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Audit: Millions Of Dollars Billed Incorrectly Or Not At All By State Agency

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio News
 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio News

An investigation by the California State Auditor shows the Department of Developmental Services failed to properly bill California parents who pay for their children's 24-hour healthcare.

Margarita Fernandez with the auditor's office says parents are supposed to be billed by the  department according to their ability to pay.

"When we took a look at some of the accounts and tried to determine if they were being calculated correctly, in some situations, we couldn't even do that because we didn't have all the information there," says Fernandez. "And then in others -where we were able to look at the initial fee assessments- we found that, like 30-percent of those that we looked at were calculated incorrectly."

Of 126 appeals made by parents contesting their fees, 120 were upheld.

The auditor's office says the department undercharged parents as much as a million dollars in the past three years. The report says the department does not have a policy of trying to recoup fees it should have charged.

Fernandez says almost all of the 21 regional centers that accept new patients failed to report new clients to the state, which caused a failure to charge for nearly a year's worth of services.

The audit shows the department has more than $7 million dollars in fees it has failed to collect.


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