APS investigates abuse, neglect, and exploitation of people receiving services from certain providers. They investigate the following providers:

  • Facilities:
    • State hospitals.
    • State supported living centers.
    • Intermediate Care Facilities for any person with an Intellectual Disability or Related Condition.
    • Department of Aging and Disability Services operated community services.
    • Department of State Health Services operated community services.
    • Inpatient mental health services providers who contract with an Health and Human Services (HHS) agency.
  • Community centers, local mental health authorities, local intellectual and developmental disability authorities.
  • Managed care organizations (MCO).
  • Home and community based service providers (HCS), who contract with an HHS agency or MCO.
  • Behavioral health service providers who contract with a MCO.
  • Officers, employees, agents, contractors, or subcontractors of above.
  • An employee, agent, manager or coordinator of the person participating in Consumer Directed Services.

APS also investigates:

  • Anyone who lives in a HCS waiver provider group-home whether or not that person receives services under the waiver program from the provider.
  • Children receiving services from Home and Community Support Services Agencies.

APS does NOT investigate a licensed provider if another agency has the authority to investigate the abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Forms

Examples of APS Provider Investigations

(all names in these scenarios are fictitious)

Any person with a mental illness or intellectual and developmental disability living in a facility.

Claudia Moreno is a 45-year-old woman with a severe intellectual and developmental disability who lives in a small HCS group home. One morning an employee at the home got angry when Ms. Moreno spilled a cup of juice and yelled at Ms. Moreno and shook her roughly.

APS confirmed emotional and physical abuse against the employee.

Any person living in their own home with a physical disability.

Andrew McIntosh is a 68-year-old man with multiple physical disabilities living in his own home.  He receives home health services through Medicaid funding.  One day his home health aide failed to provide the assistance for his safety while Mr. McIntosh transferred from his wheelchair to the bed.  Despite his repeated requests for her help, his aide refused to assist him and continued to talk on her cell phone across the room from Mr. McIntosh.  As a result, Mr. McIntosh fell to the floor, and sustained a broken hip. 

APS confirmed neglect against the home health aide.

Background Information

The legal basis for DFPS Provider investigations is found in the following codes:

House Bill 7 of the 72nd Legislature transferred to DFPS, effective September 1992, the functions and staff related to investigations of abuse, neglect and exploitation in facilities operated by Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. DSHS and DADS managed those facilities beginning in 2004.

House Bill 1111 of the 74th Legislature clarified that DFPS would be responsible for investigations in community mental health and IDD centers.

Senate Bills 760 and 1880 of the 84th Legislature transferred to DFPS, effective September 2015, the functions and staff related to investigations of abuse, neglect and exploitation of anyone receiving services from certain providers. The bill expanded to include investigation of:

  • The following Medicaid service providers:
    • A person who contracts with a HHS agency or MCO to provide HCS.
    • A person who contracts with MCO to provide behavioral health services.
    • A MCO.
    • An officer, employee, agent, contractor, or subcontractor of the above.
  • Anyone who lives in a HCS waiver provider group-home whether or not that person receives services under the waiver program from the provider.
  • Children receiving services from a HCSSA.

Senate Bill 1880 handed over to APS Provider Investigations the responsibility of investigating an employee, agent, manager, and coordinator of an individual participating in the CDS option. Before, this was investigated by the APS In-Home program.