Louisiana hospital overstated expected collections by $8.9M, audit finds

Marrero, La.-based West Jefferson Medical Center overestimated anticipated hospital collections by $8.9 million in 2014 prior to leasing the hospital to a private operator, according to the New Orleans Advocate, which cited a recent audit by Ernst and Young.

Other financial statements produced by the parish-owned medical center were off the mark as well, including the hospital's net position, which was revised downward by $7.4 million.

The erroneous 2014 financials were the basis for the terms of a $500 million deal between WJMC and New Orleans, La.-based LCMC Health, the private operator.

The audit revealed poor protocols but found no evidence of intentional manipulation of the financial statements prior to the lease agreement.

"The biggest thing we were looking for was whether there was any sinister activity or intentional under-reporting or anything like that," Chris Roberts, a parish council chairman, told the New Orleans Advocate. "I don't see that to be the case."

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