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 comments from Sen. Hinojosa and Rep. Raymond, we believe there should be an immediate stay on all OIG cases and their legal proceedings pending external review by another suitable agency. If the Commission cannot do this, it should recommend the appropriate agency to do so.
If OIG investigators have been pressured by their superiors to change their investigative reports to include non-factual allegations to “get something” on providers, per Rep. Raymond [see YouTube video excerpt of comments during public hearing testimony], this taints all provider investigations and should lead to criminal charges against the perpetrators.
Providers should not have to spend their resources to defend against trumped up allegations.
Review prior OIG settlements
Ewing also suggests that previous OIG settlements, such as the $3.75 million obtained from Carousel Pediatrics of Austin, be reviewed as well.
These allegations of possible criminal conduct within OIG also calls into question settlements which OIG has pressured providers to make, such as in the case of Carousel Pediatrics, so they could continue their practices. So such an external review should also look at these settlements.
Providers may demand compensation for lost businesses
Lastly, Ewing suggests that if the state does not do something about this issue, affected providers may start demanding compensation.
If the state does not take action now, providers may start clamoring for restitution for the loss of their businesses.
A copy of the letter can be downloaded here – Sunset Commission letter 18 Nov14.