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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Psychiatric hospital overpays doctor almost $72,000

Martha Bellisle Associated Press

SEATTLE – A state audit has found that a physician at Western State Hospital was paid almost $72,000 for hours that he did not work.

An investigation by the Washington state Auditor’s office says the doctor was overpaid because he didn’t work one of his scheduled days and failed to turn in leave slips for those hours. The audit, released Thursday, says the overpayments occurred between 2011 and 2015. Auditors also investigated the hospital’s procedures for ensuring that doctors properly track their hours.

They found that the psychiatric hospital failed to adequately monitor its doctors’ time and attendance. Hospital management also failed to notify the auditor’s office when it suspected a loss of public funds, as the law requires.

Money will be taken out of the doctor’s paycheck until the funds are returned. The hospital says it has made changes to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

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