Poor financial management leads to dismissal of Oregon health leaders

The two individuals in charge of Oregon's Seniors and People with Disabilities Division have been removed from their posts, following a review that found they mismanaged federally issued money, the Salem Statesman Journal reports.

James Toews, the former director of the division, has been reassigned to a senior advisor position, while his former deputy, Cathy Cooper, has retired. Both were found at fault for misappropriating $40.2 million in grants that assisted in moving senior citizens from high-priced nursing homes to "less-institutional" facilities.
According to the paper, Cooper was responsible for a significant number of duplicate payments to vendors that went unchecked. Additionally, the duo failed to hold vendors accountable for using federal money for office supplies, training, food, and other ill-advised spending.

The Statesman Journal reports that red flags within the Department of Human Services were first raised in August. Since receiving the grant, the DHS has spent more than $24 million, including $17.9 million in federal Medicaid assistance.
Meanwhile, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports that New Jersey physiatrist Monica Mehta will be forced to pay $2.25 million to the federal government after she was found guilty of sending duplicate filings to the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program.

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