Local News

Recent Audit Criticizes Department Of Health, Human Services

Posted July 2, 2003

— With more than $10 billion in local, state and federal money to manage, the

Department of Health and Human Services

is by far North Carolina's biggest state agency. However, a recent audit and past reviews suggests DHHS also has the hardest time keeping track of its programs.

The Health and Human Services Department juggles billions of taxpayer dollars and oversees programs that range from nursing homes to foster care.

Auditors found hundreds of thousands of dollars in overpayments, including $75,822 for inpatient claims. The audit also found that vendors overpaid $12,231 and a foster-care facility overpaid $145,848.

Investigators said DHHS miscalculated $17.3 million in food stamp payments and failed to monitor proper proceedures in various programs. In some cases, there was no documentation to show that re-licensed foster parents had ever undergone the required criminal background checks.

DHHS officials admitted to most of the audit's critical findings, but they contended they have recouped most of the overpayments, and they vowed to make changes to prevent future mistakes. Auditors said they find some of the same type of errors every year, yet the problems often are not corrected.


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