Former Hawaii Health System Corporation Employee’s Violation of Post-Employment Law
Resolution of Investigation 2020-1 (COMPL-I-20-00040)
From Hawaii State Ethics Commission, March 23, 2020
The Hawai‘i State Ethics Commission (“Commission”) has resolved the Investigation of Marlisa Coloso (“Respondent Coloso”), Former Health Information Management Director of the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation (“HHSC”) Kaua‘i Region (“Kaua‘i Region”), for alleged violations of the State Ethics Code, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (“HRS”) chapter 84.
Respondent Coloso admitted and declared, under penalty of perjury, that the following facts are true and correct:
a) Respondent Coloso was employed by the HHSC Kaua‘i Region until her retirement on June 30, 2019. As a former state employee, Respondent Coloso is required to comply with the State Ethics Code’s postemployment law, HRS § 84-18.
b) Prior to her retirement, Respondent Coloso was the Health Information Management Director for the Kaua‘i Region, and was directly responsible for ensuring that Kaua‘i Region handled medical records appropriately and abided by state and federal law. Respondent Coloso also served as Kaua‘i Region’s technical representative for a contract (“Contract”) between the Kaua‘i Region and Star Auditing Services, LLC (“Star”), in which Star agreed to provide coding and auditing services to the Kaua‘i Region. The Contract was later supplemented to expand the scope of services provided by Star to include Health Information Management Directorship services, although Ms. Coloso did not work on those matters while employed by the Kaua‘i Region.
c) On July 15, 2019, Star hired Ms. Coloso as its Director of Business Development, and she is responsible for marketing Star’s business and building relationships with customers. Ms. Coloso also assists Star in providing the Kaua‘i Region with the Health Information Management Directorship services identified in the Contract’s supplemental agreements.
d) During her employment at Star, Ms. Coloso regularly met with Kaua‘i Region personnel, including personnel employed at the Health Information Management department whom she previously supervised. Since the start of her employment at Star, she met and communicated with Kaua‘i Region personnel approximately five to ten hours a week, and approximately half of that time was spent communicating with her former co-workers at the Health Information Management department.
Respondent Coloso (is) prohibited from communicating with Kaua‘i Region personnel on behalf of Star until July 1, 2020. The Commission investigated Respondent Coloso’s actions, and Respondent Coloso admits that she repeatedly violated the Post-Employment law by communicating with Kaua‘i Region personnel for approximately five to ten hours a week during her employment with Star…
Given the violations of the State Ethics Code, the Commission believes it is reasonable, fair, and in the public interest to resolve the investigation by (1) issuing this Resolution of Investigation, and (2) requiring Respondent Coloso to pay an administrative penalty of $1,500 to the State of Hawai‘i….
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BREG: Star Medical Auditing Services, LLC