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CMS Inspection of Parkland 'Ongoing'; Civil Suit Pending

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media, July 2, 2013

An investigation of Cornell's death by the Dallas Morning News caught the attention of CMS, which found numerous patient safety violations upon inspection and led to Parkland's systems improvement agreement, an action CMS reserves for hospitals with the most egregious errors.

The SIA required a third party to be onsite while Parkland's corrective action plan was being implemented. It's the only way the hospital was able to continue receiving Medicare reimbursements, which is still at stake until CMS agrees that Parkland has sufficiently improved.

The hospital has been preparing for the CMS inspection for 18 months. By April, the hospital proclaimed it was ready for CMS surveyors. They had said they'd be onsite by April 30, but then changed course. Instead, CMS inspectors showed up June 17, but left after only five days on June 21, without finishing their inspection.

David Wright, deputy regional administrator for CMS, did not say why surveyors left mid-inspection, only that they will return.

"The survey is still ongoing," says Wright. "Surveys always include both onsite and offsite reviews of information, and we can go back at any time, which allows us to have a more comprehensive sample in terms of both time and findings."

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