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

Baylor Scott and White Team up with Startup Xealth to Prescribe Everything Except Drugs

Baylor Scott and White recently became customers of Xealth, a platform that allows physicians to prescribe anything from wheelchairs to Weight Watchers, according to Geek Wire. The Seattle startup recommends services such as insulin monitors or Lyft rides based on patient data and allows users to purchase them from a variety of vendors. Xealth CEO is Mike McSherry, who had earlier success as CEO of texting technology Swype, and other investors include companies whose products services are included in the platform. Co-founder Aaron Sheedy also worked at Swype and with McSherry at Microsoft in the 1990s, according to Geek Wire.… Full Story

President and CEO of Local Supplement Company Pleaded Guilty to Multimillion Dollar Fraud Conspiracy

The president and CEO of Dallas-based dietary supplement company USPlabs pleaded guilty in federal court to a role in a scheme to fraudulently sell workout supplements to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. President Jonathan Doyle and CEO Jacobo Geissler pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to introduce misbranded food into interstate commerce. The two were joined by three other individuals and two companies that took part in developing, manufacturing, or marketing workout and weight loss supplements known as Jack3d and OxyElite Pro. OxyElite Pro was recalled in 2013 after a Food and Drug Administration investigation to see… Full Story

The Do’s and Don’ts of Corporate Wellness

Leadership buy-in, authentic employee participation, and building a culture of health are all keys to successful corporate wellness, benefitting the a company’s bottom line as well the health of its employees. These points and more were discussed earlier this month at the North Texas Corporate Wellness Forum organized by the American Cancer Society. The forum consisted of Becky Hall, Senior Manager of Health and Welfare Benefits and Wellness Programs at Oncor Electric Delivery, Dr. Paul Hain, Chief Medical Officer and Divisional Senior Vice President of Market Delivery at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, and Levin Gunter, Lead Benefits Consultant at… Full Story

Can You Exercise Too Much? New Research Has an Answer

With the growing popularity of high-intensity interval training, Crossfit, and ultra-marathoning, scientists began to wonder if this level of intense exercise might be bad for the heart. Researchers from The Cooper Institute and UT Southwestern Medical Center analyzed how this type of heightened exercise impacts the risk of heart disease and death, but found no additional risk in highly active individuals. The study did find that these individuals have an 11 percent greater risk for coronary artery calcification, which can be a sign of atherosclerosis, a disease where plaque builds up in the arteries and gives risk to heart attack and… Full Story

Five Miles Could Take 18 Years Off Your Life Expectancy in Dallas

Around five miles separate Lakewood and Fair Park in Dallas, but new research shows that distance could mean losing nearly 18 years of life one’s expectancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that average life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.6 years—76.1 years for men and 81.1 years for women, and new research from the National Health Statistics and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation show how life expectancy at birth can vary widely from block to block. Environmental factors, segregation, access to healthcare, public transportation, healthy food, affordable housing, and good jobs impact life expectancy, with short distances having often resulting… Full Story

Texas Drops to 37 in Nationwide Health Rankings, Worst Insured Rate and Increased Diabetes to Blame

Texas continued its slide in United Health Foundation’s 2018 “America’s Health Rankings Annual Report,” where it went from 33rd in the nation in 2016 to 37th in 2018. On the brighter side, the report found that high school graduation increased, cancer and drug deaths decreased, smoking rates went down while the number of primary care physicians increased. But the worst insured rate in the nation and increases in diabetes rates, physical activity, cardiovascular deaths and mental distress were enough to bump Texas down a few spots. The report measures states’ health via 35 measures across five categories: behaviors, community and… Full Story

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