Volume 5 | Issue 6
Inside This Issue
June Edition 2022
Texas Children’s Hospital Reaches Major Milestone in Expanding Service within the Central Texas Market
Impact of High Deductible Health Plans See pg. 10
INDEX Legal Matters....................... pg.3 Oncology Research......... pg.4 Healthy Heart....................... pg.8 Hospital News...................... pg.9
Dell Med’s Third Graduation Ceremony See pg. 11
exas Children’s Hospital recently celebrated the topping out of the Texas Children’s Hospital North Austin Campus, which will house pediatric care and women’s health services under one state-of-the-art roof to better serve patients and their families in the Austin and Central Texas areas. To observe this important construction milestone, Texas Children’s President and CEO Mark A. Wallace and Executive Vice President Michelle Riley-Brown, along with multiple physicians and Austin-area Texas Children’s patients and their families, gathered with representatives from McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., Page Southerland Page Inc., and Transwestern to complete a traditional tree hoisting in honor of the new facility. “It has been a longtime goal of mine to continue the vision of our founders and bring Texas Children’s Hospital’s high quality level of care to families throughout Texas,” said Wallace. “Over the last few years, it has been amazing to see Texas Children’s grow in Central Texas and I could not be more proud and excited to celebrate this important milestone in the completion of our Austin facility, along with my colleagues at Texas Children’s and everyone at McCarthy, Page and Transwestern, without whom, none of this would have been possible.” Providing breadth and depth of services to the Austin area, the 365,000-square-foot main hospital offerings will include but not be limited to the following:
Texas Children’s Hospital President and CEO Mark A. Wallace, right, and a Texas Children’s patient family from Austin commemorate the topping out of the hospital’s new North Austin Campus, scheduled to open in early 2024. This new hospital will house pediatric care and women’s health services under one state-of-the-art roof to better serve patients and their families in the Austin and Central Texas areas.
• • • • • • •
Neonatal intensive care Pediatric intensive care Operating rooms Epilepsy monitoring Sleep center Emergency center Fetal center for advanced fetal interventions and fetal surgery with a special high-risk delivery unit • Heart center • Cardiovascular intensive care • Renal dialysis • State-of-the-art diagnostic imaging • Acute care • On-site Texas Children’s Urgent Care location. The adjacent 170,000 -square-foot outpatient facility will provide added value by directly connecting patients and their families to Texas Children’s numerous subspecialties, including cardiology, oncology, neurology, pulmonology, gastroenterology, rheumatology, fetal care, dialysis, and more. “Our expanded footprint in Central Texas means more mothers and babies will have access to our top-tier, specialized care and world-renowned team,” said Dr. Michael Belfort, OB/ GYN-in-Chief at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women and Professor and
Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine. “The Texas Children’s Fetal Center is known across the globe as the go-to place for high-risk pregnancies, and we are thrilled to offer more families access to the nation’s leading team for the diagnosis and treatment of fetal abnormalities closer to their home in Austin.” “We are so happy to be able to offer our services to the children, women and families of Austin,” said Dr. Larry H. Hollier, Surgeon-in-Chief at Texas Children’s and Professor of Plastic Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery and Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. “At Texas Children’s Hospital, we are committed to bringing high-quality care for the most complex conditions close to home.” “Texas Children’s Hospital is no stranger to Austin with primary, specialty and urgent care services already well established there,” said Dr. Lara S. Shekerdemian, Pediatrician-inChief at Texas Children’s and Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. “Currently, several of our see Milestone...page 14
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Austin Medical Times
Legal Matters When The Feds Find Out! Lack Of Data Security Leads To Novel and Hefty Settlements
By Iliana L. Peters, JD & John C. Cleary, JD Polsinelli, PC
he Federal Government continues ramping up enforcement of data security requirements by deploying significant new enforcement theories and tools in support of cyber and data security controls required by federal law. Specifically, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently entered into settlements with private companies that underscore these cybersecurity mandates and the additional investment of resources devoted to enforcing them by the Federal Government.
