Stick leaves office, Janek suspends other HHSC staff – Houston Chronicle

HHSC Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek

AUSTIN -- Jack Stick has left the building. The high-ranking Texas Health and Human Services Commission official, who submitted his resignation last Friday amid evidence of contracting favoritism, had planned to stay on the job until early next year, but instead served his last day as a state employee Thursday, according to the commission. Stick had an annual salary of $201,450, meaning he … [Read more...]

Inspector General resigns amid questions over no-bid contracts | Statesman Investigates

doug wilson sunset

Health and Human Services Commission Inspector General Doug Wilson resigned Friday, scarcely more than an hour after the state auditor announced it would launch an investigation into no-bid contracts brokered under his watch in conjunction with an anti-public corruption at the Travis County District Attorney’s office. Gov. Rick Perry requested the resignation, his spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said. … [Read more...]

Travis DA to open criminal probe of $110M contract award – Houston Chronicle

Travis County DA opens investigation

AUSTIN – The Travis County District Attorney's office and the Texas State Auditor will investigate how a company here won $110 million in state contracts without any competition, officials announced Thursday as the deals drew increasing condemnation and calls for reform. Gregg Cox, director of the district attorney's Public Integrity Unit, said he expects to open a criminal inquiry following … [Read more...]

Perry, senator call for investigations of contracts with tech firm | www.statesman.com

court of law

A spokesman for House Speaker Joe Straus on Thursday said the House will propose “a budget in January that requires much more stringent reporting on contracts by state agencies and institutions.” Jason Embry sent the statement in response to inquiries about how the lawmakers might respond to the revelation that state health officials awarded no-bid contracts to 21CT, an Austin data analytics … [Read more...]

Media Fire Burning Hotter for Stick and HHSC on Contract Dispute

jack stick testifying feat

Within the last 24 hours, major media in Texas have published stories on their continuing investigations into former OIG deputy inspector general for enforcement Jack Stick and his allegedly favored treatment of an Austin software company for Medicaid fraud detection software. Links to the stories: Houston Chronicle - "State stretched no-bid program to help local company" Austin American … [Read more...]

HHSC Chief Counsel and Former OIG Enforcement Head Jack Stick Resigns

THHSC building

It is now official - Jack Stick, HHSC Chief Counsel and former OIG deputy inspector general for enforcement, has resigned from HHSC over published allegations of interference in the HHSC contracting process on two contracts - one for data mining software for Medicaid fraud for OIG and a second for an HHSC data warehouse. The Tribune, Chronicle and Statesman posted stories on the resignation … [Read more...]

Sunset Commission Finalizes Recommendations to Heel in HHSC-OIG

sunset commission

In today's public hearings, members of the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission passed staff recommendations and supplemental additions made by a special work group, relating to the Health and Human Services Commission Office of the Inspector General. The final report is now online and can be downloaded here.* A 14-minute excerpt of the video of the proceedings shows the presentations and … [Read more...]

Inspector General Taken to Task During Sunset Commission Hearings

doug wilson sunset

On November 12th, the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission held public hearings on the Health and Human Services Commission with staff from both the Commission and HHSC staff testifying. The subject of the hearings was the 184-page report put together by Sunset Commission staff on HHSC with two of 15 issues addressed by report being directly concerned with the HHSC Office of the Inspector … [Read more...]

Jack Stick Conflict of Interest Allegation Stirs Up Big Pot of Controversy for HHSC

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The Statesman reports today that HHSC's chief counsel Jack Stick, former OIG director for enforcement, who steered business to an Austin software firm for OIG Medicaid fraud detection data mining software, has for years had close connections to the firm's lobbyist, bringing up allegations of conflict of interest. Contracts "loosely written and unusually vague" Per the article, the new … [Read more...]

Columnist Blasts HHSC-OIG Treatment of Medicaid Providers as “Politically Motivated”

Inspector General Doug Wilson

Houston Chronicle business columnist Chris Tomlinson blasted the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Office of Inspector General for its treatment of Medicaid providers in his column Wednesday. His criticism however goes further than OIG and alleges that OIG's overzealousness in going after Medicaid providers, including dentists and orthodontists, is a reaction to pressure from the agency's … [Read more...]

Court Sides with Medicaid Dentists and Negates HHSC-OIG Rules on Medicaid Payment Holds for Program Violations

Scales of Justice in the Courtroom

Today, the Texas 3rd Court of Appeals overturned a lower court decision and negated Health and Human Services Commission rules that allow for the Office of Inspector General to place Medicaid payment holds in certain circumstances, basically for only program violations not fraud,  and then keep the funds to offset alleged overpayments by the provider. A copy of the decision is here - 3rd Court … [Read more...]

TDMR Requests External Review of All OIG Cases Based on Sunset Commission Public Hearings

THHSC building

In a letter to the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, TDMR President Gregory Ewing has recommended, based on the testimony in the public hearings held last week, that all pending OIG cases be stayed for external review. All pending cases should be stayed pending external review of case tampering The letter in part reads: After hearing the testimony of Ms. Arlene Wohlgemuth and the attendant … [Read more...]

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