Catholic Independent Practice Association, Buffalo, N.Y., said it is undergoing an independent audit in light of alleged misappropriation of funds by its former president and chief executive officer, Stephen Westlake. Westlake died Aug. 30 in North Carolina soon after he was put on administrative leave for failing to turn over financial records, officials said. He previously had ignored a board order to initiate an audit. The 700-physician IPA, which represents itself and four-hospital Catholic Health System in managed-care contracting, does not know how much money may have been misappropriated, CHS officials said in a news release. However, officials said, "We know at this point that appropriate business practices were not followed by Mr. Westlake." Westlake headed the IPA from its 1997 formation until August. -- by Cinda Becker
IPA hires auditors after alleged misuse of funds
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