Policy Number: 114
I. POLICY AND GENERAL STATEMENT
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (“university”) is committed to exercising due diligence to prevent and detect unethical behavior and/or violations of applicable laws, regulations and policies by its employees, residents, independent contractors, contractors and vendors which would require exclusion from participation in federal and state health care programs. The university is further committed to exercising due care to avoid delegating substantial discretionary authority to an individual or other entity known to have a propensity to engage in unlawful or unethical activities.
Federal and state agencies have the authority to exclude individuals or entities who have engaged in fraud or abuse from participation in programs they sponsor. Entities who employ or contract with excluded individuals or entities may incur civil monetary penalties or be excluded from participation in federal and state programs.
The university makes a reasonable inquiry into the status of post-offer applicants for employment, applicants for university residency programs*, employees, residents** currently enrolled in university residency programs, independent contractors, and vendors and contractors as described in the Exclusion Check Guidelines. These checks will be conducted prior to the start of employment for post-offer applicants, prior to acceptance of applicants for residency programs, prior to the issuance of a vendor code for an independent contractor, prior to the set-up of a vendor or contractor in the university’s financial system, within seven days before the execution of a contract with a vendor or contractor; on a quarterly basis for all employees and residents; on a quarterly basis for a random sample of independent contractors; on a monthly basis for vendors and contractors; and prior to the issuance of a purchase order of $20,000 or above by the responsible parties. The responsible parties include Human Resources (“HR”), the School of Dentistry's Office of Student Affairs (“SDOSA”), the Office of Graduate Medical Education (“OGME”), the Financial Administrative Support Team (“FAST”), and Procurement Services. The Office Institutional Compliance (“OIC”) will have responsibility for confirming any potential matches and coordinating with the affected departments to ensure adherence to the guidelines.
Failure to adhere to this policy by university personnel could result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination or dismissal.
A. Exclusion and Debarment Lists
The responsible parties shall check for:
1. debarment, exclusion, or other ineligibility for participation in federally funded health care programs or receipt of federal funds by querying the List of Excluded Individuals/Entities maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General;
2. debarment, exclusion, or other ineligibility for participation in state and federally funded health care programs or receipt of state or federal funds by querying the Medicaid and Title XX Provider Exclusion List maintained by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission;
3. debarment and/or exclusion from federal procurement programs by querying the Excluded Parties Listing System (the electronic version of the Lists of Parties Excluded from Federal Procurement and Non-Procurement Programs) maintained by the General Services Administration;
4. designation as a Specially Designated National by querying the Specially Designated Nationals List maintained by the United States Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control;
5. good standing with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts by querying the Certification of Account status database maintained by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts; and,
6. debarment from Texas state procurement programs by querying the Texas Procurement and Support Service’s Suspended and Debarred Vendor List.
Post-offer applicants, applicants for residency programs, employees, independent contractors, and residents will be subject to checks of all the above noted exclusion and debarment lists with the exception of those lists named in sections 5 and 6. Independent contractors, vendors, and contractors will be subject to checks of all the above noted exclusion and debarment lists.
B. Confirmation of Exclusion, Debarment or Designation
The Exclusion Check Guidelines detail the consequences and procedures if an individual or entity is confirmed as being excluded, debarred, or designated.
C. Eligibility for Employment, Placement or Business
Upon being removed from an exclusion list, an independent contractor shall be eligible to do business with the university. The independent contractor's eligibility to do business with the university is subject to verification of the independent contractor's status by the appropriate responsible party.
Upon being removed from an exclusion list, an individual whose offer of employment or offer of placement in a residency program was rescinded or an employee terminated as a result of being excluded is considered eligible to apply for employment or enrollment in a residency program with the university.
D. Reporting of Exclusion or Debarment
Any employee or any resident enrolled in a university residency program who receives notification that he/she has been placed on an exclusion or debarment list as indicated above must inform his/her supervisor and the Chief Compliance Officer immediately.
E. Administrative Error
If an employee, resident or independent contractor can provide sufficient documentation to OIC to demonstrate administrative error and to demonstrate the individual has taken prompt action to correct the administrative error, the university will take appropriate corrective action immediately. Employees and residents will be immediately returned to their regular status and pay will be reinstated to them for the period they were placed on leave without pay. Independent contractors will be returned to regular status within the university’s financial system and will immediately be eligible to do business with the university.
* Please note that for purposes of this policy and the accompanying guidelines, the term “residency program” also includes clinical fellowships and research fellowships.
** Please note that for purposes of this policy and the accompanying guidelines, the term “resident” includes clinical fellows and research fellows.
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