On Friday, I walked through the local numbers from a national study on physician compensation. It shows that Dallas physicians do pretty well for themselves, all things considered. Today, the clinician network responsible for that study sent me some additional Dallas data: The five highest- and lowest-paying specialties for our region. As you’ll see, plastic surgeons and emergency medicine physicians do particularly well in Dallas. Quick context, if you missed Friday’s post (linked above): This is based on a survey of more than 65,000 physicians by Doximity. They compared 50 major metropolitan areas. Physicians in Dallas’ metro area made an average… Full Story
Law firms are reaching out to public officials across Texas in an effort to win the right to sue big pharmaceutical companies over opioids on their behalf, the Texas Tribune reported this week. The Trib’s report follows news of various other municipalities, including Dallas, filing suit against big pharma over the opioid crisis. More than 1,100 Texas died from opioids in 2016. The Trib‘s story starts with an anecdote from Collin County, where County Administrator Bill Bilyeu has resorted to tuning out the incessant requests, which he says aren’t tailored to Collin County’s needs.
Higher accolades in Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ star ratings system tend to go to specialty hospitals rather than major teaching hospitals, according to Modern Healthcare. With the help of a consulting firm, the publication analyzed the most recent data and found that 61 percent of specialty hospitals received five stars—the highest-possible rating. Meanwhile, only 15 of the 172 major teaching hospitals, or about nine percent, received five stars. The star ratings is CMS’ attempt to boil down a lot of data into a format that consumers can digest. It’s based on a formula that takes into account up to… Full Story
Toward the end of February, Cook Children’s announced that it would close Cook Children’s Northeast Hospital and turn it into an ambulatory surgical center. The system determined that, as it’s currently operating, the Hurst-based facility would no longer meet the definition of a hospital under the tweaked guidance issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services late last year. The guidance says that to be defined as a hospital—more precisely, to get a foot in the door so that CMS can evaluate your merits by various other criteria—a facility must have an average daily overnight census of at least… Full Story
Dallas-based Axxess, which makes software for home health companies, bought a healthcare data analytics company this week. The company said Tuesday that it has acquired Waterville, Maine-based Home Health Gold. The two companies had a pre-existing relationship, as Axxess had incorporated Home Health Gold into its software. The analytics company has 10 employees and serves hundreds of customers. David Merk will remain its president and CEO. “Since partnering with David to incorporate Home Health Gold into Axxess software, I have been impressed by the Home Health Gold technology and David’s commitment to providing the best data analysis tools,” Axxess Founder… Full Story
Texas Health Southwest was named a top 100 hospital from IBM Watson Health, marking the third straight year that the Fort Worth hospital appeared on the list. The facility is the only one in North Texas to crack the top 100 and one of just eight hospitals on it from Texas. Watson Health uses a national scorecard and public data to create the list, evaluating more than 2,700 hospitals based on patient care and satisfaction, operational efficiency, and financial stability. It compiles the list of 100 in various categories: teaching hospitals, major teaching hospitals, large community hospitals, medium community hospitals,… Full Story
Dallas-based crowdfunding campaigns more often target cancer than any other medical-related issue, according to research from the crowdfunding site YouCaring. The site, one of several that allow individuals to set up pages to ask for donations, fed me some Dallas-specific numbers recently. YouCaring gives us a look at how the campaigns break down by category within Dallas: 45% of fundraisers are for cancer and cancerous tumors 28% for surgical interventions 11% neurological disorders 10% mental health 6% cardiovascular diseases 6% organ transplantation 6% gender and gender transition 6% immunology 2% dentistry 2% reproductive system and infertility The top Dallas campaign… Full Story
More than likely, Jason Witten is coming back to Cowboys for the 2018 season, once again setting aside for a few months his duties at the Farmers Insurance branch that he manages in Mesquite. Back to breaking open defenses with seam routes while keeping an eye on the grill where he’s “got a little something special for y’all” (it’s corn on the cob) on the sideline.
