Los Angeles County Will Reject Some Expenses Submitted by Hospital Consulting Firm
The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services will reject more than $300,000 of the $1.3 million in expenses Navigant Consulting has submitted related to the consulting firm's work at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, county DHS Director Thomas Garthwaite said on Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports. Navigant is working under a one-year, $15 million contract to implement reforms at King/Drew, which is owned by Los Angeles County.
A Times review of expenses Navigant submitted found that reimbursements had been requested for the same flight twice and that reimbursement was sought for flights that were never taken. In addition, the Times review raised questions about rental car fees, other travel expenses and "conflicting accounts of how much time Navigant employees spent at the hospital."
Kae Robertson, Navigant project executive at King/Drew, said that some expenses had been billed improperly but attributed them to errors by Navigant's accounting department and to county requirements for paper receipts rather than Navigant's electronic billing (Weber/Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 9/23).
Supervisor Mike Antonovich said the county should delay all payments to Navigant until county auditors have confirmed that the county has received services it has paid for and reviewed expenses submitted by Navigant. Antonovich also plans to introduce on Tuesday a motion to ask county attorneys, county DHS and the county auditor to assess whether "Navigant has engaged in any illegal activities in its billings to the county and to forward any identified problems to the district attorney for investigation" (Weber, Los Angeles Times, 9/24).