Twogether Updates

In-Home Day Habilitation Temporary Policy Changes During COVID-19

HHSC's information letter (IL) revises IL 20-19, In-Home Day Habilitation Information for Program Providers for COVID-19, previously revised on July 30, 2020, to extend the temporary guidance through November 30, 2020.In response to COVID-19andtoprovide access to needed day habilitation services, the Health and Human Services Commission(HHSC)is temporarily waiving certain requirements in Sections4320and 3710of the HCS Billing Guidelines and the TxHmL Billing Guidelines. Specifically, Section...

read more

Pre-Webinar Survey For: “Round Table Discussion For Nursing Concerns In IDD Programs” (HCS/TxHmL/ICF)

Pre-Webinar Survey For those Nurses registered or planning to register for our November 5th, 2020 session:                                                                                      “Round Table Discussion For Nursing Concerns In IDD Programs” (HCS/TxHmL/ICF) Please print out this page and document your answers and responses to help us to develop topics of discussion during our 1st session as well as future round table sessions. You will need to scan your completed survey and email...

read more

EVV (Electronic Visit Verification) Updates

Deadline Approaching Soon!! October 21, 2020 Remember everyone:  Effective Dec. 1, HHSC will require HCS and TxHmL program providers to use EVV for the following services: Community First Choice Personal Assistance Services/Habilitation (CFC PAS/HAB) In-Home Respite In-Home Day Habilitation (Own Home or Family Home only) HCS and TxHmL program providers are required to select an EVV vendor and complete EVV training to meet the Dec.1 deadlines. The requirement to select an EVV vendor and...

read more

HCS Provider Applicant- Provider Applicant Training (PAT) and Test Information Update

HCS Provider Applicant- Provider Applicant Training (PAT) and Test Okay, for those of you who are going through the HCS or TxHmL provider applicant process and had your application approved, a lot of people are contacting me inquiring about when the orientation (PAT) and testing are going to happen as some of you have been waiting a very long time. Just FYI- I am unclear about testing. It may be online now, but I have also heard it may not be and it is still on hold due to COVID-19. What I do...

read more

ICF/IID Updates

10/16/20 Important Information! LTCR FORM 2195: Expansion of Reopening Visitation Status Attestation and Letter PL 20-43 (for ICF Only) Note: to receive an approved general visitation designation, a small ICF/IID that cannot provide separate areas, units, wings, halls, or buildings for individuals who are COVID-19 positive, COVID-19 negative or unknown COVID-19 status, based on the status of the entire facility, must: have no facility-acquired COVID-19 cases in individuals for at least 14...

read more

THERAP- Electronic Visit Verification Information Session

Training & Information Session: For Therap Users Concerning EVV system via Therap!!! Electronic Visit Verification Information Session | Therap Services on 10/26/2020 03:00 PM - Samba Live.  Please see the registration link below: https://samba.live/register/therapconferences/svc93p1x#registration

read more

Letter From Twogether Consulting To Providers-Update

  Hello Friends, We have just made some changes to the website and we hope you like them.  Feel free to give us your feedback.  Specifically, the "Updates" page has been reformatted so you are able to navigate from one "post" to the other. If you want to read more on each section, just click on "read more".  We have also updated the "Off-site Services" page so that you can pay for hours of off-site consultation right on the same page.  Remember there is a discount for blocks of time...

read more

Free Webinar Series

Our free webinar session recordings previously recorded are currently posted on our "Gotostage" page. https://www.gotostage.com/channel/3b0bd3b1a47c4e80be974f4bcfa54d7b  We are pleased to announce our guest line up for October & November 2020! Free Webinars!! Guest presenters:  Erin Langlais & Mitchell Deter From:  ADP Payroll & HR Services “As more people continue to return to the workplace, ADP is excited to share tools that are designed to help them, and their people transition...

read more

Very Important HHSC Alerts!

October 11th, 2020 IPC COVID-19 Policy Guidance for CLASS, DBMD, HCS and TxHmL Programs          HHSC is not requiring a face-to-face meeting with an individual or their legally authorized representative for individual plan of care revisions. This is per COVID-19 guidance IL-20-11. In addition, until further notice by HHSC, signatures from the individual or the LAR on the IPC or supporting documentation is not required before submitting to HHSC. All required signatories that are not the...

read more

COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Resources     https://open.texas.gov/ HHSC COVID-19 Provider Information https://hhs.texas.gov/services/health/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-provider-information   https://www.txdisabilities.org/news-events/coronavirus-information-resources ANCOR's COVID-19 Resource Center https://www.ancor.org/covid-19 CDC information for persons with IDD https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-disabilities.html Resources from HRS "As...

