We do our best to keep our patients, hospitals, and surgeons informed about the latest within our specialty and the healthcare industry.
By Admin | February 12, 2018
An online retailer, a holding company and a bank could disrupt healthcare as we know it. The three companies, Amazon.com, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase, are banding together to circumvent the complicated web of the U.S. healthcare system and provide their own health services to their employees.
By Admin | February 05, 2018
Between 2016 and 2017, the number of uninsured Americans rose by 3.2 million people, leaving 12.2 percent of the population without health insurance.
By Admin | January 31, 2018
Dr. Wilder Penfield was a pioneer of neurosurgery, having published brain maps in 1937 and 1950 that surgeons still use today. He also created the Montreal procedure, along with his colleague Herber Jasper, which uses electrical probes on a patient’s brain while he or she is awake in order to find the locations of seizure activity.
By Admin | January 29, 2018
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 300 to 400 physicians commit suicide every year. During the physician training period, around 28 percent experience a major depressive episode compared to seven percent in the general U.S. population.
By Admin | January 22, 2018
Much was said on Capitol Hill about health care, but not too much was done in 2017. Here are Politico’s 10 key takeaways from the first year of health care under the Trump administration.
By Admin | January 15, 2018
There were two twin boys conjoined at the head, but before being wheeled into the operating room, their team of surgeons was able to plan ahead with 3D models of the boys’ actual sculls. Taken from CT scans, the models were created with a 3D printer, and they gave the surgeons the unique ability to accurately assess every step of the very complex surgery.
By Admin | January 10, 2018
It isn’t a secret that 2017 was full of political drama surrounding healthcare. And the uncertainty will definitely continue into 2018. There will also be cybersecurity threats, social determinants of patients’ health, and focusing on the patient experience to face, according to Benjamin Isgur, leader of PwC's Health Research Institute.
By Admin | January 08, 2018
In a remote Italian region lives a few hundred people over the age of 90. They have shown to be in excellent mental health, even if their bodies are showing their age.
By Admin | December 13, 2017
Could CVS’s $69 billion purchase of one of the largest health insurers in the U.S. change the healthcare game?
By Admin | December 11, 2017
Apple has partnered with Stanford University to create an app for the latest iWatch that can hopefully detect heart irregularities. Together, they’re launching a study to see if the app can indeed help patients.
By Admin | December 06, 2017
Patient portals provide an easy way for patients to see their lab results, prescription information, doctor’s notes, and more, from the convenience of home--and without having to call and wait.
By Admin | December 04, 2017
Doctors take care of us, but who’s taking care of the doctor? Studies are showing that doctors are increasingly hitting burnout status and suffering from depression, which in turn leads to their making medical errors.
By Admin | November 29, 2017
Fitness trackers like Apple’s popular iWatch and the Fitbit can already monitor a wearer’s sleeping habits, heart rate and steps with impressive accuracy.
By Admin | November 27, 2017
When CVS, the well known pharmacy chain, considered purchasing Aetna, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, it shed some light on the future of American healthcare.
By Admin | November 20, 2017
If you fall behind on your health insurance payments, you generally have 90 days to pay before any sort of penalty, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
By Admin | November 15, 2017
Dr. Adrienne Boissy, chief experience officer of Cleveland Clinic Health System, believes empathy plays a huge part in patient care.
By Admin | November 13, 2017
Ochsner Health Care of Louisiana is using technology in order to keep tabs on patients in real time, even offering assistance right after they “go out of bounds.”
By Admin | November 06, 2017
Senators Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, and Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, have a bipartisan plan to to fund critical subsidies to insurers and hopefully stabilize the health insurance market in the wake of President Trump’s order to cut funding.
By Admin | November 01, 2017
If you’re on Medicare, it’s the time to renew your coverage for 2018, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to obtain your coverage.
By Admin | October 30, 2017
Since Congress hasn’t been able to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, as promised, President Trump is now taking it upon himself with an executive order that he recently teased at a meeting with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
By Admin | October 25, 2017
Right now, the United States isn’t producing enough doctors to fill the many spots needed in order to care for our population. Without doctors immigrating from other countries, we would have a severe lack of healthcare providers.
