Millions in new and used state-owned LSU hospital equipment is not properly accounted for, the Louisiana legislative auditor said in a report released Monday.
The list includes $15 million-plus worth of equipment the state bought for the University Medical Center in New Orleans, as well as $1 million in equipment UMC’s private partner used while it operated the Interim Hospital.
In addition, more than $4.6 million in property from the closed LSU Earl K. Long Medical Center in Baton Rouge cannot be located.
The findings are included in a financial audit of the LSU Health Sciences Center — Health Care Services Division for the fiscal year that ended June 30. HCSD has leases with six private hospital partners now managing LSU hospitals. The private partners lease both buildings and some equipment as part of Jindal administration deals privatizing operations of the charity hospitals.
All equipment worth more than $1,000 is supposed to be tagged and its location logged in the state’s asset management system. There’s an annual check to see if the property is still where it’s supposed to be.
“In the end, all of it needs to be properly accounted for and it’s not,” Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera said Monday.
Officials at HCSD agreed with the audit findings and said steps are underway to locate and tag the state property.
The University Medical Center problem came about because of an omission by the state Office of Facilities Planning and Control. The agency bought $15.1 million in new hospital equipment but has never given LSU’s Health Care Services Division or the New Orleans hospital’s private operator — Louisiana Children’s Medical Center — invoices listing what equipment was purchased and how much it cost.
“Nobody right now can put their hands on a list and find the property. Because we don’t have a list, it may not be there. It may never have been there,” Purpera said.
Late Monday, HCSD official Jerry Jones said the agency is confident the $15 million equipment is not missing.
Jones said the items referred to in the audit report is part of more than $100 million of equipment being used in the hospital, and is being entered into the inventory system.
“The time lag for entry is due to the volume of items needing entry but that process is taking place,” he said. “The equipment has been received with documented receiving reports and, according to the University Medical Center Management Corp., the equipment is in the hospital and has been tagged.”
In the Earl K. Long matter, HCSD was unable to locate $4.68 million in state property that Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center did not want to lease when it took over hospital operations in Baton Rouge.
Purpera said the auditor’s office was told that some of the property went to hospital clinics and some of it was stored in big containers.
“But they did not make a list where they were putting stuff,” he said.
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