I. Status of HCS Rates: As of July 17th, 2019-Based on the rate packet issued yesterday it appears HHSC did not accept all of the recommendations PPAT, the Texas Council and PACSTX offered during meetings with HHSC on June 10th and June 14.
As recommended to HHSC, there are no reductions to rates HHSC contends are needed to achieve a ‘fully funded’ rate and no increases (to achieve a ‘fully funded’ rate’) to service rates not widely utilized or in which changes to the Billing Guidelines would help cover their costs. Examples of HHSC’s acceptance of the above stakeholder recommendations include the following:
- No proposed reductions to the Host Home rates.
- No proposed increases to therapy rates.
- No proposed reductions to the Residential Service rates for LONs 1, 5 and 8 (service rates, however, it is believed that it should be increased to be consistent with the intent of Rider 44).
- No proposed reduction to the Day Habilitation LON 9 rate (another service rate that many believe should be increased).
However some of the stakeholder recommendations related to the following service rates were not accepted as hoped, but HHSC proposed the following:
- Increases to only two of the five Residential (3 and 4 persons homes) LON service rates; i.e., LONs 6 and 9. [According to HHSC, to achieve a fully funded rate, the current rates for LONs 1, 5 and 8 should be reduced.] Yikes!
- Increases to only three of the five Day Habilitation LON service rates; i.e., LONs 1, 5, and 8. [According to HHSC, to achieve a fully funded rate, the current LON 9 rate should be reduced. Interestingly, however, this same HHSC data indicates the LON 6 DH rate should be increased.] Strange.
Please know that PPAT, Texas Council and PACSTX, are carefully evaluating options to address the concerns to ensure actions taken do not result in unintended consequences. If you are a member of any of these associations, they should keep you updated.
**** Public Hearings: As previously shared, the public hearing to receive comments on the proposed rates is August 2, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. in the HHSC Public Hearing room. Though details related to both hearings were available on HHSC’s webpage earlier today, now only the hearing for ICF/IID is posted. HHSC has been alerted about this. Suggested oral testimony or written comments will be forthcoming. .
Many thanks from Twogether Consulting, to all the provider associations who have been passionately involved in providing a voice for Providers and Individuals with IDD and their families and who devote all their time to working with the legislature to help them!