Parkland Hospital Submits Plan to Remedy Deficiencies, Protect Funding

Margaret Dick Tocknell, August 22, 2011

At a specially called board of managers meeting Friday, officials at Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas, TX unveiled a corrective action plan to address deficiencies that federal officials said represent “an immediate and serious threat to patient health and safety.”

The plan addresses deficiencies discovered during an eight-day review conducted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Texas Department of Health Services.  If unresolved, the problems at Parkland Hospital could cost the system some $417 million in Medicare and Medicaid funds out of its annual budget.

Problems with infection control and emergency room care were among nine broad categories of deficiencies discovered in July at the safety-net hospital during the review. State health officials requested the review following the death of a patient in Parkland’s psychiatric emergency department. The hospital had failed to report the death to federal and state regulators as required by law.

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In an August 9th letter to the health system’s CEO, Ron Anderson, MD, officials at CMS identified deficiencies and gave the health system until August 24to develop a corrective plan.

The letter said that because of the deficiencies, the health system “no longer meets the requirements for participation in the Medicare program,” and it warned that failure to submit acceptable plans of correction would result “in your termination from the Medicare program effective Sept. 2.”

Because the Medicare and Medicaid programs have similar requirements,  Medicaid funding also was in jeopardy, the letter noted.

Margaret Dick Tocknell Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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