The chief executive officer of Dallas’ Parkland Hospital claims a “vendetta” held by the Dallas Morning News‘ investigative team is to blame for “chipping away” at the public’s trust in the hospital.
The newspaper used public records to extensively document billing fraud, poor supervision of residents, preferential treatment for VIPs and patient harm. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services inspected the hospital in July and, less than two weeks ago, the hospital responded by posting its plan to correct deficiencies as required by CMS.
The Morning News reported that the hospital delivered the plan “just ahead of a deadline for addressing the problems or losing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal health care funding. If the agency, on reinspection, finds that the patient care deficiencies aren’t corrected, Parkland could lose nearly half its patient revenue.”
The hospital’s board decided yesterday to hire a consultant to “redefine [Dr. Ron] Anderson’s role with the system between now and the end of the year, when his five-year contract expires,” reports Bill Hethcock in the Dallas Business Journal.
Regardless, Anderson says the Morning News‘ coverage is “sincere, but sincerely wrong,” and raises the specter that people in the community will suffer because they won’t come to Parkland to seek care:
“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.”
In January, Maud Beelman, the DMN deputy managing editor who leads the investigative team, wrote about the project for Nieman Watchdog. She detailed some of the struggles they faced to do the project, including efforts to derail the investigation and the backlash from the hospital.