Texas Ranks Near Bottom in Overall Child Well-being

One out of every 11 of the country’s children lives in Texas—yet the state ranks 44th in overall child health and well-being, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2012 “Kids Count” Data Book. The book looks at four areas to determine well-being: economic standing, education, health, and the family/community. Texas also has the third-highest teen birth rate in the country, and ranks 49th in children without health insurance, with an uninsured rate of 14 percent in 2010. This is a 22 percent decrease from 2008, likely due to increased coverage through programs such as Medicaid and CHIP. “These numbers cry… Full Story

Physical Inactivity by County

Physical inactivity can lead to obesity and Type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, physical activity can help control weight, reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve mental health. For these statistics, physical inactivity refers adults who report no physical activity or exercise other than their jobs. Across the United States, county-level estimates range from 10 percent to 43 percent. The nation’s average is 21 percent. Adults in DFW counties and the state of Texas are slightly less active, with averages ranging from 22 percent in Collin and Tarrant counties to 24… Full Story

Tenet to Treat Cigna-insured Patients at all of its Hospitals, Outpatient Centers

Tenet Healthcare has agreed to open access to healthcare services at all its hospitals and outpatient centers to those who are Cigna-insured beginning next May. Under the agreement, Cigna customers will have access to healthcare services at all hospitals owned by Tenet subsidiaries, as well as freestanding: • Diagnostic imaging centers • Ambulatory surgery centers • Urgent care centers • Outpatient centers in which Tenet holds majority interest • Physicians under Tenet Physicians Inc. (About 800) This new contract also will allow facilitates the creation of Tenet’s Clinically Integrated Organizations (CIOs) and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) through Cigna’s proprietary Collaborative… Full Story

Patience and Strategy Needed for Healthcare Reform

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Texas will need patience and strategy with two important decisions regarding Medicaid expansion and the implementation of the State Health Insurance Exchange. Texas Governor Rick Perry recently announced Texas would not expand Medicaid coverage or implement a state health insurance exchange. Texas leads the nation with an overall 27 percent uninsured population. Those numbers climb to 30 percent in North Texas. Within our state, 1.2 million children have no medical insurance and 40 percent of Texas women do not receive appropriate prenatal… Full Story

Job Satisfaction Key Driver in Employee Healthcare Costs

A company’s health-related costs are not due simply to health problems, according to consultant and author Wendy Lynch. She contends that a rewarding job and performance-based compensation are the most cost-effective investments employers can make for employee health and performance. Lynch, co-director of Altarum Institute’s Center for Consumer Choice in Health Care, addressed the Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health luncheon May 23 at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Dallas. Her speech—Rethinking benefits, wellness, and incentives strategies: How performance-based benefits and compensation policies improve both health and business outcomes—emphasized the role of human capital in the workplace. That capital is… Full Story

NFIB v. Sebelius: More About Law Than Healthcare

As a healthcare lawyer, many friends and acquaintances have asked my opinion on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Supreme Court case. Fortunately, the decision gave me a really easy answer to that question. Although it certainly didn’t break the way I thought it would—or, for that matter, hoped it would—it did vindicate what I have said all along about Obamacare and healthcare reform generally: The Affordable Care Act is much more focused on health insurance reform or health finance reform than it is on healthcare reform. And the Supreme Court case isn’t about healthcare at all; it’s all about… Full Story

Life Expectancy By County

Life expectancy grew in two decades by more than seven years for Collin County men and about half that much for Collin County women. A recent report by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) found that the county closed the life-expectancy gap with the nation’s highest rate from about eight years in 1989 to about one year in 2009. The nation’s highest life expectancy for men is Marin County, CA, at 81.6 years. Collin County men are not far behind at 80.5 years. The County Health Rankings, prepared by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, ranked Collin… Full Story