Twogether Updates

Time To Care Coalition (TTCC)-Update

July 16th, 2024 From our friends at PPAT, see information sent out today on data collected by Time To Care Texas organization: New Data Shows Escalating Workforce Crisis Facing Community-Based DSPs Serving Texans With IDD AUSTIN, TX – Today, the Time To Care: Save Texas Caregivers Now coalition released a statement on new data underscoring the escalating workforce crisis facing community-based direct support professionals (DSPs) serving Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities...

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Letter To Providers From Twogether Consulting-July 15th, 2024

July 15th, 2024 From Twogether Consulting!   Hello, hope everyone is doing okay out there.  First off, I know many providers and their individuals were affected by Hurricane Beryl, especially in the Houston area and we at Twogether Consulting hope that you are all in a safe place and hopefully power is restored for many of you and lines of communication.  I know this has been a trying time for all of you.   Twogether Consulting would like to thank LaShonda Dennis from accounting...

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PPAT Fall Conference For September 4th-6th, 2024: Registration Available Soon!

July 15th, 2024 27th ANNUAL PPAT CONFERENCE Doubletree Hotel Austin 6505 IH-35 North, Austin, TX 78752 *Twogether Consulting will have an exhibitor booth at this event. Please come by and meet us. Join PPAT for Their Annual PPAT Conference, September 4th-6th, 2024!   Preview of Sessions (The list is not inclusive and is subject to change) Re-establishing Medicaid Eligibility:  Help is on the Way! Billing for Nursing Services:  Helpful Tips from the Experts Updates on HHSC Office of...

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Don’t Forget About ACRES Open Enrollment July 1st-31st, 2024

July 15th, 2024 HHSC announces State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2025 Open Enrollment for the following programs: Attendant Compensation Rate Enhancement Program for: Community Living Assistance and Support Services (CLASS) – Direct Service Agency (DSA) Home and Community-based Services (HCS) Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions (ICF/IID) Texas Home Living (TxHmL) And other appropriate programs For SFY 2025, enrollment for the Attendant...

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Fee Review for Medicaid & Non-Medicaid Reimbursement Rates and Methodologies

July 12th, 2024 Biennial Fee Review for Medicaid & Non-Medicaid Reimbursement Rates and Methodologies Please register for the sessions of importance to you.  See below or go to:  https://www.hhs.texas.gov/about/communications-events/meetings-events/2024/08/08/biennial-fee-review-medicaid-non-medicaid-payment-rates-rate-methodologies-agenda Online Meetings. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will conduct stakeholder engagement meetings on August 8, 2024, to receive...

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“Beyond The Basic Certified Public Accounting Firm”-Presented by LaShonda Dennis of Pegue-Dennis, CPA PC

July 9th, 2024 Thank you so much for those of you who could attend today's session hosted by Twogether Consulting.   I know many of you who registered were unable to attend today.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to those of you in Houston and other areas affected by the hurricane and flooding.  We have recorded today's session and will also post it on our "gotostage" channel as well as LinkedIn and FB pages.   Click on the link below to the recording of today's session.  Register name and...

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HB 4169 Implementation: Proposed Amendments to HCS, TxHmL & DBMD Waivers

July 1st, 2024 HB 4169 directed HHSC to add pre-vocational services as a service through ISS or add it as a new service/benefit to HCS, TxHmL & DBMD.  In conversations with CMS last fall, HHSC was informed that the service had to be a separate service from ISS, hence HHSC is proposing the service as a new benefit.  Discussions with CMS, the Meaningful Skills Development and Employment Services subcommittee of the IDD System Redesign Advisory Committee and stakeholder feedback received in a...

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Town Hall about HCS enrollment requirements in PEMS: Practice Locations

June 30th, 2024 Town Hall about HCS enrollment requirements in PEMS Home and Community-based Services (HCS) providers must list their practice locations and billing offices in the Provider Enrollment and Management System (PEMS). Please review the following article which HHSC published on 5/2/2024 for more information: https://www.hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/hcs-revalidation-notice.pdf To help you add or maintain your practice locations in PEMS, the Texas Medicaid &...

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HCS/TxHmL Providers & FMSAs: Technical Assistance Session For TMHP on July 8th, 2024

June 25th, 2024 This is a very good opportunity for providers who need help, to receive assistance with issues they encounter when attempting to submit forms or claims in the LTC portal. HHSC Bulletin:  Medicaid and CHIP Services (MCS) will be hosting monthly sessions for Program Providers and Financial Management Services Agencies (FMSAs), who use the Long-term Care (LTC) online portal for the Home and Community-based Services (HCS) and Texas Home Living (TxHmL) waiver programs. TMHP and HHSC...

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PEMS: Update On HCS Revalidations For Current Providers

June 28th, 2024 Town Hall about HCS enrollment requirements in PEMS Home and Community-based Services (HCS) providers must list their practice locations and billing offices in the Provider Enrollment and Management System (PEMS). Please review the following article which HHSC published on 5/2/2024 for more information: https://www.hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/hcs-revalidation-notice.pdf To help you add or maintain your practice locations in PEMS, the Texas Medicaid &...

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EVV (Electronic Visit Verification) Updates

June 19th, 2024 FYI- there are also additional modifiers for EVV-required services (such as TG for Specialized Nursing and UC for CDS Nursing). Useful EVV tool:  April 1, 2024, provides additional HCPCS and modifier combinations.  EVV Home Health Care Services Bill Codes Table (texas.gov) June 7th, 2024 Reminder:  Please Use Appropriate Modifiers To Be Reimbursed Properly For Nursing & Other Specific Therapies That Occur In (OFH) In-Home Services! Updates LTC HCS and TxHmL Bill Code...

