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Transmittal Letter

December 14, 2006

Members of the Texas Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Oversight Task Force

Fellow Members:

Since the passage of House Bill (H.B.) 2292 in 2003, the Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Oversight Task Force has operated in a significantly different environment than it had prior to the bill. H.B. 2292 consolidated twelve autonomous health and human service agencies into five interconnected agencies. The administrative and policy making infrastructure for these 12 agencies were collapsed into the Health and Human Services Commission. In addition, the fraud prevention efforts across the entire health and human service enterprise were consolidated into a single entity of the Office of Inspector General (OIG), which is under the HHSC executive commissioner.

This dramatic change to the HHSC organization necessitated a review of the structure and mission of the Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Oversight Task Force. This report offers recommendations that will improve the effectiveness of the Task Force as well as the overall fraud and abuse prevention efforts of the states. Most notably, this report recommends that the OIG currently under the purview of the HHSC executive commissioner be made an independent entity solely reporting to the Governor.

I am pleased to present to the Task Force the review and analysis of the Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Oversight Task Force. The review analyzes the enabling legislation, current membership and organizational structure. It provides concrete recommendations to improve and strengthen the Task Force.

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to contact my staff, Will Counihan, by e-mail at will.counihan@cpa.state.tx.us or by phone at 1-800-531-5441, extension 6-0758.

Sincerely,

[signed]
Carole Keeton Strayhorn
Texas Comptroller
Chairman, Texas Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Oversight Task Force

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