Provider Investigations

If you suspect someone with a disability has been abused, neglected or exploited, call the Department of Family and Protective Services Statewide Intake at 800-252-5400 or make a report online through their secure website: www.txabusehotline.org.  

DFPS SWI is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round.

What is HHSC Provider Investigation’s Jurisdiction?

HHSC PI investigates claims of abuse, neglect or exploitation by the following providers:

  • Facilities:
    • State Operated Facilities
    • Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities
    • Health and Human Services Commission -operated community services
  • People who contract with an HHS agency to provide inpatient mental health services
  • Community centers, local mental health authorities or local intellectual and developmental disability authorities
  • People who contract with an HHS agency or managed care organization to provide home and community-based services
  • People who contract with a managed care organization to provide behavioral health services; 
  • managed care organization
  • Officers, employees, agents, contractors or subcontractors of the people or organizations listed above
  • Employees, agents, case managers or service coordinators of a Consumer Directed Services employer

It also investigates abuse, neglect or exploitation involving:

  • People living in a Home and Community Based Services group home, even if they don’t get services under the waiver program from the provider
  • Children getting services from a Home and Community Support Services Agency

Reporting Suspected Abuse of People with Disabilities 

FAQs

How do I report abuse, neglect or exploitation?

Call the Department of Family and Protective Services Statewide Intake at 800-252-5400 or make a report online through their secure website: www.txabusehotline.org.  

DFPS SWI is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round.

Will anyone know who made the report?

HHSC PI will keep your name private, unless the law requires us to release it.  However, we can’t let you know the results of the investigation if you keep your name private.  HHSC PI may send your report to another agency if that agency should investigate it.

What happens after I make a report?

HHSC PI notifies the provider, so the provider can protect the victim.  

HHSC PI:

  • Contacts the victim.
  • Interviews  witnesses and  people accused of abuse.
  • Collects evidence such as photographs, diagrams and video surveillance.
  • Reviews and copies relevant facts from client records.
  • Reviews relevant forms.
  • Analyzes evidence and records the results in the final investigative report.

How long will the investigation take?

  • Investigations involving State Supported Living Centers must be completed within 10 days.  
  • Investigations involving State Hospitals must be completed in either 14 days (for Priority I and II) or 21 days (for Priority III).  
  • For all other providers, the investigation must be completed within 30 days.  
  • Under certain circumstances, the investigation may be extended.

What happens after the investigation is finished?

HHSC PI releases the report to the provider and sends the result in writing to the  person who made the report.   

Who can appeal the investigation’s results? 

  • The service provider’s administrator or attorney
  • The CDS employer or the employer’s legal representative
  • The person who reported the suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation
  • The victim, his or her legal guardian or his or her parent, if the victim is a child
  • Disability Rights Texas, if Disability Rights Texas represents the victim or is authorized by law to represent the victim

The victim, legal guardian, parent (if the victim is a child) and reporter can ask for an appeal by calling HHSC PI toll-free at 888-778-4766. You must call within 60 days of the report being signed and dated. 

A provider can ask for an appeal for 30 days following the date the investigative report was signed and dated by the investigator. The provider asks for an appeal using the First and Second Level Appeal Request forms below. 

The first level appeal decision may be appealed no later than 30 calendar days following the date the appeal decision letter is signed. For more information about HHSC Provider Investigations, see the HHSC PI Handbook.