Oklahoma House committee to meet over state health department use of $30M in taxpayer money: 6 things to know

The Oklahoma State Department of Health is under scrutiny by lawmakers for apparent mismanagement of funds, according to a KOKH report. 

Here are six things to know.

1. The issue stems from the agency's financial struggles.

2. In a November department news release, Interim Commissioner Preston Doerflinger, who took over as agency head earlier this year after Terry Cline resigned, acknowledged over-expenditures dating back to approximately 2011.

"Many different accounting tricks were employed to trade and borrow funds from different accounts and accounting periods were left open for multiple years. The actions were able to go undetected by submitting budgets which appeared to be balanced to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services," the release states.

3. Now, the Oklahoma House Special Investigation Committee is probing the health department's apparent mismanagement of $30 million in taxpayer money, according to the report. Additionally, the agency is under audit by the state.

4. KOKH reports a committee meeting on the investigation involving other state officials in addition to the governor's office and Mr. Doerflinger is slated for Monday.

5. Health department spokesperson Tony Sellars said the agency had no comment on the House committee and referred Becker's to the November news release, which outlines various planned corrective actions.

6. Meanwhile, Republican Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has signed legislation for a $30 million dollar supplemental appropriation to the health department. This money ensures agency employees will be paid through June 30, 2018.

 

 

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