But should the man who’s been a father of three since he was 8 years old decide to hang it up, Fox is apparently ready to make him part of its Thursday Night Football team. As a longtime Witten observer, I really doubt he will retire, even though he and Tony Romo tend to do things together. But if — big if, like B_G-things-happen-here-sign if — Witten decides to hang it up and become a broadcaster, would he be good at it?
The Texas Hospital Association has awarded its 2017 Excellence in Community Service Award to Texas Health Dallas for its collaboration on a project in Dallas’ refugee-heavy Vickery Meadow neighborhood. The Northwest Community Center is the result of a group effort between Texas health Resources, Texas Health Dallas, Northwest Bible Church, and Healing Hands Ministries. The organizations built a center to provide english classes, pastoral care, job training tutoring, and a primary care clinic operated by Healing Hands. Vickery Meadow is a community of more than 26,000 people speaking more than 40 languages. The staff at Northwest Community Center covers an impressive… Full Story
Although adults don’t heed an official spring break, we often need a glorified one. Especially one that restores and repairs our bodies after long weeks hustling on the job. Here, we’ve rounded up five adult spring break destinations that may lend you some solace and relaxation, even if it’s just for a weekend. And no frets, all these spots are within a five-hour driving radius of Dallas. So gas up the whip and head out of town. It’s time for spring break.
You always wanted to camp out overnight outside in your makeshift treehouse as a kiddo. Now you can — just in the lap of luxury. At River Road Treehouses, a handful of modern treehouses are accessed by way of a 100-foot long pedestrian bridge, attached to centuries old cypress trees. And let’s talk about the view. Each little abode is nestled in the trees and overhangs a wet-weather creek that feeds into the Guadalupe River. Guests may access an exclusive 1.5-acre Guadalupe River frontage park before tubing down the river.
A mental health weekend, combined with detoxing of the body, can serve as the perfect reboot to help you get back to reality and feel refreshed. Deer Lake Lodge Resort & Health Spa can serve as a respite for you to relax and let your health stay in the forefront of your mind all weekend. The resort offers all your desirable spa services, as well as daily yoga classes, nutritional classes, cleansing therapies and life enhancement classes. You can even select the type of weekend you really want to enjoy and cater it to your wellness needs.
Love yoga? Love wine? Well you’ll be in Namaste heaven with this spring break outing. Retreat in the Pines, located in the woods of East Texas offers many getaways through out the year, the most popular one being Yoga, Wine, Laughter. The retreats are women-only so this is ideal for a girls’ trip. In addition to multiple yoga and meditation classes during each retreat, wine is offered at dinner. And there are many wineries close by to visit in allotted free time during the retreat. Just like yoga, life is all about balance. This spring break getaway is a perfect blend of splurging and discipline.
Okay, so you do have to head north of the Texas border for this one, but it’s worth it for the mecca of adventure in Oklahoma City. The Boathouse District is home to an urban whitewater rafting experience. OKC also offers a six-strong Skytrail that allows you to free fall jump 80-feet and then zip line across the Oklahoma River. If you fancy more water activities, wind surfing is a popular pastime at Lake Hefner. You could also explore Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge via kayak. Feeling tuckered out from all the thrill seeking, Udander is the city’s Scandinavian Spa located in downtown OKC. Facials, massages and relaxation are the perfect way to unwind after a day full of adrenaline-inducing activities.
Paragliding is a bold move, but not nearly as daunting as jumping out of an airplane and free falling. With paragliding, you’re simply floating on air via a foot-launched parachute wing. You’re clipped into a harness and have a motorized backpack unit with a propeller to give thrust allowing you to climb and fly at your own will. Here’s the catch. Although paragliding is a self-regulated sport, you need a few days of proper training. To learn more Austin Paramotor certification and classes, visit here.