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Assistance With Medicaid Renewal & Eligibility Issues

June 7th, 2024 Reposted From February 22, 2024 What Can Providers Do When They Need Assistance With Medicaid Renewal & Eligibility Issues? HHSC is constantly evaluating ways to be more efficient and improve the quality of the application review process, it was suggested that in addition to referring cases to Ms. Perez's office (Gracie Perez, Access & Eligibility Services) at HHSC, providers needing emergency assistance are urged to contact the Regional Director in their area. See list...

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Medicaid Eligibility Issue: Individual Assigned Wrong Medicaid Type Code (HCS/TxHmL)

June 7th, 2024 Individual Assigned Wrong Medicaid Type Code During The Renewal/Reinstatement Process   it has been brought to my attention that some of Individuals in our IDD waiver programs have sometimes been renewed/reinstated with the wrong type code for Medicaid, which then takes them out of the HCS or TxHmL waiver.  This also means the provider can't bill. For many of our individuals, R14 or 14 is the appropriate code for "waiver". Some providers have mentioned that their...

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Reminder Providers Must Sign Up For Blackboard Connect Emergency System (HCS, TxHmL, ICF, & DAHS-ISS Providers)

June 4th, 2024 BLACKBOARD CONNECT EMERGENCY SYSTEM Just as a reminder, this is not a voluntary process! All providers must appoint a designee to enroll in the system.  That designee is responsible for communication and responses to requests through this system.  Be sure to also note any other designees or back-up designee for the  Blackboard Connect Emergency System!  This system will be used to send emergency and outreach notifications through email, phone, voice and text if available. June...

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HHSC Transitioning STAR+PLUS Program Contracts: Please Register For Very Important Webinar

May 30th, 2024 HHSC is transitioning contracts for the STAR+PLUS program as of September 1st, 2024 Providers be aware that members may need to select new health plans. ·       Providers may need to contract with new MCOs. The STAR+PLUS Project Team invites providers to attend an upcoming webinar to learn about changes to the STAR+PLUS program. This information will be helpful to providers in communicating with STAR+PLUS members and engaging with managed care organizations. Each webinar will...

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Don’t Forget To Update Emergency Preparedness Plans Before Hurricane Season

May 22, 2024 Planning For Flooding & Hurricane Season ** Please remember to address tornadoes in your emergency and evacuation planning, if they apply to your area, as they often occur during or in conjunction with Hurricane Season.  In addition, Texas has already been hit by severe storms, large hail, and tornadoes during the month of May.  Some of these severe storms and tornadoes have already left many people in Texas without electricity in incredibly hot temperatures. See HHSC...

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Presentation Hosted By AAIDD: Autism CARES Act

May 28th, 2024 Presentation On The Extension of The Autism CARES Act Hosted by AAIDD Presenters: - Cindy Smith, Director of Public Policy, AUCD - Kim Musheno, Executive Vice President of Public Policy, ASA The Autism CARES Act provides research, education, training, and services for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. It must be reauthorized before it expires in September 2024. In this webinar, you will learn more about this critical law and how to advocate for its...

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Direct Care Careers Online Portal From HHSC: New Enhancements

May 28th, 2024 Direct Care Careers Enhancements HHSC launched Direct Care Careers August 2023, an optional, online portal that will connect potential employees with employers delivering home and community-based services through the state plan and HCBS authorities (1915(c), 1915(i), 1915(j), and 1115). To provide the best user experience possible, HHSC is excited to announce the following enhancements and improvements to the platform. All Users (Employers and Candidates) New options added to...

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Joint Training From HHSC For Providers

Joint Training Page Available for HCS/TxHmL/ICF/ISS Providers The HCS and TxHmL programs now have a Joint Training Opportunities page where providers can register for upcoming classes. Class size will be limited to maximize participation, but classes will be offered regularly. Providers should check the page often for updates. There will be recordings of special presentations available for viewing on-demand later. May 23, 2024 June 2024 HCS/TxHmL Provider Training Opportunities Long-Term Care...

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Branding Guidelines and Waiver Program Handbook and Form Updates

May 22nd, 2024 Home and Community-based Services (HCS), Texas Home Living (TxHmL), Community Living Assistance and Support Services (CLASS), and Deaf Blind with Multiple Disabilities (DBMD) waiver programs will be replacing the form and handbook term “individual” with “person” in accordance with HHS branding guidelines. HHS follows federal plain language guidance to help ensure all programs use language that makes communications easier for the public to read, understand and use the first time...

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Notice: HHSC Hearing June 4th, 2024

May 20th, 2024 HEARING NOTICE:  Tuesday, June 4th at 9:00 a.m. in Room E2.030, Capitol Complex. Evaluate the appropriate role of the state in overseeing Medicaid managed care. Electronic public comment will be available for: -Health and Human Services Commission Medicaid and CHIP procurements -Medicaid managed care quality metrics -Models for state Medicaid and CHIP contracting The intention of this hearing is for the the committee to be educated on the current Medicaid managed care...

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TMHP Communication Request: Confirm Your E-mail Address With PEMS!

May 18th, 2024 TMHP is currently in the process of reaching out to providers and informing them of the need to confirm their email address in the Provider Enrollment and Management System (PEMS). Please help by sharing this information with other HCS/TxHmL/ICF providers. Having a valid email on file with TMHP will ensure any communications sent out will go to the appropriate person or entity that would need to be made aware. Providers lacking a valid email address on file will encounter the...

