Auditor: LSU may have violated state Constitution in handling of contracts

    A report released today by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor found that the LSU board and administration may have violated the state Constitution and had conflicts of interest when it contracted with a private company to commercialize an LSU-developed health care software.

    The legislative auditor determined LSU did not follow its own established practices and by-laws when creating agreements with Louisiana Health Information Technology Foundation to market and sell software called Clinical InQuiry, which lets doctors access patient records via a secure internet portal.

    The auditor found that three licensing agreements for the software were not brought to the LSU Board of Supervisors for formal approval. Additionally, in its agreements with LaHIT, LSU gave the organization control of the agreement and of the terms for any sub-licensing contracts, which not only is a constitutional violation but also potentially prevents LSU from receiving full royalties for the technology.

    Also, according to the audit, arrangements adopted by LSU to license the Clinical InQuiry software to HarmonIQ Health Systems Corporation created potential conflicts of interest involving an LSU official and employees.  

    LSU President F. King Alexander requested the state audit in April 2018, after an internal audit found several policy and procedural issues within the LaHIT contracts. As of March, LaHIT still exists as a non-profit foundation but is listed as inactive by the Louisiana Secretary of State.  

    In a letter to Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera, Alexander wrote that the LSU administration concurs with the audit’s findings and recommendations that the university adheres to its own standards and get formal approval for such agreements in the future.

    “It is unfortunate that the actions of one individual (LSU’s former executive vice president of health care and medical education redesign) operating at various times outside of the boundaries of his position led to a situation where LSU was placed at potential risk for conflicts of interest and other potential liabilities,” Alexander wrote. “However, we have since adjusted our administrative and governance structures in a manner that will prevent this from occurring again.” Read the full report.

     

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