Twogether Updates

LTC Services & Supports Page: Provider Finance Department

July 3rd, 2022 Overview The Provider Finance Department (PFD) develops reimbursement methodology rules for determining payment rates or rate ceilings for recommendation to the Health and Human Service as Commission (HHSC) for Medicaid payment rates and non-Medicaid payment rates for programs operated by the Health and Human Services Commission (HHS) and the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). PFD develops payment rates or rate ceilings in accordance with these rules and agency...

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HCS Group Home Vacancy Search

HCS Group Home Vacancy Search To find out which companies have group home vacancies, you may go to the following link:  https://resources.hhs.texas.gov/find/HCS.  Please be sure if you are an HCS provider that you are reporting any vacancies in your group home to the state.

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Metrocare: 2022 Conference for Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (August 12th, 2022) Dallas, Tx

June 23rd, 2022 2022 Conference for Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Innovating, Developing & Defining the Future of Service Delivery August 12, 2022 Norris Conference Centers – Dallas Northpointe Centre (Located in: Brightwood College in Dallas:  12005 Ford Rd #200, Dallas, TX 75234) The exhibitor information is available now. See link below.  Registrant information to be posted later this month. Please click on this link for Exhibitor Information

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HHSC Grant Available: Intermediate Care Facilities – COVID-19 in Healthcare Relief 

June 23rd, 2022 This is a notice to potential applicants that Request For Applications (RFA) No. HHS0011334 has been posted. This notice is from Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Procurement and Contracting Services (PCS). The RFA and related attachments can be located on the HHS Grants Website: https://apps.hhs.texas.gov/pcs/HHS0011334/   Refer to the RFA at the best walk-in clinic for the required submission method(s), Deadline for Submitting Questions or Requests for...

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Revised Guidance for COVID-19 Flexibility for Registered Nursing Services Provided by Telehealth for HCS & TxHmL

June 23rd, 2022 Please see the recent alert below from HHSC.  This has been brought to my attention just recently, however, I find it in conflict with the billing guidelines/requirements prior to even COVID-19, which allows for nurses to complete assessments per video chat  So, most likely they will revise billing requirements.  But know, it was in place prior to the Pandemic. Revised Guidance for COVID-19 Flexibility for Registered Nursing Services Provided by Telehealth for  HCS & TxHmL...

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ICF/IID Providers: Update on SB 8 ARPA Grants

June 17th, 2022 This message will only address the ICF/IID grants. As of May 31st, 2022, there was little else shared by HHSC, other than what was posted on its website on May 19, 2022. There was however information shared during the HHSC IDD Coordination Workgroup meeting shortly after that. 1.  Eligibility Criteria for the SB 8 Grants:   According to HHSC, application for the grants will be through an open procurement process which prohibits HHSC from disclosing any details. HHSC...

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TWC- Eight-Week Training For Supported Employment Providers

June 17th, 2022 Employment First Training Series Amerigroup and the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) are hosting a free, eight-week training series on competitive integrated employment and Employment First. The training is intended for Supported Employment providers throughout the state of Texas. It is not required for providers that maintain the TWC-VR Supported Employment credential. The kickoff for the training series is June 29, 2022. For more information about the...

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HHSC IDD Coordination Workgroup Updates From June 15th, 2022 Meeting: Enhanced FMAP Add-On Rates/ARPA Discussion

June 16th, 2022 Yesterday afternoon the HHSC IDD Coordination Workgroup met.  Though many topics were covered, below is the information discussed on HCBS Enhanced FMAP.  Here is a general summary of updates discussed, as follows: State-controlled ARPA, Transition of DHs to ISS, and TMHP migration issues.  Below is their discussion on ARPA funds. Note:  Continue to look for further FAQ's on some of these issues and training to come from HHSC in the near future. HCBS Enhanced FMAP:  Note: ...

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Reminder To Providers About ARPA Provider Rentention Payments

June 12th, 2022 Potential Long-Term Care Remittance and Status Report Delays Due to the Home and Community-Based Services American Rescue Plan Act Provider Retention Payments (Add-On) for personal attendant and nursing services, rates are being updated. Refer to Information Letter No. 2022-30 for additional information. From TMHP "Because of the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provider retention payments (add-on) for personal attendant and nursing...

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HCBS ARPA Stakeholder Update Webinar-June 8th, 2022

June 6th, 2022 Register for June 8 HCBS ARPA Stakeholder Update Webinar HCBS providers are urged to attend this HCBS ARPA Stakeholder Update Webinar. HHSC will provide updates on the Texas Home and Community Based Services Spending Plan authorized under Section 9817 of the American Rescue Plan Act HCBS ARPA Stakeholder Update June 8 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Register for the HCBS ARPA Stakeholder Update webinar.

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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 neccesarily 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...

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TMHP & HHSC Response to Common Migration Issues

TMHP & HHSC Response to Common Migration Issues:   Click on link below TMHP Migration Complaints-HHSC Responses-060222   You can contact TMHP directly to submit your questions/ issues/requests for assistance using the  template below and using the following email address:   HCS_TxHml@tmhp.com -Subject: HCS/TxHmL Question/Issue (and a short description of the issue or question) -Point of Contact (POC) Name: -National Provider Identifier (NPI)/Contract Number: -POC Phone Number: -POC...