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AAIDD: Annual Texas Chapter Conference 2024

May 14th, 2024 48th Annual Texas Chapter ConventionSave the Date! November 12 - 15, 2024 Location:  Grand Galvez | Galveston, TX Information For:   Registration for Attendees and Vendors as well as Hotel Room Reservation Blocks coming later this summer, so stay tuned! Grand Galvez has pleased guests worldwide for more than 100 years. Elegantly restored and tastefully modernized to welcome guests with the utmost in Gulf Coast luxury, Grand Galvez marries history with prime resort conveniences....

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Direct Care Professional Study: You Can Help By Encouraging Your DCP Staff To Take This Survey!

May 13th, 2024 Twogether Consulting would really appreciate if providers could share this with their direct staff.  Our good friend and colleague, Sergio Castillo from Life Choices Unlimited, needs your help with his doctoral project concerning Direct Care Professionals in our industry.  Please read below and the link for the survey is also included.    "Dear Provider of Services to People with IDD, Direct Care Professional/Staff or IDD Service Provider: My name is Sergio Castillo, and I...

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January 31st IDD and PI Webinar with HHSC LTCR

May 13th, 2024 IDD & PI Webinar April 30th , 2024 The April 30 recording of the Intellectual and Developmental Disability Programs (IDD) and Provider Investigations (PI) Quarterly Webinar with Long-term Care Regulation (LTCR) is available. Listen to the webinar recording. Read the IDD and PI Quarterly Webinar (PDF). Email LTCR Policy for the transcript.   January 5, 2024 IDD & PI Webinar January 31st, 2024 HHSC Long-term Care Regulation hosted a webinar for HCS, TxHmL and ICF/IID...

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STAR+PLUS Transition Member Information: Change In MCO Providers Coming Soon!

May 12th, 2024 STAR+PLUS Transition Member Information: HHSC recently awarded contracts to health plans (MCOs) for the STAR+PLUS Service Areas.  As detailed below, the newly awarded contracts impact many of the service areas.  The contract effective date is September 1, 2024. Nine (9) of the 13 service areas were affected by the procurement and award processes: ~  Bexar, Dallas and El Paso, Harris, Hidalgo, Jefferson, Nueces, Tarrant and Travis service areas.  With the exception of Jefferson...

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Medicaid Enrollment Revalidation Process for HCS Program Providers: Update

May 2nd, 2024 On Feb. 13, the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) posted a notice for HCS program providers about completing Medicaid enrollment revalidation. HHSC is providing an update to this previous notification. Effective for all Medicaid enrollment revalidations due on or after June 1, HCS program providers must disclose and maintain all practice locations in the Provider Enrollment Management System (PEMS). The Update on Medicaid Enrollment Revalidation Process for HCS Program...

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ISS Updates & New Rules (HCS/TxHmL)

May 5th, 2024 UPDATED ISS FAQ'S FAQs for Individualized Skills and Socialization services.  In reviewing, know that all changes are reflected in red.  To ensure compliance, you are urged to carefully read all changes/updates. The following are the pages on which changes/updates are reflected: Pages 18, 21 & 24 Pages 32, 33, and 36 thru 39  Pages 41, 57 & 58, Pages 63, 68, 71, 73 and 75 thru 80.  Note:  Please review the change on page 68 under the section titled Rates.  Members may...

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Dyslexia Handbook 2024: Procedures for Education

April 29th, 2024 Dyslexia Handbook 2024 For Special Education Discusses procedures for educating individuals with Dyslexia and related conditions Click on the link below for a copy of the handbook.  https://tea.texas.gov/academics/special-student-populations/special-education/2nd-reading-2024-texas-dyslexia-handbook-2024.pdf

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TED (Transition & Employment Designee) Guidelines For Students With Disabilities In Special Education Programs

April 29th, 2024 Overview of the Transition & Employment Designee (TED) What is a TED? The TED is an employee in a district or charter school who is designated as the primary contact for transition and employment services for students with disabilities in special education programs. This role is required by Texas Education Code (TEC) §29.011(b). This employee must be able to provide information and resources about effective transition planning and employment services to school staff,...

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Parents Guide To The ARD (Admission, Review, Dismissal) Process Video: Now Available in ASL

April 30th, 2024 https://www.spedtex.org/parents-guide-ard-process-asl-video-series This is an American Sign Language (ASL) version of the Parent’s Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Process. Click the previous or next arrow under the video or select a section from the playlist below. Parent's Guide to the ARD Process Playlist Click the link below to download this resource. Select Language ARD Guide English ARD Guide Spanish ARD Guide Arabic ARD Guide Bengali ARD Guide Burmese...

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2024 IDD Group Home Provider Report: Direct Support Workforce Crisis

April 24th, 2024 2024 IDD Group Home Provider Report Above you will find the updated provider survey report conducted by the 3 IDD associations to encompass system experience subsequent to the implementation of rate increases for direct care workers that became effective September 1, 2023.  This report was sent to the HHSC Executive Commissioner on April 23rd, 2024, and covers providers' experiences and challenges in delivering quality services amid the workforce crisis during the first 5...

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“Lookup Tool” Unnecessary For HCS/TxHmL Cost Reporting Accountability Report

Reminder:  April 14th, 2024- in case you missed this in March  March 11th, 2024 According to HHSC, "the process outlined below and implemented by TMHP should make the lookup tool unnecessary for cost reporting." TMHP created a claims data export process to allow HCS/TxHmL providers to access units of service information to support cost reporting. This hopefully will make the UOS lookup tool unnecessary. Texas Med Connect (TMC) users can request the Claims Data Export through TMC and will be...