Why are these cases important? • The DOJ settlement is the first False Claims Act case involving DOJ’s Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative. • The FTC settlement involves not only the current owner of the entity that experienced multiple data breaches, but also that entity’s former owner. First, the DOJ reached a court-approved settlement agreement with Comprehensive Health Services (CHS) to resolve allegations that CHS violated the False Claims Act by falsely representing to the State Department and the Air Force that it complied with contract requirements relating to the provision of medical services at State Department and Air Force facilities. Importantly, according to the DOJ, the factual representations and contractual requirements at issue pertain to CHS’s commitment to provide HIPAA-compliant electronic
medical records systems and support for the patient care required by the contract. DOJ alleged that CHS did not abide by these requirements and knew of lapses in data security and system protocols. The DOJ stated that even when the issues came to light, CHS did not address them or report them externally, contrary to HIPAA requirements. A whistleblower, Dr. M. Shawn Lawlor, filed suit against CHS under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act on these and other issues. The DOJ joined the case and resolved
it in this month’s comprehensive civil settlement. Specifically, the DOJ’s civil settlement resolves two separate actions brought against CHS under the False Claims Act. The DOJ statement on these cases emphasized that the “investigation and resolution of this matter illustrates the government’s emphasis on combatting cyber-fraud.” Specifically, on “October 6, 2021, the Deputy Attorney General announced the department’s Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative, which aims to see Legal Matters...page 14
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Oncology Research Cancer in the Workplace: Tips to Support Co-Workers with Cancer By Kyle T. Keyes Cancer patients often experience M.D., Texas Urology emotional and physical changes – Specialists–Austin these commonly include increased Midtown, Round Rock, anxiety, fear, depression, and fatigue. South Austin
cancer diagnosis can be a life-altering event for patients and their families, but it also often puts a very personal matter front and center in a professional setting – the workplace. Cancer treatment advancements and access to high quality care in local communities means that some patients can continue to work during treatment. Others may need a modified schedule or need to take a break from work completely. Conscientious, caring co-workers can help, but knowing what to say and do can be tricky. Effective support in the workplace can improve a patient’s cancer experience and outlook. What to Expect
Supervisors and co-workers should expect these changes and make arrangements to support the patient and each other during the treatment process. Remember that just as each member of your work team has unique skills and personalities, your cancer patient colleagues will have different reactions and needs. Learn and respect your What to Say (and Not Say) It’s always a challenge to know what to say to someone going through a difficult situation. The standard “Let me know if I can do anything” might be heartfelt, but it places the onus on the patient to follow up. Instead, it’s usually more helpful to offer specific support to your colleague. You might offer to update the co-worker on office happenings, assist on a special work project, take over a routine task, or
even research resources to assist the patient. During brief conversations, focus on topics the patient enjoys discussing. Discussing work activities or other normal issues helps ensure that cancer isn’t the main topic of every discussion. There are also some things co-workers should avoid telling a cancer patient: • Don’t offer unsolicited advice. It is best to simply respect the patient and their choices. • Don’t tell the patient about other people you know who were affected by cancer, especially if the outcome was negative. • Don’t say “I know how you feel” unless you specifically had the same cancer treatment. It’s better to listen to the patient. • Don’t tell the patient to “cheer up” or to “stay positive.” It might come across as insensitive or insulting. It could also add more pressure to an already stressed patient. • Don’t engage in long phone calls or conversations. Cancer patients
usually need rest, but the patient might be too polite to say so. How to Help Providing consistent, ongoing, and practical support to co-workers can be an important source of encouragement to a colleague throughout cancer treatment. If a patient is open to sharing their cancer journey, following are a few practical tips to show you care: • Send notes. Short, personalized cards reminding patients that they are missed and that “work isn’t the same without them” can lift spirits far more than an expensive gift. • Prepare gift baskets. A customized collection of work-related trinkets or comforting items will help the see Oncology ...page 13
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WHOSE INTERESTS does your malpractice insurer have at heart?
Yet another Texas medical liability insurer has transitioned from focusing on doctors to focusing on Wall Street. This leaves you with an important question to ask: Do you want an insurer that’s driven by investors? Or do you want an insurer that’s driven to serve you—one that’s already paid $120 million in awards to its members when they retire from the practice of medicine? Join us and discover why delivering the best imaginable service and unrivaled rewards is at the core of who we are.
