Out of 26 million Texans, you may have an idea to change the world. You may have had several ideas to change the world. But only a tiny minority of you pushed through the U.S. Patent office from application to successful patent. We've seen Texans change the world many times over. Jack Kilby did it with Texas Instruments in 1958 with the integrated circuit, causing the start of the digital revolution, which, in part, is why you can read these words over your electronic device.
Over the last few years, Texas Business has brought its feature: Texas Business Patent of the Day. This list is of the ones that were either extremely clever, odd or strange. One thing becomes apparent from these patents and the patent that runs daily in Texas Business—Texans have a unique mind set.
Though the history of the Corn Dog is disputed, the State Fair of Texas claims to have introduced the Corny Dog sometime between 1938 and 1942. As a paean to that invention that now sits in the freezer section of every grocery store in the southwest, here are the fried foods the State Fair of Texas has introduced, or tried to introduce, in the last seven years.
Don't get caught up with John Wayne religion. For one thing, he's not Texan. He's in some fine movies involving Texas, most notably The Searchers, but none of his movies can make the best cut of Texas movies. Here's the short list.
Unsung Texas Business Journalists Mention that one is a reporter, and there's a spark of interest. Mention that one is a business news reporter, and watch the eyes glaze over. Except to the players, business and economic journalists are unappreciated. While many wish to become sports reporters when they grow up, most do not realize that business journalists cover the Real Game. Mention that reporter covers business, and watch the eyes glaze over. A toast to these below on the short list and the numerous unnamed ones slogging away. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Mexican Food: The Short List No, we're not going to debate the difference between Tex-Mex, Mex-Tex, Mexican and Texican food. Just know these establishments are the pinnacle of Texas Mexican fare. No brag, just fact. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Burgers Texas Burgers. . While a hamburger is merely sustenance and gratification for a meal, the memory a good Texas burger can give rise to Homeric odes. The short list. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Texas Business reports: Dallas—The City of Dallas agreed to pay the U.S. and Texas $2.47 million and enter into certain compliance obligations to resolve allegations that it violated the civil False Claims Act and Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas.
The U.S. and Texas contend Dallas caused “upcoded” claims to be submitted to Medicare and Medicaid for city-dispatched 911 ambulance transports between 2006 and 2010. Dallas fully cooperated with the investigation, and by settling did not admit any wrong-doing or liability.
Ambulance services generally are coded either as basic life support level or advanced life support (ALS). ALS transports are reimbursed at a higher rate by both Medicare and Medicaid. The U.S. and Texas contend Dallas directed its billing contractor to code every 911-dispatched transport at the ALS level, which indicates an ALS service was furnished and/or the patient’s condition necessitated an ALS intervention. The U.S. and Texas believe Dallas caused to be submitted for payment claims falsely representing to Medicare and Medicaid that such ALS services were appropriate and furnished by Dallas personnel when in fact no ALS-service was rendered and/or the patient did not require an ALS transport.
The U.S. and Texas initiated the investigation in response to an August 2009 whistleblower suit brought by Douglas Moore, a former employee of Dallas’ auditing department. Under the False Claims Act and Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act, private individuals may bring actions alleging fraud on behalf of the U.S. and Texas and collect a share of any proceeds recovered by the suit. Moore can receive up to 30 percent of the recovery under the settlement.
U.S. Attorney Jacks praised the efforts of the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and FBI.
“Any time false claims are submitted for payment, the nation's health insurance programs suffer,” said Special Agent in Charge Mike Fields of the OIG’s Dallas Regional Office. “Our HHS OIG investigators will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to identify providers who improperly receive crucial Medicare and Medicaid dollars.”
The case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean McKenna, Assistant Texas Attorney General Sinty Chandy, and OIG Senior Counsel Ellen Slavin. The case is captioned United States of America, et al. ex rel. Moore v. City of Dallas, et al. Civil Action No. 3:09-cv-1452-O (N.D. Tex.). Investigations of other ambulance providers remain ongoing.
The Texas News Scrawl is a handy reference to storiesTexas Business recommends from other news sources. Some of the stories that Texas Business currently suggests include: Texas airport to begin dual customs operation with Mexico; Texas becomes one of 23 states to use electronic insurance proof; Emcor agrees to $455 million deal for Texas company;Volkswagen to open dealership in Waco; American Airlines To Add More Seats To 737s, MD-80s; Police officer says helicopter from gun range endangering his cattle; Contractors get OK to build new Beaumont Army Medical Center;Midland looks to join spaceport race; UTEP’s solar-powered house to compete internationally; State Farm to shutter El Paso call center; and more.