By Admin | October 18, 2017
At birth, citizens of Singapore can expect to live almost three years longer than in Britain or the US, not to mention infant mortality is far lower. The population also pays far less for healthcare than the US, ranking sixth in the world in quality where we rank 37.
By Admin | October 16, 2017
With a higher focus on using technology to keep up with patient records, many doctors complain that they’re simply data entry clerks and not doctors. But the truth is, doctors aren’t being taught what their data entry makes possible--saving even more lives than before.
By Admin | October 09, 2017
In Louisiana and Oklahoma, families spend 1.7 percent of their income, on average, on health expenses. In New York and New Jersey, families averaged closer to one percent. However, US News ranked Louisiana and Oklahoma in the bottom five states when it comes to healthcare.
By Admin | October 04, 2017
John Cassidy, staff writer at the New Yorker, has been writing about politics and economics for the paper since 1995. In his 20-plus years, he’s seen much happen. His latest article outlines the most recent attempts by the Trump administration to repeal, replace, re-do the Affordable Healthcare Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, and why they keep failing and trying again.
By Admin | October 02, 2017
Of the women who work and have kids under 18, 94 percent of those women make healthcare decisions for people other than themselves. They research doctors, ailments, hospitals, insurance, and everything else that comes with monitoring someone’s health.
By Admin | September 27, 2017
When it comes to technology, MIT is one of the top authorities. In their online technology review, they have posted a solution for making electronic health records safer, yet more accessible for care providers, while allowing clinics and hospitals to keep using the software they want to.
By Admin | September 25, 2017
Some areas are prone to flooding. And most of us will at some point need very expensive medical care, thanks to longer lifespans. But for some reason, people have purchased less flood insurance in the last five years--9 percent less in Houston and 15 percent less in Florida.
By Admin | September 20, 2017
With the recent storms hitting Florida and Texas, hospitals in those areas have done their best to remain open in order to help people heal. But just like houses and other businesses, hospitals also suffer damage, lose electricity, and face the many other problems the rest of the community does.
By Admin | September 18, 2017
In an opinion piece written for thehill.com, contributing columnist James Gelfand outlines his reasons to protect the employer-sponsored health insurance system.
By Admin | September 13, 2017
While many Houston residents are reconstructing their homes and dealing with the obvious ramifications from Hurricane Harvey, one water-infrastructure security expert is more concerned with the remaining water.
By Admin | September 11, 2017
The future of healthcare puzzles everyone from patients to experts, but one thing we can probably count on is an increase in healthcare gaming.
By Admin | September 06, 2017
There are currently no mechanisms in place to protect patients from stolen identities in order for others to bill fraudulently or receive care.
By Admin | August 30, 2017
USA Today posted a list of over 20 health care numbers that relate to everything from salaries to how the US compares to other countries. Here’s a sampling:
By Admin | August 28, 2017
It looks like being good to others is good for you, as well. Using brain scans, scientists in Switzerland discovered that even small acts of generosity or charitable promises triggered brain changes that made subjects happier.
By Admin | August 21, 2017
It is no secret that Amazon has hired high-profile executives with healthcare experience, fueling rumors that the company is going to somehow enter the healthcare sector.
By Admin | August 16, 2017
What makes one brain cell different from the next? Scientists are finally on the verge of figuring that out and unlocking the mysteries of how our brains actually work.
By Admin | August 14, 2017
If it’s a machine on a network, it can be hacked. One man found that out when he went to get a cup of coffee and discovered a strange message on the coffee machine, a message he had just reported to IT from his computer.
By Admin | August 09, 2017
The Senate Health Committee is reserving the first week in September for bipartisan hearings in order to strengthen the individual healthcare marketplace.
By Admin | August 07, 2017
Medical device manufacturers, the FDA, healthcare providers, and insurers want to ensure that solutions are indeed providing value to patients, but no one is sure how to collect the necessary data.
