OIG audits health and safety of group homes

The OIG conducted an audit of Community Options, Inc. in response to an audit report issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General that identified oversight issues regarding the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s (HHSC’s) waiver programs for home and community-based services (HCS). The objective of the audit was to evaluate whether Community Options provided Medicaid beneficiaries living in three- and four-person residences with safe and healthy living environments. Community Options is an HCS program provider that operates 56 homes serving 194 Medicaid beneficiaries. In fiscal year 2020, Community Options received $10,854,468 to deliver supervised living and residential support services to Medicaid beneficiaries.

Community Options inconsistently complied with HHSC’s health and safety requirements during the OIG’s unannounced site visits to six three- and four-person residences. One home fully complied with all applicable health and safety requirements. The five remaining homes fully complied with (a) requirements concerning abuse, neglect, and exploitation protocols and (b) various other categories on a home-by-home basis. However, the OIG identified instances of noncompliance at five homes. Specifically, Community Options did not always eliminate hazards from interior and outside areas, maintain accurate medication records, comply with infection control requirements, or comply with emergency evacuation or fire safety rules.

The OIG made recommendations to Community Options, which, if implemented, will ensure that Community Options strengthens its controls to ensure that it provides safe and healthy living environments. You can read the full audit report on the OIG website. https://oig.hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/kenmar-resident…