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Where To Find TMHP Updates: “Fixes”, Errors, & More”

Here is the TMHP page that you can check for updates on fixes, errors discovered and other updates on TMHP issues in HCS. Not sure everything will be sent in provider alerts on our normal Sunday emails we get from HHSC.  Sounds like they won't, so check periodically. https://www.tmhp.com/news?created=2&title=HCS&program_id=56&topic_id=All&category_id=All Here is the main page if you have any issues and you can search for HCS LTC issues...

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Helpful Idea: IPC & ID/RC Submissions into TMHP

May 25th, 2022 Tip So a provider mentioned that it might be a good idea to just have a stamp made that says "ENTERED" on the top and underneath it the letters "DLN" with a box next to it to write in the DLN #. This way, every time someone enters their ID/RC's and IPC's,  into TMHP for renewal, revision, etc.. and then you click  "submit" you can write down the "DLN" on the document.  The provider will have to know what DLN # goes with which entry.

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Dashboard Accessibility Issue Resolved in the LTC Online Portal

May 30th, 2022 LTC Online Portal Dashboard Accessibility Issue Resolved An accessibility issue with the Long-Term Care Online Portal Dashboard has been resolved. "I have received quite a few calls about this issue.  And unfortunately, that made it also very difficult to get a status on claims billed for many providers. So hopefully the issue is now truly resolved." From HHSC: "Home and Community-based Services and Texas Home Living waiver programs providers and local intellectual developmental...

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Important! Preparing for Fee-for-Service Claims Billing Closeout IL 2022-31

May 30th, 2022 In Case You Don't Have Enough To Worry About..... HHSC Publishes Information on Preparing for Fee-for-Service Claims Billing Closeout IL 2022-31 IL 2022-31 (PDF) is posted to the HHS site. Just some thoughts: Understand, that this also might mean a period of time where regular payments will be delayed a few weeks, right when the fiscal year closeout occurs at end of August.  Hopefully not, but it has been an issue in past years with CARE. Please be sure to take care of all...

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Emergency Preparedness Guidance and Trainings

May 29th, 2022 2022 Hurricane Season Emergency Preparedness with COVID-19 Long-term care providers in Texas are reminded to review their emergency preparedness and response plans before the Atlantic hurricane season begins, which runs June 1–Nov. 30. LTC providers should make updates, if necessary. Providers should factor in COVID-19 contingencies when reviewing their preparedness plans. For example, as applicable: Are your receiving facilities and transportation contracts still viable? If...

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TMHP: Very Important Information! Rejected Claims Submissions Between May 2nd and May 13th, 2022

May 23, 2022 Very Important! Please see information from TMHP below: Some Rejected Claims May Be Resubmitted Some Home and Community-based Services (HCS) and Texas Home Living (TxHmL) claims that were submitted to Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership (TMHP) between May 2, 2022, and May 13, 2022, were rejected in error. HCS and TxHmL claims that were rejected with the following explanations of benefits (EOBs) may now be resubmitted for processing: Explanation of Benefits Description...

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COVID-19 in Healthcare Relief Grants (For ICF/IID Programs)

COVID-19 in Healthcare Relief Grants Senate Bill (SB) 8, 87th Legislature, 3rd Called Session, 2021, appropriates funding for the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to issue awards to support Texas healthcare providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These awards include funding for Rural Hospitals, Nursing Facilities, Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs), home health agencies (HHA), Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities or...

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IPC User Guides for HCS and TxHmL Waiver Programs

More Help Available For Persons Entering IPC's Into TMHP! More information about submitting and revising Individual Plans of Care is available in the Long-Term Care Online Portal User Guides for Home and Community-based Services and Texas Home Living Waiver Programs. These user guides are available for the following programs that submit IPC forms 3608 and 8582 in the Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership LTC Online Portal: HCS and TxHmL providers. Local intellectual and development...

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HCS / TxHmL / LIDDA: Updates For Submission of Claims

May 8th, 2022  HCS and TxHmL Must Submit Claims and Forms to TMHP Beginning May 2, 2022 Home and Community-based Services (HCS) providers, Texas Home Living (TxHmL) providers, local intellectual and developmental disability authorities (LIDDAs), and financial management services agencies (FMSAs) billing on behalf of Consumer Directed Services (CDS) employers must submit claims and forms to Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership (TMHP) beginning May 2, 2022, for dates of service on or...

