Audit: Metro General Shows Financial, Money Management Issues

Posted at 12:23 PM, Dec 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-16 19:29:46-05

Despite budgetary problems, safety-net hospital Metro General faces mismanagement and financial recording issues, according to a recent audit.

The struggling hospital in North Nashville recently became a controversial topic after Mayor Megan Barry announced she would try to convince the council to turn the Metro General into an outpatient clinic, instead of a full service hospital.

The hospital has faced many years of budgetary problems. The city has funded the hospital in 2017, as well as many years past - as much as $50 million per-year. 

Those budget shortfalls were highlighted in the independent audit, conducted by Crosslin Certified Public Accountants. Also mentioned were mismanagement of many of the hospitals financial statements, but the Chief Executive Officer of Metro General argues that's not true.

"There is no financial mismanagement, and if there was I should know about it first hand. I was present for that audit. There did not seem to be the concern of financial mismanagement," said Dr. Joseph Webb, Metro General Hospital, CEO.

The auditors questioned whether or not continuing operation of the hospital could be possible with these issues.

Though the audit does show improvements in the hospital's systems in the previous year, auditors suggest the hospital worked to keep these errors from continuing.

Supporters of the hospital said the reason the audit reflects so poorly on the hospital is because it was not funded properly in the first place.

"When you look at what Metro Council asked for last year, we asked for finance to get involved in this conversation with Metro General, simply because we knew we needed to understand where the dollars and the cents were going," said Metro Councilman Steve Glover. "There's nobody on the council that's happy about having to give millions and millions of dollars in subsidies, but I think there's a lot of us on the council who understand if we're not paying it there, we're going to be writing indigent funds and indigent checks."

Read the full audit here.