Texas health commission COO resigns

The chief operating officer (COO) of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is leaving his post after eight months working for the agency, which oversees the state's Medicaid program.

John B. Scott, who led the agency's internal ethics and contracting reform effort, will return to the private sector as a civil litigation attorney, according to the HHSC.

"I want to extend my sincerest gratitude to John Scott for his steadfast commitment and service to the State of Texas," Gov. Greg Abbott stated in a press release. "While working in my administration as attorney general and throughout his tenure at HHSC, John consistently prioritized the needs of his fellow Texans above his own. ... I thank him for his service and wish him the best of luck in all future endeavors."

Scott isn't the first HHSC official to depart this year. In June, Director Kyle Janek, MD, left the agency, the same day a report by the U.S. Office of Inspector General found that Texas owes the U.S. government $133 million for unallowable orthodontic Medicaid treatments from 2008 to 2010.

After Texas raised dental reimbursement rates in 2007, the number of dentists participating in Medicaid increased from 45.4% to 63.4% in 2010, and claims increased by 240% between 2007 and 2010.

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