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A Messsage from Parkland:

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On August 9, Parkland received a written report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services with the findings of CMS surveyors following their eight-day review of Parkland in July. Included was notification that the hospital system will not be able to continue participation in the Medicare program without accepted corrective action.

In accordance with CMS expectations, we are in the process of drafting a formal corrective action plan to address all of the issues raised in the survey report. As requested, we will return our plan no later than August 20.

Once CMS accepts this, we will be subject to another survey before September 2. We will make the full report, including our corrective action plan, available to the public on our website.

We acknowledge the seriousness of this notification. We have a tremendous responsibility to get this right - to address the deficiencies identified by CMS - and to do so as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

It is our obligation to the Dallas community and, most importantly, to our patients to provide care that is safe, of high quality and consistent with all state and federal regulations. Safe, quality patient care is our top priority.

In health care we have to be prepared for this kind of scrutiny from others and we should ask it of ourselves. We expected deficiencies and we are grateful for assistance in identifying them. During their visit surveyors conducted a rigorous and comprehensive examination of Parkland's operations, facilities, personnel, policies, procedures and patient care. We responded to at least 60 requests for information from surveyors each day. The report is indicative of that thoroughness.

Some problems were already known to us. We understand them and have already been working on them. We have a 57-year-old facility that must deliver 21st century medicine. We know there are places that are not as private as we would like. But to serve as many people as we do is incredibly important because for so many, there is no other option.

We've taken some public hits. I know there are nay-sayers, people who want to suggest a different solution than Parkland. They are right in that we are not perfect. We own up to the fact that there are problems we must fix and improvements we need to make. We must push every day to be better.

I look forward to reporting back to you on our progress. In the meantime, we will continue to be more transparent and live up to our vision statement: "by our actions we will define excellence in public academic medical centers."

I have faith in the dedicated men and women who work at Parkland to rise to this occasion to make our health care delivery system of higher quality and more accessible to our patients. We understand that a true test of character is not whether you get knocked down, but whether you get back up.

Ron Anderson MD

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Nelson Propane

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