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Updated Service Delivery Logs In Billing Requirements-HCS

May 5th, 2022 Please see the link below for updated Service Delivery Logs for 05/2022 in Billing Requirements Handbook on page 185. Billing & Payment Billing Requirements For HCBS Waiver   For questions about HCBS Program Billing Requirements, please email:   hcspolicy@hhs.texas.gov

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CARE Migration To TMHP: Claims Submissions (Previously Billing In CARE)

April 28th, 2022 Very Important! Recorded Webinar For Claims Submission in TMHP   Below is the link to the recording of the claims submission webinar TMHP conducted.   Additional information about the migration will be sent under separate cover. Note:  HHSC will not conduct another webinar on claims submission!  https://tmhp.exceedlms.com/student/enrollments/create_enrollment_from_token/fEmzWuXLDuXzfc3jncsErHWU

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Star+Plus Pilot Information Update

April 28th, 2022 STAR+PLUS Pilot:  Attached are handouts from the November, 2021 and February, 2022 joint meeting of the IDD SRAC and STAR+PLUS Pilot Program Workgroup related to the pilot and decisions (including eligibility) made thus far. See pages 52 - 102 of the February, 2022 document for information about the pilot. HHSC has created a webpage on the Pilot Program. The link to this webpage...

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TMHP Transition Guidance for Renewal of ID/RCs and for Renewal, Revised and Transfer IPCs – CLASS, HCS and TxHmL

April 28th, 2022 Effective May 1, 2022, HHSC will transition certain COVID-19 flexibilities to interim guidance in accordance with House Bill (H.B.) 4 (87th Legislature, Regular Session, 2021). The following activities are authorized through interim guidance to be provided through a telehealth (synchronous audio-visual) modality: Renewal ID/RC assessments Renewal, revised and transfer IPCs This guidance applies to the following programs: Community Living Assistance and Support Services Home...

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House Human Services Public Hearing on May 5th: Providers & Others Invited For Testimony

April 28th, 2022 Details On Hearing Date, Time & Location:  Thursday, May 5, 2022 at 10:00 a.m., Capitol Extension, E2.030 Purpose:  To receive invited testimony on several of its interim charges:  #1 related to Healthy Families, Healthy Texas Initiative,  #8 related to the 1115 Waiver, and, the one of importance to PPAT members, #4 related to implementation of SB1, Rider 30 (HHSC) and recommendations for reducing the interest list for waiver services for Individuals with IDD and reducing...

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HCBS Rules: Concerns Regarding Room & Board Payment Process

April 20th, 2022 HHSC will hold a public hearing on the rules this summer.  Date and time not shared by HHSC yet. Lengthy discussion regarding the proposed provision related to lease agreements and the potential for eviction if R&B payments are not received, has occurred. A process is needed to ensure Providers receive R& B payments However, It is clear that further discussion regarding the proposed process/requirement is needed.

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ICF/IID and HCS/TxHmL COVID-19 related HHSC Notices-Update 2022

April 18th, 2022 HHSC Updates the ICF/IID COVID-19 Response Plan and FAQ Documents – April 18 HHSC Long-term Care Regulation updated the COVID-19 Response Plan and FAQ documents for Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions program. HHSC Long-term Care Regulation updated the COVID-19 Response Plan and FAQ documents for Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions program. Read the...

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Public Health Emergency Extended Another 90 Days

April 16th, 2022 Effective April 16, 2022 the Public Health Emergency (Pancemic) has been extended another 90 days.  This means, that if not terminated during that 90-day period, it will either end July 15, 2022, or, if deemed necessary, will be extended for another 90-day period

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Texas Position on Mandate Vs. CMS/Federal Surveyor

April 13th, 2022 Texas Providers have been reminded that they can be surveyed at any time by a CMS/Federal Surveyor and will need to be in compliance if this occurs. In short, at this time, HHSC Regulatory will not survey for compliance with the federal mandate. The federal mandate and HHSC position apply to certified-only HCSSAs, Hospice, Nursing Homes and ICFs/IID. 

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Individualized Skills and Socialization Update

April 12th, 2022 Information As of Now on Draft ISS Rules: The program rules will go to MCAC on August 11, 2022.  The regulatory or license rules will go to the HHSC Executive Council but no date set yet. The program and regulatory rules will be published in the Texas Register for formal comment in late July, and HHSC will hold a public hearing on the rules. HHSC has decided to eliminate the on-site ratios. Though the off-site ratios have not been eliminated, HHSC is considering revisions to...

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Urgent Information- DH Transition to ISS Services & Portal Information Page

April 10th, 2022 HHSC Launches Individualized Skills and Socialization Portal Information Page HHSC launched a new Individualized Skills and Socialization Services Provider Portal. This new portal allows providers access to information on Individualized Skills Socialization services. Including: Complete and review trainings. Find and review provider letters and other information and releases. Link to rules and other services. March 9th, 2022 At the recent HHSC IID Coordination Workgroup...

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Updated CARE Migration FAQ’s

March 7th, 2022  (See link below to FAQ's) HCS/TxHmL FAQ Document Answers to Additional Questions related to the Migration Can you clarify the next steps to get providers registered for the billing training? The claims training will be provided from TMHP. Providers need to sign up to receive TMHP alerts as the announcement will come from a TMHP alert. HHSC may send out an alert also, but providers have been missing out on announcements because they do not get TMHP alerts. What does a provider...

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Draft ISS Rules

March 10, 2022 Draft of ISS Rules below: Texas Administrative Code, Title 26, Part 1, Chapter 559, Subchapters A and H, Individualized Skills and Socialization Email comments before March 28th, 2022 to Long-term Care Regulation Policy and Rules.

