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Current News

Ask Your Doctor Online

Several doctors groups in North Texas are among the first nationwide to offer patients online video chat visits. It's a good alternative for patients who have minor ailments -- such as seasonal allergies -- or those who just need a quick follow up visit with their doctors. Read More »»

North Texas doctors offer perspectives on health care reform’s pros, cons

As health care reform moves closer toward becoming law, with both the Senate and House approving different bills now headed to conference committee, questions and concerns still remain about what impact a federal law may have on North Texas businesses. In late December, the Dallas Business Journal asked four area doctors their thoughts on how proposed health care system overhaul plans would affect their business and the practice of medicine. Read More »»

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas setting up medical home

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, the state's largest health insurer, said Monday it is implementing aprogram in five North Texas counties to better emphasize wellness and manage diseases. The insurer has created a so-called medical home program with two physician groups, Medical Clinic of North Texas and Village Health Partners, which provide care for more than 20,000 members in Dallas,Denton, Tarrant, Collin and Johnson counties. Read More »»

I Am a Family Physician

Several physicians of Village Health Partners, a Plano family practice, were featured in the Texas Academy of Family Physicians video that shares the benefits of becoming a family physician. Read More »»

It Takes a Village to Build a Medical Home

When it comes to healthcare, today’s debate centers on the providers and the regulators. Insurance companies and healthcare giants dominate the conversation and demand most of the attention. However, the most important voice missing from the discussion is the patient. Read More »»

The Morning Marathon

Folks, we've gotten word that Village Health Partners in west Plano is hosting what they are calling a "fitness boot camp" next Saturday (April 24). Read More »»

Dietitian Could Be Key to Weight Loss Success

Working with a dietitian and logging what you eat can make a big difference on the scale, and really help in your plan to lose weight. Just ask Louann Dunkle. Seven months ago, the wife and grandmother made the decision to lose weight for herself and her family. Read More »»

Clearing Up the Brain Fog

Everybody experiences "brain fog" now and again. It could be forgetfulness, confusion or just a general lack of concentration. "Brain Fog," is a recognized term that, while not an actual medical diagnosis, could have a medical cause. Read More »»

A backyard food revolution that's working

When the Weyenberg kids need a treat, they grab some fruit snacks — but not the pre-packaged variety. Blackberries are just part of the food revolution the Weyenbergs have started in their own backyard. There are also peppers, tomatoes, onions, peaches, and so much more in a large garden. Dad Matt Weyenberg, a Plano pediatrician, decided to truly practice what he preaches to patients. "There's not a day that goes by that I don't see a patient who could potentially stop one of their medications if they would just eat healthier," he said. "I want to be a good example for my patients on how to eat healthy." Read More »»

County Approves Medical Society Plan to Offer Project Access

The Collin County Health Care Foundation has approved an Agreement with the Collin County Medical Society to offer services to qualified indigents and uninsured patients who seek medical care. The approval by the Foundation was granted at their meeting on Monday evening, March 21, 2011. Read More »»

Collin County changes approach to indigent health care

Collin County is changing its approach to indigent health care services, which for years have been a target of criticism and controversy. County commissioners awarded $485,000 this week to a start-up program called Project Access that will link the poor with doctors and hospitals that donate their services. Read More »»

Trying Out New Ways to Deliver Health Care

At Village Health Partners, patients receive a year’s worth of wellness exams in a single visit; get their e-mails answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; and have their mammogram and M.R.I. results logged into their electronic medical records by the time they pull out of the parking lot. Read More »»

Why the Biggest Hospitals in Collin County Are Working Together

Getting eight major hospitals to work together is no small feat. Getting them all to donate time, resources, more than 80 physicians, and $25,000 apiece is even more impressive. According to Dr. Joshua James, only one thing could have made this happen. “Divine intervention,” says the medical director at Project Access-Collin County, a new concept that helps the indigent and uninsured get quality medical care. Read More »»