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Telemedicine, Continuous Glucose Monitoring Mitigated Effects of Pandemic on Children With Diabetes
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s The rapid adoption of telemedicine and increased use of continuous glucose monitoring helped to attenuate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children with Type 1 diabetes, according to a new study from UT Southwestern researchers. The pandemic had profound effects on disease management when shutdowns occurred in 2020, creating barriers for those who lost jobs and insurance and aggravating existing Abha Choudhary, M.D. health disparities. Several studies have shown that the However, the results highlighted pandemic worsened glucose control existing disparities among patients minority and low-income in patients with diabetes and made it in demographics. Both before and during more difficult to access care. “Our diabetes team implemented the pandemic, Black and Hispanic telemedicine visits within weeks of patients and those without commercial the shutdown, allowing us to provide insurance had worse glucose control care to our patients in an efficient and and higher hospitalization rates than timely manner,” said Abha Choudhary, their white, non-Hispanic, insured M.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics counterparts. at UT Southwestern and a pediatric While the use of continuous endocrinologist at Children’s Health. glucose monitoring was higher among “Our team was also able to utilize insured patients overall, there was a continuous glucose monitoring for dramatic increase in use by patients a growing number of patients which without commercial insurance during may have helped to mitigate some the pandemic. This is likely due to of the challenges brought on by the the increased availability of glucose monitoring systems offered to Medicaid pandemic.” For the study published in recipients in Texas that took effect BMC Pediatrics, Dr. Choudhary and during the pandemic, Dr. Choudhary colleagues used data from Children’s explained. Medical Center Dallas to determine The researchers believe the how the management of patients with increased use of continuous glucose Type 1 diabetes was affected by the monitoring along with the successful pandemic in a large urban setting. implementation of telemedicine greatly They analyzed patient characteristics contributed to preventing worse including insurance status, race, outcomes in this patient population. ethnicity, gender, glucose control, “For all the progress we have office visits, and hospitalizations, made, significant disparities remain and compared the use of continuous with regard to access to some of the tools glucose monitoring in the year prior to we think made the biggest differences the start of the pandemic to the first during the early months of the pandemic,” said Dr. Choudhary. “From year of the pandemic. The study found that while the broadband access to the hardware and number of office visits among patients software that’s so central to diabetes decreased during the pandemic, there care these days, we’ve only begun to was no effect on disease management scratch the surface when it comes to in this group – both glucose control and addressing disparities in technology and remote-patient monitoring.” hospitalization rates were unchanged.
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FEEL GOOD AGAIN
We’re all ready to feel good again, but for our food insecure neighbors there’s no vaccine to fight hunger. The 1 in 5 Central Texas children at risk of hunger deserve a shot at a happy summer.
American Heart Association Central Texas Partners with Community Stakeholders to Launch Screen, Educate And Refer Initiatives By Megan Jameson
early half of American adults have high blood pressure and many don’t know it. Additionally, only about 1 in 4 adults with high blood pressure have their condition under control. When left untreated, it can damage your circulatory system and lead to a heart attack, stroke or other critical health concerns. To address these concerns locally, the American Heart Association – Central Texas (AHA) is working alongside the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area (BGCAA) to launch Screen, Educate
efforts by providing access to hypertension control resources and tools. With support from the Central Texas AHA, families are given blood pressure monitors to regularly monitor and track their readings while being educated on proper blood pressure self-measurement. The three Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) located in Central Texas, with support from Central Texas AHA, are actively collaborating with BGCAA to provide follow up care for members with high blood pressure readings and provide maps and contact information of the closest FQHCs to
and Refer Programs, sponsored by Abbott. PARD will pilot the program at three of their locations: Gus Garcia Recreation Center, Conley Guerrero Senior Center and Lamar Senior Activity Center. These sites were selected based on need, location and interest in participating in the Screen, Educate and Refer Initiative with the goal of expanding to more of PARD’s 26 locations through next year. All three locations provide weekly classes to the community, during which attendees perform self-measured blood pressure monitoring with blood pressure monitors and cuffs, educational material and training provided by the Central Texas AHA. BGCAA is expanding on their existing healthcare educational
each BGCAA location. Additionally, families receive educational materials on lifestyle changes they can make to lower their blood pressure, how to correctly measure their blood pressure and how to improve their overall health through AHA’s Life’s Simple 7. All resources are provided in English and Spanish. High blood pressure is a “silent killer”, typically with no obvious symptoms. The American Heart Association is working alongside patients, health care providers and communities 24/7 to help improve blood pressure control rates to ensure all live a long and healthy life. For more information on these initiatives, please visit austinblog. heart.org. If you have questions or comments about this story, please email Megan.Jameson@heart.org.
