County off the hook for overpayment

NORWICH – It sounded fishy on the surface, but the county isn’t on the hook for an additional $321,000 that a New York State Office of Mental Health audit found it was overpaid from 2003 to 2005.

The grab back was for money paid to counties to offset the cost of mental health services for deinstitutionalized psychiatric patients. Chenango County is responsible for paying the money back to the state OMH within the next 90 days before assessing a penalty.

Chenango County Treasurer Bill Craine said his office was “satisfactorily” taking care of the fine, and had set that amount aside plus an additional $80,000 that was found in a previous OMH audit of Chenango County Mental Hygiene Services. Both audits began almost simultaneously upon new department director Ruth Roberts’ arrival last year. Most of those were the result of missing signatures and dates of services not lining up with billing dates.

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