Supervisors discuss financials, Medicaid overpayments, audits

By Amanda McBride
The Choctaw Plaindealer

District 5 Supervisor Eric Chambers is adamant about having financial records audited from Pioneer Health Systems when then were under a management contract for the county’s hospital, nursing home and clinics.

Chambers brought this matter before the Board of Supervisors again in their December 17 meeting. He has asked the board to approve the audit in the previous two meetings also.

“Audit statute says we will have it audited,” said Chambers. He says statue says all county funds will be audited. The county funded the hospital and nursing home while it was under management by Pioneer from 2010-2012.

“Follow state law and have the hospital, clinic, and nursing home audited in accordance with state law,” said Chambers.

Board President Chris McIntire reminded Chambers that the board was advised not to pursue this audit while the Hospital Board of Trustees is negotiating with Medicaid on overpayments.

Jim Blackwood with North Sunflower Management, that is managing the nursing home, asked the board to wait to pursue the audit.

“We have been told that (audit) will be detrimental to the negotiations with Medicaid,” said McIntire.

Chambers made a motion to have the Pioneer management financials audited. McIntire called for a second.

Chancery Clerk Steve Montgomery said the board needs to make a demand on the Hospital Board of Trustees to have it audited since they were in place at that time.

After more discussion, McIntire called for a second again. It failed without a second.

The board also held their third executive session this month for ongoing litigation with Quantum. This session lasted 45 minutes and no action was taken.

The Board of Supervisors approved:
-To accept items seized by the Sheriff’s Department into inventory.
-To declare a 18 foot gooseneck trailer as surplus and advertise to sell it.
-Christmas holidays for the county for Christmas Day and December 26. All county buildings will be closed.

December 12 meeting
The Board of Supervisors discussed the $780,000 of overpayments from Medicaid with Jim Blackwood, with North Sunflower Management, via telephone. The overpayments happened when Pioneer Health Systems, who previously leased the hospital and nursing home, included all administration costs plus more on the cost report and Medicaid doesn’t allow this.

Blackwood said that Medicaid has done a desk review and moved some of the overpayment costs but the Hospital Board of Trustees are still trying to negotiate with Medicaid on a possible settlement.

District 3 Supervisor Chris McIntire asked Blackwood if the supervisors reopened audits with Pioneer, how this would affect their negotiations.

After some discussion, Blackwood said, “I request ya’ll to hold off and not jeopardize our position with Medicaid.”

He suggested that the county look at the county’s financial records to account for county funds used for the hospital and nursing home to reconcile with invoices at this time.

Also in this meeting, the Board of Supervisors met with Mike Hughes, Renasant Insurance, to discuss possible Blue Cross Blue Shield options.

At the beginning of all the insurance conversations, the board had three county employees to discuss the plans to see which plan they would prefer.

During the conversation in this December 12 meeting, District 1 Supervisor Archie Collins and Tax Assessor Lori Kerr argued over plan options and McIntire had to call the meeting to order.

After more discussions, the board approved the BCBS plan that included a total out of pocket of $2,500 with employee paying $20 per month for the insurance. This plan was different than suggested by the three employees.

District 35 Rep. Joey Hood stopped by the meeting. He asked the supervisors if there was anything he could help them with for the upcoming Legislative session.

Jody Webb with Southeastern Timber presented the supervisors and Kerr with a modified rendition stating STP failed to note the disposal of a large number of equipment. He is asking the board for an adjustment to their 2014 taxes, that would lower them.

“We are putting pressure on ya’ll and we apologize,” said Webb.

The supervisors will consider this request in their Dec. 31 meeting.

The board also held a 30-minute executive session to discuss current litigation with Quantum. No action was taken.

The board approved:
-Home grant applicants.
-SMAC grant agreement.
-Utility easement on E. Sherwood Road in District 2.
-16th Section lease.
-Travel for Circuit Clerk Peggy Miller to the judicial college training January 8-10.

December 8 meeting
District 5 Supervisor Eric Chambers asked the Board of Supervisors to consider requesting an audit of financial records of the hospital, nursing home and clinics from Pioneer Health Systems while they were under a management agreement with the county.

Chambers said all county funds are required to be audited.

“Let’s find out what money they billed out and received,” said Chambers.

District 3 Supervisor Chris McIntire, also board president, said to wait on this while the Hospital Board of Trustees negotiate with Medicaid on overpayments received while under management of Pioneer.

“I want to think on this. I don’t want to turn a blind eye but I don’t want to do anything to interfere with the Hospital Trustees negotiations with Medicaid on overpayments monies,” said McIntire.

No action was taken.

The board heard several presentations on health insurance options. No action was taken at this time.

A 45-minute executive session was held to discuss current litigation with Quantum on tax objections. No action was taken.

The board approved:
-Travel for Coroner Keith Coleman to the Coroner’s Association Winter Conference in January.
-Demand check to pay C Spire, APAC from District 2, MAS Insurance Trust for the county’s property and casualty insurance.
-Inventory deletions.
-Solid Waste deletions, adjustments, and assessments.

District 2 Supervisor Larry McClain was absent from this meeting.