Austin Medical Times
Hospital News Heart Hospital of Austin Names New Chief Executive Officer
eart Heart Hospital of Austin has selected Brett Matens as its new chief executive officer (CEO), replacing David Laird, who recently retired after 16 years as the hospital’s CEO. Matens, who assumed his
new role on May 11, 2022, was the chief operating officer (COO) of St. David’s South Austin Medical Center from 2003 to 2016 before serving as COO of HCA Healthcare’s Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center—a 680-bed facility in Denver,
Colo. “Brett’s experience growing hospital operations in both Denver and Austin, combined with his knowledge of our market and our healthcare system, make him the ideal person to build on Heart Hospital of Austin’s legacy as one of the highest performing cardiovascular facilities in the nation,” David Huffstutler, president and chief executive officer of St. David’s HealthCare, said. “I look forward to the many contributions he will help us make to further advance the exceptional cardiovascular care in our community.” Before joining Heart Hospital of Austin, Matens oversaw the development and execution of Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center’s electrophysiology, therapeutic GI, auto-immune bone marrow transplant (BMT) and pediatric BMT programs, among others. As a senior executive for this large facility, he was responsible for various clinical, ancillary and support departments, as well as key service lines, including cardiovascular, solid
organ transplant, orthopedics/spine and BMT. Prior to this, Matens led strategies at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center to open Austin’s first adult BMT program and advance the hospital’s trauma program from Level IV to Level II. He also managed three major expansion and renovation projects totaling more than $150 million including the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit and Cath Lab. Matens received a Master of Health Administration from Tulane University in New Orleans, La., and a Bachelor of Science from Mississippi State University in Starkville, Miss. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
St. David’s North Austin Medical Center Becomes First Texas Hospital to Join Elite Group of Transplant Centers
oday, the Kidney Transplant Center at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center announced it is the first in Texas to join the Donor Care Network Centers of Excellence, an elite group of high-performance transplant centers across the country. The Donor Care Network, a subsidiary of the National Kidney Registry, is committed to ensuring all kidney donors are treated with courtesy and respect, and provides extensive guidelines to make donation safer,
easier and more convenient. “We are proud to join this elite group of living donor programs and help make kidney donation more accessible for Central Texans,” Jacqueline Lappin, M.D., surgical director of the Kidney Transplant Center at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, said. “As a National Kidney Registry member center, we are able to expand the pool of kidney transplants from living donors, thus improving donor-recipient matches for longer
lasting transplants.” The National Kidney Registry helps people facing kidney failure by facilitating paired kidney exchange and making living kidney donation safer and easier. Paired kidney exchange allows donors who are not compatible with their recipient to exchange their kidney with a donor who is compatible anywhere in the United States. St. David’s North Austin Medical Center ranks among the top 25 National Kidney Registry
member centers across the United States due to high transplant volume. With a collaborative team of physicians, nurses, social workers, dietitians and transplant specialists, the center provides comprehensive care and support to transplant recipients, donors and their families.
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Impact Of High Deductible Health Plans on Health Care Utilization
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Study From School of Public Health Finds That Lower-Salary Employees Have Higher Rates of Acute Care Utilization And Spending By Tim Schnettler
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ising health care costs affect almost every American at one time or another. From the cost to obtain coverage to paying for care, a larger share of costs is shifted toward individuals, including those who obtain coverage through employer-sponsored health plans. The financial impact from the rising costs is particularly burdensome for low-salary employees who may not have the resources to afford care in high deductible plans. This in turn
recently in the American Journal of Managed Care, suggest that HDHPs discourage routine physician-patient care among low-salary employees. “There is little evidence displaying how employees at the same employer may have differential health care use patterns,” Ukert said. “The goal of the study was to describe if we can observe difference in health care use within a single employer, where all employees have access to the same resources and insurance network.”
