and her vision for having young leaders shape the progress and culture in her city, I’m not sure she could imagine the results: nearly 27,000 kids having a greater awareness of their own healthy behaviors, a pilot school cafeteria program serving kale chips and hummus wraps, and big employers like Oncor being involved. Or maybe she did. Government officials around the United States are recognizing the link between high obesity rates and the vitality of a city or region. Leaders in Fort Worth… Full Story

Inadequate Social Support By County

Poor family support, minimal contact with others, and limited involvement in community life are associated with increased disease and disability, as well as premature death. Social support networks have been identified as powerful predictors of health behaviors, suggesting that individuals without a strong social network are less likely to participate in healthy lifestyle choices. Those who say they have family and friends they can count on to help them in times of trouble are more likely to be satisfied with their personal health. Collin County and Denton County residents have high levels of social support. Tarrant County scores better than… Full Story

Sexually Transmitted Diseases By County

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that individuals can get from having sex with someone who has the infection. The causes of STDs are bacteria, parasite,s and viruses. There are more than 20 types of STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, HIV/AIDS, HPV, syphilis and trichomoniasis. Most STDs affect both men and women, but in many cases the health problems they cause can be more severe for women. If a pregnant woman has an STD, it can cause serious health problems for the baby. Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not completely eliminate, the risk of catching… Full Story

Full ACA Expansion Would Cut Local Uninsured Rate By Half, Study Finds

Full expansion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Texas would cut the uninsured rate in the four-county Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area by more than half, according to an estimate by two Rice University demographers. A recent U.S. Census Bureau survey found that 23 percent of Texans lacked health insurance in 2011, which represents the nation’s leading uninsured rate. Demographers Steve Murdock and Michael Cline assert that about 3 million out of 5.9 million uninsured Texans would have insurance in 2014 if the state embraced health reform. Locally, that would mean more than 600,000 in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton… Full Story