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Parkland Slams Morning News Story

If you haven’t read the (paywalled )Parkland story in this morning’s Morning News, do so. Here’s a shorter blog version. Then read this email, just sent over from the folks at Parkland (emphasis is Parkland’s):

Unfortunately, our latest message concerning the Dallas Morning News and its coverage of Parkland does not involve a lack of accuracy, but a lack of ethics.

This morning, the Dallas Morning News ran a story, in which its reporter inexplicably came to the conclusion that Parkland had hired advocates in Washington, DC in order to sway regulators who are overseeing improvement efforts at the health system.  That is not true.  Parkland has contracted an advocacy firm for many, many years.  The advocates educate legislators and committees on issues vital to the survival of public hospitals.  The Morning News is aware that a contract with an advocacy firm at the federal level is nothing new.

But we are used to misleading innuendo from the Morning News.  What makes this case worse, the original version of the story this morning read, “Eddie Reeves, a Parkland board member who was absent for the unanimous vote on the agreement Tuesday, told The News he isn’t familiar with the contract’s wording but expects the lobbying effort to be “more policy [oriented] than regulatory.” 

But just this afternoon, the story was updated to read, A big question: Will Holland & Knight be lobbying the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services or other government officials to try to somehow modify the monitoring process or seek leniency?  Parkland officials won’t say.  As readers of this blog know, they have consistently refused to divulge detailed information about the monitoring process or answer most questions that may pertain to it, usually citing fears of litigation.”

So, in the later version, the Morning News removed Mr. Reeve’s quotes and claimed that Parkland officials “won’t say.”

Both stories fail to note that Mr. Reeves specifically told the reporter that our advocacy firm would not be involvedwith the systems improvement agreement or corrective action plan we currently have with CMS.