leads to putting off and, in some cases, completely neglecting their health care. A new study led by Benjamin D. Ukert, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Texas A&M University School of Public Health, has found that lower-salary employees enrolled in an employer-sponsored high deductible health plan (HDHP) have higher rates of acute care utilization and spending but lower rates of primary care spending compared to high-salary employees at the same employer. Additionally, the results of the study, “Disparities in Health Care Use Among Low-Salary and High-Salary Employees,” which was published
To accomplish this, Ukert and the research team looked at commercial medical claims data and administrative human resource data from a large employer from 2014 to 2018. The researchers linked the administrative data—details on salary and other benefit choices—to each employee in each year with medical claims. The team found that employees earning less than $75,000 had lower health care utilization and spending than higher-salaried employees. The researchers also found that lower-salary employees utilized and spent less on preventive measures such as outpatient
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Austin Medical Times
Leaving Med School and Facing a Global Pandemic, The Newest Dell Med Graduates Share Their Wisdom Dell Med’s Third Graduation Ceremony – and its First in Person
t its first in-person graduation ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin will honor 47 medical students in its Class of 2022 who are beginning their journey as new physicians. “As a medical student, I have seen and experienced the constraints that bar providers from changing the reality of our health care system — a system that prioritizes profits over patients and numbers over humanity,” said Zaara Qasim, who is featured alongside five other of Dell Med’s finest as part of this year’s online Class of 2022 exclusive. “To deliver evidenceand value-based, patient-centered care, the system needs a major overhaul,” she said. Qasim reflected on her four
years on the Forty Acres earning an M.D. and a Master of Arts in Design Focused on Health — one of eight dual degrees available to Dell Med students. More than 80% of her class achieved dual degrees alongside their medical education. Caring for the Community, Where It’s Needed Most This year’s graduating medical students pursuing specialized training were matched to residency programs in 18 states, but almost half of them will remain in Texas. A quarter of those will continue their medical training in Austin in residency programs jointly run by Dell Med and its academic medical partner, Ascension Seton. In all, Dell Med will be home to 400 physicians-in-training starting this summer — up 83% since 2012.
Additionally, almost half of this year’s graduates will be entering primary care — including internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology — helping to counter the primary care physician shortage projected in the coming years as reported by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Lessons to Learn from the Physicians of the Future Reflecting on her medical school training, Ciaura Brown recalls insights she has gleaned about seeing the humanity in others. “As clinicians, we have to make sure that patients are treated as people first. This involves elements like
respect, empathy and autonomy. Once this is established, we can then begin to understand their illnesses better and be equipped to provide targeted education and advocacy,” said Brown, who is headed to an emergency medicine residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Fellow graduate Ben Wroblewski relies on humor and humility to propel him forward. “There is so much uncertainty in life. If you can be the one thing someone can count on, I think that goes a long way,” he said. Wroblewski will hone his skills in family medicine as a resident at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.
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Prepare Now Before Disaster Strikes Having A Plan Is Critical to Keep You and Your Loved Ones Safe During A Natural Disaster By Ramin Bajoghli, M.D.
mergencies, such as natural disasters or health crises, are potentially dangerous. Be sure you’re prepared to keep yourself and your family safe. Unfortunately, statistics show that not everyone is as prepared as they could be. According to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) research, despite 80 percent of respondents to the 2019 National Household survey saying they had gathered enough supplies to last three or more days, only 48 percent said they had an emergency action plan. Planning ahead is critical. Hurricane season begins June 1, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that those living in coastal areas prepare now. Include these essential items in
your family’s emergency plan: ∆ Write emergency numbers on paper. Place these numbers near the phones in your home or on the refrigerator. In addition, program the numbers into your cell phone. ∆ Prepare an emergency supply kit. It’s hard to know what you may need in an emergency, so having an emergency supply kit is essential. There may not be time to gather the supplies you need once disaster strikes. In your emergency supply kit, include the following items: • Food and water. Include three days’ worth of nonperishable food items that are easy to store and prepare and water (1 gallon per day for each person and pet in the home). • Medications. If you are able and your pharmacy plan allows, try to have at least
a two-week supply of all prescription medications for every individual in your home. If that is not possible, refill your medications regularly and keep them in a place that is easily accessible. • Power sources. You’ll need flashlights, lanterns, extra batteries, and external power sources that can be charged in advance of a hurricane. • Important documents. Medical documents, wills, passports, and personal identification
should be kept together and easily accessible. ∆ Locate the nearest shelter and plan your evacuation route. Be prepared to evacuate if and when instructed by local officials. Have a plan in place for pets, such as identifying ahead of time shelters, pet-friendly hotels, or relatives/ friends who live outside the evacuation area.