By Admin | August 02, 2017
Crowdfunding sites were started to help people raise money for causes, whether it was taking donations for a race, trying to get some money for school, or doing something nice for someone else. But attempting to raise money for medical services quickly became a popular topic, and the trend isn’t going anywhere.
By Admin | July 31, 2017
Amazon has brought on health experts into their corporate family, and that has some investors thinking they may offer pharmaceutical offerings, and more, in the future.
By Admin | July 24, 2017
The proposed healthcare bill that’s dominating headlines needs 50 votes in the house to pass. As of now, it won’t get those 50 votes.
By Admin | July 19, 2017
The plan to repeal and replace the Obama Administration’s Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare, isn’t going well.
By Admin | July 17, 2017
Behavioral economics is based on the principle that most people will not change their behavior when given facts. A prime example is the former governor of New Jersey John Corzine’s refusal to wear a seat belt, even though there’s countless data and evidence that proves they save lives. He was nearly killed in an automobile accident in 2007 because he wasn’t wearing his seat belt.
By Admin | July 12, 2017
Healthcare has been front and center of every news cycle for weeks, especially since Republican senators were penning their proposal behind closed doors.
By Admin | July 10, 2017
The Senate released their plans for the future of healthcare to the country, ending the speculation about what will happen to taxes, Medicaid, and pre-existing conditions. Here are the facts:
By Admin | July 05, 2017
By April 2019, all Medicare cards will be replaced with new ones that use a unique identification number and will not contain a patient’s social security number.
By Admin | July 03, 2017
The Washington Post has done some digging and has come out with a comprehensive list of predictions concerning the Senate’s revisement of the much anticipated health care overhaul.
By  | June 26, 2017
Texas was the only state holding out on allowing complete telehealth services, requiring patients and physicians or care providers to meet in-person before using any phone or Internet devices to diagnose and treat.
By Admin | June 21, 2017
Thirteen members of Congress have been working on a new healthcare plan, putting them at front and center of the issue. But thirteen Senators have the real power, according to political publication Roll Call.
By Admin | June 19, 2017
The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Cybersecurity Task Force released their findings pertaining to cyber security and the healthcare industry. They are urging for a unified effort among sectors--payers, providers, medical device manufacturers, research institutions and software developers--to help stop attacks like the recent WannaCry ransomware attack which impacted dozens of hospitals.
By Admin | June 14, 2017
Can the spread of disease be curbed by not shaking hands? UCLA hospitals are going to find out. Handshakes were banned in neonatal intensive care wards at two of their hospitals in an effort to keep infections from spreading.
By Admin | June 12, 2017
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a nonpartisan scorekeeper, will evaluate the Republican healthcare proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
By Admin | June 07, 2017
The WannaCry cyber attack ravaged systems worldwide, and now the EternalBlue ransomware attack is also proving that many healthcare systems are far from prepared.
By Admin | June 05, 2017
There are no plans for committee hearings to publicly vet a new health care bill currently being written to replace and repeal the Affordable Care Act. Thirteen GOP senators have been selected to meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays in closely guarded meetings at the U.S. Capitol.
By Admin | May 31, 2017
Hackers attacked computer systems worldwide with stolen software from the National Security Administration. Dubbed the “Wannacry” ransomware outbreak, the hackers locked healthcare personnel out of their computers by exploiting a known vulnerability in the Windows operating system.
By Admin | May 22, 2017
Insurance rates could skyrocket, going up as much as 60 percent in Maryland, if certain Affordable Care Act provisions go away.
By Admin | May 17, 2017
Some areas don’t have large enough populations to support big hospitals, but the communities still need emergency and other medical care. Micro-hospitals can fill the healthcare gap.
By Admin | May 15, 2017
Insurance companies are hesitant to negotiate with freestanding emergency rooms and urgent care centers according to Dr. Carrie de Moor, President and CEO of Frisco-based Code 3 Emergency Physicians and chairman of the American College of Emergency Physicians’ Freestanding Emergency Centers Section.
By Admin | May 10, 2017
The Legatum Institute, a US-based think tank, reviewed several countries with successful healthcare systems. They measured each country’s performance based on basic physical and mental health, health infrastructure and preventative care.
