The Herald Bulletin

December 13, 2013

Health center requests federal review of operations

By Ken de la Bastide The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ANDERSON — The Madison County Community Health Center has requested that its operations be audited by the the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The center, 1547 Ohio Ave., is routinely the recipient of various state and federal monies.

However, the Indiana State Department of Health said in October it would not renew a grant agreement for children’s vaccines until certain stipulations were met, including the dismissal of health center CEO Anthony Malone and payment to the state for misused vaccine.

Also, a federal lawsuit by a former employee charges that the health center fraudulently obtained grants. Dr. Nilda Durany’s federal complaint says some grants were based on improperly generated patient counts and improper conduct in writing prescriptions for controlled drugs.

The board of directors of the health center has asked HRSA to conduct a thorough audit of its medical, financial and administrative operations and governance practices. That audit is to start Jan. 27.

According to the HRSA website, the health center received grants totaling $3,050,516 from 2010 through 2013. An additional $52,251 has been approved for 2014.

HRSA is the primary federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable. The agency maintains databases that protect against health care malpractice and health care waste, fraud and abuse.

Board minutes requested

In addition, The Herald Bulletin requested from the health center copies of the minutes of the board of directors meetings from Jan. 1, 2011, through Dec. 1, 2013, under provisions of the Indiana Open Records law.

Health Center attorney Bill Norton responded that copies of the minutes will be made available, adding that some of the board minutes are not currently in the health center’s possession.

Norton explained that the board minutes were among records seized during a Sept. 24 raid of the health center offices in Anderson and Elwood. The attorney noted that he mailed a letter on Tuesday to Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller requesting the return of the minutes.

“These documents are essential to the (HRSA) reviewers’ work in accessing the extent of the Madison County Community Health Center’s federal compliances, as well as making a determination of areas of needed improvement,” Norton wrote in the letter to Zoeller.