Louisiana shennanigans

Though the minutes of the LA Board trickle out 30-60 days after they meet and are sparse in their detail, they give away enough to warn the FTC that some things never change. Arguably, the most important legacy of the Funeral Rule has been the GPL. If LA seeks exemption from overview, it must have shown appropriate regard for GPL enforcement. In the AUG 14th ’08 minutes, the board president, Mr. Gill directs their inspector “to request copies of GPL ‘s of the funeral homes listed on a survey to determine if in fact the info stated therein was accurate as of the stated date.” Obviously, LA’s funeral board does not even require current, accurate copies of its licensees’ GPL or they would already have that info. Do they check GPL’s for mandatory disclosures? They have one inspector for hundreds of mortuaries who picks up a list on his semi-annual visit? In a similar vain,pursuant to a complaint, a north LA firm was admonished to return the casket handling fee it charged or face more severe action. This complaint came before the Board months ago, yet as of Oct’08 its is still being referred to council for further info. How long should it take to return the lady’s handling fee? Under the rules and definitions that the Board operates, this FD defrauded a consumer,not to mention violated another bedrock provision of the Funeral Rule. Give the money back (wink,wink,nudge,nudge…) Add to that their request for a “heads up” when FTC secret shoppers arrived to warn its licensees rather than initiating state-level secret shopping of their own does not indicate an interest or capacity to self-regulate. I’m sure the FTC has seen all this and more and will respond accordingly.

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