Board authorizes $134K payment

JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton County Board of Supervisors on Monday authorized a $134,639 payment to the state to satisfy an old bill involving its former Mental Health Clinic.

The board authorized the ‘recoupment” payment to the state Department of Health for what the state has said for years is state overpayments involving the former clinic in Gloversville.

Johnstown 3rd Ward Supervisor Jack Calley asked if this was the “final” payment the county had to make to the state in this matter.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said county Community Services Director Ernest Gagnon indicated the overpayment money back to the state was for audits from 2006, 2007 and 2008. He said the county may not owe for after that time period to when the clinic ended its occupation by the county in 2012.

“We got out of the mental health business in 2012,” Stead said. “[Gagnon] said he doesn’t believe there’s anything out there for those years.”

In December 2012, the state Department of Health and the state Office of Mental Health conducted a Comprehensive Outpatient Program, or COPS audit for 2006-08. As a result of the audit, the DOH said the county’s former Mental Health Clinic on East Fulton Street was overpaid Medicaid reimbursement that included interest and penalties totalling $258,157.

The resolution passed by supervisors Monday indicated the DOH in late 2016 “clawed back” $64,935 from the Fulton County Public Health Department’s Medicaid revenue as partial payment toward the state’s audit claim.

Fulton County — assisted by the accounting firm Bonadio Group — obtained partial relief against the claim in the amount of $58,583. The resolution said that amount represented “waived interest and penalties and other negotiated reductions.”

Two Board of Supervisors committees determined the county “exhausted any further recourse to challenge the DOH recoupment demanded by the … audit,” the resolution said.

County Treasurer Terry Blodgett was directed to issue a $134,639 payment to the DOH to satisfy the COPS audit done for 2006-2008.

To make the payment, Fulton County is using a combination of $104,568 in federal revenue, and $30,071 in county contingent fund expense.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.