By Admin | May 08, 2017
Chances are, you’ve used Yelp for restaurant reviews or to assess the skills of a local plumber, but have you ever looked up a hospital? If you’re like a majority of people, you have.
By Admin | May 03, 2017
The popular opinion among doctors is that they do not want to go back to the days of paper record keeping, but they do not enjoy the electronic health record (EHR) software of the post-meaningful use world.
By Admin | May 01, 2017
During an interview with Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo, President Trump hinted that healthcare reform and infrastructure changes could be a package deal moving forward.
By Admin | April 24, 2017
The healthcare industry is far behind the banking, retail, and financial sectors when it comes to securing data. And with the implementation of electronic records, more patient data is becoming available with little or no protections.
By Admin | April 19, 2017
Healthcare is attractive to hackers, and experts predict that things will get far worse before they get better.
By Admin | April 17, 2017
Only about 25 percent of young people, 18-34 year olds, want Obamacare repealed, 16 percent specifically wanting it to be repealed and replaced.
By Admin | April 12, 2017
Does telemedicine help patients more effectively than in-person care and does it save money? The findings are all over the place.
By Admin | April 10, 2017
Despite the healthcare bill known as TrumpCare being pulled before a Congressional vote, House Republicans promise that a new bill will appear in its place.
By Admin | April 03, 2017
In other industries, the acquiring and merging of companies generally leads to more expensive products and services, and the recent trend of healthcare providers joining one another to create larger hospital systems has many worried about future costs.
By Admin | March 29, 2017
It looks like patients fare better while hospitals are under inspection, reports the Joint Commission. In fact, patients are far less likely to die within 30 days of admission while the Joint Commission is present and supervising.
By Admin | March 27, 2017
The American Medical Association, AMA, has launched PatientsBeforePolitics.org in order to help keep both patients and physicians informed about the upcoming changes to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, ACA.
By Admin | March 22, 2017
Texas is currently one of the last states to require that physicians and patients meet in-person before allowing any future telehealth services be allowed. However, mHealth Intelligence reports that a compromise bill is heading towards the Legislature that would eliminate this mandate.
By Admin | March 20, 2017
House Republicans have put forward a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Known as the American Health Care Act, the bill is predicted to cut the national deficit at the cost of 24 million Americans losing health care coverage.
By Admin | March 15, 2017
Things don’t appear to be going smoothly for the plans to repeal and replace Obamacare, AKA the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
By Admin | March 13, 2017
Wearable fitness trackers are here to stay, and health insurers are jumping on the bandwagon.
By Admin | March 08, 2017
The statistics are sobering: One in three health records may have been compromised in 2016. But why?
By Admin | March 06, 2017
Right now, patients and physicians in Texas must have a face-to-face meeting before any telehealth services can be used. Texas remains one of the last states in the US with such a mandate.
By Admin | March 01, 2017
When it comes to adopting and implementing electronic health records (EHR), the 14-hospital system of Texas Health Resources has a long history of being advanced.
By Admin | February 27, 2017
Dr. Sinicropi of the Midwest Spine & Brain Institute in Minnesota expects spine care to move to the forefront of medical care in the coming years. Here are five reasons why:
By Admin | February 22, 2017
Deloitte, global network of auditors, consultants, risk management professionals, and more, have published their report of the 18 trends they see happening in healthcare for this year. Here we have provided the top five.
By Admin | February 20, 2017
Republicans on Capitol Hill seem to be leaning towards incorporating health savings accounts (HSAs) into their Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement plans.
By Admin | February 15, 2017
A recent study asked low-income adults about their Medicaid coverage since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Individuals in four states were polled, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Kentucky, all of which received expanded Medicaid benefits under the ACA, and Texas, which did not.
By Admin | February 13, 2017
Robert Grand, an attorney specializing in the ACA with the Chicago office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP, worked on the inaugural committee for president Donald Trump as well as the executive committee of Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana gubernatorial campaign.
