St. Louis Health Department Lost Federal HIV/AIDS Funds Because of Missed Deadline, Audit Report Says
The St. Louis Health Department lost $207,000 in federal funding for HIV/AIDS services because officials missed deadlines for reimbursement, according to an audit report, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. In addition, the health department's "shoddy bookkeeping" caused the agency to "nearly forfeit[t]" $3 million in federal HIV/AIDS grants. At the request of Mayor Francis Slay (D), accounting firm Rubin, Brown, Gornstein & Co. in April began reviewing the department's operations with the intention of making recommendations about how it could better manage its finances. The firm on Friday reported that the health department had 320 unprocessed invoices totaling $180,000 and that 40 of the health department's 44 grants were not in compliance with state reporting requirements. City officials said that the health department did not turn away anyone seeking HIV/AIDS services but added that city money, instead of federal money, was used to pay for those services when the agency missed federal reimbursement deadlines. Comptroller Darlene Green, who oversaw the review, said that all of the financial problems have now been corrected and the department is now "running more efficiently" (Moore, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 8/31).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.