In North Texas and elsewhere, builders are moving away from being reactive, individual contributors. Instead, they’re seeking to become integrated, proactive partners with the other arms of the project—architects, subcontractors, and clients. That shift is even more in play when it comes to healthcare, and the changing relationship has placed an even greater emphasis on trust. North Texas’ healthcare community continues to see projects on the rise as systems set out to meet the needs of a growing population. But before a hospital takes the plunge and hires a general contractor, they should know about and expect the following four… Full Story
Remains Found in Field that Could Belong to Christina Morris. The search for more evidence will continue this morning in a field in Anna. Kidnapping victim Christina Morris has been missing since 2014, and authorities found partial skeletal remains that could be hers. The medical examiner’s office will process the remains in order to make an identification.
Dallas DA Candidate Won’t Yet Concede Democratic Primary. Elizabeth Davis Frizell was losing to John Creuzot by only 516 votes yesterday morning. Creuzot seems to be the winner, but Frizell’s campaign has not yet commented on whether she will want a recount or concede the race. Whoever wins will run against incumbent Faith Johnson in November.
Mavs Suspend Employee for Allegedly Racist Comment in 2016. While the sexual misconduct allegations against Mark Cuban from 2011 are still being investigated, the Mavs had to suspend Roger Caneda, the general manager of Mavs Gaming, for tweeting a racist comment two years ago.
Chip and Joanna Gaines Having a Baby Boy. Chip tweeted yesterday that the couple is having a boy—the fifth child for the Fixer Upper stars.
The ratio of upgrades to downgrades issued to not-for-profit hospital systems by Moody’s looked worse in 2017 than it did the year prior, and the Lone Star State failed to register a single upgrade, according to a new report by Moody’s Investors Service. North Texas played home to a pair of downgrades in 2017, the only two in Texas last year. They were Tyler-based East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System and Sulphur Springs-based Hopkins County Hospital District. Overall, Moody’s downgraded 41 hospital systems in 2017 versus just 12 upgrades. The ratio of 3.4-to-1 compares to 1.5-to-1 in 2016, when… Full Story
D Magazine readers know Jamie Thompson’s byline. For the last six years or so, she has written for the magazine as a freelancer. A few highlights: the death of Kidd Kraddick (the first big story that she and I worked on together), the Susan Hawk saga, the unethical judge (who, as a result of Jamie’s story, had to step down from the bench). She did a bunch of smaller pieces for us, too, the sort of work every full-time freelancer has to take on to pay the bills.
What most readers don’t know is that Jamie is married to Steve Thompson, an investigative reporter for the Dallas Morning News. The couple moved to Dallas in 2007, when Steve took a job at the paper. It was his health insurance, really, that kept Jamie in freelancing shape. Not just for D Magazine. This Texas Monthlystory about the Wimberley flood was, to my mind, the best magazine story written in 2015 (though it appeared online only, which is a mystery that confounds me still).
Well, actually, Steve was an investigative reporter for the News. His last day at the paper was March 1. He left to take a job at the Washington Post, where he will be a general assignment reporter covering local government. It’s a brilliant hire. Not only does the Post get Steve but, as management there surely knows, the Post gets a great new steady freelancer in Jamie. She has written for that paper before. Just as she has written for the News (most recently with this monster of a story about the SWAT standoff in downtown).
Bottom line is this: Dallas is left a poorer city for the Thompsons’ departure. Socially, for sure. They are two of the most cordial, delightful people you could hope to meet. But, more important, when it comes to journalism about the city and the people who live here, two of the best storytellers seated at the campfire just got up and left the circle.
Mike Wilson is the editor of the News and Steve’s former boss. I told Jamie that I blame Wilson for letting her husband take a job at the Post, just like he allowed Avi Selk to leave for the Post. Jamie is wiser and kinder than I. She set my head right. The Post is every newspaperperson’s goal (or the Times). Wilson can’t be blamed for two people taking their dream jobs.
But right now I’m not in the mood for wisdom and equanimity. I feel nothing but white-hot rage and the lust for blood. Dear Curious Texas, why did Mike Wilson let this happen?
