California agency fails to count costs

California agency fails to count costs

The California Veterans Affairs Department has mismanaged systems that track budgets, costs and reimbursements for health care, the state auditor has found.

The auditor reported that staff problems in using the department's systems caused a large overestimate of reimbursements due. Last July, the department hired a consultant to recoup $6 million in medical billings. By September, however, the consultant had recovered about $400,000 from Medicare and private insurers.

The auditor's report, issued last month, said the department pays yearly maintenance fees ranging from $81,000 to $251,000 for each of three systems. But its staff uses only 35 of the 76 modules in the systems that track money.

The department agreed with the auditor's findings and recommendations for an overhaul of its procedures.

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