June 2nd, 2022

Don’t Forget!

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Provider Retention Payments Attestation and Initial Reporting

Initial report is due by July 1, 2022.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) implements American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Provider Retention payments.

HHSC is providing funds to agency providers and consumer-directed services employers to support recruitment and retention efforts for direct care staff delivering HCBS services. Payments made under this section can include one-time financial compensation directed toward direct care staff, including lump-sum bonuses, retention bonuses, and paid time off to receive a COVID-19 vaccination or to isolate after receiving a positive COVID-19 test.

HHSC is providing time-limited reimbursement increases to strengthen and stabilize the HCBS workforce. Temporary rate increases will be made on eligible HCBS service claims with dates of service between March 1, 2022, and August 31, 2022.

Providers receiving temporary rate increases must complete an attestation and complete an initial report by July 1, 2022.

HHSC will announce the due date for the final report in a follow-up notice. Providers will have at least 30 days to complete the final report.

Providers who fail to complete the required attestation and reporting will be subject to recoupment of HCBS ARPA funds.

Information regarding ARPA HCBS Provider recruitment and retention payments is available on the HHSC Provider Finance website.


 

May 19th, 2022

HCS/TxHmL providers:

Please be aware of the following for claims being paid from March 1st, 2022-August 31st, 2022 in TMHP:  There are new Procedure/Billing Codes in TMHP that reflect the ARPA short-term funding as retention payments you may be receiving for these claims billed during this time period.  If you are seeing new or different codes than you are used to, listed when you pull up “paid” claims, then you are receiving ARPA Retention payments and will be responsible for documenting how these funds were used and reporting this by July of 2022, or you are subject to recoupment from the MCO’s.  (Example: M0115, M0116, M0117…)

See rates and new codes listed in link below:

https://acrobat.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:cca5939a-6173-346e-9fc2-3409490a5447

Personally, I was under the assumption that providers would have to request this assistance if they wanted it, meaning they would choose whether they utilized this funding or not.  Apparently not necessarily as some providers have noted this is showing up on their payments.  From everything I am reading, the provider letters from HHSC do seem to indicate every provider will receive the funding.

Meaning additional (ARPA) monies that the provider is receiving in claim payments for that time period, will need to be accounted for, and reporting on how funds were utilized will need to happen and be sent into HHSC. Some providers are noticing a difference in the regular rates they submitted claims for when they look at their “paid claims”.  If the provider uses the ARPA intended, attestation and reporting to HHSC must occur.

If the HCS/TxHmL provider chooses not to utilize the added-on payments to the normal rates, I believe they will need to hold back/save these additional amounts for each claim paid from March to August of 2022, in order to pay them back at a later date.  If these ARPA funds are utilized, then the HCS/TxHmL Provider will need to complete a report by July of 2022. I believe, to HHSC by the provider, or they will have to keep it in an account and saved for repayment/recoupment when requested by the MCO’s if I understand correctly.  I will keep you posted!  Also, please look for the additional FAQ’s to be published on May 23rd, 2022 for hopefully important answers to the TMHP questions and issues many providers have expressed with entering IPCs in particular (especially revisions) entering billing claims, and only getting paid for part of billing claims submitted.

 

Here Are Just Some Of The FAQ’s HHSC Recently Published May 5th, 2022 (specifically related to this issue I have noted above)

Q: What are the ARPA HCBS Provider Retention Payments?

A: HHSC’s ARPA HCBS spending plan included recruitment and retention payments for providers delivering attendant and direct care HCBS for retention bonuses or other activities. HHSC’s spending plan requires providers to use at least 90 percent of HCBS ARPA funds for one-time financial compensation for their direct care workforce, including, but not limited to, lump-sum bonuses, retention bonuses, and paid time off to receive a COVID-19 vaccination or to isolate after receiving a positive COVID-19 test.

Q: What Services are eligible for Provider Retention Payments?

A: HCBS ARPA temporary rate add-on will be applied to HCBS personal attendant and nursing services as defined in 1 TAC 355.207.  A list of eligible services is defined in Section 355.207(b)(1). An updated service list and fee schedule is available on the Provider Finance Homepage.

Q: What identifying information do I need to include with my attestation and required reports?

