A new audit of Columbia University Medical Center has revealed that it has been given over $100 million of city money for work it can't prove it provided, according to City Comptroller John Liu. Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) prepaid Columbia $109 million to provide health care for Harlem Hospital during 2008 and 2009, but record-keeping was so terrible that there is no proof most of the work was ever done.
Harlem Hospital got into trouble earlier this year when it came out that 4,000 echocardiogram tests were never read by doctors making a diagnosis, and at least 200 people who received those unread tests died.
While Liu lambasted the "loosey-goosey" nature of the dealings, the HHC and Columbia put out a joint statement refuting the comptroller's claims: "Many of the report's primary assumptions and conclusions are grossly misleading and inaccurate." That said, we've been thinking of all the imaginary things that Columbia could have secretly been using the money for, such as coyote-wrangling, hiring joke-writers, or, who knows, storming the beaches of Manhattanville.