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  • Bring on the audits!

    Jun 16,2015

    Medicaid Service Coordinators Megan Mazzucca and Sandra Brown stand by Cory S. of OPWDD after a two-day audit was conducted. Their smiles say it all!

    When most people hear the term, “audit”, they’d like to bolt in the other direction. Whether it is the IRS or any other entity that oversees a part of our lives or business, people are afraid of what may be uncovered. For me, it’s always been an opportunity to learn. We often are so involved in the day to day of our work that it’s challenging to have a finger on the pulse of how we are doing. In May, we were “blessed” with two audits. One from our CPA firm (I may talk about that in another post), and the other from Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), a government agency that provides oversight to people we serve in the Medicaid Service Coordination Department. We’ve had the same team of auditors for years. Coincidentally, they all recently retired, so this year our reviewer had an extra fresh set of eyes. He went through the rote responsibilities of an auditor from New York State as he learned about an agency new to him. While he was in the conference room, reading notes from the charts that the MSC’s record, he couldn’t help but eavesdrop on conversations the staff while on the phone with people we serve. (Note, the office space at JFS is very open.) He read of the “valued outcomes” and “services that were billed to Medicaid”. This is all critical as it boils down to accountability. It ensures that state and federal funds (our tax dollars) are well spent and people with developmental disabilities are living meaningful lives. And while this was evident from the documentation, there was something else palpable. The atmosphere, tone of voice and overall congeniality expressed one of deep caring. Over the past many years, the agency had perfect “surveys”. This year, we had two minor “deficiencies”. Truth be known, some of us are kicking ourselves about this. I am regarding it as a learning experience. We have already corrected the mistake and put a plan of action in place for the future. Cory visits many agencies. He included in our report words that he doesn’t often include and that I don’t take lightly. “Agency Medicaid Service Coordinators go above and beyond in providing advocacy to MSC recipients”. Our satisfaction surveys and waiting list validates this, but it surely was affirming to hear these words from someone in Cory’s role!