November 9, 2018 @ 1:00 p.m.
Access Code: 1469835118
Michael McCotter, Inspector General; Bill Diggins, Deputy Inspector General; Mark Kraus, SPSA Bureau of Compliance & Evaluation; Amy Tarr, Legislative Liaison; David Friedland, Chairperson; Cathy Lomasney, Board Member; John Pingo, Board Member; Merlin Lehman, Board Member; Pamela S. Oller, Administrative Assistant
Called to Order
Meeting called to order at 1:09 p.m.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes for July 11, 2018, were reviewed.
Motion to approve the minutes of July 11, 2018 - John Pingo
Motion Seconded - David Friedland
All in agreement with no abstentions.
Inspector General's Report
Inspector General McCotter reported on the audit that the OIG is underwent. Discussed the appearance in front of the Audit Commission and the upcoming appearance in front of the Legislative Audit Commission.
Chairperson David Friedland - inquired as to why OIG has to make a returning appearance at the hearing. Inspector General McCotter explained the Commission are seeking further information regarding investigators, caseloads and quality care board.
Inspector General McCotter explained the dynamics of and history of OIG investigators. He is seeking to increase the current headcount from 72 to 95. Wish list is to have 40 investigators, which is currently sitting at 36. Chairperson David Friedland - inquired why OIG cannot increase headcount. Inspector General McCotter replied it is possibly a budget situation.
Inspector General McCotter informed members the importance of frequency (at least once every 30 days) to logging in to their State email accounts to not only keep updated but to remain active in the system.
Inspector General McCotter stated when revisions are made to the Administrative Rules and Directives, they will be shared with the board and welcome any suggestions and/or comments.
Deputy Inspector General Diggins discussed the overview of the investigative process (from intake to assignment and to initiate an investigation of an allegation). Gave an overview of Rule 50 and how it pertains to OIG investigations. Discussed the jurisdiction of the OIG, the Bureau of Intake and the 24-hour hotline service, the 5 bureaus of investigation and their locations within the State. The process of gathering evidence related to possible allegations and the findings of said allegations, reporting format, levels of review and approval, reconsideration requests, and the healthcare registry were explained.
Chairperson David Friedland inquired to the repercussions of someone being placed on the healthcare worker registry, types of recommendations by the OIG, and timeline of notification to the guardian. Deputy Inspector General Diggins explained the Community Agencies/State Operated Facilities make the determination as to the discipline action taken against an employee; the OIG's role is to investigate allegations and make recommendations of said allegations (OIG does not make recommendations against employees); notifying the guardian is the responsibility of the agency/facility and required to do so as soon as they find out OIG has been notified. Guardians are made aware of the outcome of the allegations by OIG by letter at the conclusion of the investigation.
Chairperson David Friedland - inquired about the set goal for completing a case. Deputy Inspector General Diggins reported the goal is 60 work days.
Merlin Lehman - Inquired the process of determining type of situation whether it is serious or accidental. Deputy Inspector General Diggins - explained through intensive interviewing of everyone involved and with the gathered evidence.
Chairperson David Friedland - Inquired the time frame of receiving the complaint and the onset of an investigation. Deputy Inspector General Diggins - depends upon the nature of the allegation and the caseload of the assigned investigator - it is a case by case basis. The more serious allegations are immediate, less serious allegations could be a few days or up to a week. The main goal is to initiate the investigation as soon as possible as it relates to the type of allegation.
Deputy Inspector General Diggins reported the total investigations opened last year were 4200, which has increased approximately 15% from the previous year.
Cathy Lomasney - commented on issue of funding in the CILA's and their shortage of staff. Deputy Inspector General Diggins confirmed the OIG makes recommendations to divisions about working with CILA's to cover such issues.
Amy Tarr - Explained the Rules, Regulations and Administrative Rules that govern the OIG. Gave an overview of the Public Acts and Bills, as well as how they pertain to the OIG.
Chairperson David Friedland - Requested the synopsis of the scorecard information be emailed to the board. Would also, prefer to see more cases initially so the board can familiarize themselves with the types of investigations and findings. Merlin Lehman agrees with David's request. Decided that cases with findings of substantiated and cases with recommendations and/or issues will be sent to the board for their review. Deputy Inspector General Diggins reiterated the importance of confidentiality when reviewing the cases (NO PRINTING OR DISTRIBUTING OF CASES RECEIVED). Stated if there are any questions, to reach out to the OIG.
Chairperson David Friedland stated the next tentative meeting is scheduled for February 22, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. via teleconference.
Motion to Adjourn - Merlin Lehman
Motion Seconded - John Pingo
Meeting adjourned at 1:52 p.m.