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CMS Inspection of Parkland 'Ongoing'; Civil Suit Pending

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media, July 2, 2013

Wright says at least 14 CMS surveyors were at Parkland for a top-to-bottom inspection of changes. The date of their return remains unknown to hospital officials, just as the initial visit was.

"They will not tell us when they are going to return," says Mike Malaise, interim senior vice president of external affairs for Parkland. "That's part of the surprise element."

To get ready for the CMS survey that determines whether Parkland will continue to receive federal funding, the consulting firm that oversaw the hospital's CAP surprised Parkland staff with two mock surveys. The results of those surveys are confidential, though Malaise says the hospital has improved significantly from 2011 when an analysis found that patients were in imminent danger.

"Everything we have done has steadily made this a safer place for patients," says Malaise.

It's not clear what parts of the hospital CMS surveyors spent time in while they were onsite in mid-June, though Malaise says they looked throughout the system. Parkland's offsite locations are also covered under the SIA, so surveyors can inspect clinics, physician offices, and the Dallas County jail, where Parkland oversees the healthcare of inmates.

While Cornell's death sparked a massive investigation into the hospital, its patient safety practices, and culture as a whole, it is not the first time Parkland has faced federal review for treatment of psychiatric patients.

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