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A Growing Number of Physicians are Employed By Phillip Miller
arcus Welby – the classic, independent family physician who followed his patients from the cradle to old age – is an icon from the past. For years, a growing number of physicians have become employees while a dwindling number have remained independent practice owners or partners. A new study commissioned by the Physicians Advocacy Institute and conducted by Avalere Health puts some startling numbers to this trend. According to the study, three quarters of all physicians (74%) now are employed by a hospital, health system or a corporate entity. The study notes that 52.1% of physicians now are employed by a hospital or health system, with the number of hospital/health system employed physicians growing by 11% from July 2020 to January 2022. This presumably includes physicians
employed directly by hospitals and health systems and those employed by hospital and health system-ow ned medical groups, the number of which is increasing. According to the study, the number of hospital-owned physician practices grew by 8% during the study period. The study indicates there also was a significant increase in the number of physicians employed by corporate entities such as insurance companies and investor groups. During the same period from July 2020 to January 2022, the percentage of physicians employed by corporate entities grew from 15.3% to 21.8%. Optum, owned by insurance giant UnitedHealth Group, alone employs approximately 55,000 physicians, or about 6.5%
of the roughly 850,000 physicians actively providing patient care. In its annual Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives, Merritt Hawkins tracks the number of physician search engagements it conducts featuring employed settings versus independent practice settings. The Review indicates that the great majority of physicians accepting new positions today – more than 90% -- will practice as employees and not as independent practice owners/
partners. By contrast, in 2001, the number was approximately 60%. The increasing corporatization of medicine is being driven by a number of factors, including the rising complexity and financial uncertainty of running a medical practice, both of which have been exacerbated by COVID-19. The result is that most physicians today are a part of large and consolidating organizations rather than small, independently owned businesses.
care seems to be concentrated among traditional check-up and primary care visits that are relatively cheap.” The merits of high deductible health plans have been debated because the burden of the costs is placed on the plan holder, which encourages health care shopping and can lead to the reduced utilization of care, particularly among individuals making a low salary. Those in favor of HDHPs argue that the plans tend to have lower total
premiums and lower out of pocket premiums for employees, retaining the traditional value of insurance, protecting employees from large health care expenses with limits on out-of-pocket spending. On the other side, opponents of HDHPs argue that employees having to face the full cost of their health care can discourage necessary and preventable health care services, especially when the deductible for families can reach
more than $4,000. This can lead to delayed diagnosis of health conditions and the potential to miss the window and benefits of early diagnosis or prevention. “The study provides a first step to understand how socioeconomic characteristics impact health among employed individuals,” Ukert said. “We display disparities where many have not thought to find them.”
For a colleague with cancer, returning to “normal” likely includes resuming their pre-cancer work routine. But during treatment, adjusting work responsibilities and encouraging
patients through appropriate words and actions, can have a positive impact on your colleague’s cancer experience and recovery.
Health Plans Continued from page 10 visits and prescription drugs. However, low-salary employees have significantly higher rates of utilization on preventable and avoidable emergency department visits and inpatient stays. “What was striking is that the concentration of types of visits was different for low-income individuals compared to higher wage earners,” Ukert said. “One could have expected that they use less care, but foregone
Oncology Continued from page 4
patient stay connected to their team. Deliver food. If you know the patient’s favorite food, offer to drop off lunch or dinner at a time convenient to the patient.
Make time. Brief visits (including virtual visits), sharing music, or watching a favorite TV show with the patient demonstrates genuine concern.
