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Parkland Prevents Loss Of Medicare Funding

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DALLAS (AP) - A Dallas hospital says it will enter into an agreement with a federal agency to avert the loss of millions of dollars in Medicare funding.

Parkland Memorial Hospital was told by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in a letter on Friday that its Medicare agreement would end Sept. 30 “because of deficiencies that represent an immediate and serious threat to patient health and safety.”

CLICK ON THE LETTER TO SEE A LARGER VERSION:

image001 Parkland Prevents Loss Of Medicare Funding

image002 Parkland Prevents Loss Of Medicare Funding

A report by CMS found that Parkland had corrected some but not all its previously identified problems.

However, the agency also told the hospital it could prevent the funding loss if it entered into an arrangement in which the hospital would accept CMS-approved outside consultants.

Hospitals must be Medicare-certified to get Medicaid funding, so terminating Medicare would mean the loss of Medicaid.

Reacting to the news Friday night, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, who oversees Parkland’s board, said “The time has come for drastic changes at Parkland Hospital. Dallas County is committed to working with regulators to clean up this mess.”

He addressed his comments directly to Parkland patients.  “You deserve better and you are going to get it.  To the taxpayers and rank and file Parkland employees- this is not the end of Parkland Hospital; it is a new beginning. I promise you Parkland will come out of this stronger on the other side. “

Parkland issued an email statement Friday night:

Parkland to Negotiate Agreement with CMS

Parkland Health & Hospital System committed to The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that it will enter into a Systems Improvement Agreement to maintain Parkland’s participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. This agreement, which will be finalized no later than Sept. 30, provides Parkland the opportunity to continue to operate fully and to address the problems identified in the recent CMS survey.

A Systems Improvement Agreement is a time-limited agreement between CMS and a hospital. In lieu of termination, the Systems Improvement Agreement requires Parkland to bring in external, third-party and CMS-approved quality improvement consultants to implement corrective actions. This consultant will act as an agent of CMS to analyze the Parkland reports, findings and original plan of corrections. From this, and their own comprehensive review of Parkland’s compliance with the CMS Conditions of Participation, the consultant will craft a plan for improvement. The consultant will oversee the implementation of that plan and report back to CMS as Parkland improves. The timeline for this process will be addressed in the agreement.

Parkland remains fully accredited and is accepting Medicare and Medicaid. The agreement will abate the notice of termination of Parkland’s participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs that Parkland received today.

“We are grateful for this opportunity to work with an outside expert to address the problems identified by CMS. This allows Parkland and CMS to be jointly engaged in an aggressive improvement process,” said John Jay Shannon, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “We are committed to successfully meeting CMS expectations and to continually serving the people of Dallas County. I can guarantee we will be a stronger, more capable, safer hospital system.”

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(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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