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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 8, 2008

CONTACT
Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services (402) 471-8287

 

DHHS Places Autism Center of Nebraska on Probation

Note: Sound bites on this topic are available at: http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/audio.aspx

 

Lincoln – The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is placing the Autism Center of Nebraska on a one-year probation that includes strict monitoring and oversight.

"ACN’s new leadership is taking the current situation very seriously," said John Wyvill, director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities in DHHS. "They’ve made significant management changes, revised policies and procedures and hired a new fiscal officer. It’s a good start, and in the best interests of the people being served."

On June 18, DHHS announced it was terminating ACN’s contract in 90 days. On the same day, State Auditor Mike Foley released the results of his investigation into ACN’s finances. That investigation revealed overbilling, unallowable costs and personal expenses billed to the state.

ACN board members are committed to keeping a close watch on finances and bringing in an outside accounting firm, and it’s likely the Auditor of Public Account’s office will revisit ACN at some point, he said.

"As always, we are holding all providers accountable for providing quality care in a fiscally responsible manner," Wyvill said. "I appreciate the collaborative attitude we’re seeing."

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