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Review of the Hurricane Katrina Health-Care-Related Professional Workforce Supply Grant for the Greater New Orleans Area

We are not able to express an opinion on $26 million that the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals, Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health (the Bureau), awarded during the period March 1 through December 31, 2007, because we discovered after our fieldwork was complete that practitioner contracts may have been improperly signed. Apart from the possibility of improper signatures, of the $5.3 million that the Bureau awarded to 100 sampled awardees during the period, $1.4 million was not awarded in accordance with the grant terms to 20 awardees. Based on our sample results, we estimated that the Bureau did not award $5.8 million of grant funds to 85 awardees in accordance with the grant terms for the period March 1 through December 31, 2007. The $50 million Federal grant, which covered the period March 1, 2007, through September 30, 2012, funded payments to licensed health care professionals for retention and recruitment in communities impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

We recommended, among other things, that the Bureau cancel the undistributed awards related to the $1.4 million in grant awards that were not awarded in accordance with the grant terms and credit the grant account for distributed awards. The Bureau generally agreed with our findings and recommendations.

Filed under: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services