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TMHP and HHSC Deployment Activities Begin Date: 04/06/22

March 9th, 2022 CARE Banner In CARE system for HCS/TxHmL providers: Moving the date of migration of HCS and TxHmL waivers has resulted in significant technology changes. In preparation for this migration, TMHP and HHSC will begin deployment activities on 04/06/22. Some Provider/LIDDA data entry screens in CARE will be unavailable starting COB 04/06/22 until 04/30/22. A Gov Delivery notice will be sent with a complete list of affected screens next week.  HHSC will notify you if the migration...

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Don’t Forget: Statewide Transition Plan Public Comment Period ends on 4/4/22 On HCBS Settings Rule

March 7th, 2022 Public Comment Period for STP HHSC will submit a Statewide Transition Plan to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This is required by the federal Home and Community Based Services Settings Rule. The STP describes HHSC’s plan to meet the requirements of the HCBS Settings Rule. HHSC invites members of the public, including HCBS recipients and their families, providers, and other stakeholders, to submit comments on the STP. Comments will be accepted until 11:59 pm on...

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Follow-Up Answers From Questions During 2/9/22 HCS/ TxHmL POC Training From HHSC

March 4th, 2022 If you attended the 2/9/22 Plans of Correction (POC's) training webinar for HCS & TxHmL, here are the answers to some of the follow-up questions asked during the session:  Q: I have experienced that the POC has a date that is 8 days in the past but the postage stamp would be 2 days ago. This leaves me with 6 days to complete the POC. Do I use the date on the letter or the postage date for the 14-day time period? A: §9.183(f) states the program provider must submit the POC...

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Might Need To Update Your Fire Alarm System’s Cellular Communication Services (HCS 4-bed & ICF Homes)

LTC Providers May Need to Update Fire Alarm System Cellular Communication Services In 2022 cellular companies will retire their older 3G technology. These companies include T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon and AT&T. LTC providers with a fire alarm system supported by an older cellular communicator running on 3G signals should upgrade their fire alarm communication equipment. Many fire alarm systems use cellular communication devices to send signals to a 24-hour central monitoring station. The...

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Postponed: Form Submission for HCS and TxHmL In The LTC Online Portal!

March 1st, 2022 HCS and TxHmL Form Submission on LTC Online Portal Unavailable Until May 1, 2022 Due to Postponement, submissions of Home and Community-based Services and Texas Home Living forms using the Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership Long-Term Care Online Portal are unavailable until May 1st, 2022. Data migration to the TMHP LTC Online Portal took place prior to March 1st, 2022. FYI-Any HCS and TxHmL form submitted to the LTC Online Portal before March 1 could be removed and...

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HCS/TxHmL Migration to THMP Delayed Until 5/1/2022/!

March 1st, 2022 Claims & Forms Submissions:    The March 1 release of claims and forms submissions to Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership is postponed to May 1, 2022. Home and Community-based Services Texas Home Living program providers Providers should continue to use the Client Assignment and Registration system for submitting claims and forms until May 1, 2022. The postponement allows more time for Providers to set up the necessary TMHP accounts and take relevant training...

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Quarterly Stakeholder’s Webinar (HCS/TxHmL) March 10th, 2022

February 27th, 2022 HCS and TxHmL Webinar Slated for March 3 moved to March 10th, 2022 Program providers and other interested stakeholders can now register for the upcoming HCS and TxHmL webinar. Webinar topics include: HCS & TxHmL Forms and Claims Migration Project Critical Incident Management System HCS and TxHmL Webinar March 10, 2022 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Register for the webinar Email questions about the webinar to your program policy mailbox: HCS Policy TxHmL...

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Last Chance For LTC TMHP Migration HCS & TXHML Waiver Webinar Part II-March 10th, 2022

February 26th, 2022 If you missed part II of the LTC TMHP Migration HCS & TxHmL Waiver Webinar Training, you will have an additional chance on March 10th, 2022 10am-12:30pm Central Please click here register here The Long-Term Care (LTC) Online Portal Training for Home and Community-based Services (HCS) and Texas Home Living (TxHmL) Waiver Programs is a two-part webinar for providers and Local Intellectual and Developmental Disability Authorities (LIDDAs). Attendees can register for any of...

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LTC TMHP Migration HCS & TXHML Waiver Webinar Handouts-Part I-Feb. 8th, 2022

February 8th, 2022 For those of you who missed today's training (part I) or who did not download the documents, I have provided them on this "Updates" post from Twogether Consulting Link to Resource Document from Webinar on 2/8/22 (TMHP Training Part I) Webinar Handout Part I Training  LTC TMHP Portal Provider User Guide TMHP Migration (HCS & TxHmL) FAQ's This webinar will be repeated on March 8th, 2022 10am-1pm central The Long-Term Care (LTC) Online Portal Training for Home and...

