You might remember the horrendous mess that plagued Texas' Office of Inspector General at the Health and Human Services Commission back in the day. Then-IG Doug Wilson and his sidekick Jack Stick alleged that there were hundreds of millions of dollars of Medicaid fraud committed by dental providers. These outlandish claims along with the cozy relationship with contractor 21CT led to Stick's resignation and Wilson's firing in late 2014.
Cleaning up the mess at OIG
The man brought in to clean up the mess was Stuart W. Bowen, Jr., a former top aide to President George W. Bush who served as the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction from 2004 to 2013 and, previously, as Deputy Assistant to President Bush.
For over two years, IG Bowen did an admirable job bringing order to chaos at the OIG. He settled the most outlandish outstanding cases with providers, set up effective outreach programs with the provider and MCO communities, and established the Texas Fraud Prevention Initiative, which continues to this day. From the start, Mr. Bowen promoted transparency and accountability, issuing quarterly reports on all IG activities and, ultimately, restoring the agency's reputation.
After leaving the job just over two years ago, Mr. Bowen moved back to the private sector, consulting for a variety of domestic and international clients.
Now in private practice in Austin
We recently learned that his practice has expanded into the administrative law and government relations arenas. Mr. Bowen is board certified in administrative law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and he worked in state government for over 12 years, including stints as Governor Bush's Deputy General Counsel and as an Assistant Attorney General of Texas. Of possible interest to our readers, Mr. Bowen's practice now includes assisting Texas Medicaid providers with various challenges arising from their engagements with MCOs, DMOs and HHSC.
"During my two-plus years as the IG, " he told TDMR during a recent phone interview from his Austin office, "I made it a point to engage as frequently as I could with provider communities across the state, and especially in the Valley where there is a high concentration of Medicaid membership. I was regularly impressed with the commitment to high-quality public service that I saw throughout the Medicaid provider communities across Texas."
Respect for Medicaid providers
Mr. Bowen went on to say that he came away from his IG experience "with high confidence in the fidelity of the ground-level healthcare service delivered by Texas Medicaid program providers."
"I have enjoyed the opportunities that have come my way," he said, "to assist providers, providing strategic guidance and legal advice that helps them prosper and promote integrity as part of Texas' crucially important Medicaid program. The success of that program essentially depends on the sustained integrity of the provider/member relationship."
Providers wishing to contact Mr. Bowen can do so at 703-477-0592 or firstname.lastname@example.org.