By Admin | February 08, 2017
When a patient has been treated at an in-network facility, but an out-of-network doctor treats him, that patient will most likely find himself the financial victim of balance billing, a nationwide problem that is more prolific in the Lone Star State.
By Admin | February 06, 2017
If the Affordable Care Act, ACA, also known as Obamacare, were repealed without a replacement, Texas’ individual marketplace would be severely impacted, said Anne Dunkelberg, associate director of the Austin-based Center for Public Policy Priorities.
By Admin | January 30, 2017
The Joint Commission and CMS continue their ban on doctors texting treatment orders, citing that texting can complicate communication and processes.
By Admin | January 25, 2017
Every year, health spending in the US grows, but the rate of that growth increased drastically between 2014 and 2015. In fact, the federal government says the country spent $3.2 trillion on health care in 2015, which is 5.8 percent more than in 2014 and averages to $9,990 per person.
By Admin | January 23, 2017
Steve Love, president of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council, sees many things happening in the future of healthcare in Texas, but he knows in order to move forward, everyone needs to do their part.
By  | January 11, 2017
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services citing three major roadblocks for healthcare practitioners in comments to Andy Slavitt, head of CMS acting administrator.
By Admin | January 09, 2017
Robert DeMichiei, CFO and executive vice president for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, has a plan to help healthcare provider organizations move towards the value-based payment model.
By Admin | January 04, 2017
President-Elect Donald Trump has selected Tom Price, an orthopedic surgeon with a long congressional history of loyally promoting the interests of doctors, to be his Secretary of Health and Human Services.
By Admin | December 28, 2016
The passage of the Affordable Care Act allowed nearly 20 million Americans to obtain health care; prior to the act, they were unable to.
By Admin | December 21, 2016
According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, there was a 4.3 percent increase in positive consumer sentiment when it came to their health insurance providers. In fact, all major health insurance providers experienced some sort of uptick with their customers’ overall satisfaction.
By Admin | December 19, 2016
Healthcare in the US, not just the Affordable Care Act, is complicated. MACRA, for example, is a 300-page document. CMS released their implementation plan for MACRA, and that document is 1,000 pages.
By Admin | December 14, 2016
Dr. Andrea Gurman, president of the American Medical Association, says that policy makers have the opportunity to reduce physician burdens, allowing them more time to spend with patients while lowering costs.
By Admin | December 05, 2016
In the gambling world, it’s called Monte Carlo, a concept that helps determine outcomes when there are variables to consider.
By Admin | November 28, 2016
The Internet was originally an insecure network designed to allow scientists to collaborate, not to be the backbone of our economy, says former NSA senior counsel Joel Brenner.
By Admin | November 23, 2016
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services are looking to monetize patient outcomes instead of patient volume, and to incentivize that, they’re focusing on primary care physicians.
By Admin | November 21, 2016
Add healthcare to the list of industries who are finding comfort and convenience in cloud-based data sharing.
By Admin | November 14, 2016
How many people do you know who wear some sort of data tracker on their wrist? And how many people track their diets or sleep on their smart phones?
By Admin | November 09, 2016
MACRA’s merit-based, incentive payment system will have an effect on any physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, and certified registered nurse anesthetists who bill over $30,000 a year and provide care to a minimum of 100 patients under traditional fee-for-service Medicare.
By Admin | November 07, 2016
“Oftentimes end users think technology protects them from more than it really does,” said Mark Parkulo, MD, of the Mayo Clinic. “‘The institution wouldn’t let these things come through, right?’ When you tell them there is no way to block everything, they become more aware of the importance of monitoring it.”
By Admin | November 02, 2016
Andy Slavitt, the acting administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), advised health providers to be the pace cars for transition to care under MACRA.
By Admin | October 31, 2016
The Department of Human Health and Services put out a challenge: design a medical bill that actually makes sense to consumers.
By Admin | October 26, 2016
In order to provide coordinated, person-centered care, it is necessary for accountable care organizations (ACOs) to engage consumers and patients on a more regular basis.
By Admin | October 19, 2016
Rather than pursuing Medicaid expansion, the Texas State Health Committee has decided to prioritize the renewal of the 1115 Transformation Waiver, which was originally set to expire.
