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.
Very Important!
**** 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!

SUMMARY OF PROPOSED PAYMENT RATES
Effective September 1, 2019

The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will conduct a public hearing at 3:00 p.m. on August 2, 2019, in the Brown-Heatly Building Public Hearing Room, located at 4900 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, Texas, 78751. Public comments will be received on proposed rate increases for Home and Community-based Services Waiver Program (HCS) to be effective on September 1, 2019.
HHSC will consider concerns expressed at the hearing prior to final rate approval. This public hearing is held in compliance with the provisions Human Resources Code §32.0282, and the Title 1 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Section 355.105(g), which require a public hearing on proposed payment rates.
PROPOSED RATES:                                                                                                                                                                                                                          HHSC proposes to increase the payment rates for the HCS Supervised Living / Residential Support Services, Day Habilitation, Supported Home Living Transportation, Community First Choice (CFC) Supported Home Living, and CFC Consumer Directed Services Supported Home Living in accordance with the 2020-21 General Appropriations Act, 86th Legislature, Regular Session, 2019 (Article II, HHSC, Rider 44).
METHODOLOGY AND JUSTIFICATION
The proposed payment rates were calculated in accordance with 1 TAC Section 355.723, which addresses the reimbursement methodology for the HCS program.  See HCS rates packet proposal below for Sept 1st, 2019.  Click on link to HCS rates document. 

09-01-19-hcs-rate-packet

Please contact the Rate Analysis Department’s Customer Information Center at (512) 424-6637 or by email at RAD-LTSS@hhsc.state.tx.us should you have any questions regarding the information in this document.