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Additional Claims Trainings For THMP

February 23rd, 2022 Claims Training For The Transition To TMHP Next Week  ~  HHSC and TMHP will conduct the training next week. They will let us know in the next few days when the training is set. ~  Webinar will be 2 hours.  Training will include a step-by-step walk-through. A  large portion of time will be used to answer questions providers have about billing. Look at the considerations to use applications to improve your business. ~  HHSC & TMHP webinars have a 1,000 person limit. ...

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CMS Vaccine Mandate- LTC Providers (Update)

February 14th, 2022 The CMS Interim Final Rule related to the vaccine mandate only applies to certified providers regulated by CMS such as ICFs/IID, Nursing Homes, certain Home Health Agencies, etc. See complete list at:  https://ogletree.com/insights/cms-gives-a-boost-and-takes-a-shot-at-full-vaccination-for-millions-of-u-s-healthcare-workers/ ***The end of the list states that home and community-based services are not included.  As such (and confirmed by HHSC), the CMS Interim Final...

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CARE as of March 1st: Client Assessment, Review, and Evaluation (CARE) Report and Screen Crosswalks Now Available

February 13th, 2022 HCS/TxHmL Providers & LIDDA's: Client Assessment, Review, and Evaluation (CARE) Report and Screen Crosswalks Now Available The CARE report and screen crosswalks for HCS, TxHmL providers and LIDDAs are now available to assist with daily operations. Click the following link to view the files: Provider and LIDDA CARE Report Crosswalk Provider and LIDDA CARE Screen Crosswalk HCS and TxHmL providers will use these crosswalks to locate relevant individual and provider data...

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CBT (Computer Based Training) For Entering Claims For HCS & TxHmL Services As Of March 1st, 2022

February 8th, 2022 CBT (Computer Based Training) For TMHP Billing of Services/Entering Claims For those of you asking where to submit claims for HCS & TxHmL services after March 1st, this will be via TMHP.  CARE will no longer be used to submit these claims as of March 1st, 2022.  Training on how to submit your claims can be found on the TexMedConnect for LTC Providers portal via CBT training. TexMedConnect for Long-Term Care (LTC) Providers "This CBT contains information about using...

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Can An HCS Program Provider Provide Services To Their Own Child Or Family Member?

I recently received this response from HHSC and thought it might be helpful to some providers who may have this concern: There is no rule or regulation that prohibits an HCS Program Provider from providing services to their own child or family member. You can pop over to this site to get in touch with the best lawyers who will help you to claim this scheme. The program provider’s operations must prevent conflict of interest as required by 40 TAC §9.177(f): §9.177 Certification Principles:...

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HCS/TxHmL Writing Acceptable Plans of Correction Webinar-Feb. 9th, 2022

February 1st, 2022 HCS/TxHmL Writing Acceptable Plans of Correction Webinar   "WHAT IS A POC? 42 CFR §488.401 defines a Plan of Correction to mean a plan developed by the facility and approved by CMS or the survey agency that describes the actions the facility will take to correct deficiencies and specifies the date by which those deficiencies will be corrected.Apr 19, 2021" Program providers can register for the Writing Acceptable Plans of Correction for HCS and TxHmL webinar. This...

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Allowance of Delivery of PT, OT, and ST Services Via Telehealth (IL 2022-08)

February 1st, 2022 HHSC Publishes Information on Delivery of PT, OT, and ST Services (IL 2022-08) HHSC is issuing interim guidance allowing telehealth delivery of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy services. Access Information Letter No. 2022-08, HB4: Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy Services Delivered by Synchronous Audio-Visual. The letter notes which therapies are not allowed to be delivered through telehealth modalities because the service...

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COVID-19 Cases Continue to Rise – What Should LTC Providers Do?

February 1st, 2022 Guidance for LTC Providers COVID-19 cases continue to increase across Texas. HHSC reminds providers to follow the guidelines listed below and ensure their emergency plan is up to date. Staff must be aware of what to do in the event of any sort of emergency, including an outbreak of flu or COVID-19. Please review the following rules, guidelines, and policies: COVID-19 mitigation and visitation rules for your provider type Any applicable COVID-19 response plans for your...

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HHSC has published ICF and HCS Emergency Staffing Requests Letter – Jan. 10th, 2022

HHSC has published ICF and HCS Emergency Staffing Requests – Jan. 10 HHSC has published ICF and HCS Emergency Staffing Requests (Provider Letter 2022-02). This letter provides information for Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability (ICFs) or Related Conditions and Home and Community-based Services (HCS) program providers facing staffing shortages related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

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ICF & HCS Surveys: Backlog of Surveys and Compliance Expectations

January 14th, 2022 ICF/IID and HCS Surveys:  HHSC has responded to questions providers have asked regarding the current backlog of surveys and what time period will be reviewed/surveyed when a provider finally receives its survey. Should you have further questions, please email HHSC at:  LTCRPolicy@hhs.texas.gov In regards to ICF surveys, the facility needs to be able to show compliance at all times.  Some areas of compliance require (at least) annual updates (i.e. Individual program plans),...