By Admin | October 17, 2016
Patient therapy and medical training are entering the popular worlds of augmented and virtual reality.
By Admin | October 12, 2016
The largest health insurance companies are backing out of markets, changing their plans, and raising their costs at unprecedented rates, yet are still losing money. And it may not be their faults, according to an op-ed piece by D Magazine.
By Admin | October 10, 2016
Dr. William C. Watters III is currently an orthopedic physician with Houston Methodist Hospital. With a career over 20 years old, he has served as president of the North American Spine Society, was a founding member and former chair of the NASS evidence-based guidelines committee, and was a founding member and former chair of the registry development committee.
By Admin | October 05, 2016
Becker’s Spine Review interviewed Dr. Thomas Scully, a neurosurgeon with Northwest NeuroSpecialists in Tucson, AZ, about the evolution of surgery and how value-based care will impact patients in the future.
By Admin | October 03, 2016
Meet the millennial patient, who approaches healthcare very differently from his or her parents. Millennials are those born generally between 1982 and 2000 and are now the largest generation.
By Admin | September 30, 2016
Originally slated to begin January 1, 2017, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) will now allow providers to meet requirements at a pace of their choosing.
By Admin | September 28, 2016
According to a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, an increasing number of Americans would like to have online access of their health records.
By Admin | September 26, 2016
The FBI plans to begin a public conversation about electronic privacy, said FBI Director James Comey.
By Admin | September 21, 2016
“The hospital can be a very difficult and dangerous environment for old and frail people,” says Bruce Leff, director of the Center for Transformative Geriatric Research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
By Admin | September 19, 2016
The Texas Association of Business (TAB) released two surveys, one to businesses offering health plans and one to the general public, asking how and why people sought care, where they went, and if they would desire calling or video conferencing with their physicians.
By Admin | September 14, 2016
The Altarum Institute's Center for Sustainable Health Spending released a report titled “Health Sector Economic Indicators” which highlights eight trends in the sector. All findings are from June 2016.
By Admin | September 12, 2016
In a letter obtained by the Huffington Post, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini informs the Department of Justice that if the DOJ sues to block Aetna’s planned merger with Humana, then Aetna would begin to pull out of health insurance exchanges.
By Admin | September 07, 2016
If you’re looking for a great restaurant, you may go to Yelp and read customer ratings. This model works wonders for food, hotels, and businesses, but the same model is being adopted to evaluate doctors and surgeons, and many are wondering if it tells the entire story.
By Admin | August 31, 2016
Facebook, Twitter, and the other forms of social media have impacted how we obtain news, share information, and learn about the world around us. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that it has also changed the way patients and practitioners interact, learn about health care, and even behave.
By Admin | August 29, 2016
In July of 2016, a four-person panel was held at the D Magazine offices to discuss the necessary steps--and risks--companies and payers need to take in order to minimize healthcare costs.
By Admin | August 24, 2016
Independent practices have been expressing concern over MACRA, specifically that they will not be able to comply with the new laws.
By Admin | August 22, 2016
With the increased usage of digital health records, the threat of hacking increases. Ransomware is a threat which limits a user’s ability to access information until a ransom is paid. It encrypts data, rendering records unreadable by healthcare providers.
By Admin | August 17, 2016
Becker’s ASC Review compiled a list of six things to watch out for in regards to healthcare spending from 2015 through 2025.
By Admin | August 08, 2016
The federal government is considering delaying MACRA because independent practices argue they will not be able to complete the necessary additional paperwork without impacting patients or joining larger hospital groups.
By Admin | August 03, 2016
Over 1,300 independent primary care doctors and specialists have come together as part of a new clinically integrated network, TXCIN, in order to obtain value based contracts from large insurance companies, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and Cigna.
By Admin | August 01, 2016
In the largest sweep in seven year history of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, authorities served 61 warrants to healthcare practitioners who stand accused of bilking Medicare and Medicaid for over $900 million.
