- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
I would like to clarify some details in the July 20 article published in The Enterprise, “Health dept. worker fired; fraud charged.”
The individual mentioned in this article was not an employee of the St. Mary’s County Health Department but rather a contractual vendor to our personal care program, which provides management and funding for personal care providers who assist with activities of daily living in clients’ homes, including grocery shopping, meal preparation and feeding, bathing and dressing, and laundry assistance.
All providers complete an initial application, submit references and agree to a criminal background check. The health department works closely with clients and providers to ensure that providers meet the standards set forth in the plan of care. Occasionally, as in the reported instance, a client may request a particular vendor. For added precaution, all providers are required to call the health department from the client’s residence to verify that the visit was made. Payment is not made to the vendor if proper protocol is not followed and if verification of the call is not registered.
Our internal control processes were followed in this instance, and we regret that they appear to have been inadequate. We have initiated a review based on the allegations described in the article to ensure that taxpayer resources are appropriately used to benefit the citizens of this county.
Tracy Kubinec, Leonardtown
The writer is acting health officer for St. Mary’s County.