Texas Health Resources creates innovation center

Posted Monday, Aug. 26, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Arlington-based Texas Health Resources said Monday that it has launched an effort aimed at improving patient care at its various facilities and boosting efforts to improve overall health in the broader community.

The Texas Health Population Health, Education & Innovation Center will help the big North Texas hospital network respond to ongoing changes in the U.S. healthcare system, said Dr. Dan Varga, Texas Health Resources’ chief clinical officer. Pressure for change isn’t limited to the federal Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, Varga said.

“We feel as much need for reform from commercial payers and employers as the federal government,” he said. “They’re all telling us they want more transparency and effectiveness in the care we deliver.”

Texas Health Resources and other healthcare organizations are shifting their operations, said Richard Kurz, dean of the School of Public Health at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth. Those efforts generally involve moving away from being paid for providing individual medical services, like surgeries and hospital care, and toward a reimbursement system based on good outcomes and keeping patients healthy, Kurz said.

Varga said, for example, that the new center will work to reduce readmissions of Texas Health Resources patients after surgeries and other treatments. New Medicare policies can penalize hospitals for readmissions.

The center will also coordinate the hospital network’s efforts outside its own walls, such as its participation in Blue Zones, a national initiative the city of Fort Worth is participating in that encourages better lifestyles among residents.

The network said it has hired Dr. Tricia Nguyen as the center’s president. Nguyen was previously chief medical officer at Banner Health Network in Arizona, where she worked on population health and outcome-based reimbursement. She’s expected to start her new position in about a month.

Jim Fuquay, 817-390-7552 Twitter: @jimfuquay

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