How one Texas official directed millions to Austin tech firm 21CT

During a March 2012 webinar, a top Texas health official said his office was implementing a revolutionary tool to help Medicaid fraud investigators find bad guys: graph pattern analysis.

How one Texas official directed millions to Austin tech firm 21CT photo

Jack Stick, former deputy inspector general at the Office of Inspector General of the Health and Human Services Commission.

“Graph pattern analysis is really the next line of defense for this office,” said Jack Stick, then-deputy inspector in the state health agency’s Office of Inspector General, speaking to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Stick’s presentation touted technology developed by Austin data analytics company 21CT, which had no experience with Medicaid and at the time wasn’t eligible to compete for such a lucrative contract in Texas.

The Office of Inspector General had been courting two qualified vendors who did have experience in the field, but, just months after that presentation, 21CT completed the paperwork to become eligible and quickly got the job. Meanwhile, state Medicaid officials urged their federal counterparts to approve a $20 million contract with 21CT, which was awarded without any formal bidding process. A $90 million extension of that no-bid contract was set to be finalized until Friday, after questions raised by an American-Statesman investigation prompted officials to cancel it. FULL STORY