Federal Auditors Asks Indiana Department of Health to Return Nearly $800,000 in HIV/AIDS Funding That Was Spent Incorrectly
The Indiana Department of Health owes the federal government $784,499 in incorrectly spent money that was meant to help underinsured people with HIV/AIDS, according to the results of a federal audit, the Indianapolis Star reports. The audit found that the department was liable for the money because AIDServe Indiana, a group that distributes grant dollars to about a dozen organizations that support underinsured people with HIV/AIDS, "inappropriately shifted" funds to non-HIV-related causes. In addition, the auditors said that they could not locate "proper documentation" for an additional $5.3 million in federal money given to the department. State officials disputed the amount of money identified by the audit and said that the department was only liable for $339,000, which should be collected by the federal government in the form of reclaiming leftover grants or reducing future grants. Michael Hurst, Indiana deputy health commissioner, said that the problem was that "AIDServe actually overserved," adding that the organization did use the federal money for "other purposes" (Penner, Indianapolis Star, 6/14). In 1998, AIDServe was awarded a contract to administer the disbursement of Indiana's allocation of the Ryan White CARE Act, a federal grant named after teenager Ryan White, who lived in Indiana. The grant money was intended to assist underinsured people living with HIV/AIDS. AIDServe was the only organization serving the roughly 900 Indiana residents with HIV/AIDS through a statewide network of service providers. The organization closed in November 2000 due to pressure from the state and mounting debt and filed for bankruptcy in June 2001 with outstanding debts of $922,000 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/6/01).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.