Parkland Board Releases Consultant's Report

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , July 12, 2013

Some of the recommendations, such as the reorganization of board committees can be done through board action alone. Others, such as expanding the size of the board, will require legislative approval because Texas state law limits the size of governing boards for publicly financed hospital districts to no more than seven members. 

"A great deal of research and reflection went into these thoughtful recommendations, and the board is committed to raising the governance bar for large and complex public safety net health systems," Branson said.

"It is about our professionalism, performance and accountability in fulfilling our oversight responsibilities. We will be more responsive to the needs of Parkland and its patients, as well as the expectations of the Dallas County community, that's the end-game here. We want to create a governance system that will serve Parkland well for generations to come."

The report comes as Parkland braces for a rigorous inspection this summer by surveyors from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which was prodded into action after the February 2011 death of a patient in the hospital's psychiatric emergency department. The health system has been under a corrective action for more than two-years for myriad quality and patient safety concerns.

In 2011, CMS placed Parkland under a systems improvement agreement that allows it to continue to receive Medicare reimbursements as long as a third party is onsite to monitor and facilitate changes that need to be made.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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