Nevada legislative auditors say Aging and Disability providers overcharged for services |

Nevada legislative auditors say Aging and Disability providers overcharged for services

Legislative auditors presented a report on Wednesday charging the Aging and Disability Services Division overpaid Sierra Regional Center in Reno and Desert Regional Center in Las Vegas as much as $4.3 million in 2015.

The division provides services to individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Most of the overpayments were to providers of 24-hour Supported Living Arrangement services, up to $3 million of the total. The rest of the overpayments were to Jobs and Day Training providers.

Altogether, the division paid out more than $106 million in 2015.

Auditor Todd Peterson told the legislative audit subcommittee there were numerous errors where the number of hours billed for services provided exceeded the number of hours worked on provider time sheets.

“If I only have 1,000 hours and billed for 1,200 hours, ‘that’s like me delivering 1,000 cows and billing for 1,500,” said Sen. Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka. “It doesn’t work.”

But auditor Rick Neil said it’s tough to determine whether the employee filled out the time sheet wrong or intentionally billed too much because of the lack of detailed records the division has on those providers.

“What strikes me is just the high percentage where there was a problem,” he said. “Having a large percentage of providers having problems probably lessens the likelihood of fraud. A lot may be errors caused by the billing system.”

Subcommittee Chairman Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, added “I saw some of the backup documentation and it’s a mess.”

Agency head Edward Ableser said they accept the findings and have already been working some time to clean up the billing and record keeping system. He said the new computer system will provide a statewide standard for providers to use so the division can more accurately track payments and check for errors. He said all providers will be required to use the new software instead of each having their own system.

He said the agency is “digging deeper” and if there’s possibility of any fraud, the material will be forwarded to the Attorney General’s office for further investigation.