"Transparency" is his watchword, says Royer. Over the last several months, the 70-year-old has been working 14- to 16-hour days, cleaning house of employees, restructuring physician and nursing teams and navigating political storms. His six-month contract expires in May, but he's hoping for a six-month extension to finish the job he started.
"I'm energized and committed" to improve Parkland, Royer says, telling hospital administrators: "I'm willing to stay as long as the board wishes to support me in this role, to help patients, staff, and physicians. I'm focusing on what's important and I think we are making improvements. I believe we will be very successful over the next six to nine months. I find it very rewarding."
Royer is leading the safety-net system as it works toward compliance to maintain eligibility for an estimated $417 million in annual Medicare and Medicaid contracts.
CMS ordered a review in July 2011 of the entire hospital facility after identifying dozens of deficiencies deemed so serious as to create an immediate and serious threat to patient health and safety. In September, Parkland and the Dallas office of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services signed a systems improvement agreement, which requires Parkland to be compliant with all CMS rules and regulations by April 2013.