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Vaccine Mandate Updates

January 14th, 2022 Vaccine Mandates: Earlier today the Supreme Court issued its rulings on the CMS and OSHA Vaccine Mandates. The Supreme Court stayed the OSHA mandate and permitted the CMS mandate.  As a reminder, the CMS mandate applies to ICFs/IID.  For further details, go to:  https://www.supremecourt.gov/ December 1st, 2021 Judge Doughty, U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana, blocked enforcement of the CMS Interim Final Rule (which among other LTC programs, applies to...

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Texas COVID-19 Coronavirus Resources & Guidance for People with Disabilities

Check Out These Resources For Persons With Disabilities From The              Office of Texas Governor Greg Abbott https://gov.texas.gov/organization/disabilities/coronavirus Government COVID 19 Information and Resources https://tcdd.texas.gov/resources/covid-19-information/government/ Other Texas Organizations There are a number of disability-related organizations in Texas that are sharing information and resources related to COVID-19. Below you’ll find links to their COVID-19 webpages and...

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HHSC’s, DSHS & CDC Update: COVID-19 Omicron Variant

January 10th, 2022 When was Omicron Variant First Found in Texas and What is This Variant of COVID-19?  (Please see article below) Texas Identifies Case of COVID-19 Omicron Variant News Release Dec. 6, 2021 The first known Texas case of the COVID-19 B.1.1.529 variant has been identified in a resident of Harris County. The adult female resident was recently diagnosed with COVID-19. Results of genetic sequencing this week showed that the infection was caused by the Omicron variant strain. The...

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Revised Guidance for LTC Facilities Experiencing COVID-19 Staffing Shortages

Revised Guidance on Staff Work Restrictions and Return to Work HHSC has issued revised guidance for long-term care providers experiencing staffing shortages due to COVID-19. The requirement to contact LTCR before implementing CDC guidance on staff work restrictions and return-to-work has been removed. "Guidance and Protocol for Long-Term Care Facilities Experiencing Staffing Shortages due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. This checklist provides guidance for long-term care facilities...

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LTC (Long Term Care) Online Portal BasicsWebpage

January 9th, 2022 Please click on link below to take you to the "LTC Online Portal Basics" page with important information on usages for the portal,  e-learning training sessions, and pdfs of manuals needed for navigating the portal LTC Online Portal Basics page By Provider Training Services Published: Mar 5, 2021 Duration1h This interactive training provides a basic overview of the Long Term Care (LTC) Online Portal including an overview of the features of the blue navigational bar and the...

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TMHP LTC and HHSC IDD Operations Portal For Providers-Additional Trainings Update 2022

January 9th, 2022 Register for HCS and TxHmL Webinars, Additional Training Resources Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership is hosting Long-term Care Home and Community-based Services and Texas Home Living Waiver Program webinars for program providers, Local Intellectual and Developmental Disability Authorities, and financial management services agencies that submit claims on behalf of Consumer Directed Services employers. Each webinar is composed of two sessions. Attendees can register for...

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Twogether Consulting Newsletter Library

Subscribe To The Twogether Consulting Mailing List! Survey 2022 December 15th, 2022 December 1, 2022 November 15th, 2022 November 1st, 2022 October 17th, 2022 October 3rd, 2022 September 19th, 2022 September 1st, 2022 August 15th, 2022 (update) August 1st, 2022  July 15th, 2022 July 1st, 2022 June 16th, 2022 June 1st, 2022 May 17th, 2022 May 2nd, 2022 April 9th, 2022 Change is inevitable, as we all know well in this line of work.  Our editor for the newsletter (James) has been with us for...

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

December 30th, 2021 “Study & Prep Session For HCS Provider Applicant Test”  Contact us for a copy of pre-recorded session from November 3rd, 2021 This Training is Not Affiliated In Any Way with HHSC It is Provided by Twogether Consulting, a private consulting company for HCS/TxHmL & ICF providers  (As well as persons  seeking Information about these Medicaid programs) (We will be reviewing some TxHmL information as well) Cost:  $150/person To register, please go to:   Topics:    ...

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Important-HCS and TxHmL Webinars and Claim Payment Account Setup (Coming Soon!)

HCS and TxHmL program providers, Local Intellectual and Developmental Disability Authority agencies, and Financial Management Services Agencies billing on behalf of Consumer Directed Services employers can register for webinars starting next month. These webinars will cover information about the Long-Term Care Online Portal and forms that HCS and TxHmL program providers will use. The webinars will: Include a live Q&A session Begin in February 2022 Details, including dates, times, and...

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HHSC Publishes Active, Unemployable Work-Around (Provider Letter 2021-44)

December 20th, 2021 Check LEIE/OIG and check With the implementation of FBI-based fingerprinting in 2021, Long-term Care Regulation (LTCR) also implemented Occupations Code (OC), Chapter 53, related to the consequences of a criminal conviction, specifically the 2019 legislative update to OC §53.023 concerning additional factors for licensing authorities to consider after determining a conviction directly relates to the occupation. Policy Details & Provider Responsibilities Long-term care...