A: Each attestation and required report must include the following information:
• Provider Doing Business (DBA) Name
• Address
• Contact information (including email and phone number)
• Required unique identifiers (see below for a list by program) Since different provider types have various unique identifiers, HHSC has developed the following list to aid providers in submitting their required attestation and reports. HHSC requests that all providers submit two unique identifiers to ensure your organization gets credit for the required attestation and reporting.
-For fee-for-service agency providers, please include your 9-digit HHSC contract number with all submissions.
Please also include either your National Provider Identifier (NPI) or your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) with your submission.
-For Consumer Directed Services (CDS) employers, please include your Medicaid Identification number.
-If an organization has multiple fee-for-service contracts, please submit a required report for each Medicaid contract that delivers eligible HCBS services between March 1, 2022, and August 31, 2022.
HCS/TxHmL providers must complete attestation and required reports for each component code unless providers submit identifiers shared by all component codes/contracts within an organization (for example NPI).
Q:  What attestation is required?
A:  All providers who deliver eligible HCBS services with service dates between Match 1, 2022 and August 31, 2022, are required to complete an attestation to describe how they will use funds or face recoupment. The attestation is due by Friday July 1, 2022. Providers must attest to the following
-A provider must be actively billing Medicaid services.
-A provider must agree to use at least 90 percent of payments made under this section for recruitment and retention efforts for direct care delivering HCBS services as defined in 355.207(b). staff
-A provider must agree payments made under this section can include one-time financial compensation directed toward direct care staff, including lump-sum bonuses, retention bonuses, and paid time off to receive a COVID vaccination or to isolate after receiving a positive COVID– 19 19 test. Funds under this section can be used to support reasonable employer administrative expenses, including payroll taxes and workers’ compensation necessary to implement the financial compensation of HCBS direct care staff.
Q: What initial reporting is required?
A: An initial report detailing the number of filled and vacant personal attendant and nursing staff as of March 1, 2022, is required from all providers who deliver eligible HCBS services with service dates between March 1, 2022, and August 31, 2022. The initial report can be submitted with the required attestation and is due by Friday, July 1, 2022.
Q: What final reporting is required?
A: All providers who deliver eligible HCBS services with service dates between March 1, 2022, and August 31, 2022, are required to complete a final report detailing the number of filled and vacant personal attendant and nursing staff have at least 30 days to complete their final reportAssuming from August 31st you have 30 days. 
Q: What happens if a provider does not submit the attestation or required
reporting?
A: Providers who do not submit the required attestation, initial report, and final report
will be subject to recoupment of all HCBS ARPA funds. Claims will be reprocessed at
the non-HCBS ARPA rate that was in effect prior to March 1, 2022.
Q: Will MCOs be required to recoup any payments?
A: HHSC will notify MCOs through existing recoupment processes if a provider is
eligible for recoupment due to non-attestation or failure to report.
Q: If MCOs have to recoup, how will that work? Given the financial audits
MCOs receive, we are concerned about the process and keeping everything
straight.
A: HHSC is finalizing fee-for-service procedures and may reprocess the claims without
the add-on if a provider does not attest or does not provide the two required
reports. The capitation rates include provision for the administrative expense
through the variable administrative component to assist with the costs related to
implementing these fee schedule changes. MCOs may use the same method as
HHSC or use an existing method should the MCO recoup funds.
For a complete FAQ from May 5th, 2022 click here

May 19th, 2022

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Provider Retention Payments

The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Provider Retention Payments is part of the HHSC APRA Spending Plan.

The HCBS ARPA Retention Payments will be distributed as a temporary rate add-on to agency providers and consumer-directed services employers to support recruitment and retention efforts for direct care staff delivering HCBS services. Eligible providers can use the temporary add-on to provide one-time financial compensation directed toward direct care staff, including lump-sum bonuses, retention bonuses, and paid time off to receive a COVID-19 vaccination or to isolate after receiving a positive COVID-19 test.

HHSC adopted a new Texas Administrative Code rule 1 TAC 355.207 governing the HCBS ARPA Retention Payments, including the attestation and reporting requirements. Eligible providers who receive the add-ons but fail to complete the required attestation and reporting will be subject to recoupment of the associated payment add-ons.

Click here to submit the required attestation and initial report due July 1, 2022.

HHSC will provide additional information regarding the due date for the Final report at a later date. Providers will have at least 30 days to submit the final report.

Please contact the HHSC Provider Finance Department, Long-term Services and Supports Customer Information Team at PFD-LTSS@hhs.texas.gov or (512) 867-7817 if you have questions regarding HCBS ARPA Provider Retention Payments.