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Apr 6, 2010 1:11 PM by Melissa Canone

Billing Problems At 3 LSU-Operated Hospitals

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A legislative auditor's report issued
Monday found medical billing problems at three LSU-operated
hospitals.
The Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans, University
Medical Center at Lafayette and Lallie Kemp Regional Medical Center
at Independence "failed to adequately bill and record certain
hospital professional services" provided to patients, the auditor
said.
The auditor noted several problems, including inadequate control
over financial reporting, an energy efficient contract that
violates state law, inability to locate movable property and
inadequate controls over consumable inventory.
The lack of financial oversight led to the overpayment of
$346,715 in commissions to Healthcare Financial Services a company
hired to do professional service billings for the New Orleans
hospital, the auditor said. Some $135,021 has been recouped but
$211,694 is still owed, the report said.
In another instance, the hospital did not ensure that all
medical professionals submitting bills were properly credentialed
and eligible for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. Once
re-credentialed, Medicare and Medicaid will only allow limited
back-billing of charges.
The auditor said the hospital had 77 physicians who fit into the
category resulting as of November 2009 in back-billing of $420,000
with $115,000 considered collectible.
At UMC in Lafayette, the auditor found the hospital failed to
bill certain professional contract services and certain
professional services provided by its own employees since fiscal
year 2007. The hospital estimated $397,000 in services were not
billed in fiscal year 2009 of which about $60,000 remains
collectible.
At Lallie Kemp, officials failed to timely bill an estimated
$700,000, billed other charges more than 300 days late and has no
controls to ensure that all charges are billed and collected for
professional services, the auditor said.
LSU officials said corrective action is under way. LSU Health
Care Services Division chief Roxane Townsend laid out specific
plans for each hospital.
The auditor said Lafayette and Independence hospitals' energy
efficient contracts with Johnson Controls Inc. do not comply with
state law. They do not ensure verifiable savings and that
guaranteed savings are realized, the auditor said.
LSU System Chief Financial Officer John Antolik said LSU has
retained legal counsel and an industry expert in an effort to
resolve the problem.
"The LSU System is taking all necessary steps to prepare for
litigation to remedy the situation by nullifying the agreements,
forcing amendments to the agreements or recovering for breach of
the agreements," Antolik said.

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