By Admin | July 27, 2016
Whether you’re ready or not, you may start seeing bundled payments for spine and orthopedics sooner rather than later. There remain some definite challenges, which may not be completely addressed before the rollout, so practices are doing what they can to prepare.
By Admin | July 25, 2016
In the heated political battle of ridding the U.S. of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, Republicans in the House have introduced a new idea they’re calling a healthcare backpack. The idea is that individuals could use government-alloted tax credits in order to purchase the health insurance they want.
By Admin | July 18, 2016
Insurance providers are shrinking their networks, and independent practices are claiming it makes them unable to compete in a market where they have no share.
By Admin | July 13, 2016
Cigna, known to be one of the main health insurance companies, is combining personnel from its HealthSpring and Qualcare Alliance Networks to form a new company called CareAlliance, LLC. The purpose is to provide advisory and management services, technology infrastructure, and data analytics to assist providers in tracking patient outcomes.
By Admin | July 11, 2016
Richardson-based Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas has reported losses of $592 million in 2015, and $416 million in 2014. Its parent company, Health Care Services Corporation out of Chicago, Illinois, has also reported losing over $2 billion on “Obamacare” plans in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Illinois, and Montana.
By Admin | July 06, 2016
A comprehensive study performed by two researchers from Johns Hopkins University pulled data from 3,000 different hospitals: 59 percent nonprofit, 25 percent for-profit, 16 percent public. They found that on average, hospitals marked up their services $5.40 for every dollar in patient care costs incurred. Medical City charged $7.70 for every dollar.
By Admin | July 05, 2016
In order to survive, smaller hospitals sometimes merge with larger chains. This gives the small hospitals the ability to negotiate with insurance companies and share in cost savings while cutting overlapping services. However, when hospitals look out for their own interests, patient health can get put last.
By Admin | June 29, 2016
A joint study conducted by the RAND Corporation and the American Medical Association reports that the diversity of new healthcare payment models and increasing amounts of data are overwhelming physician practices.
By Admin | June 27, 2016
If the goal is happy patients, then doctors need to be taken care of first. A study conducted by the American Medical Association in conjunction with RAND Health reports a few of the barriers between physicians and job satisfaction, including complications with electronic health records, payers, and income stability.
By Admin | June 22, 2016
Is there a financial incentive for surgeons to perform spinal fusions? Yes, according to a study conducted by Senate Finance Committee Republicans. Findings show that when doctors have ownership interests with medical-device makers, surgeons generally earn commissions with sales. These same surgeons tend to perform excessive or unnecessary operations in order to earn additional income from commissions.
By Admin | June 20, 2016
In their weekly series of questions, Ask Spine Surgeons, Becker’s Spine Review asks about clinical, business and policy issues affecting spine care. This time, they ask about the biggest changes surgeons have witnessed over their careers. Four surgeons weighed in.
By Admin | June 17, 2016
The New England Journal of Medicine conducted a study to find out which physician behaviors lead to malpractice claims. Results aren’t surprising; patients like to be treated like people and respected. The five key findings are:
By Admin | June 15, 2016
Geisinger Health System of Danville, PA, has enacted their ProvenExperience program, which sounds a bit crazy, even though it was the brainchild of a psychiatrist. Essentially, patients are asked to rate their experiences, list positives and negatives, and request some or all of their co-payment back--up to $2,000--if they feel reparations are necessary. The craziest part? The hospital will always repay the amount, no questions asked.
By Admin | June 13, 2016
Before intraoperative neuromonitoring existed, surgeons could do one of two things to detect neurological deficits in their patients. One, they could have anesthesiologists slowly wake up patients enough to respond to stimuli during surgery. Or two, they could just complete the surgery and test each patient once they naturally woke up.
By Admin | June 09, 2016
A review of patient charts, x-rays, and CT scans evaluated the accuracy of pedicle screw placement in order to gauge the relationship of screw misplacement with morbidity.
By Admin | June 09, 2016
Lower back pain seems to be getting worse and worse for adults in the United States. It is the fifth most common reason for adults to visit the doctor, as well as their most frequently reported discomfort. This correlates with the documented rise of lumbar fusion and other back surgeries. In fact, between the years of 1993 and 2001, total lumbar fusions increased 356%.
