Thursday, September 01, 2011

Comments from Parkland Memorial Hospital

Following up on my post on this topic, in the nature of equal time, I thought I would print excerpts from a recent edition of the Dallas Business Journal, in which a senior hospital official from Parkland Memorial Hospital rebuts aspects of coverage by the Dallas Morning News.

Anderson said the Dallas Morning News, and the investigative team it has assigned to aggressively cover Parkland, has a "vendetta" against the hospital. He characterized that paper's coverage as "sincere, but sincerely wrong," and said it's "chipping away at the trust" people place in Parkland.

"Think about the negative consequences of someone who needs care holding back instead of going to Parkland," he said. "They'll suffer as much as anything that an investigative reporter thinks he's doing or she's doing for the benefit of the patients."

Part of the problem is that Parkland is an easy target, Anderson said.

"We're the house of conspiracy theories," he said. "JFK came here. So we know every conspiracy theory that was ever pushed out about JFK. Someday, I'm going to write a book about conspiracy theories about people out to get Parkland."


Anonymous said...

Wow, even paranoid people have enemies, but this seems a bit over the top. I might add that my hospital, aforementioned as having experienced this situation 10 years ago, also harbored the suspicion that the local newspaper, with a recognizable national name, had a 'vendetta' against them.
Says more about the administrators than about the newspapers.


Anonymous said...

Paul, you should have waited a day. The Dallas Morning News had another article about Parkland today, concerning a federal criminal matter that had been under seat. A four year investigation by the U.S. Attorneys Office and by the Texas Attorney General just charged Parkland and UTSW guilty of Medicare and Medicaid fraud. They allowed students and residents to provide emergency services including surgery, without any supervision. Then the faculty would bill for it when they weren't even present. Sometimes, when they weren't even in Dallas.

The paranoia excuse that someone has a vendetta against them is getting old. They have recently been sanctioned by the DOJ, TX AG, OIG, JCAHO, CMS, TX DOH, and a few others. CMS was going to strip their eligibility to participate in Medicare and Medicaid yesterday due to lapses in care in 9 major areas found during a recent inspection.

Anonymous said...

After CMS concluded that Parkland placed patients in "immediate jeopardy" by allowing Non-Qualified Medical Professionals (residents) to work without proper supervision, and around the same time that the U.S. Inspector General and the Texas Attorney General filed charges that Parkland UT Southwestern violated the False Claims Act and committed Medicare and Medicaid Fraud, CMS came back for a determinative visit. They gave Parkland two weeks to become compliant with Medicare regulations. According to the Dallas News, the re-inspection did not go well.

Paul Levy said...

Having been through many inspections, I think it is premature to assert "how it went" until the formal report is issued by the regulators. There is a formal process that it is used in matters like this. We shouldn't jump to conclusions. That is why this blog will not deal with informal assertions about the level of clinical care in a particular hospital.

My topic here was about relationships with the community, including the press, and the effect that has on the trust in an institution.

Anonymous said...


The formal CMS report was issued almost two weeks ago. All 600 pages were published by the Dallas Morning News. The national media covered the findings of the report when it was issued on August 22nd. Parkland even had a televised press conference. That was the report that labeled Parkland as putting patients in immediate jeopardy, and gave them two weeks to remedy, or be expelled from Medicare, Medicaid. The next report was issued by the US Attorneys Office on September 1. This was the finding of Medicare fraud. The US Inspector General issued a press release that was also published in the national media. Parkland and UTSW paid a seven figure penalty. Don't understand your comment about waiting for the official report(s).