read more

HCS Expanded Visitor And Emergency COVID-19 Mitigation Rules

HHSC Publishes HCS Expanded Visitor Attestation Rules & Guidance Letter September 25th, 2020 HHSC Visitor Expansion Rule.  See the following rules in PDF updated on 9/25/20.  https://hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/doing-business-with-hhs/providers/long-term-care/hcs/hcs-covid-19-updated-emergency-rules.pdf PL-20-40 is the letter providing guidance for the new rules  The new attestation form is at the bottom of this alert letter from HHSC.  See the following PDF of PL-20-40: ...

read more

LTC Expanded Facility Visitation Rules For Re-Openings in Texas

    An ICF resident, as well as an individual living in an HCS group home, may have up to 2 Essential caregivers, as defined in the emergency rules, and they must have a negative COVID-19 test result from a test performed no more than 14 days before the first essential caregiver visit unless the facility chooses to perform a rapid test prior to entry into the facility.  Providers are still seeking clarification for some of the new COVID-19 emergency mitigation rules (including...

read more

HCS Billing Guidelines Revised-Sept. 2020

September 6, 2020 HCS Billing Guidelines Revised-Sept. 2020 Please pay special attention to the changes and clarifications for Nursing Services!  We will be reviewing these in our "Billable Services-HCS-2020" webinar on Sept. 21st, 2020.  For more information please contact Meghan Jones to register:  meghanjones.tx@gmail.com   If you attended the recent Billable Nursing Services training in August (Part I and II) we did add these to your handouts at the time of the training.  You have the...

read more

TMHP-Launching Redesigned Website

Texas Medicaid Health Portal TMHP is announcing the launching of their newly redesigned website available on September 14, 2020! As TMHP.com receives approximately 2.5 million views per month, it important to have a website that is functional and easy to navigate.  Major improvements have been made to increase the website user experience for providers. Highlights of new improved features include: o   Simplified navigation with program information, topics, and resources are more easily...

read more

TxHmL Rules & Regs-COVID-19 Mitigation-New

Emergency Rule Adoption for TxHmL and COVID-19 Mitigation See new rule at link below: https://hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/doing-business-with-hhs/provider-portal/long-term-care/txhml-covid-19-emergency-rules.pdf

read more

We Have New Services!

Twogether Consulting has added some new services to include: DEVELOPMENT OF INFECTION CONTROL POLICIES & PROCEDURES, or at least to update your one with COVID-19 policies and protocols.   (Based on Guidance noted in the HCS & ICF COVID-19 Response Plans                                                       HCS-covid-response-plan.pdf     ICF-covid-19-plan.pdf DEVELOPMENT OF EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLANS  In particular, so HCS/TxHmL providers are able to meet  compliance with Appendix K: ...

read more

ICF/IID & HCS/TxHmL Surveys Resuming!!!

  LTCR will be resuming survey activity for ICF/IID, HCS, and TxHmL in August as follows:    ICF/IID Effective August 4, scheduling of all survey activity will resume, including recertification surveys for both health and life safety code.  All survey activity includes licensure surveys, follow-ups, complaint and incident investigations, and CHOW visits. Providers that are past or close to the end of their certification period will be scheduled first. If you have questions about...

read more

ADP Services

Sad News! Our wonderful contact person, Laura Throneberry is, unfortunately, no longer at ADP Payroll.  She has been offered a wonderful new opportunity, and she will greatly miss working with Providers.  You all may be familiar with our other contact, Mitchell Deter.  He will still be assisting providers that work with HCS/TxHmL/and ICF.  Some of you may already be working with him. We also have a new liaison, Katie Marx, who will be presenting at our next webinar in our "free webinar...

read more

COVID-19 Information

  HHSC Issues Guidance to HCS/TxHmL Providers on Covid-19!!!! July 27, 2020 HHSC Long-term Care Regulation has updated the COVID-19 Response Plan for HCS residential providers (PDF). The document provides guidance on response actions in the event of a COVID-19 exposure. Provider Letter 20-12, HHSC Guidance to HCBS and TxHmL Program Providers on Covid-19, is now available. HHSC encourages program providers to review this guidance. Remember, no non-essential visitors, see definition in the...

read more

Training Resources

College of Direct Support  http://www.directcourseonline.com/direct-support/about/ DirectCourse | "College of Direct Support brings training in line with the latest research and partners with other leaders in the field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities" Has a fantastic training curriculum for Direct Support Staff and their supervisors.  See a list of courses from the 2019 catalog in the link below:...

read more

HCBS Settings Regulation Implementation -Timeline Extension!

