The Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans did not adequately document the financial eligibility of at least 43 HIV patients receiving care through a federal grant program, according to a legislative auditor’s report released Monday.
The omission resulted in “questioned costs” of $67,000 on which federal officials could seek reimbursement, the audit report concluded.
“Noncompliance with federal regulations increases the possibility of disallowed costs that must be returned” to the federal government, auditors wrote.
Federal regulations and state guidelines require documentation from the clients that they are qualified to be treated for HIV under the terms of the grant.
The guidelines required the medical center to obtain documentation of Louisiana residency, financial need and to recertify patients’ ability every six months, the report said.
The auditor’s test of records of 43 HIV patients found there was incomplete verification of financial need; 37 were not properly recertified for treatment; and 18 of the 43 did not have a valid Louisiana driver’s license or other support of residency.
The federal grant came through the state Department of Health and Hospitals to the medical center.
The report said the medical center is no longer responsible for determining eligibility for the HIV program.
But the auditor recommended that the medical center attempt to obtain the missing documentation for clients who are still receiving assistance, “provide any necessary access to expiration dates to pharmacy personnel” and work with federal and state agencies to resolve the $67,000 in questioned costs.