The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) mission is to “improve the health, safety, and well-being of Texans through good stewardship of public resources, and a focus on core public health functions.” DSHS serves as the population and public health authority for Texas by:
- Providing vital statistics, including birth and death records.
- Compiling and disseminating health data on numerous topics.
- Administering chronic and infectious disease prevention and laboratory testing efforts.
- Leading the public health response to disasters, disease threats, and outbreaks.
- Licensing and regulating facilities on topics from asbestos to mobile food establishments to youth camps.
Complaints Against the Texas Department of State Health Services
To file a complaint, an individual must first contact the DSHS office or program directly involved with the complaint allegations. Complaints must include the issue of concern and details of the event or issue, and ideally contain a name, address, and phone number of the complainant, though that is not necessary. Complaints to DSHS may be made anonymously.
If DSHS program staff are unable to resolve the concern, then the complainant may contact the Health and Human Services Commission, Office of Inspector General (OIG). The OIG also assists when a program’s complaint process does not satisfactorily resolve an issue.
Complaints of Suspected Fraud, Waste, or Abuse
Members of the public are able to make reports of suspected fraud, waste, or abuse by recipients or providers in Texas health and human services programs. The DSHS system includes Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
The Health and Human Services Commission, Office of Inspector General (OIG) is responsible for the investigation of waste, abuse and fraud in Health and Human Services and DSHS programs. OIG provides oversight of HHS activities, administers certain complaints filed with its office, and imposes enforcement action.
And as noted above, the OIG also assists when a program’s complaint process does not satisfactorily resolve an issue.
The OIG is prohibited from providing complainants with updates on the status of an open investigation. However, an individual lodging a complaint will receive a tracking number so that he or she is able to provide more information later, if necessary.
BERTOLINO LLP helps professionals, like you, keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by a state agency or board. If you are facing disciplinary action from a professional licensing board, contact us today or call (512) 476-5757 and schedule a case evaluation.