Santa Barbara County to pay $28 million settlement for billing issues

October 15, 2022

By KAREN VELIE

Santa Barbara County administrators agreed to settle a Department of Justice complaint over improper billing regarding low-income mental health patients, amounting to $28 million, according to an Oct. 11 press release.

In its complaint, the Department of Justice accuses Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness administrative staff of pushing employees to aggressively bill Medi-Cal. Employees were then rewarded for exceeding billing goals and ignoring Medi-Cal requirements, according to the complaint.

While the county has agreed to pay the settlement, county officials stress that the complaint lists allegations only and that no determination of fault was reached.

“While the county does not concur with the tenor of the allegations made, it’s true that documentation requirements were not met in all instances,” said Assistant County Executive Terri Maus-Nisich.

The county agreed to pay $21.4 million for billing errors that took place from 2008 through 2018. In addition, the county will pay Judith Zissa, a former county employee and the whistleblower, $3 million for wrongful termination and $3.6 million for attorney fees.


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shelworth

What do they care? It’s not their money! No repercussions for those responsible, they still get to go home with their huge salaries unaffected.


mullyman

This is why no one trusts any government entity because they do not care about the basic principals of honesty and trust and do not spend your tax money in the right way


mazin

THIS is what we want to avoid (amongst other ills)…Santa Barbarafacation…Bakerspatchfacation…middle way for the middle kingdom


kayaknut

Who in the county will be held responsible for this failure?, easy answer no one. Which departments budgets will be decreased to pay for this?, again easy answer no ones. It’s the government way.


panflash

Well, c’mon, a measly $28 million here, $28 million there, maybe pretty soon you’re talkin’ ’bout serious money…. In the meantime, just let the “public servants” run wild with our tax dollars……. What’s ‘da big deal??????


kayaknut

Exactly, as many entities, including Arroyo Grande, are proposing a sales tax increase this November, by all means let’s give them more of our money, they have done such a good job with with we given them so far.