Dallas County’s Growing Physician Shortage

In Dallas County, the shortage of primary care physicians is expected to grow by 90 percent in coming years, according to a Dallas County Health and Human Services Community Health Needs Assessment.  This complication is compounded by the fact that 60 percent of the ZIP codes in Dallas County are described as places with great “challenges and opportunities for addressing health disparities.” A tall test awaits the North Texas healthcare industry. The report dives deep into a number of health indicators, from sexually transmitted diseases and mortality to housing and physician shortage. Many of the disparities that exist in the… Full Story

Texas’ Dismal Health Insurance Rate: Causes and Economic Impact

Texas has the worst rate uninsured people in the country for the second year in a row, according to information released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Texas was one of only nine states to see an increase in the number of people without health insurance, as the rate increased from 17.3 percent in 2017 to 17.7 percent (around five million people) in 2018. The increase could see increased stress put on the healthcare system in North Texas and statewide, having significant economic impacts. Texas has nearly twice the rate of uninsured people as the country, with had an 8.9 percent… Full Story

Parkland Joins Texas-Based Opioid Lawsuit Against Pharma Companies

Parkland Health and Hospital System is among 29 public and private hospitals in Texas that have filed a civil lawsuit against manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of opioids. The Dallas County complaint accuses the defendants of negligence, fraud, and civil conspiracy, which include Irving-based McKesson Corp., Purdue Pharma, Johnson and Johnson, and  40 other companies and individuals in the pharmaceutical industry. Last month, an Oklahoma judge ruled that Johnson and Johnson should pay the state $572 million for obscuring the dangers and overpromising the benefits of opioids. It was one of 2,000 similar lawsuits nationwide, and now Texas has joined the… Full Story

Avoiding Pre-Term Birth with Text Messages in Dallas

It is good business to engage with consumers, but when it comes to healthcare, engagement may be a matter of life and death. Texas’ maternal mortality rate has been debated a good deal in recent years, but nearly everyone agrees that it is much too high, especially for women of color. At the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation, data analytics and technology are improving outcomes for underserved pregnant women in Dallas. One significant way to reduce maternal and infant mortality is to avoid pre-term birth, and in 2017, Texas had a 10.4 percent pre-term birth rate – earning a D… Full Story

Parkland Adds to Its LEED Gold Certified Clinics

Parkland has its fifth LEED Gold Certified building in the new Ron J. Anderson, MD Clinic for its commercial interiors from the U.S. Green Building Council. Parkland’s Women & Infants Specialty Health Clinic, Central Utility Plant, Tower Garage and main hospital are also LEED Gold facilities. The 227,420-square-foot clinic houses surgery, cardiology, pre-anesthesia and neurology clinics, among others. Radiology, phlebotomy and a 24-hour outpatient pharmacy are also onsite at the clinic. The certification is given to structures that are built sustainably, focusing on water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. “We have focused on sustainability throughout the planning, design… Full Story

The Do’s and Don’ts of Dementia

Around 5.7 million Americans are currently living with dementia, and as many as 13.9 million individuals 65 years or older are projected to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias in the US by 2060. Physicians can help patients reduce their chances of developing dementia and educate families how to cope with a challenging situation. “It can be frustrating for families and caregivers because the disease makes people behave unpredictably,” says Dr. Raja Paspula, senior lead physician at Parkland’s Geriatrics and Senior Care Center, via release. “They no longer have proper judgment or impulse control so they can act… Full Story

New Rules for Safety Net Hospitals Reduce Readmission Penalties, UTSW Research Shows

In order to reduce health system costs nationwide, legislation created penalties for hospitals if patients are readmitted within a certain time frame after being treated, but new research from UT Southwestern Medical Center reveals that a rule adjustment  is causing penalties to drop for hospitals that treat riskier patients. Hospitals such as Parkland that care for socioeconomically disadvantaged patients are more likely to have patients who leave the hospital and go back to unstable environments where they can’t or don’t follow doctor’s orders closely, which can result in a return of symptoms. Patients may have transportation hurdles that keep them… Full Story

Parkland’s First Patient Family Advisory Panel is Already Having Impacts

In order to improve efficiency, safety, quality, and patient satisfaction, Parkland Health and Hospital System formed its first Patient Family Advisory Panel in 2018. Made up of 15 patients, family members, and caregivers, their role is to give voice to the patient in the healthcare system. The role of PFAC will be to share ideas and feedback about health system programs, services, facilities and research with leadership at Parkland. The group’s input has already impacted the literacy level of patient education materials, the ease in which patients can refill prescriptions, and navigating Parkland’s neighborhood health centers with increased signage. “The work… Full Story

Studies Show Diabetes Medication Reduces Risk of Heart Attack as Well

Every 80 seconds, an American with diabetes is hospitalized for heart disease, and every two minutes a diabetic adult is hospitalized for a stroke. But new studies show that medicine used to treat diabetes also lowers the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or death from either one. Patients with diabetes are twice as likely to die from heart disease, but research is showing how diabetes medication can reduce that risk. The American Diabetes Association says the disease affects 11.8 percent of Americans, as more than 30 million are diabetic, with another 85 million have above normal blood sugar and… Full Story

How Much Money Are North Texas Health Plans Making?

The latest version of Allan Baumgarten’s Texas Health Market Review came out this year, revealing enrollment, profit, and marketshare for Texas’ Health Plans for 2017. Some plans appear to be raking in the cash, while others are losing millions of dollars. First, let’s look at what the review says about insured rates in Texas, which has the greatest percentage of uninsured people in the nation. According to the report, Texas’ uninsured rate decreased from 21.9 percent in 2013 to 17.3 percent in 2017, though it ticked up from 16.9 percent since 2015. Texas is one of 14 states that hasn’t adopted… Full Story