Millions in hospital equipment unaccounted for in Baton Rouge, New Orleans

Millions in hospital equipment unaccounted for in Baton Rouge, New Orleans

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - An annual report from the LA Legislative Auditor of LSU Health System finds that its Health Care Services Division unaccounted for over $20 million in new equipment bought by the state.

"We have money being spent, public tax dollars money being spent, and we don't know where the property is that we paid for," said Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera.

$15 million comes from the University Medical Center in New Orleans, $4 million from the old Earl K. Long Medical Center in Baton Rouge, and another $1 million from Louisiana Children's Medical Center.

When asked how it happened, Purpera told 9News, "It happens because you didn't follow the rules and regulations. It happens because individuals used state money, they bought the property, and then they didn't care enough about it to go out and actually track it."

Purpera says unaccounted equipment in New Orleans could be very well be in the hospital, but there's no way to prove that.

As for the missing equipment at Earl K. Long, he says it could be in one of three LSU Health clinics in Baton Rouge. Responding to the audit, LSU Health promises it will now take a corrective action to find and report all missing items.

The auditor says any further investigation will come internally through LSU Health and no one will likely face criminal charges. "There's no evidence that anybody did this from a perspective of trying to commit a crime or anything like that. It's more so just neglect," says Purpera.

Late Monday afternoon, 9News was given another response from LSU Health.

Representatives say nothing is missing from UMC in New Orleans and all the equipment in question has now been tagged.

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