A UT Southwestern Medical Center geneticist discovered a link between a gene mutation and low levels of cholesterol, leading to the development of new drugs to combat unhealthy cholesterol levels. This week, that geneticist, Dr. Helen Hobbs, was honored with the fifth-annual Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine, becoming the first woman to win the award. The Harrington Award is a collaboration by The American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and the Cleveland-based Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. It goes to physician-scientists who’ve moved science forward with specific achievements that demonstrate innovation, creativity and potential for… Full Story
A critical care nurse at Baylor University Medical Center has been named to the board of directors at the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, an organization that represents more than 70,000 clinical nurse specialists. Susan Smith was named to the board at the association’s annual conference earlier this month. Smith is the chair of Baylor Scott & White’s Critical Care Council, and served as president of the Texas Clinical Nurse Specialists from 2013 to 2014. She’s also a former winner of a D Magazine Excellence in Nursing Award. “We are so pleased to have Susan join our board of… Full Story
Physician network Doximity has a new study out on physician compensation, and the results show Dallas was a financially favorable place for a physician to practice in 2017. The metro area ranks eighth in the U.S. for highest physician compensation among the 50 markets featured by Doximity, and it beats out the other Texas metros. Doximity got responses from more than 65,000 licensed U.S. doctors. Here’s the average compensation for the top 10 metro areas: 1. Charlotte, North Carolina – $402,273 2. Milwaukee, Wisconsin – $398,431 3. Jacksonville, Florida – $379,820 4. Indianapolis, Indiana – $378,011 5. San Jose, California – $376,585 6.… Full Story
Parkland Health & Hospital System had a record number of nurses that were honored with Excellence in Nursing Awards this year from D Magazine. The system had 45 nurses on the list, which included 91 winners overall. The awards, which came out in February, are based on submissions by physicians, nurses, and patients in the area. “We are extremely proud to have 45 of our nurses recognized for their extraordinary compassion and dedication to our patients,” said Karen Watts, executive vice president and chief nursing officer at Parkland, in a statement that went out this week. “Their hard work exemplifies… Full Story
Medical City Fort Worth has added a new robotic surgical system for hip and knee replacements and spine surgery, the hospital said on Thursday. It now has three types of robotic systems that serve a variety of minimally invasive surgical procedures. Systems at the hospital include the Globus Medical ExcelsiusGPS for back and spine surgery, the Mako system for hip and knee replacement, and two da vinci Xi robotic surgical systems. “Our hospital now offers three different types of robotic systems to provide advanced care for a variety of minimally invasive surgical procedures, from spine surgeries and kidney transplants to… Full Story
In the March issue of D CEO, we have a story about a digital health company that’s providing treatment for mental health issues like depression and anxiety via completely text-based exchanges with counselors. The exchanges occur within “secure virtual therapy” rooms, but the two sides never actually meet eye-to-eye. The company, Ieso Digital Health, is headquartered in Cambridge, England, but now has a Dallas-based CEO leading expansion in the U.S. Readers might approach the subject with some skepticism, but it’s difficult to argue with the potential benefits of tele-solutions to behavioral health problems. Exhibit A: The shortage of psychiatrists, particularly… Full Story
In February, Dallas played host to the National Cheerleaders Association’s All-Star National Championship. Someone who participated, health officials later determined, was afflicted with the mumps. The Texas Department of State Health Services has sent a letter to parents of those involved in the competition, urging them to be on the lookout. The mumps have seen something of a resurgence lately, so there’s reason to be on high alert. By April of 2017, and per this press release, Texas had already notched a 20-year high for mumps cases in the state. Symptoms usually kick in about 14 to 18 days after… Full Story
Dallas County Health and Human Services said Monday that the county has seen four more flu-related deaths, bringing the total for the year to 78. The patients, which already carried high-risk health conditions, died after complications related to the flu. The ages of the four were 66, 94, 92, and 90. “Flu season has not ended therefore individuals in (high-risk) groups should continue to take precaution,” Dr. Christopher Perkins, DCHHS health authority and medical director, said in a statement. Flu-related deaths were heaviest in Dallas County during January, but this season’s strand has continued to produce problems. Type A flu… Full Story