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SB8- New HHSC Grants Webpage

December 17th, 2021 The link doesn't inform providers about current information but will provide future information about ARPA funds, and will be available on the newly created HHSC Grants webpage. Press Release: Governor Abbott, HHSC Announce $128 Million To Support Staffing Needs At Rural Hospitals, Nursing Facilities | Office of the Texas Governor | Greg Abbott HHSC Grants Webpage: COVID-19 in Healthcare Relief Grants | Texas Health and Human Services According to the HHSC Provider Finance...

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Transition of DH to ISS

December 12th, 2021 ISS (Individualized Skills and Socialization)   Changes to Day Habilitation (DH) programs are coming for HCS/TxHmL!  The link below contains a discussion concerning the implementation of a recommendation in the Rider 21 Report (General Appropriations Act for FY 2020-2021, 86th Session) related to the monitoring of DH programs which will transition to the provision of ISS. To view, the report go to: ...

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Don’t Forget Annual Vendor Submission Due (Nov.1st-Jan31st) HCS/TxHmL!

November 4th, 2021 HCS and TxHmL Annual Vendor Submission Timeframe The timeframe to submit for annual vendor approval is Nov.1, 2021 through Jan. 31, 2022. Required documentation for annual vendor requests are in the HCS and TxHmL Billing Guidelines, Section 6160(b)(2), Approval of Annual Vendor. Email packet submissions to Billing and Payment with the subject line: Annual Vendor Approval. Submissions sent to any other email addresses may not be received. If you are unable to meet the...

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HHSC E-Learning Portal

The HHS Learning Portal  Please bookmark the new location or click here and save to “Favorites” The new web address for the HHS Learning Portal is: https://learningportal.hhs.texas.gov New & Current HCS/TxHmL Providers, Please Take These Trainings The e-learning portal. This is where Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation Training ( the ANE training) for you and your staff is. All staff at the facility should take this at least initially and maybe every 1-2 years ANE E-Learning page ***You may need...

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Following Suspensions Still In Place Related To COVID-19 (HCS): Recap

November 23rd, 2021  While most of the suspensions related to COVID-19 have ended, the following HCS suspensions are still in place. HHSC will still allow an HCS four-person residence to add up to two additional individuals temporarily if the residence has the space to accommodate them and has been approved as a four-person residence by HHSC. (Rule: 40 TAC §9.153(39)(B)) Suspension of the requirement for HCS providers to ensure at least one complete staff shift change per day for individuals...

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Recording Available -11-10-21: HCS, TxHmL, CLASS, DBMD Webinar

November 10, 2021, HCS, TxHmL, CLASS, DBMD Webinar Recording Available Last updated on 11/22/2021 A recording of the November 10, 2021, Home and Community-based Services (HCS), Texas Home Living (TxHmL), Community Living Assistance and Support Services (CLASS), and Deaf-blind Multiple Disabilities (DBMD) Webinar with Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Long-term Services and Supports is available for those who could not attend. Read the HCS, TxHmL, CLASS, and DBMD Webinar (PDF)....

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Ways To Assist Providers Currently Using TASKMASTER PRO “Cloud-Based” Services (HCS/TxHmL/ICF/CLASS)

As some of you may know, Twogether Consulting does not work for Taskmaster Pro, but we do have quite a bit of experience with their software and I love the benefits of this "cloud-based" program.  In the past, I have also used the software for my own HCS program as we had HCS contracts in over 32 counties.  Electronic Records were a must for us with that many counties to keep track of and service providers to monitor!  No matter who you choose to provide those services.  I do, however, highly...

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Provider Resource: ADP Payroll & HR Services

Get Your Promotions for Becoming A New ADP Clients:  - 1st  3 months free   - Other Discounts Available! November 21st, 2021 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, Rachel Sawyer. She is the Major Accounts District Manager for Austin, Texas area, but can help you if your business needs accounting, wherever you are located.  She...

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Texas Lawsuits Filed Against COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Now Includes Challenge To CMS Federal Contractor Rules

November 16th, 2021 Many states have already filed lawsuits against the COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate. This includes lawsuits against the CMS Interim Final rule, the OSHA  Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) and the Federal Contractors rule.  The Texas Attorney General (AG) Office announced it is also challenging the CMS Federal Contractors rules. Not sure what this means for providers yet, but you may need to continue to prepare for implementation until otherwise directed. See links below for more...

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PEM (Provider Enrollment Management) System

November 16th, 2021 Starting August 2021, HHSC has begun the transition to one system for Provider Enrollment Management which will move to 1 "smart system" if you want to become a Medicaid vendor/Medicaid provider, re-enrollment every 5 years, and the forms/application will be uniform.  They will go directly into TMHP system, not to HHSC.  The current paper application forms will not be required.  They have begun the process with existing providers. One system=PEMS One NPI-based enrollment...

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Reminder: LTC Providers May Request COVID-19 Emergency Support

November 6th, 2021 LTC Providers May Request COVID-19 Emergency Support For Emergency Staffing Support: The Office of the Governor directed DSHS to use staffing agencies to provide medical personnel from out-of-state to Texas health care facilities to assist in COVID-19 operations. This support will be available to residential long-term care providers. -Providers must demonstrate that they have exhausted all other options. -Also that they have urgent need for assistance before requesting...

