In the News

Readmission penalties drop for safety-net hospitals

 

 Readmission penalties against hospitals providing care to socioeconomically disadvantaged patients have dropped 14 percentage points under new rules adopted in 2019 that more equitably account for low-income populations being served, according to a new analysis led by UT Southwestern Medical Center and Harvard researchers.

Hospitals serving low-income populations have traditionally been disproportionately penalized for hospital readmissions under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program designed to reduce health system costs, explained Dr. Ambarish Pandey, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern and senior author. The new rules adopted in 2019 instead compare similar hospitals, such as groups of large safety net hospitals

Dr. Levine announced as Director of newly funded NIH Project

 

Amid growing concern about pathogens becoming more drug-resistant worldwide – and emerging new pathogens that have no current treatment – UT Southwestern has been selected to lead a five-year investigation into a promising new approach for controlling infections funded by a grant of up to $37 million.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded program will be headed by Dr. Beth Levine, Director of UT Southwestern’s Center for Autophagy Research and a Professor of Internal Medicine and Microbiology. She will serve as Program Director over five separate research projects at UT Southwestern and across the country – all focused on the potential to exploit a cellular process known as autophagy to destroy invading bacteria and viruses.

Recent "Nature" publication from Dr. Hill's Research Team

 

Nearly half of current hospital admissions for heart failure are caused by a type of the disease with no treatment options. Cardiology researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center are changing that reality with a fresh approach, recently published in Nature.

There are two types of heart failure. One is called HFrEF, for which we have a number of therapies, including medications, devices, and transplants. The other – HFpEF – has zero options,” explained UT Southwestern Chief of the Division of Cardiology and Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Biology Dr. Joseph Hill.

Black Men in White Coats Youth Summit

 

 The statistics can be staggering: Only two percent of doctors are black men, and fewer black men applied to medical school in 2014 than in 1978. UT Southwestern physician Dale Okorodudu, M.D. recently held a Black Men in White Coats youth summit to inspire and encourage a generation of doctors as diverse as the patients they’ll care for.

To reverse the trend of declining black men in medicine, we need to convince more black boys to pursue careers in the field. Several years ago, I launched “Black Men in White Coats” to inspire more of these individuals to consider medicine as an occupation. It is a series of videos featuring black physicians from my medical school, UT Southwestern, and others who shared stories and perspectives on how race has influenced their careers. We hope these testimonials will show young people that with hard work and dedication they can overcome obstacles and become the positive role models our society needs.  

 

2019 Women Who STEAM Award

 

The Dallas Chapter of The Links, Inc., will present Dr. Shawna Nesbitt with a 2019 Women Who STEAM Award at an April 30 luncheon at the Belo Mansion.

Three UT Southwestern faculty, along with four other honorees, are being recognized as phenomenal leaders in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics “while also serving, teaching, excelling, aspiring, and mentoring” in the community.

 

Dr. Nesbitt is a Professor of Internal Medicine, the Associate Dean in the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion, and the Medical Director of the Parkland Health & Hospital System Hypertension Clinic.

Dr. Khera discusses recent study on FOX 4 News

 

Dr. Amit Khera appears on local FOX 4 News to discuss a recent study in the AHA journal Stroke that showed drinking two or more of any kind of artificially sweetened drinks a day really increases the risk of strokes.

Bacteria at the Gym

 

Exercise can help boost health and fitness but beware of bacteria when bulking up at the gym.

Precautions such as wiping down shared surfaces, using hand sanitizers, and covering up cuts can help avoid contracting unwanted infections, says Dr. Julie Trivedi, Medical Director of Infection Prevention at UT Southwestern’s William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital.

The dangers of hidden fat

 

Scientists know that the type of fat you can measure with a tape isn’t the most dangerous. But what is the most effective way to fight internal, visceral fat that you cannot see or feel? The answer: exercise.

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center analyzed two types of interventions – lifestyle modification (exercise) and pharmacological (medicine) – to learn how best to defeat fat lying deep in the belly. The study is published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

“Visceral fat can affect local organs or the entire body system. Systemically it can affect your heart and liver, as well as abdominal organs,” said senior author and cardiologist Dr. Ian J. Neeland, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine. “When studies use weight or body mass index as a metric, we don’t know if the interventions are reducing fat everywhere in the body, or just near the surface.”

Extreme exercise does not raise heart disease risk or mortality

 

Exercise is often cited as the best preventive medicine, but how much is too much for the hearts of middle-aged athletes?

Sports cardiologist Dr. Benjamin Levine led a study, now published in JAMA Cardiology, to find the answer. Dr. Levine is a Professor of Internal Medicine and Director of the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, a collaboration between UT Southwestern Medical Center and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

Dr. Lee warns of acetaminophen buildup dangers

 

When seeking quick pain relief, people should not overuse acetaminophen as a cure-all, UT Southwestern Medical Center liver disease experts warn.

“It is easy to lose track of how much combined acetaminophen you’re consuming when taking combinations of medicines or multiple medications, particularly for different ailments such as arthritis while also perhaps dealing with a cold or the flu,” says Dr. William Lee, Director of the Clinical Center for Liver Diseases at UT Southwestern. “Failing to identify the different names for acetaminophen, such as ‘APAP,’ or just not reading labels can be deadly, since acetaminophen is present in many types of pain pills, both prescription and over the counter, as well as in cold and flu medications.”