Kriss Schaffer became administrator of the Arkansas Veterans Home in Fayetteville just five months ago, determined to make improvements.
"I did my research before I took the job. It was nothing that scared me I mean I knew things could be fixed. He says now "everybody is so much more confident, there is more of a sense of camaraderie, the residents have noticed a difference, the resident's families have noticed a difference."
Yet as time passed, Kriss Schaffer said, "We have discovered some things within our budget that we weren't really aware of."
The Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs issued a statement saying in part "Last year's audit revealed that we over-billed the federal VA, due to a cost report calculation error. Now that cost report procedure has been adjusted, and we are in the process of paying back $264,000 to the VA."
However, it didn't stop there. In February of 2014, the VA discovered staff at the Fayetteville Veteran's home failed to manage money accounts so there are still three outstanding accounts from previous fiscal years that need to be paid off, totaling 347-thousand dollars.
The ADVA issued a statement saying "There are three outstanding accounts payable from previous fiscal years that will need to be accounted for in Fiscal Year 2015: All care approx. $200,000, UAMS approx. $37,000, Federal VA $ 110,000."
Schaffer said, "It's not that we didn't know about them, but it was kind of a surprise."
To get out of the red, Schaffer says resident numbers need to increase. "The key thing I wanted to do was to boost our census because the census has been low. That will generate more income which will help us out. We get no appropriations from the state. our operations here are day to day and what we take in is what goes out."
But despite money issues, he doesn't want folks to worry. He says it won't take long to build up the budget.
Schaffer said, "Give me six more months and I think things will be great. It's stuff that is all lined up to be taken care of.
Kriss Schaffer says resident numbers at the Veterans Home in Fayetteville are already increasing, and the ADVA is working on a business plan to develop concrete solutions to the accounting issues.