Frequently Asked Questions: HCBS Settings Regulation Implementation and Heightened Scrutiny Reviews of Presumptively Institutional Settings: July 2020 Update 1.Question: What is the new deadline for states to assure that all settings are in compliance with the home and community-based services (HCBS) settings criteria? Answer: States have been granted an additional year to demonstrate compliance and should ensure all settings are in full compliance with the HCBS settings criteria by March 17,...

read more

On-Site Trainings Available Upon Request

Currently, all "On-site Training" is on hold due to COVID-19.  If you require any of these trainings, please check our calendars on our website for current webinars or contact us at:  info@twogetherconsulting.com for some of our pre-recorded training options. Live Training On-Site (Please contact us if you want us to provide these trainings on-site for your program): HCS/TxHmL: Care Coordination in the HCS Program, Using Person-Centered Thinking To Develop The IP (Implementation Plan), Changes...

read more

Employment Assistance & Supported Employment Training Options From HHSC

Employment Assistance & Supported Employment Training Options From HHSC There are two Home and Community-based Services and Texas Home Living trainings in this series: HCS and TxHmL Employment Assistance Training HCS and TxHmL Supported Employment Training The web-based trainings cover employment services provided through HCS and TxHmL, information about the payer of first resort for employment assistance, and the basics of providing these services. They are designed to enhance staff...

read more

Enhanced Provider Portal, Relief Fund Payments Available For Providers!

Tuesday, June 9, 2020 HHS Announces Enhanced Provider Portal, Relief Fund Payments for Safety Net Hospitals, Medicaid & CHIP Providers Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is announcing additional distributions from the Provider Relief Fund to eligible Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) providers that participate in state Medicaid and CHIP programs. HHS expects to distribute...

read more

Webinars

Please go to www.twogetherconsulting.com for more information and registration. Click on  "the calendar" of the Webinar you want to attend.  ********We also have pre-recorded webinars you can purchase for use at your facility.  Please contact Meghan Jones at: meghanjones.tx@gmail.com for more information, registration, and payment. June & July   “Prep Session For HCS Provider Applicant Test” (Webinar) (We will be reviewing some TxHmL information as well) Date:  Tuesday- July 2nd, 2020...

read more

HHSC Provider Applicant Training (HCS/TxHmL)

Update:  HCS/TxHmL Provider Applicant Training/Testing Currently, we do not have a definitive date for when HHSC will offer live Provider Applicant Training and Testing again.  There has been some mention of a possible live training and testing session August, but most likely this is doubtful to occur, due to COVID-19 precautions and rules of social distancing, really limit the options of a live testing session.  We have had quite a few of our HCS/TxHmL provider applicants since the end of...

read more

Texas Workforce Commission (Supported Employment)

Update on TWC services Provider Manual and Resources  The following revisions to the Vocational Rehabilitation Standards for Providers Manual (VR-SFP) are available for 30-day review on the Vocational Rehabilitation Providers' Resources page and will go into effect on June 29, 2020. Chapter 2: Obtaining a Contract for Goods and Services—updated Section 2.8.1 Adding Counties or Services, Goods, and/or Equipment to a Contract, to indicate that provider contracts awarded after January 2020 will...

read more

Cost Reporting Update!

Cost Report/Accountability Report has been extended to June 15, 2020 A notice has been posted to the LTSS web-page and the vendor will be updating the STAIRS system by Monday.  HHSC has stated they do not anticipate any additional extensions will be made at this point; however, if this occurs they will keep everyone updated. Notice: The new due date for submission of the 2019 Cost Report and/or 2019 Accountability Report has been extended to June 15, 2020. This new due date supersedes the...

read more

Utilization Review Department News!

Last Friday HHSC posted the following CARE banner:  Due to the 09/01/2019 HCS rate increase, service authorizations are being updated to ensure they are in line with their corresponding IPCs. This will not cause any payment changes. Upon inquiry as to what this meant, Holly Lindsey, UR, HHSC provided the explanation below.  Hopefully the explanation and guidance will be of assistance to you should an action (revision, renewal or transfer) be taken on an IPC which prompts a notice that the IPC...

read more

Live Classes

  No other live training has been scheduled at this time, these sessions are suspended until we hear more about the Covid-19 virus to decide on whether or not these sessions would be advisable at this time.  We will continue with webinars and on-site training, until further notice.       

read more

HCS/ICF Provider Job Openings & Job Positions Desired

Based on the many phone calls, emails and contacts through our social media pages concerning Job Positions Desired and Job Openings with HCS providers, I have decided to use our "Updates" page to provide a place where both those persons desiring a position with an HCS Provider and those Posting a Job Position can find each other! We will not be posting the job description or information on this page directly.  If you contact Meghan Jones at meghanjones.tx@gmail.com and let her know where you...

