February 9, 2007 at 7:31 pm Leave a comment


Trust comes from experience and demonstrating character over time.  As a society we are easily duped by those who carry titles of high position and esteem.  We are shocked with headlines of crooked cops, pedophiles priests, and unethical CEO’s that steal from their company. 

Compliance Officer Accused of Vendor Fraud

As reported by Debra Barayuga at the Star Bulletin, a former Queen’s Medical Center administrator responsible for ensuring compliance with the law is accused of steering more than $300,000 in hospital money to companies she owned for consulting work that was never performed.

According to an FBI affidavit, Patricia M. Syling worked as Queen’s corporate compliance administrator from January 2001 to October 2004. Her duties included overseeing collection activities by Queen’s from various private health-care insurers and government agencies.

She also had authority to “solicit and negotiate” vendor and service contracts that were then executed by the hospital’s chief operating officer, the complaint said.
Syling allegedly failed to disclose to her employer before the contracts were executed that the companies that received the consulting contracts — HealthCare Financial & Compliance Management and HealthCare Financial Group — were owned and operated by her from her residence.

It is not enough to hire someone as a Compliance Officer, write a Business Code of Conduct policy and call it a day.  To truly mitigate risk you need an objective, sustainable vendor program that requires all vendors to disclose and report all critical information like conflicts of interest, financials, licenses, certificates, and insurance.  By capturing standard business information, several red flags would have been raised in this case.  But even if this fraud was more sophisticated, credentialing of self-reported vendor data would have also uncovered issues.

Andy Monin

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.


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