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March 29, 2011

County Hospital Audit Finds Widespread Financial Deficiencies and Lost Gross Billing of Up To $6.5 Million

NHCC issued about $4 million in contracts without proper bid procedures

Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos released the findings of an audit of the Nassau Health Care Corporation / NuHealth (NHCC) during a press conference in Mineola today. Among the findings were systemic billing errors that resulted in lost gross charges of up to $6.5 million, contracts issued without following the proper bid procedures, improper incentive payments to vendors made prior to work completion, excessive overtime in certain departments and overbilling to the County of $47,828 for termination pay.

“The numerous issues uncovered and their significant cost implications have compromised NHCC’s fiscal health and may compromise its ability to continue fulfilling its mission to provide medical care to the community and the indigent,” Comptroller Maragos said. “The significant billing errors, circumvention of procurement policies and inadequate controls need to be remedied immediately.”

 The audit conducted by the Comptroller’s Office covered 2009 through June  2010. The major findings included:

 Pre-billing errors or incomplete billing resulted in the NHCC having unbilled patient services amounting up to $6.5 million accumulated as of December 31, 2009,

Contract Amendments for about $4 million were procured without the required bidding process,

Excessive overtime allowed for non-medical employees in some cases earning over 100% of base pay. Instances were noted where employees approved their own overtime,

Unauthorized vehicles were allowed to receive free fuel, and a personal vehicle was allowed to be fueled without written authorization, and

NHCC overcharged Nassau County $47,828 in billing of termination pay.

Comptroller George Maragos concluded that, “the County Hospital operates with very thin margins and cannot afford to overlook operating inefficiencies and billing errors in the millions. It is important to note that the quality of the health care at the hospital was never in question. The hospital provides high quality care to our community.”

PDF File Limited Review of Nassau Health Care Corporation