Millions in State Hospital Equipment Unlocated

Dec 28, 2015

The Legislative Auditor says there are some inventory problems with the LSU Health Care Services Division. 

"HCSD [Health Care Services Division] did not ensure that fifteen million in property purchases for University Medical Center New Orleans were tagged and entered into state’s asset management system," says Wes Gooch, with the Legislative Auditor's Office. 

He said there were similar issues with the LSU public-private partner in Baton Rouge. Since Our Lady of the Lake took control in 2013, the state has been unable to locate $4.6 million of the $5.9 million in equipment not leased by the private partner, or 75% of the property. 

At a Legislative Audit Advisory meeting, State Senator Edwin Murray asked what exactly 'unlocated' meant. "The audit doesn’t assume that the equipment isn’t there anymore, it just hasn’t been tagged?" he asks.

"Absolutely," responded Gooch.

Jerry Jones is the Director of Facility Planning and Management for Health Care Services Division. He's confident the equipment will be located. "It’s going to get done. We know it’s at the hospital," he says.

Where exactly? They don’t know. State rules say that the medical equipment should have been tagged and logged within sixty days of receiving it. Jones says that is unrealistic in a two million square foot hospital that’s caring for patients.

"It’ll probably be six months before that can happen in this kind of facility. In a typical state agency environment, sixty days is more than reasonable.  But for a facility of this size and scope, the expectation to be able to do that in sixty days is not really realistic," he explains.

The LSU Hospitals aren’t the only one with this problem. A new audit of the Recovery School District says they’re still not keeping track of their equipment. This is the ninth year for that finding.