First Annual Spring Gala for Project Access

VHP was featured in as part of a slideshow of photos from the PACC gala. Read More »»

Health care ruling clarifies the path ahead

Clarity. Certainty. Relief. Those were the types of words that top executives at two of North Texas' largest health care systems used when I spoke with them today about the Supreme Court ruling upholding most of the federal health care reform act. Read More »»

Dallas-Fort Worth Healthcare Execs, Physicians Weigh in on Supreme Court Decision

Dallas-Fort Worth healthcare providers say the Supreme Court’s ruling offers a clearer path to what the healthcare landscape will be for the rest of the decade. Read More »»

North Texas Residents, Business Owners Split On Health Care Reform

When the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding a large portion of the Affordable Care Act was announced Thursday, it was broadcast on computers and smart phones, televisions and radios. Read More »»

WaveTwo plans to go national after merger

Irving-based health information technology consulting business WaveTwo has been sold to a division of Konica Minolta Business Solutions, and plans include a nationwide expansion. Read More »»

Obama Prevails: What it Means for Healthcare

Last night, Americans elected President Obama for a second term. D healthcare Daily editor Steve Jacob and assistant editor Jessica Melton talked with healthcare executives and physicians from across North Texas to get their thoughts on what impact this will have on the healthcare industry. Here’s their report: Joel Allison; CEO, Baylor Health Care System: We are going to see continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act. There may be some challenges and ongoing discussion. Read More »»

Obamacare is here to stay, for better or for worse

Earlier today I wrote about the post-election observations of North Texas health care heavyweights Joel Allison, president and CEO of Dallas-based Baylor Health Care System, and Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Arlington-based Texas Health Resources. It turns out that plenty of other North Texas health care leaders have strong opinions about what the election outcomes mean for health care, the Affordable Care Act and their businesses. Read More »»

Village Health Partners merges with Plano Family Practice

Village Health Partners, a primary care practice in Plano, has added a location with four new physicians, two physician assistants and a nurse practitioner. The new office is the result of a merger with Plano Family Practice. Read More »»

Village Health Partners Adds Second Location

Plano-based Village Health Partners (VHP) has added a second location in that city, after merging with Plano Family Practice. The merger adds four physicians, a nurse practitioner, and two physician assistants to the company’s ranks. Read More »»

Cigna signs ACO compact with N. Texas physicians

Bloomfield insurer Cigna Corp. has signed its latest collaborative accountable care compact with Texas-based Village Health Partners. Under the program, Village Health Partners, which is a primary care practice that serves more than 40,000 patients throughout North Texas, will monitor and coordinate all aspects of an individual's medical care? Read More »»

Cigna, Village Health Partners in Texas Join for Accountable Care

Village Health Partners, a primary care practice in Plano, Texas, and Cigna have launched a collaborative accountable care initiative. The CAC initiative aims to expand patient access to care and achieve the triple aim of accountable care organizations. Read More »»

Cigna Picks Plano Practice as its Third North Texas Accountable Care Collaborator

Plano-based Village Health Partners is the latest North Texas physician practice to join Cigna’s collaborative accountable care effort. Cigna’s CAC program is designed to help physician practices to achieve the same population health goals of accountable care organizations. Read More »»

Dr. Christopher Crow: Plugging gaps in care key to health, cost improvements

Cigna and Village Health Partners in Plano have launched an accountable care program that aims to better coordinate patient care to yield better quality and lower costs. How do they plan to achieve that? I asked Dr. Christopher Crow, co-founder of Village Health Partners. Read More »»

Cigna launches ACO with Village Health Partners

A Plano physician group is the latest to sign on to an effort by the health insurance giant Cigna to dramatically change the way patient care is coordinated. Cigna and Village Health Partners in Plano have launched an accountable care program that uses clinical care coordinators who work with patients to help them navigate the health care system. Read More »»

