Audit: Nevada Agency Can Recoup $3.1 Million

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A Nevada agency can collect about $3.1 million in additional federal Medicaid funds if it fully bills the program for services provided to children over the past two years, an audit has found.

The Division of Child and Family Services didn't bill Medicaid for $6.2 million because it didn't charge for the actual cost of the services provided, the audit found.

Because the cost of the Medicaid program is shared by the state and federal government, Deputy Legislative Auditor Rick Neil said that re-billing for the charges should save state taxpayers about $3.1 million.

An additional $1.9 million can be billed to the Medicaid program for the future operation of the agency's psychiatric hospital, the audit found. Again, about half the savings would come from the federal government.

The audit was reviewed and accepted Thursday by the Legislature's Audit Subcommittee.

Assemblyman John Marvel, R-Battle Mountain, asked why agency staff didn't figure out how to increase the billing rate to recoup more funds from the Medicaid program.

"That's pretty hard to understand," he said. "It seems they would be on top of these regulations and any changes."

Sen. Bob Coffin, D-Las Vegas, said the Medicaid billing issue is somewhat surprising because the program is operated out of the same department as child and family services.

"We just need to find out how the two divisions can communicate better," he said.

Diane Comeaux, deputy administrator for the Division of Child and Family Services, said the agency has accepted all 10 audit recommendations.