The new director of the Saline County Health Department has been on the job for only two days, and has already discovered a major problem.
Bronson Farmer met with Saline County Commissioners Monday afternoon for an update session on the agency.
Farmer, who started the new position on Monday, said that he spent the day working with his staff. He said that a lot of the day was spent meeting with staff, and reassuring them they had the support of the county.
Farmer also said that a billing problem was brought to his attention. According to Farmer, the health department has not billed Medicare or Medicaid for home healthcare services since December. Apparently, in the switchover of the agency from a joint city-county agency to a county department, the new department no longer had a Professional Advisory Committee. Such a committee is required for the department to be recognized by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Commissioners asked why this was not brought to their attention before this. Farmer produced a memo dated mid-March. Commissioners said they never received the memo. County Administrator Rita Deister said that she would investigate to determine what happened.
Commissioners acted quickly to remedy the problem, and started the process of forming a professional advisory committee. Farmer indicated that once approved, the department will be able to back-bill to January its Medicaid and Medicare claims.
Prior to starting his new job Monday, Farmer was accused last week of sexual harassment by a former coworker, which he vehemently denies. No charges were ever filed, but the Saline County Sheriff’s Office has reopened the 7-year-old case.