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West Texas Summit Highlights Funding Challenges For IDD Community

April 14th, 2024 Permiacare and Spectrum of Solutions hosted the West Texas IDD Summit.  See comments from Spectrum of Solutions and Permiacare representatives discussing the dire state of funding for individuals with IDD in current Medicaid programs, specifically funding to pay our direct support workers.  Thank you for all you do Spectrum of Solutions and Permiacare for individuals with IDD in the community!   Please click on this video from local ABC News Channel 2 

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Watch Free IDD Webinar From TMP: “Mastering Inflation- How leveraging IDD-specific tools can save your provider agency.

April 14th, 2024 "Mastering Inflation" How leveraging IDD-specific tools can save your provider agency. Please check on this wonderful free webinar with this presentation by TMP (TaskMaster Pro) at the recent ANCOR conference and how their technology can help you. https://www.taskmasterpro.com/idd-webinar-mastering-inflation/ https://www.taskmasterpro.com/idd-webinar-mastering-inflation/

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Provider Job Openings & Employment Opportunities: HCS/ICF/ISS

April 13th, 2024 Based on the many phone calls, emails, and contacts through our social media pages concerning employment needs and job openings in the HCS/ICF/ISS programs, we will continue to use our "Updates" page as a platform to assist providers in posting these openings and opportunities. If you contact Meghan Jones at meghanjones.tx@gmail.com and let her know where you are posting a position and who to contact, we can also just put a link and the contact person's name, # and/or email...

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Potential Threats: New LIDDA Requirement

April 12th, 2024 Potential Threats to Health and Safety (new). (SOW, 2.6.4.). The contract includes a new provision requiring the Authority to respond and immediately take action, as identified in correspondence from HHSC, related to Notifications of Potential Threats to Health and Safety. The procedure and actions taken must ensure the individual is seen in person within 48 hours. ***Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) Services Broadcast...

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KERA News Article: Making Life-Or-Death Decisions For $10.60 An Hour

April 5th, 2024 Please see the article below which was published a few days ago, regarding the impact of the $10.60/hour direct care wage funded by the 88th Texas Legislature.  The article provides an excellent description of an IDD provider system under mounting stress due to inadequate funds to combat the relentless workforce shortage.  Note that while the article does not mention the 3 IDD associations by name, it does reference their collective efforts to secure emergency funding to...

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Twogether Consulting Newsletter Library

Subscribe To The Twogether Consulting Mailing List! 2024 April 1st, 2024 March 15th, 2024 March 1st, 2024 February 15th, 2024 February 1st, 2024 January 15th, 2024 January 3rd, 2024 2023 To Read previous newsletter editions from 2023, please click here       If you would like to be on our mailing list for this free publication, please click here to subscribe through Mailchimp for the newsletter subscription or if you prefer, you may click on our website link for newsletter...

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New MCO’s & New MCO Locations

March 14th, 2024 MCOs Awarded Contracts by STAR+PLUS Service Areas:   See the end of this communication for the MCOs awarded a contract and the service areas they will cover. Please note that not only will there will be 3 new MCOs (highlighted in yellow), but also that the service areas for some of the current MCOs are changing. Notices to Individuals regarding the Change:   According to HHSC letters were sent to STAR+PLUS members (individuals who receive their acute care and/or long-term care...

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Local Authority Contract Change: Potential Threats to Health and Safety

March 12th, 2024 Local Authority Contract Change: Potential Threats to Health and Safety (new). (SOW, 2.6.4.). The contract includes a new provision requiring the Authority to respond and immediately take action, as identified in correspondence from HHSC, related to Notifications of Potential Threats to Health and Safety. The procedure and actions taken must ensure the individual is seen in person within 48 hours. LIDDAs have requested clearer direction from HHSC as to implementation...

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ICF/IID Updates

March 10th, 2024 ICF/IID ANE Webinar- Very Important! Reporting Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation Changes and Self Reporting Incidents for Intermediate Care Facilities Thursday, March 21 2–3:30 p.m. Register here for webinar. HHSC Long-term Care Regulation has published Provider Letter 2024-04 Revised (Replaces PL 17-02 and 17-03) Revised Process for Reporting and HHSC Investigations of Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation for Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability...

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Resource Sheet: Person-Centered Language From IntellectAbility

March 8th, 2024 Our friends at IntellectAbility created this wonderful tool which I think Service Coordinators, Case Managers and QIDPs will really find helpful when developing their plans for individuals in their programs.  These include Person-Directed Plans, Implementation Plans, and Individual Program Plans. Please Click this link, Person-Centered Language: Resource Sheet to learn more about this tool from Intellectability   For more about Person-Centered Training Resources from...

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New Reporting Process for ANE Reporting & Investigations for ICF/IID Program

February 28th, 2024   HHSC has begun to send out new ANE Reporting Procedure Posters to ICF providers this week.  If you do not get one, please contact  Even if you have not received your  ANE posters, please go ahead and make your posting of the new phone # for reporting allegations of Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation in the group homes and other appropriate places for your staff and individuals in your program. Please inform all staff, volunteers, individuals, and LARS of the new...

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HHSC IDD Operations Portal For Providers-2024 Update

February 23rd, 2024 Packet/Documentation Submission Details The most efficient mode of submission for HCS/TxHmL documentation is through the IDD Operations Portal. To learn how to register and use the IDD Operations Portal or for answers to any questions, please visit https://hhs.texas.gov/doing-business-hhs/provider-portals/resources/idd-ops-portal or email IDD_Ops_Portal@hhsc.state.tx.us. Packets may also be submitted via fax at 512-438-4249. Questions: For questions about review packets,...

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LTC Provider Bulletin Now Available

February 20th, 2024 LTC Provider Bulletin Now Available The February 2024 Long-Term Care (LTC) Provider Bulletin has been published on the LTC homepage on TMHP.com. Visit the TMHP LTC homepage regularly for news, reminders, training opportunities, and other important program updates. For questions, see the LTC Provider Resources Guide under Reference Material.

