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July 24, 2014

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Audit says Veterans Home falling behind in billing

CARSON CITY – The Nevada State Veterans Home in Boulder City is behind in collecting more than $600,000 from the federal government and private residents, a legislative audit says.

In one instance, a resident of the 180-bed home with money to pay for the care wasn't billed for 10 months and rang up a bill of $53,000. The individual died owing the state $50,000.

The state agency said it is trying to collect the money from the estate.

The audit said two other residents had outstanding balances of about $23,000 and $24,000, respectively, when they received their bill. “When residents do not receive timely bills, large balances are incurred, making it difficult to pay accumulated debt,” said the report, presented to the Legislative Audit Subcommittee Monday.

The Veterans Home didn't bill Medicare for a six-month period in which the federal government owed the state $240,000. It didn't seek timely reimbursement from the federal Medicaid program for $285,000.

Auditor Shawn Heusser said, however, the state eventually should be able to collect the money from the federal government.

The budget for 2010 shows 34 percent of the revenue to operate the home comes from residents, 61 percent from the federal government, 3 percent from the state and the rest from other sources.

The audit also said the Veterans Home “lacks adequate controls to ensure resident trust funds are properly safeguarded.” Residents can establish a personal account to pay for such things as clothing, haircuts and other services.

The audit said the monthly bank reconciliations of the trust fund weren't completed for extended periods of times. “In additions, duties have not been adequately segregated to help protect the $181,000 average monthly balance in the resident trust fund.”

In one case, there was an unexplained overage of about $2,400 in January of this year. The management of the home believes it was caused by not reimbursing the state for services provided to residents.

Veteran Affairs Director Caleb S. Cage said corrections have been or are being made to correct the deficiencies.

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