Hospital funds misused?

12/03/2010 - STATE auditors found deficiencies in the financial management of the Talisay District Hospital (TDH) that resulted in over P200,000 in unsettled disallowances and revenue losses.


The rest of the Commission on Audit (COA) 2009 report dwelt on technicalities, such as the use of “inconsistent” accounting methods, non-submission of monthly billing and other inappropriate practices in income recording.


COA said the lack of supporting evidence to prove that TDH employees’ incentives via the approved collective negotiation agreement (CNA) stemmed from savings of cost-cutting measures.


The audit report also mentioned TDH‘s failure to earmark at least five percent of its total budget for the Gender and Development (GAD) program.


In its verification, COA found audit disallowances of the government-run hospital as of Dec. 31 last year. It said the auditor’s summary of disallowances totaled P202,063.50, representing “unbooked audit disallowances.”


COA recommended compliance with Sections 7.1.1(b) and 7.1.4 of Circular 2009-006 that requires the head of agency, retiring and transferring employees to ensure the settlement of disallowances and charges within the prescribed period. The settlement of audit disallowances includes withholding of salaries, as well as the accountant’s proper monitoring and maintenance of updated subsidiary ledgers of each employee.


Philhealth


The Philhealth’s disallowance of hospital claims also resulted in revenue losses of
the hospital, amounting to P17,967, COA said.


The COA report blamed failure of the TDH billing section to comply with Philhealth’s requirements and to review the accuracy of information in Phil-health forms.


COA said TDH failed to recover in full from Philhealth the P405,593 that represents the total cost of rendered medical services, leaving a disallowance of P17,967.


“The amount of dis-allowance...only indicates the apparent leniency of the billing section in implementing Philhealth policies,” it said.


COA reported, though, that TDH is making “comprehensive changes” on Philhealth’s procedures to prevent future denial of claims.


Also, COA reminded TDH to record all its income earned from medical services through the accrual method of accounting, “whereby a receivable account is set up and appropriate income account is recorded at the time it is earned.”


It required the submission of duly-signed and pre-numbered charge slips to the billing section, which in turn, prepares overall billing statements of hospital charges.


“Management should immediately identify solutions and implement subsequently the new format and procedures in the Billing Section,” it said.


Workers’s bonus


In the same report, COA said the propriety of the P844,087.74 payment of CNA incentive “remains doubtful” due to lack of supporting proof.


It noted the hospital management’s failure to attach the adopted cost-cutting measures and parameters in generating the savings which were used as payment of the employees’ CNA incentives.


Thus, it required TDH to submit duly quantified evidence showing that the savings indeed stemmed from its adopted belt-tightening measures.


As to GAD program, COA recommended the allocation of at least five percent of the TDH total budget appropriation to comply with the law.


General Provisions of RA 9534, the 2000 Appropriation Law, mandate all departments and its attached agencies to formulate a GAD plan and budget designed to address gender issues with the concerned sectors.


The move is in line with the country’s commitment to pursue women empowerment and gender equality in the country. (Sun Star)

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