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Links to Long-Term Care Bulletins

  See links to 2024 editions below: February 2023 LTC Provider Bulletin No. 97   See links to the 2023 editions below: May 2023 Long-Term Care (LTC) Provider Bulletin February 2023 LTC Bulletin No. 93 (456.32 KB)   Visit the TMHP LTC homepage regularly for news, reminders, training opportunities and other important program updates. For questions, see the LTC Provider Resources Guide. See links to the 2022 editions below: November 2022 Long-Term Care Bulletin No. 92 (1.2 MB)...

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Friendly Reminder To HCS/TxHmL Providers: Providing Full Array of Services

February 18th, 2024 IDD Services and PASRR want to remind local intellectual and developmental disability authorities (LIDDAs) that Home and Community-based Services (HCS) and Texas Home Living (TxHmL) program providers are required to provide, or obtain as needed and without delay, the array of services in the respective programs in accordance with Texas Administrative Code (TAC), specifically 26 TAC §565.11(a)(3) for HCS and 26 TAC §566.7(d)(1) for TxHmL. Program providers cannot limit the...

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Public Hearing Webcast & Presentation on Feb. 15th, 2024 (HCS/TxHmL/DBMD) Pre-Vocational & Similar Services

February 10th, 2024 Public Hearing Notice - Home and Community-based Services, Texas Home Living, and Deaf Blind with Multiple Disabilities Medicaid Waiver Programs Public hearing will be held on: February 15, 2024 - 2:30 pm Texas Department of State Health Services, Moreton Building Room M-100, First Floor 1100 West 49th Street, Austin, Texas 78756 Webcasting Available This public hearing will be webcast. Members of the public may attend the public hearing in person at the address above or...

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Beware of Suspicious Email To DAHS ISS Only Providers

January 26th, 2024   We have received information that a suspicious email claiming to be from HHSC asking providers to verify information related to their DAHS ISS Only licenses has been received by some ISS providers. The email was not sent from an HHSC email address but instead from a mndschool.org domain. The email directs the provider to click on a link to verify information and that the provider has 24 hours to verify or they will revoke the license. Please do not click on the...

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Entering IPC Revisions to Add Individual Skills and Socialization

January 20th, 2024 Reminder for HCS and TxHmL Providers  Concerning ISS on IPC's HCS & TxHmL program providers, and LIDDA authorities who are submitting an Individual Plan of Care (IPC) revision to add Individualized Skills and Socialization (ISS) on the IPC plan year. When entering IPC revisions, if you update the effective date in field 12a, you must click the search icon located next to the date field. This will allow the individual’s data to refresh and prepopulate from the web service...

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MillinPro Billing Software: Helping Texas IDD Providers Become More Efficient

January 18th, 2024 The Texas IDD billing process through TMHP has been burdening providers since its inception. HCS, TxHmL and ICF providers have been plagued with denied claims, decreased revenue, and inefficiencies in tracking and reporting. In this video below (Hosted by Twogether Consulting 1/18/24), Millin addresses a range of best-practice topics to help you stay on top of your Texas HCS, TxHmL and ICF billing. They share the functionality they have built into the MillinPro software and...

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TMHP Portal Town Hall Webinars And FAQ’s

HCS and TxHmL Town Hall Webinars and FAQs January 16th, 2024 November Webinar 2023 Recordings from November Townhall November 2023 – TMHP LTC Town Hall for HCS/TxHmL Providers and FMSAs Webinar (PDF) November 2023 - TMHP LTC Town Hall for HCS/TxHmL Providers and FMSAs Webinar Recording Standing Meeting Agenda Training and Information Sharing — provide relevant training and updates. November topics include: Appendix A Scenario Using “Submit Form” on IPC Renewals* Question and Answer — HCS and...

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HCS & TxHmL Webinars & FAQ’s (Recordings)

For Previously Recorded Webinars & FAQ's https://hhs.texas.gov/doing-business-hhs/provider-portals/long-term-care-providers/resources/hcs-txhml-webinars-faqs January 16th, 2024 Past  TMHP Town Hall & TxHmL/HCS Provider webinars- recordings from July-December 2023 December Webinar 2023 December 2023 – Individualized Skills and Socialization Training for HCS/TxHmL Providers and LIDDAs Webinar (PDF) December 2023 - Individualized Skills and Socialization Training for HCS/TxHmL Providers...

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Provider Revalidations: Important Information

January 15th, 2024 Revalidations: Important Updates When completing revalidations for HCS, providers must list all non-family operated HH locations and 3/4 bed HCS group home locations as practice locations. It would appear that TMHP is just realizing this and is contacting providers whose applications are in some stage of approval. HHSC stated that if a provider has already completed the process (and been approved) and did not include non-family operated HH and 3/4 bed group home locations,...

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Final Extension for Providers With Revalidation

January 15th, 2024 HHSC has issued one final extension for Providers with revalidation dates from May 12, 2023, until November 11, 2023, granting these providers an additional 6 months from their revalidation date to submit the request. Please be sure to check the Provider Enrollment and Management System (PEMS) for your current revalidation date. Update to Article “Provider Enrollment Revalidation Extensions to End”               After the November 11th date, providers are required to submit...

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Long-Term Care Facilities Council

January 14th, 2024 Would You Like To Be A Member of The Long-Term Care Facilities Council? Now is your chance. I would encourage providers of these services to think about being a part of the council. From HHSC: "If you’re interested in issues regarding a consistent survey and informal dispute resolution process for long-term care facilities, Medicaid quality-based payment systems for those facilities and the allocation of Medicaid beds in those facilities, you may want to apply to be a member...

