OIG Extends Deadlines for Health Care Providers

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) understands that during the COVID-19 pandemic providers might experience increased demand, staffing shortages and other unforeseen difficulties. The rapidly evolving situation may place a significant strain on providers as they care for Texans. In order to assistant providers to focus on their patients, the OIG is extending a variety of deadlines.

This web page will contain all the relevant notices and deadline extensions that may affect Texas providers. Please check this web page frequently as dates and deadlines may change according to the status of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional extensions may be considered based on special circumstances. Those requests should be made in writing to the OIG. If you have questions or would like to submit a request, please direct those to the OIG staff member assigned as your point of contact in your notification letter.

For COVID-19 information from the Texas Department of State Health Services, click here; for information from Texas Health and Human Services, click here; to find testing sites in Texas, click here. Texas Health and Human Services encourages all Texans in need of COVID-19 information and referrals to community resources to call the 2-1-1 Texas hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Provider Notices

As of March 13, 2020, the OIG has temporarily halted onsite nursing home visits.

Effective March 19, 2020, the OIG will not initiate new audits or inspections for 30 days.

OIG retrospective work related to COVID-19: When conducting audits, inspections, investigations and reviews the Texas OIG will take into consideration approved federal and state waivers and guidance for any dates that fall within the coronavirus public health emergency time period.

Documentation for deviations related to COVID-19: When conducting audits, inspections, investigations and reviews, the Texas OIG uses several official sources to determine compliance. The OIG encourages MCOs/DMOs and their network providers to document any deviation and the reasons why as they relate to COVID-19.

Deadline Extensions During COVID-19

Last updated June 25, 2020: OIG Deadline chart (PDF)

Notice for MCOs

Last updated May 20, 2020: MCO Notice (PDF)

COVID-19 Fraud Alert

Several federal agencies are investigating various schemes related to fake COVID-19 tests, treatments, charities, and billing issues. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General offers these tips to protect yourself:

  • Be cautious of anyone asking for your Medicaid number or other health insurance information.
  • Be suspicious of any unexpected calls or visitors offering COVID-19 tests or supplies. If your personal information is stolen, it may be used in other schemes.
  • Ignore offers or advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatments on social media.
  • A doctor or other trusted healthcare provider should assess your condition and approve any requests for COVID-19 tests.

You can read more about how to protect yourself from scams by clicking here.

Texas Medicaid Estate Recovery Program Notice

If you have received a letter from the Texas Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP) and have been affected by COVID-19, please call 800-641-9356 to provide an update. MERP will work with each caller on a case-by-case basis to attempt to accommodate specific needs. Read more about MERP by clicking here.