Auditors are chiding Nashville General Hospital for lax use of credit cards, racking up $400,000 in charges over two years without much documentation to support the spending. The findings are part of a broader audit, monitoring progress in the cash-strapped hospital paying its bills on time.
For the most part, General Hospital is staying current on its obligations — which has been a problem for years as the city-funded facility runs a deficit, in many years requiring a cash-infusion. Most bills are being paid within 60 days.
The one exception to the improvement, pointed out by Metro auditors, is a $4 million outstanding debt to Meharry Medical College, which owns building. The hospital just made lease payments dating back to 2014.
In terms of credit card use, auditors found that over two years, nearly $22,000 was spent on food from Jason's Deli and another $20,000 on movie tickets, which are given out on employee birthdays. And there were very few receipts kept for air travel, printing and rental expenses.
In response to the findings, General Hospital's financial officials say that effective immediately, all credit card spending will have to be approved by the CEO's office until a new procedure is in place.
The hospital's shaky finances have been heavily scrutinized in the last year, after former Mayor Megan Barry proposed shutting down the facility's inpatient services. Many elected officials help fight off closure but have not yet come up with a plan to make the hospital less dependent on city taxpayers.