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PEMS Instructional Site

January 13th, 2024 TMHP now has a Provider Enrollment Instructional Site which provides written instructions for what is required when completing any type of enrollment request including a revalidation request PEMS Instructional Site PEMS Instructional Site

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Revalidation Tools For Providers

January 13th, 2024 Revalidation Training Links to YouTube video: Revalidating An Organizational NPI Revalidating a Performing Provider TMHP also has a Provider Enrollment Instructional Site which provides written instructions for what is required when completing any type of enrollment request including a revalidation request. PEMS Instructional Site PEMS Instructional Site TMHP has also put together an Enrollment Revalidation Quick Reference Guide (QRG) that goes over the steps to get started,...

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New Critical Incident Management Reporting System: Updates

May 2nd, 2024 Critical Incident Management System Monthly Provider Demonstrations FEI Systems will host a monthly provider demonstration webinar on May 14, 2024, from 10–11 a.m. Monthly provider demonstration webinars are offered to providers with access to the Critical Incident Management System. HHSC encourages providers to take advantage of these live training opportunities. This applies to: Community Living Assistance and Support Services providers (CLASS) Deaf Blind with Multiple...

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Revision To Billing Requirements

January 7th, 2024 HHSC Publishes Revision 24-1 of the HCS and TxHmL Program Billing Requirements   Revision 24-1 is effective Jan. 1, 2024. The Billing Requirements are located on the Long-term Care Providers webpage and Handbooks webpage and are outlined below: Home and Community-based Services Program Billing Requirements (PDF) Texas Home Living Program Billing Requirements (PDF) May 1st, 2023 HHSC Publishes Revision 23-2 of the HCS and TxHmL Program Billing Requirements Just an update,...

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HCS Certification Standards Webinars & Recordings

January 2nd, 2023 New Rules Certification Standards Modules HCS/TxHmL Certification Standards Modules Anyone new to the HCS waiver program should watch these modules!  This is especially true for both new and current HCS case managers, nurses or program managers to watch these modules/recorded webinars.  They are based on the new HCS Rules: Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Title 26 Part I Ch 565.   These were previously known as certification principles, now these are certification...

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ISS In-Home Attendant Base Wage Rate Requirement Clarification

January 1st, 2024 ISS in-Home Attendant Base Wage Rate Requirement Clarification: There seems to be a lack of clarification in the HCS program concerning if the ISS base wage rate requirement applies to "in-home ISS".  It does apply to in-home ISS.  It would seem that most likely a significant number of providers are not aware the base wage requirement applies to in-home individualized skills and socialization (ISS) and that they are currently out of compliance.  That is because the rule...

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Cost Reporting Update!

Cost Report/Accountability Reports This notice applies to ICF/IID, HCS, TxHmL, CLASS and DBMD providers.   HHSC Notice:  The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has published Information Letter (IL) 2023-44 regarding the 2023 Cost Report and 2023 or 2024 Accountability Report Training Information. Information on cost and accountability report training can be found on the Provider Finance web page. Email PFD LTSS or call (737) 867-7817 with any questions.

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Extreme Winter Weather Emergency Resources & Considerations

December 17th, 2023 HSC reminds long-term care facilities and agencies to review and update emergency plans for freezing temperatures and snow. Emergency plans for extreme weather should include the provider’s plan to address: Power loss. Water and food needs. Communication with families and staff. Staffing shortages. Sheltering in place and evacuation, as applicable. Providers must follow emergency preparedness rules and their own internal emergency preparedness policies and procedures....

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E-Health Advisory Committee Applications Due Jan. 8

December 15th, 2023 If you’re interested in health information technology, health information exchange systems, telemedicine, telehealth and home telemonitoring services issues, you may want to apply to be a member of the e-Health Advisory Committee. But act quickly as applications are due Jan. 8. Click here to learn more and apply.

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Implementation of the Personal Needs Allowance (PNA) Adjustment

December 1st, 2023 ICF/IID Providers: Implementation of the Personal Needs Allowance (PNA) Adjustment As required by House Bill 54 (88th Legislature, Regular Session, 2023), the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is directed to increase the minimum monthly personal needs allowance (PNA) for Medicaid beneficiaries of a nursing facility (NF) or related institution licensed under Chapter 242, Health and Safety Code, assisted living facility, intermediate care facility for individuals...

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Employment First Assessment Tool & Rules (HCS/TxHmL/CLASS/DBMD)

December 1st, 2023 As of Nov. 14, 2023, service coordinators and case managers in the CLASS, DBMD, HCS, TxHmL waiver programs and STAR+PLUS Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) must use the Employment First Discovery Tool as part of the service planning process to explore an individual’s desire to work. Review IL 2023-41 Employment First Discovery Tool for more information. Be sure to sign up for : Employment First Discover Tool Webinar Jan. 10, 2024 10–11 a.m. Register here to attend the...

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Dr. Ollie Seay Knowledge Award For Excellence In Education or Research

November 25th, 2023 I am happy to announce that I was presented with the Dr. Ollie Seay Knowledge Award For Excellence In Education or Research.  I was so honored to receive this award especially since I first met Dr. Seay when I first started working with IDD services at Austin Travis County MHMR (Now Austin Integral Care) in 1992 when she was head of the psychology department at our offices.  We lost Dr. Seay earlier this year and she will be missed by all who knew her, especially for her...

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Family Caregivers: HHSC Offers Webinars

November 12th, 2023 Texas HHS Aging Services Coordinationor will be presenting a webinar series during National Family Caregivers Month in November. This webinar series is for caregivers, people who work with caregivers and anyone interested in caregiving. November Caregiver Webinar Series November 15, noon-1 p.m. Cultivating Community and Support for the Lifespan: Caregiving for Children with Disabilities Register here. November 29, noon-1 p.m. Overview of supports for caregivers and care...

