Wednesday, December 31, 2008

If You Snooze...2/23

The Snooze came through--in their typical fashion. Hard-hitting journalism? Ah, well.... At least the site got a mention.

The Essent-PRMC lawsuit against the operator of began in June 2007 when the hospital accused the anonymous blogger of wrongful conduct in publishing information detrimental to the hospital and violating patient confidentiality, and obtained a court order to force the blogger’s Internet service provider, Suddenlink, to reveal the name of its client.

Days before the end of 2007, the blogger’s attorney sought and was granted a writ from the Court of Appeals negating the previous court order. The Court of Appeals held there is no precedent in Texas to give the trial court the authority to issue such an order, and that several courts have noted that Internet anonymity serves a particularly vital role in the exchange of ideas and robust debate on matters of public concern. The Court also ruled that the hospital must first prove the statements are not true and then prove they are harmful to the hospital.

In March 2008, the two sides were back in court, and were given 14 days to present written arguments to the court.

Since that time there has been little movement in the case. In September of this year, Essent’s lawyers filed an affidavit stating a team of computer analysts hired by the hospital were unsuccessful in a forensic search for the blogger’s identity.

Could it be that the hospital is intent on stating to the court that they (the court) are its only resource in finding me?

It would seem that they ought to concentrate on the two stipulations of the appellate court: Truth of statements, and financial impact. But, then again, maybe they have...and come up short.

They know that I have some interesting sources--local and elsewhere. What's problematic is the anonimity of the comments. One of the things that was probably verified with the forensic group was that there is no track-back on the anonymous commenting. Speaking of 'in the dark,' the Snooze (with some prodding) even climbed on their case for keeping the community in the dark (Andy and Hud dismissals, holiday layoffs, and more....) And most (if not all) of the calls have been dead-on.

As to financials, with the recession 'officially' starting in 2007, what is their baseline? Sounds like global warming to me. (Something you really can't prove, but you know it exists!)

The biggest factor in fostering a poor image was the publicity created by the lawsuit itself. The number of hits jumped a hundred-fold.

Sooooo...stay tuned in the New Year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Wishes....1/7

May the spirit of Christmas fill your life.

May you enjoy the rewards of an unselfish act.

May you remember and honor those that are serving in the military, far from their loved ones, and pray for their safe return.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Looking Back....1/1

It's traditional to look back at this time of year. Did you realize that Hud has been gone over a year? And Knizley almost two? Both are still bringing in a significant number of hits from the search engines.

If you look back at the blog posts from November 2007, you'll see several things that are pertinant to today: Sub-prime loans (GE Capital), Dux's B.P.M., Essent's vision, receptiveness to suggestions, and contemplation about the move to the North--in April(--of '08). In December, the lawsuit was still open, and the possiblity of selling Essent was being bandied about.

The new year brought the touting of new radiologists--one leaving before he really started and the other out-going.

The RHCs imploding. From what I've heard, the non-affiliated RHCs in Bogata and Honey Grove are doing well. PRMC is still looking to fill the Cooper Clinic spot. (No longer, Cooper closed this week.)

Speculation about downsizing...

A listing of red ink for Essent. (A side note, the other hospitals are reporting for the fourth quarter of 2007, while PRMC is only listing the third. Wonder what changes will be displayed when they finally update?) (A director pay cut of 10%...)

And another article hit the media, this time from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. An excerpt from Guarding the unnamed writers of the Internet

"The blogger, using the pseudonym “Frank Pasquale,” was sued in 2007 for defamation when he posted critical remarks about a local hospital on his blog, The Paris-Site. The blog focuses on issues related to Paris Regional Medical Center, ranging from the hospital’s budget concerns to a broader debate over universal health care.

Essent Healthcare, Inc., the owner of the hospital, didn’t like what was being said on the site, so it sued Pasquale and nine other anonymous bloggers for defamation and breach of contract, among other claims.

The corporation sent a subpoena to the owner of the blog, SuddenLink Communications, seeking Pasquale’s true identity.

Pasquale fears that revealing his identity will cost him his job in the health care industry and he has been fighting to quash the subpoena ever since. The case is pending.

“In a small town, and dealing with what once was the largest employer, one has to be careful,” Pasquale said."

They did neglect to mention that the appellate court rejected the decision.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Well, I've heard the person said 30 were being let go, another 50, and just now: 80. The hospital is rife with rumors...and all based on the point of view.

It's sort of like the economy: When it's your neighbor that's out of a job, it's a recession. When it's you without the job, it's a depression.

Somehow I don't think that I would get much of an answer if I called and asked for an exclusive. However, you'd think that instead of running a winter fluff piece, the Snooze would ask Essent for the real scoop. No one with eyes has any doubts that we've had slick conditions and freezing rain. Finding out what is in store for community health would seem to be more appropriate.

Possibly asking Dux as he returns from Valhalla...?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Living Forever

The internet is a great resource, but one must filter some of the content. Part of the problem with the internet is the tendancy for information to outlast its usefullness. Or validity.

Case in point:
Christus St Joseph Foundation. Should you go to this site, your expectations would be considerably different than reality. And, had you depended on the calendar of events, you might have been trying to vote on the 6th of November.

The disturbing thing is that the date listed for "last updated" is 6/12/2006 (or is that a 8? Small print.) In either case, it would appear to be dated information.

When we see it on the net, we expect it to be current. That's the main reason the newspapers are having such a hard time: Yesterday's news printed today. And in some cases, tomorrow.

But, I digress. If you google a topic, you'll receive an example of what I mean. Almost anything you pick is going to have "cached" listed on some of the hits...meaning, not current.

Kind of the reason that I put a date after the post topic--it gives you a reference as to when the last comment was made.

But, the information from the posts and comments is going to be around for a long time. Far longer than Essent wants it to be, possibly far longer than I want it to be....

Monday, December 08, 2008


I received a comment that was a bit convoluted, but the essence was: How do you pour a gallon of water into a pint jar?

The South Campus (St Jo, Holy House, whatever) has more beds, always did. The modifications to the North Campus (Big Mac) probably lost some beds. So how do you move a staff into a facility that is perpetually going to be low-censused without losing people? don't, without a physical expansion of the hospital. I haven't seen a lot of dirt flying, have you?

They also pointed out that some of the equipment is fairly antiquated--the MRI, X-ray machines, Lab, and the like, and while some could be dis-assembled from South, and moved to North, those also have the age factor to deal with. That and moving such equipment is a significant cost in itself. Maybe GE Capital can get GE Medical to cut them a deal...hah!

I wonder if the old animosities will rear up again. That was a big spanner in the works when Essent purchased the hospital(s). Something that they discounted in the initial evaluation for purchase--much to their chagrin. The controversy over the "Women's Center" is what drove the hospital sale, that and the money pit the combination of the two hospitals had become.

And how is the St Joseph's Foundation going to take this? Big Mac wins? Seem like an ignoble end to the guilt trip laid on an order of nuns oh so many years ago. To quote from the Grateful Dead, "Lately it occurs to me What a long, strange trip it's been...."