- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 6, 2014

PINEVILLE, La. (AP) - A state audit report shows the impact on Central Louisiana State Hospital in Pineville from the downsizing of a mental health facility in Mandeville.

The report, conducted by the Louisiana State Auditor, evaluated the use of public funds at Central from July 1, 2012 through April 14, 2014. The Town Talk reports (http://townta.lk/1j71OCc ) it shows significantly increased activity at the inpatient behavioral health facility from fiscal year 2012 to 2013.

The average daily patient count at Central went from just over 50 in FY 2012 to nearly 100 in FY 2013.

Operating expenses went from less than $25 million to nearly $30 million.

Total revenue went from just over $25 million to more than $30 million, even though state appropriations dropped by more than $3 million over that period. The big driver in revenue was a doubling of Medicare revenue, from a little more than $10 million to more than $20 million.

The influx of patients and revenue can be traced to the closing of Southeast Louisiana Hospital in Mandeville. The state announced the closing in 2012 of the facility, which has since reopened under a new name and under private management, but on a much smaller scale.

State health officials started transferring patients from Mandeville to Central and East Louisiana State Hospital in Jackson late in 2012. To deal with the increased patient load, Central’s “intermediate beds” - a designation for patients who are expected to have extended stays - was doubled from 60 to 120 and nearly 50 employees were added.

After evaluating Central’s operations and system of internal control and financial activity, auditors “found no issues significant enough to require disclosure.”

“We evaluated controls and transactions relating to procurement cards, patient accounts, patient billing, movable property, payroll expenditures, professional services contracts, and Integrated Statewide Information System user access,” the report stated. “We found those controls provide reasonable accountability over public funds.”

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Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, http://www.thetowntalk.com