D Magazine hosted a criminal justice talk at the HQ here in downtown Dallas recently, and various, fascinating pieces of the conversation revolved around the complex relationship between mental health issues and repeat offenders. Ron Stretcher, former director of criminal justice administration at Dallas County, discussed a population that can get caught in a pattern of bouncing in and out of incarceration, without an end to the pattern in sight. “Nobody knows what to do,” he said of the justice system’s view on repeat offenders with behavioral health issues. “There are no options. Treatment in the community hasn’t worked, and… Full Story
The Plano-based wellness and multi-leveling marketing company AdvoCare International will get a new chief executive officer. The firm named Brett Blake this morning, replacing Brian Connolly. I’m bringing this to your attention in part because it gives me a reason to point you toward a story that’s worth your time. AdvoCare relies on hundreds of thousands of independent sales people to distribute its products, which include things like meal-replacement shakes, energy bars, supplements, and skin care products. It’s assembled an impressive, albeit somewhat random, cast of celebrity endorsers that range from football stars Drew Brees and Jason Witten, to golf’s Lee… Full Story
A new report says Texas is among the states most severely hit by the nursing shortage. Moody’s Investors Service says the issue is most prevalent in Florida, Georgia, Texas, and California, where growing and aging populations are combining with low numbers of new nurses entering the workforce. The report’s overarching finding is that not-for-profit hospitals are seeing “extreme” nursing shortages that could impact expenses and contribute to personnel issues for at least three to four more years. It’s a supply and demand issue, and it’s led hospitals to up pay, add sign-on bonuses, and attach fringe benefits, hence the crunch on… Full Story
A high school freshman from Fort Worth was the recipient of the 250th heart transplant at The Heart Center at Children’s Health. The milestone procedure took place on Thursday, March 1. Children’s Health’s pediatric heart transplant program—the only one in North Texas and one of just two in the state—is celebrating its 30-year anniversary this year. In addition to hearts, the center does liver and kidney transplants. Overall, it’s performed more than 1,300 organ transplants in children. “This is a proud moment for the Heart Center as we reflect on the lives transformed through our heart transplant program,” said Dr.… Full Story
Sunspire Health – Texas is rolling out an addiction rehab program targeted specifically at careers they call “high-intensity,” ranging from elite athletes to healthcare professionals to high-visibility executives. Sunspire, a nationwide network of addiction centers with an HQ in New Jersey, says the Professionals Treatment Program will offer discreet and individualized care. Here’s how a news release sent out on Wednesday broke it down: Professionals operating in high-intensity careers can often be at risk for substance (e.g., narcotics, alcohol) or power (e.g., sexual or physical boundaries) abuse or addiction. This might include healthcare professionals, elite athletes, high-visibility executives and other… Full Story
Baylor Scott & White Health said this week that a second mother has given birth after receiving a uterine transplant through its ongoing clinical trial. The babies, both born at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, are the only two in the U.S. to be birthed by mothers who have received the transplant. The first came in December. The participants in the trial either did not have a uterus or had a uterus that didn’t function as intended prior to receiving the transplants. Baylor performed North America’s first four living-donor uterine transplants in September of 2016.
UT Arlington and the University of North Texas Health Science Center will bring high-powered gene processing capabilities to North Texas, as they partner on a new biomedical facility that will house some of the most advanced gene sequencing machines in the world. The facility, called the North Texas Genome Center, will focus on genome sequencing’s potential within the budding field of precision health, which puts a focus on a patient’s genetic makeup to provide new solutions to medical problems. The NTGC’s centerpieces are five NovaSeq6000 gene sequencers, the top-of-the-line model from Illumina Inc, a San Diego company specializing in gene… Full Story