Coordinators tackle a weakness in health care in the Dallas area

Care coordinators are proliferating at doctors’ offices in Dallas. They’ll make sure you know to get a flu shot, a mammogram or a colonoscopy. They’ll check with you after you’ve been in the emergency room to make sure you see your doctor. They’ll go over your medications with you to ensure you get the right medicines — and that you take them. Read More »»

Sequester threatens health care jobs, hospital margins

The sequester's cuts to Medicare will eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs and cut hospital margins dangerously thin, Steve Love, president and CEO of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council, told me this morning. Read More »»

Coordinating Care in the Primary Care Office

Lately medical homes, accountable care organizations and population health have been three models of care receiving more and more attention. There seems to be some confusion about what these terms mean and how they can be used to improve our healthcare industry. Read More »»

Medical Association Backs Bills to Cut Red Tape

Health care providers in Texas could soon collect or verify patient information by swiping a driver’s license. The measure allowing such data collection is one of a handful that the Texas Medical Association is pushing this legislative session to help modernize medical practices. Read More »»

Should hospital payments be cut if it's cheaper in doctor's office?

I emailed a handful of North Texas hospital executives to get their take on a federal advisory panel's recommendation that Congress cut payments to hospitals for services that can be provided less expensively in doctors’ offices. It turned out to be a lively debate. Read More »»

Managing a High-Risk Health Population

Previously, I’ve discussed the importance of managing transitions in care, such as hospital or emergency department discharges, as well as improving the quality of care using evidence-based measures. While these are both very important issues, identifying and improving the health of those most at risk for incurring healthcare costs in our population may be the most important issue we face. Read More »»

As Prescription Drug Abuse Soars, Doctors Take Action

Drug overdose deaths have tripled in the last 25 years and, of those, 75 percent involved prescription pain medicines, primarily opiates. In addition, half of the prescription drug-related deaths involved mixing multiple medications and alcohol. Read More »»

Primary care doctors are a hot commodity

Irving-based physician recruiting firm Merritt Hawkins’ new survey shows that primary care physicians are in heavy demand — even heavier than they have been for the past few years. Read More »»

Christopher Crow, MD - Who's Who in Health Care

Crow is a top family doctor in North Texas, co-founding Village Health Partners to lead 20 physicians serving 60,000 patients in Collin County. Read More »»

Village Health Partners charts plan for growth

Rapidly growing primary care practice Village Health Partners has expanded and added a third Plano location. Read More »»

'Super Target' approach to care drives growth at Village Health

Rapidly growing primary care practice Village Health Partners has expanded and added a third Plano location. Read More »»

Collin County's Health Care Gold Rush

When Baylor Medical Center at McKinney opened its doors in July 2012, the approximately $200 million facility was a concrete-and-steel manifestation of Collin County’s population growth. Read More »»

Focus on the Sickest in Medical Homes Saves Cost in Pilot Test

Consulting firm Mercer has just wrapped up what it terms an intensive primary-care pilot project with a large unidentified Dallas employer. Read More »»

Village Health Partners Opens New Facility in Plano

Village Health Partners has opened another medical village, Independence Medical Village in Plano, after consolidating two of its locations (Independence Medical Center and the location on Preston Road) into the new facility and adding several more healthcare providers. Read More »»

Village Health Partners expands primary care practice with new location in Plano

Village Health Partners has opened its newest facility, Independence Medical Village, in Plano. Read More »»

Plano Doctor Announces Network For Private Practice Physicians

North Texas physicians in private practice now have a network to access services and structure to help adapt to the new fee-for-value landscape of healthcare without being swallowed by a large hospital system. Read More »»

Village Health Partners Names Dr. Jamison Albracht President

Village Health Partners primary care practice in Plano has named Dr. Jamison Albracht as president. Albracht, who has played an influential role in building the practice with chairman, Dr. Christopher Crow, will continue seeing patients at Village Health Partners and practice at Legacy Medical Village on Spring Creek Parkway. Read More »»

Village Health Partners Names New President

Plano’s Village Health Partners has named a board-certified family medicine physician as its new president. Read More »»