By Admin | June 08, 2016
When it comes to the complexities of the human spine and all of the delicate parts it protects, most surgeons side with the use of IONM for invasive procedures, like correcting deformities and removing tumors. Many of those same surgeons would also say that neuromonitorning is unnecessary for simple, by-the-book procedures, like microdiscectomies or laminectomies. However, the pressure to always monitor no matter the surgery is growing, especially when it comes to the risk of malpractice lawsuits.
By Admin | June 01, 2016
It appears that providers open to adopting bundled payments are able to increase their patient volumes from payers seeking cost-effective care, according to a survey reported in Spine Journal.
By Admin | May 25, 2016
A study published in Spine Journal (February 2016 - Volume 41 - Issue 4 - p 344–352) concludes that providers can increase patient volumes from payers by adopting bundled payments. Becker’s Spine Review lists their four conclusions from the study taken from interviews with 24 stakeholders across 18 organizations. Collectively, these organizations perform around 12,000 inpatient spine surgeries each year.
By Admin | May 16, 2016
When it comes to spine surgery and neuromonitoring, there is no medical standard of care to determine if IONM should or should not be used.
By Admin | May 13, 2016
Physician-Owned Distributorships (PODs) lead to unnecessary and overly complicated procedures, often use illegal business practices, and are finding ways to circumvent anti-kickback laws.
By Admin | May 10, 2016
"Further, respondents indicated surgery preauthorization does not lead to appropriate reimbursement in approximately one-third of the cases,” states a study conducted by the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery.
By Admin | March 16, 2016
A new performance-based payment model, created to encourage hospitals and physicians to collaborate, may violate the Stark Law,
By Admin | March 16, 2016
Health and Human Services (HHS) has made a move that will help initiate a better healthcare delivery system
By Admin | March 09, 2016
Researchers conducted a five-year study to determine whether cervical total disc replacement (TDR) carries less risk
By Admin | March 09, 2016
When it comes to back pain, a patient can expect four different courses of action if he sees four different physicians.
By Admin | March 02, 2016
On February 5, 2016, the Dallas Morning News reported that federal investigators were examining a local pharmacy in potential violation of anti-kickback laws.
By Admin | March 02, 2016
Alexander Vaccaro, MD, and Charles Fisher, MD, examined six areas of spinal intervention to determine if clinical norms were the best course of action.
By  | March 02, 2016
The Forest Park Medical Center with multiple campuses around the Dallas/Fort Worth area filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy near the end of 2015.
By  | February 26, 2016
Dallas-based organizations Baylor Scott & White Health and Tenet Healthcare plan to co-own five hospitals in the North Texas region.
By Admin | February 26, 2016
Medscape, part of WebMD Health Professional Network, has listed the best and worst physicians of 2015.
By Admin | February 26, 2016
A surgeon’s job doesn’t end once he or she leaves the operating room. When it comes to the health of both patients and the practice, documentation plays a key role in improving healthcare.
By  | February 26, 2016
Neuromonitoring is a valuable tool that helps keep patients safe, and the numbers back up that claim.
By Admin | February 26, 2016
Representative Greg Bonnen, a neurosurgeon, introduced House Bill 2978 on behalf of the Texas Neurodiagnostic Society.
By Admin | February 26, 2016
Dr. Richard Vogel, neuroscientist and board-certified neurophysiologist, wrote an informative article about dorsal column mapping intramedullary spinal cord tumor surgery.
By  | February 26, 2016
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas replaced their Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans in the Affordable Care Act's federal exchange and the private individual market with Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans.
By  | February 15, 2016
With new and emerging technologies come new ways for patients and doctors to interact. Telehealth includes virtual visits, remote patient monitoring, mobile health applications, and online patient education. It has the ability to revolutionize healthcare as we know it.
By Admin | December 21, 2015
The Austin American Statesman posted an article in November 2015 about how some intraoperative neuromonitoring companies are making backdoor deals with hospitals and surgeons in order to inflate their profits at the expense of insurance companies.