DHH making changes in nutritional program
BATON ROUGE - The Department of Health and Hospitals is making major changes to how it runs its supplemental nutrition program that provides food to poor women and children.
It's in response to a new audit showing Louisiana's public health office has done a poor job in monitoring the program.
The changes for the State's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), includes more vigorous procedures for monitoring vendors, their prices, and their performance.
DHH will improve its communication with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), run by the Department of Children and Family Services.
They want to keep DCFS informed when vendors are disqualified by WIC, so that it can determine if the vendor should remain in the SNAP program.
DHH also will hire a nutritionist to serve as the Continuing Quality Improvement Coordinator to ensure that the program's goals are being met and be able to inspect vendor facilities when complaints of unsanitary conditions exist.
The audit says the Office of Public Health didn't verify grocery prices, overpaid for food, and didn't follow regulations governing the program.
The program cost $126 million in the 2012 fiscal year.