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From Our Friends at IntellectAbility: Clinical Pearls in IDD Healthcare that are Important Knowledge for DSPs

November 11th, 2023   I thought this was a great article for providers and their DSP's.  Please feel free to check out their other articles and resources and their training on person-centered practices! Clinical Pearls in IDD Healthcare that are Important Knowledge for DSPs As co-published by National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) and Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC-CL) in the Frontline Initiative. By Craig Escudé, MD, FAAFP, FAADM, President of...

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EVV HAAeXchange Townhall Meeting

November 11th, 2023   The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership (TMHP), and HHAeXchange will have one last Town Hall webinar for all Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) stakeholders. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide input on the Texas EVV migration to HHAeXchange and the upcoming EVV expansion due to the Cures Act Home Health Care Services implementation. Webinar Registration Register ASAP!  If you...

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From Our Friends at IntellectAbility: Health Risk Mitigation Tools &Training

November 10th, 2023 From our friends at IntellectAbility. Apologies, just wanted to remind you all of this wonderful tool they created, that many providers asked me about in the past (Mostly nurses, lol).  Previously this tool was under a different company name.  There was a change sometime back in the name of the company.    For those of you who want to learn more about IntellectAbility's health risk mitigation tools and training by visiting ReplacingRisk.com.  Feel free to call us at...

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Using Submit Form and Use as Template Options on IPC Renewals

November 8th, 2023 Just A Reminder (As of 10/11/23) Concerning IPC Renewals Due to the Home and Community-based Services (HCS) and Texas Home Living (TxHmL) rate changes effective September 1, 2023, providers and local intellectual and developmental disability authorities (LIDDAs) are advised to use the Submit Form option on Individual Plan of Care (IPC) renewals. When to Use Submit Form Instead of Use as Template Use Submit Form instead of Use as Template under these conditions: There have...

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EVV Known Issues & Resolutions

November 2nd, 2023 HHSC Now Posting EVV Known Issues and Resolutions Vol. 1 (Last updated on 10/18/2023) The Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership (TMHP) has recently received feedback from Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) program providers and financial management services agencies (FMSAs) about ways to enhance their user experience of the HHAeXchange system. The topics listed in this article highlight the most frequently occurring issues that EVV users have identified as areas in...

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Letter To Providers From Twogether Consulting-Oct. 31st, 2023

October 30th, 2023 Update From Twogether Consulting! Hope you all are well. Happy Halloween! Here is the update on what is going on with Twogether Consulting     For HCS Providers who want to purchase the quarterly on-site review checklist for Host Homes and for site reviews in general, you can now purchase the form at the following link on our website: "purchase services" page. If you are having issues with the download, please contact us at info@twogetherconsulting.com and I will be happy to...

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On-Site Residential Inspection Form To Address New HCS Rules: Now Available For Purchase

October 22, 2023 On-Site Residential Inspection Form HCS Providers- I was finally able to get the Twogether Consulting website updated to include this new product on our "purchase services" page. We have our new on-site residential inspection form that can be used for Group Homes & Host Homes at initial inspection, annual renewal or when an individual moves to a new residence. Most importantly, it can also be used for the new mandatory quarterly inspections for your host homes that are...

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TULIP Credentialing Transition Grace Period Extended

October 15th, 2023 Nurse Aides (NAs), Medication Aides (MAs), Nursing Facility Administrators (NFAs), and Nurse Aide Training Competency Evaluation Programs (NATCEPs) are now required to use the new credentialing system in the Texas Unified Licensure Information Portal (TULIP) for licensing certification or permitting activities. Note: HHSC is extending a grace period for all NAs, MAs, NFAs and NATCEPs to allow users time to learn and understand the new credentialing system. All NAs...

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COVID-19 Resources

October 17th, 2023 COVID-19 Resources COVID-19 Quick Reference (New Guidance) From our friends at PharMerica, please go to the following link to get your free and current quick reference guide for Covid-19    July 11th, 2022 July 7, 2022 MCS COVID-19 Stakeholder Information Session Thank you for your interest in listening to the July 7 Texas Medicaid CHIP COVID-19 Information Session. The audio from this session can be found here. Email us for transcript The presentation can be found...

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Letter From Twogether Consulting To Providers-Sept 29th, 2023 Update

September 29th,  2023 Update From Twogether Consulting! Hope you all are well!  Just wanted to update you on what is going on with Twogether Consulting I would like to reiterate again this newsletter, that there are new TAC codes for HCS under Title 26 Part I  Ch.263 and  Ch. 565.  Ch 565 went into effect June 21st, 2023 and the Certification Principles are now listed as Certification "Standards" in Ch 565. Again, please be sure that providers gather their administrative staff including case...

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TMHP: HCS and TxHmL Waiver Programs: Trending Issue Support

  September 29th, 2023 HCS and TxHmL Waiver Programs: Trending Issue Support, Volumes 21-24   HCS and TxHmL Waiver Programs: Trending Issue Support, Volume 24 HCS and TxHmL Waiver Programs: Trending Issue Support, Volume 23 HCS and TxHmL Waiver Programs: Trending Issue Support, Volume 22 HCS and TxHmL Waiver Programs: Trending Issue Support, Volume 21 HCS and TxHmL Waiver Programs: Trending Issue Support, Volume 20 Since May 2, 2022, Home and Community-based Services and Texas Home...

