Audit: L.A. Care Health Plan Execs Spent Funds on Lavish Dinners and Parties
A first ever audit of the publicly funded Los Angeles County health access provider, L.A. Care Health Plan, has uncovered excessive and frivolous spending on the part of agency executives, according to L.A. County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.
Antonovich called for the review in January, due to concerns over a lack of agency oversight. Among other things, the probe revealed $476,000 in spending on lavish dinners, alcohol, and entertainment over the past 16 months. The agency also spent $12,400 alone on going away parties and luncheons for former L.A. Care CEO Howard Kahn.
“L.A. Care was created to make health care accessible to our county’s most vulnerable populations — not to be a personal credit card for the entertainment of its CEO and Governing Board,” Antonovich said in a statement. “The continued arrogance to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on expensive meals and liquor while patients needing care wait in long lines for service is unconscionable.”
L.A. Care Board Chairman Thomas Horowitz has defended the agency’s actions, saying the expenditures are comparable to similar agencies in other counties. Furthermore, he added, the organization has been in the process of making improvements since last year.
L.A. Care Health Plan is a public agency tasked with providing affordable coverage to more than a million low-income residents throughout the county. It is the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan, administering over $4 billion in public funds, and is one of the plans offered by Covered California.
Supervisor Antonovich joined the L.A. Care Board late last year.
Read more about the recent audit here.