The Louisiana Hospital Association has made changes to its accounting practices after a private audit released Monday noted shortcomings in its travel, expense reimbursement, gift and other policies.
The findings came in an audit of the LHA Research and Education Foundation.
While the association had a written expense reimbursement policy, auditors said, “We noted ... that the association’s actual practice of reimbursing expenses is not consistent with what is written in the existing written policy.”
An accounting firm handling the audit found some expense reimbursements paid without proper documentation and others paid for ineligible items.
In other instances, there was “inconsistency in practice of what is reimbursed,” according to a letter to the association’s Board of Trustees.
The association had no gift policy although it was not uncommon for it to offer gifts to members for their service. The accounting firm recommended adoption of a gift policy that spells out who can authorize a gift, when gifts are expected to be distributed and that all gifts will be reported as taxable income to the IRS.
The association then recommended guidelines of a maximum of $500 a year for the outgoing board chairman and a maximum of $300 a year for current board members.
The firm also recommended a review of association policies related to employees receipt of honorarium, travel or other expenses by a third party while they are also being paid by the association.
The audit found that in some instances employees were personally keeping honorarium.
Under a new policy, the association will no longer allow employees to accept honorarium or fees for speaking.
In addition, according to the policy, “Employees receiving payments for services from an outside party at the same time that they are being paid by the Association should disclose this to the CEO in writing for review on a case by case basis.”