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Auditors: Grant spending by Family Health Centers is appropriate, allowable

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) has completed their review of the Inspector General's recommendation regarding American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grants for Family Health Centers of San Diego. They have determined that all $10.8 million in grant funding was appropriately allocated to allowable costs and no funds need to be returned.

Family Health Centers of San Diego was notified in a letter from HRSA on Aug. 13 that $4,425,966 in salary related expenditures questioned by the Inspector General were adequately documented and allowable under the terms of the grant. The letter also approved Family Health Centers of San Diego request to re-purpose $113,759 questioned by the Inspector General, resulting in HRSA's unqualified determination that the grant funds were expended in conformance with federal regulations.

"Our position all along was every penny granted to Family Health Centers of San Diego was spent appropriately to serve San Diego's most vulnerable communities and further our mission," said Fran Butler-Cohen, Family Health Centers CEO. "That is a testament to our exceptional and highly responsible stewardship of grant and program funding." The audited grants enabled Family Health Centers of San Diego to create three new community health centers, open three new Saturday clinics, develop and deploy a federally-certified Electronic Health Record system, create a Care Coordination Department and achieve Primary Care Medical Home (PCMH) certification among other achievements from Joint Commission and National Committee for Quality Assurance.

This determination concludes a multi-year financial audit conducted by the federal government to confirm that all funds granted to Family Health Centers of San Diego were used appropriately and in line with federal government regulations. Family Health Centers of San Diego was selected for the audit because it was one of the largest health center recipients of ARRA stimulus funding in the nation as a result of it several competitive grant awards and its large uninsured patient population.

Family Health Centers of San Diego undergoes standard audits from federal, state and local program funders regularly to ensure compliance with the myriad of governing regulations and best practices. In addition, Family Health Centers contracts with independent Certified Public Account firms, as it has for decades, to annually test compliance with the federal Office of Management and Budget standards. For over 25 years, Family Health Centers of San Diego has received clean audits from its CPA firms and has never received a management letter.

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Submitted by the Family Health Centers of San Diego

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