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Auditor Faber Identifies up to $2 million in Savings and Opportunities to Assist Areas Hardest Hit by Mental Illness and Addiction
Columbus – Auditor of State Keith Faber today released a performance audit of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, which recommends that the department implement a new fund distribution formula that could potentially redirect $15 million to higher need regions and identifies a possible $1.2-2 million in annual savings.
“Mental illness and addiction are more prevalent now than ever before,” Auditor Faber said. “It is critical that Ohio works with local communities to focus our efforts and money in regions with the highest need for mental health and addiction services.”
Each year, Ohio MHAS allocates a portion of their funds to the 51 Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Boards that serve Ohio’s 88 counties based on the prior year’s allocations. The audit concludes that this funding method does not account for changing conditions in each region. It recommends the department work with their external stakeholders to revise the funding methodology to a formula that redirects money based on the needs in each community. This change could redirect money to higher need regions and likely increase the ability of the department to achieve critical priorities in serving Ohioans with mental illness and addiction.
The audit also recommends that the department adjust their nurse staffing methodology to reduce overtime and eliminate mandated overtime. The audit anticipates that doing so will reduce turnover, improve the department’s efforts to hire and schedule staff, and save $250,000 to $990,000 annually.
Additional recommendations in the audit included:
· Improve efforts to hire full time staff instead of contractual workers to cover the needs of patents in hospitals, saving $655,000 annually.
· Standardize training between regional psychiatric hospitals, saving $360,000 annually.
The Auditor’s office is statutorily required to conduct four performance audits on state agencies and state universities each biennium. This audit concluded the required fiscal year 2018-2019 performance audits.
A full copy of the report is available online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio is responsible for auditing more than 6,000 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Keith Faber, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies, and promotes transparency in government.