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TMHP Claims Vendor Contract Change Coming December 2024

September 28th, 2023 Beginning December 2024 a third TMHP contract for Claims Processing and Adjudication and Financial Services (Claims) with Conduent State Healthcare, LLC(Conduent) will be implemented. The TMHP Claims vendor will perform fee-for-service claim processing and fiscal agent responsibilities such as claim payment and recovery of overpayments. TMHP claims processing will continue as-is until the new TMHP Claims contract is fully implemented in December 2024. Remember, if you...

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HCS Provider Letters, Contacts and Resources

September 13th, 2023 Home and Community-based Services (HCS)   Provider Letters/Provider Communications!!! Click here for news, information letters (ILs) & provider letters (PLs). Receive Emails from HHS Every Sunday The Texas Health and Human Services Commission contracts with a company called Granicus to provide email updates, called GovDelivery. In accordance with your contract, and contracting rules at 40 Texas Administrative Code §49.302(g), you must subscribe to receive HHSC...

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VERY IMPORTANT:  Provider Enrollment Revalidation Requirements

September 4th, 2023 VERY IMPORTANT:  Provider Enrollment Revalidation Requirements Provider Enrollment Revalidation Requirements  https://www.tmhp.com/news/2023-09-01-reminder-provider-enrollment-revalidation-requirements Providers must complete their revalidation enrollment before the end of their enrollment period. Providers can revalidate their enrollment in the Provider Enrollment and Management System (PEMS) up to 120 calendar days before their current revalidation due date. Providers who...

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New Phone System-TMHP (HCS/TxHmL)

September 5th, 2023 As of Sept. 5th, TMHP had implemented improvements to the phone system, including the Automated Inquiry System (AIS). Here are some of the improvements: A. Some of the menu options and messages have changed. B.TMHP is adding direct transfers where applicable. The new system has the ability to recognize menu options through touch-tone keypad selection or speech recognition to engage callers. For more information call the TMHP help desk at 800-626-4117   LONG Term Care...

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Rates For HCS, TxHmL, ICF & DBMB Effective Sept. 1, 2023

August 24th, 2023 Here are the rates effective Sept. 1st, 2023 for the following programs HCS:  https://pfd.hhs.texas.gov/sites/rad/files/documents/long-term-svcs/2023/2023-09-hcs-rates.pdf ICF/IID:  https://pfd.hhs.texas.gov/sites/rad/files/documents/long-term-svcs/2023/2020-09-icf-rates.pdf TxHmL:  https://pfd.hhs.texas.gov/sites/rad/files/documents/long-term-svcs/2023/2023-09-txhml-rates.pdf...

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HCS Survey Process Changes

August 24th, 2023 Overview of the new HCS survey process  See (PL) 2023-09 below FYI, the letter from HHSC does not provide all the details about the survey process and does not address the provider-required HH quarterly visits and related expectations. Providers may still have many questions and we urge you to contact your provider associations.  You can also feel free to contact us at: info@twogetherconsulting.com or javasbja@gmail.com and I will be happy to pass them on.  As a reminder, the...

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Person Centered Planning/ Practices Training Opportunities

August 23rd, 2023 Person-Centered Training Opportunities Our good friend at IntellectAbility, Patrick Lane has provided a link where providers or anyone else interested can register for online Person-Centered Thinking training.  FYI-this is a requirement in the HCS/TxHmLTAC rules for all persons who are a part of the development of the Implementation Plan (IP), to have this training within the first 2 year of hire. Staff Member and Service Provider Requirements The session is a $275 per...

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Provider Resource: ADP Payroll & HR Services

Get Your Promotions for Becoming A New ADP Client:  - 1st  3 months free   - Other Discounts Available! *Please Let ADP know how you found out about their services to get your 1st 3 months free!   August 21st, 2023 Twogether Consulting strives to find a variety of good resources for our IDD providers and hope that ADP may be able to help some of you out there with Payroll and HR needs. Our newest contact from ADP is, Sophia Luna. She is the Small Business Consultant For Central Texas. ...

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COVID-19 Update to Temporary Change in HCS and TxHmL Policy for Service Providers of DH, Respite and CFC PAS/HAB

August 19th, 2023 Exception Extended to August 31st, 2024 In March 2020, HHSC started a temporary policy change for respite and Community First Choice (CFC) Personal Assistance Services (PAS)/Habilitation (HAB) provided in the Home and Community-based Services (HCS) and Texas Home Living (TxHmL) waiver programs. This change allows service providers of respite and CFC PAS/HAB to live in the same home as the person receiving these services. A person’s spouse, or parent if the person is under 18,...

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Please Fill Out The ISS Survey!

August 16th, 2023  ISS Survey From July 2023: HHSC posted a survey (9 questions) asking comprehensive service providers to complete.  The survey is intended to gather information about ISS network adequacy and to determine what, if any changes, are needed.   CMS  is hoping to use the data to find out how the transition is going. HHSC stated that it only received 262 responses, some were incomplete, and some were completed by an ISS only (independent ISS) provider. Action Needed:  HHSC is...

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 ISS Remediation & Validation Process

August 15th, 2023 Remediation & Validation Process  This is a process of performing on-site visits to determine compliance by ISS providers, with certain HCBS Settings rules and other rules:   HHSC reviewed the process and the assessment tool being used.  Here is the information letter sent out previously. IL-2023-28  https://www.hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/il2023-28.pdf Please note the information about the required attestation form that must be completed by all ISS...

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New Quarterly HH/CC On-Site Visits/Reviews

August, 15th, 2023 Compliance with new rules in Ch 565 on additional oversight for HH/CC service providers & Individuals receiving services Concerning the now required quarterly HH/CC On-site Visits to review specific areas that providers must conduct, providers have expressed concerns about HH/CC service providers being very upset with this new change of more oversight by the provider and HHSC, and they have concerns that it will be too intrusive. There are also concerns that this will be...

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