read more

BenefitMall

      Brittany Brown/Medicaid Waiver Program-Payroll Specialist How can BenefitMall help? Assistance to HCS/TxHmL/and DH providers with their HR needs as well as payroll. Benefits Mall has some exciting new products for a very low cost that can possibly make a huge difference in ensuring quality assurance with your HR services and needs! Not all payroll companies are created equal. Brittany Brown is our contact at BenefitMall, and she is THE expert in working with Medicaid Waiver...

read more

Person Centered Planning/ Practices Training Opportunities

Person-Centered Training Opportunities   HHSC Person Centered Planning/Practice Training Information What Training Is Required? Online Introductory Course The Texas Health and Human Services Online Introductory Course is appropriate for any member of the planning team, including: Legally authorized representatives Family members Friends Nurses (required in some instances) Behavior specialists (required in some instances) Employment specialists (required in some instances) Attendants...

read more

STATUS OF HCS RATES!

Status of HCS Rates as of Oct. 11th, 2019: As of October 11th, 2019, members of the HHSC Rate Workgroup were notified that the proposed rule amendments to implement the HCS rates that will be effective Jan. 1, 2020 thru August 31, 2021 have been sent to the Texas Register and will be published next Friday.  To view the HCS rates, go to:  https://rad.hhs.texas.gov/sites/rad/files/documents/long-term-svcs/2019/2019-09-hcs-rates.pdf . Any claims with DOS 11/10/19, and after will pay at the new...

read more

BEHAVIORAL SUPPORT SERVICES PROVIDER POLICY TRAINING

Behavioral Support Services HCS and TxHmL Behavioral Support Services Provider Policy Training (Has been mandated for HCS & TxHmL providers to ensure their contracted Behavioral Support Services providers to take since March 2015) This course informs service providers of behavioral support services in the HCS and TxHmL programs related to the provision of behavioral support services in those programs.  All new behavior support service providers must complete the WBT before providing...

read more

Status of ICF/IID Rates!

Approved ICF Rates:  09/12/19 Click on the link below to read HHSC's notice to ICF/IID providers about the ICF/IID rates.  The notice informs providers that the rates have been approved but at a lower rate than proposed.  The notice further explains that errors in the calculation of the rates resulted in the variance between the rates proposed versus the rates finally approved.  The rates will be retroactive to September 1, 2019.  Providers will receive a supplemental payment to cover the...

read more

HCS Survey Review Process, Billing Guideline Changes Summary & Provider User Guide for CARE

  Survey Process:  Timelines As everyone is aware, due to the COVID pandemic, the past several months have affected the Long-Term Care survey and enforcement processes and activities that are unrelated to the virus. As of June 15, 2020, Survey Operations has begun to resume some normal survey activity, and Enforcement is also resuming enforcement processes and activities, such as complaints or issues related to COVID-19.  No other regular survey activities have begun for HCS/TxHmL...

read more
Our Awesome Admin. Asst.

Our Awesome Admin. Asst.

Meghan Jones Meghan Jones is our awesome Admin. Assistant, otherwise known as our "Jill of All Trades".  She handles our registration, keeps up with our enormous provider contact list, our company schedule and calendar, and she is our main point of contact for scheduling, other than myself.  We couldn't make it without our Meghan!  I know many of you have talked to Meghan over the phone. You may contact her to complete registrations, set up on-site visits from our consultants, request invoice...

read more

TASKMASTER PRO “Cloud-Based” Services For HCS, TXHmL, ICF, and CLASS Providers

Discounted Rates Available for Small Providers (20 individuals or less) if you demo with Twogether Consulting to get signed up for TMP!  As you know, we often provide webinars for providers receiving TaskMaster Pro services and this year some exciting new changes are taking place.  We are having a webinar on January 28th to review some of the new changes added to the nursing component of TaskMaster Pro, which include Comprehensive Nursing Assessment addition.  For those of you who are not...

read more

Additional Training Opportunities

  HHSC JOINT PROVIDER LIVE TRAINING Save The Date:  2020 Waiver, Survey & Certification Training The training will cover a host of topics related to the HCS and TxHmL programs including, but not limited to, Administrative Penalties, Nursing Services, Amelioration and Informal Dispute Resolutions.  Registration information will be available online at HHSC in Spring 2020.         2020 HHS Long Term Care Regulatory Waiver Survey and Certification Joint Provider Training SAVE THE DATE...

read more