80 North Dakota ambulance groups shorted on funding, audit finds
BISMARCK — North Dakota State Auditor Joshua Gallion released an audit of the state Department of Health on Thursday, April 16, that underscored problems with how the agency handled emergency medical grants to ambulance operations.
One result of those problems was that about $40,000 was improperly distributed, leading to 80 licensed ambulance operations not receiving funding they should have, according to a statement released by Gallion's office.
The statement said it also appears the Health Department overspent its environmental and rangeland protection fund appropriation by about $3,000.
"The services that ambulances provide to citizens across the state are critical," Gallion said in a statement. "It’s important that the health department properly distributes grant funding so each local ambulance service can better serve their citizens."
The audit determined that because of spreadsheet errors, about $40,000 was improperly distributed to four ambulance operations.
The dollars should have been distributed to 80 other ambulance operations, including one that should have received an additional $6,289 and another that should have received an additional $5,686, according to the audit report, which did not name the ambulance operations.
For the remaining 78 operations, each should have received an average of about $359, the report said.
The Health Department agreed with recommendations aimed at correcting problems and the agency has adopted additional internal controls to verify information used to calculate grant payments, the report said.
Also, staff communications will be updated emphasizing the importance of maintaining supporting documentation for grant payments, the report said.