GRANTS PASS, Ore.– Josephine County has terminated a contract – effective immediately – it had with OnTrack, a nonprofit organization that specializes in helping people suffering from substance abuse, addiction and other behavioral health issues.
During an executive session yesterday afternoon, Josephine County commissioners received the final review of an audit of OnTrack’s financial records that’s been ongoing for the past several weeks. According to county personnel who prepared the audit, OnTrack was not being entirely accurate about its billing to the county.
“Looking at the way OnTrack was presenting it’s bills to the county signaled that it was appropriate now for the county to initiate an audit on this level,” said County Legal Counsel Wally Hicks.
The audit, which was conducted on August 20 and October 10, found the organization was billing the county in excess.
“Certain billings that OnTrack was presenting or was otherwise responsible for were not necessarily for eligible clients,” said Hicks.
Negotiating its current contract back in September of 2017, OnTrack was providing services for eligible community members set by the state. Those services were outpatient and residential substance abuse treatments for those of low or the lowest of incomes.
According to the audit, OnTrack was billing the county for clients that weren’t eligible for services. At one point that included 26 clients -amounting to $131,460 the county then overpaid to the organization.
“I would say, yes the billings were not accurate,” said Hicks. “They didn’t accurately reflect the eligibility of certain clients.”
A total overpayment value of $138,371 was what the county made to OnTrack with these funds coming to the county from the state. County Commissioner Lily Morgan in statement said, “The County has an obligation to our citizens to ensure that pass through funds are spent according to the law and in compliance with contracts. Based on the result of the county’s audit, we cannot continue this contract.”
OnTrack declined an on-camera interview but released its own statement saying:
We are very disappointed in the County’s decision. It’s important to note that there are no current OnTrack clients in Josephine County who are affected by the County’s decision. As part of our continuing rebuilding process, we will redouble our rigorous examination of all of OnTrack’s business practices and make corresponding improvements identified through this process. We look forward to applying for the relevant grant with the County in the near future, so we can continue to offer outpatient and residential services to indigent persons in Josephine County.”
However, Josephine County commissioners have given OnTrack 30 days to refund the total amount of overpayments. If the organization fails to do so the Board of County Commissioners has already authorized legal action.
In the meantime, Josephine County is working to find a replacement for the services OnTrack provided.
“This is such an important service for the citizens of Josephine County,” said Hicks. “That we are immediately now seeking to fill that gap with a different vendor or group of different vendors.”
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