Financial Self-Parody

If you recall, the board adopted a tough minded position against the Walter Elwood Museum on two financial issues: the unwillingness to spend money to remediate the bats and the unwillingness to put the vote to a public referendum as it would cost $7000.

Today we learn that the school district was one of several school districts which failed to seek reimbursement for reimbursable Medicaid expenses (Gazette article). While the Gazette cites the aggregate of $3.1 million for all school districts, a little research yields the following finding from the NY State Office of the Comptroller report (bolding is mine):

The District did not claim and receive reimbursement for $513,950 of Medicaid reimbursement for Targeted Case Management reviews, ongoing service coordination, and related services conducted during the period July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2007. As a result, the District did not receive its share (25 percent) of Medicaid revenue of $128,487.

[snip]

…We did not attempt to calculate a figure for the 2006-07 fiscal year because most claims either were awaiting payment or were not yet processed and submitted. [Ongoing Service Coordination]

According to the report, the district claimed:

District officials indicated that in the past they had conducted their own informal cost-benefit analysis for claiming targeted case management ongoing service coordination and believed that the potential revenues did not justify the costs of collecting and documenting the required information and processing the claims.

But the Comptroller isn’t buying any of it instead stating the following in the report:

The Board has the responsibility to initiate corrective action. Pursuant to Section 35 of the GML, Section 2116-a (3)(c) of the Education Law and Section 170.12 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, a written corrective action plan (CAP) that addresses the findings and recommendations in this report must be prepared and forwarded to our office within 90 days. To the extent practicable, implementation of the CAP must begin by the end of the next fiscal year.

It’s the above that makes me think of it as parody when we let more than $128,000 fall through the cracks and obsess in spending $7000 or $10000 to maintain the viability of the museum or other programs for that matter.  Also we’re supposed to believe the financial talk when we’ve yet to submit reimbursements for 2006 through 2007?  Has anyone ever heard of “Net Present Value”? I’m glad the Comptroller sees through the financial talk-the-talk so willingly bought by the local community; now it’s time for the district to do the walk.

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