Austin Medical Times
Continued from page 1 Austin and Central Texas patients and families also travel to Houston for some aspects of their care, but when our amazing new hospital opens in 2024 — our patients and families will have all of the very best care and subspecialty inpatient services in their own back yard.” “As capitol of our great state and a leading technology hub, it seems only fitting that the nation’s largest children’s hospital, Texas Children’s can now call Austin home,” said Dr. Jeffrey Shilt, Community-in-Chief at Texas Children’s and Professor of Orthopedics and Scoliosis Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. “Our mission that originated in the Texas Medical Center in Houston remains the same in Austin: to create a healthier future for children and women by leading in patient care, education and research. I could not be more excited about building on our promise to deliver the highest quality of care, close to home for the families of Austin, which will include
additional programs of excellence that provide even more choices for care in the region.” To provide a connected sense of care to patients, Texas Children’s convened multiple community-centered focus and advisory groups to assess best practices for the region. “Expanding access to our expert pediatric and maternal care to even more families in Texas is an extension of our mission,” said Riley-Brown. “We are excited to bring the unparalleled level of care that Texas Children’s is known for to the families of Austin and look forward to opening our doors in 2024.” While staying true to the traditional Texas Children’s look and feel, the new Texas Children’s Hospital North Austin Campus simultaneously will weave the unique culture and geography of Austin and the Central Texas hill country into the facility. An outdoor therapy space will serve as a respite for patients, families and employees, and each floor of the new
hospital will display a different theme based on Central Texas landscapes. In developing the building, Texas Children’s targeted a sustainability rating of two stars in the Austin Energy Green Building Program, worked to conserve condensate water for irrigation, and preserved approximately 40% of the existing trees on the property. “The thoughtful design and layout of the new hospital will enhance productivity and efficiency by streamlining the location of core services, while also celebrating the natural landscape to educate, inspire and promote healing,” said Jill Pearsall, Senior Vice President of Facilities Planning and Development at Texas Children’s. Texas Children’s Hospital North Austin Campus, located at 9835 North Lake Creek Parkway, will begin serving patients in the first quarter of 2024.
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Continued from page 3 hold accountable entities or individuals that put U.S. information or systems at risk by knowingly providing deficient cybersecurity products or services, knowingly misrepresenting their cybersecurity practices or protocols, or knowingly violating obligations to monitor and report cybersecurity incidents and breaches. Second, the FTC entered into a settlement with the current and former owners of CafePress, an online customized merchandise platform, regarding allegations that CafePress failed to implement “reasonable security measures” to protect consumers’ information and to notify individuals of “multiple” breaches. The FTC alleges that CafePress did not implement encryption, reasonable password protection, threat detection and response, security incident response, and appropriate data deletion. The FTC’s settlement requires CafePress to implement additional security controls, and, notably, requires its former owner, Residual Pumpkin Entity, LLC, to pay a half million dollars to compensate small businesses and other victims of
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the data breaches. According to the FTC’s statement on the case, CafePress knew that it had vulnerabilities in its systems as early as January 2018, when CafePress determined that certain accounts had been hacked, at which time CafePress took no other action besides closing the accounts at issue and charging the victims a $25 account closure fee. Further, the FTC stated that CafePress used consumers’ email addresses for marketing, even though its consumer policies stated that consumer information would only be used to fulfill orders. Takeaways The Federal Government will utilize a strong and growing array of tools to enforce cybersecurity mandates and requirements, whether in the federal contractor community or the private sector as a whole. The Government also indicates that this stepped-up enforcement will continue. As such, the Government will inevitably find out if a company does not have adequate data security controls or did not provide notifications as required by federal law
in the event of a data breach and can be expected to take action against any and all entities involved in the lack of compliance, including both current and former business owners. As such, at a minimum, these cases show the importance of: • Ensuring a robust data security compliance program that implements all applicable data security requirements; • Making complete and accurate representations of fact about data security when bidding for government contracts (or other contracts) and in the course of undertaking administration and performance of such contracts; • Maintaining and following a thorough incident response and breach notification plan; • Reviewing all government contract requirements related to data security and prioritizing compliance with such requirements; and • Responding to employee reports and complaints about data security in a meaningful way.
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