This past Monday, the House Human Services Committee held a hearing about the current status of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Office of Inspector General.
A lot has happened in the last two months since the devastating hearings before the Sunset Advisory Commission in early December .
OIG scandal plagued since December
- Inspector General Doug Wilson and former deputy inspector general for enforcement Jack Stick have resigned,
- a major scandal enveloped HHSC over Stick’s no-bid contracting arrangement for Medicaid fraud software from Austin firm 21CT . The latest being that the contract was misrepresented to the federal government to obtain the funding, and
- revelations continue about Stick’s extravagant spending at taxpayer expense including $2,800 chairs for himself and Wilson plus $80 new badges for OIG investigators.
Acting Deputy IG testifies and impresses Committee members
Testifying on behalf of the agency was Quinton Arnold, Acting Deputy Inspector General, who is temporarily in the position of representing the agency until the governor’s new appointee, Stuart Bowen, is confirmed by the Senate later this week. A PDF file of Arnold’s presentation can be downloaded here.
TDMR has excerpted several video segments of his hour long testimony which impressed committee members.
Transparency has been a problem at OIG
“Docs trying to do right thing”
In the second video, Rep. Susan King, whose husband is a doctor, and Rep. Stuart Spitzer, who is a practising doctor, express their concerns that OIG’s past operating basis has chased providers from the system, to the detriment of patient care. Arnold admitted this was the case and that it needed to change.
Spitzer also questioned OIG’s practice of extrapolating overpayment amounts, telling Arnold that doctors are “scared” and there is no incentive for them to be in the system. He went onto say that “docs are trying to do right thing” and that patient care has to be kept foremost in mind when OIG investigates providers.