DADS issued Information Letter 07-50 on May 10, 2007, requiring all Home and Community-Based (HCS) and Texas Home Living (TxHmL) Providers educate employees, contractors, and agents about federal and state fraud and false claims laws, and the whistleblower protections available under those laws. The mandate comes from the employee educational requirements under Section 6032 of the Federal Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005. Specifically, effective January 1, 2007, all providers who receive or make annual Medicaid payments of $5 million or more must:
â€¢ Establish written policies for all employees, contractors and agents that provide â€œdetailed informationâ€ about the False Claims Act, administrative remedies for false claims and statements, any state laws pertaining to civil or criminal penalties for false claims, and whistleblower protections under such laws.
â€¢ Include as part of their written policies, detailed provisions regarding the providerâ€™s policies and procedures for detecting and preventing fraud, waste, and abuse.
â€¢ Revise any existing employee handbook to include information on the above laws and employee protections, as well as policies and procedures for detecting and preventing fraud, waste, and abuse.
For purposes of compliance, DADS will incorporate the requirements of Section 6032 into new HCS and TxHmL provider contracts. Providers with existing contracts must comply in accordance with those contracts, which require compliance with all federal and state laws, regulations, and rules. In addition, DADS will implement monitoring plans and activities to ensure compliance with Section 6032 of the DRA. On an annual basis, DADS will have the provider submit to the State Office a signed affidavit with a list of employees that were trained on these policies and procedures during the previous federal fiscal year. Additionally, DADS Regulatory Services will verify employee training at the time of their regular onsite reviews of those providers that received $5M or more in Medicaid payments from DADS during the most recent federal fiscal year.
Affidavits must be submitted to:
Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
Community Services Contracts Unit (MC W-517)
P.O. Box 149030
Austin, TX 78714-9030
Contact your legal counsel or consultant to revise personnel policies to ensure timely compliance. And, as always, do not hesitate to call if you have any questions.