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HCS Certification Principals Training Webinars & Recordings

August 12th, 2021 HCS/TxHmL Certification Principle Interpretive Guidance Series Starting August 12, 2021, the HCS/ TxHmL Joint Training Program began presenting a series of nine webinars designed to provide interpretive guidance on the HCS and TxHmL Principles of Certification, as outlined in the Texas Administrative Code. You may click on the links to previously recorded trainings below to watch any of the nine sessions on Certification Principles from the Texas Administrative Codes....

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CMS and OSHA Issue Temporary Interim Rules on the Vaccine Mandate

CMS and OSHA just released their respective interim final rules on the vaccine mandate.  Below are links to their rules, webinars and other related items. For further details see below as well as the information at the following link:  https://homehealthcarenews.com/2021/11/cms-releases-emergency-regulation-requiring-covid-19-vaccinations-for-medicare-medicaid-providers/?euid=6e81729339&utm_source=hhcn-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=c7ada108f8 CMS: Link to Interim Final...

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HHSC Publishes Acceptable Documentation for a Criminal History Check for Contractors (IL 2021-48)

HHSC Publishes Acceptable Documentation for a Criminal History Check for Contractors (IL 2021-48) HHSC has published IL 2021-48 (PDF). This letter is provided as a companion letter to PL 2019-01 (PDF) which describes acceptable documentation a contractor may use to demonstrate the contractor conducted a criminal history check of an employment applicant or an employee. Licensed contractors must continue to follow the guidance outlined in PL 2019-01. Unlicensed contractors must follow the...

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HHSC Publishes Information to Assist People with Terminated SSI (IL 2021-47)

HHSC Publishes Information to Assist People with Terminated SSI (IL 2021-47) HHSC has published IL 2021-47 (PDF). It assists people with terminated Supplemental Security Income. In Texas, people who get Supplemental Security Income benefits are eligible for Medicaid. Under normal circumstances, termination of SSI benefits results in losing Medicaid coverage.  When the continuous Medicaid coverage period ends, these individuals will lose their Medicaid coverage unless their SSI benefits are...

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From Our Friends At The ARC of TEXAS: Update on Disability Voting Rights & Virtual Support Group For Persons With Disabilities

Vote early in Texas through Friday, October 29 DOWNLOAD CHECKLIST If you are registered to vote, you have the right to vote! Although you are not allowed to use your phone or electronics for notes, you can take handwritten or printed notes with you into the voting booth. That’s why we created a free Plan Your Vote downloadable checklist, which includes the number for Disability Rights Texas’s Voting Hotline in case you encounter issues casting your ballot. It may also help to review your...

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SB 8 (ARPA funds) Passed by the Senate and House!

October 18th, 2021 SB 8 (ARPA funds) Passed by the Senate and House! The Senate passed SB 8. and the House passed SB 8 as of this evening!  The bill appropriates $13 billion of the $16 billion available in ARPA funds. The bill reflects agreements reached by the conference committee and can be viewed at: https://lrl.texas.gov/scanned/87ccrs/sb0008_3c.pdf#navpanes=0 In reviewing the document, please note the following: Pages 3-24 contain the committee report in bill language.  To view bill...

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HCS/TxHmL Interpretive Guidance Page With Tools For Rule Interpretations

October 3rd, 2021 HHSC Announces HCS and TxHmL Interpretive Guidance Page HHSC Long-term Care Regulation created the HCS and TxHmL Interpretive Guidance page. This page connects program providers with relevant tools for rule interpretation. It includes the Interpretative Guidance booklet and Certification Principle training. October 3rd, 2021 Twogether Consulting highly recommends you read through the HCS/TxHmL Interpretive Guidance Booklet and keep this PDF downloaded on your desktop for...

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HHSC Publishes Amended Statutory Cap Regarding Administrative Penalties for ICFs (PL 21-34)

September 30th, 2021 CAP Update: Administrative Penalties for ICFs (PL 21-34) HHSC published Provider Letter 21-34 Amended Statutory Cap Regarding Administrative Penalties for Intermediate Care Facilities. PL 21-34 notifies providers of changes to how HHSC determines and imposes administrative penalties based on changes made by House Bill 3720 (87th Legislature, Regular Session, 2021).

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COVID Vaccine Information- HCS, TxHmL, ICF

September 21st, 2021 Updated CDC Guidance for LTC Facilities on Accessing COVID-19 Vaccine – Sept. 2021 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently updated resources for long-term care facilities on how to help residents and staff access COVID-19 vaccines: Vaccine Access in Long-term Care Settings Care Administrators and Managers: Options for Coordinating Access to COVID-19 Vaccines Jurisdictions Can Ensure COVID-19 Vaccine Access for Staff and Residents in Long-term Care...

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COVID-19 Information

September 21, 2021 COVID-19 FAQ's Updated For HCS/TxHmL HHSC has revised the Updated HCS and TxHmL COVID-19 FAQ (PDF)  in response to the revised HCS and TxHmL COVID-19 Mitigation and Visitation rules.   September 21st,2021 COVID-19 Response Plan Revised HCS/TxHmL   COVID-19 Response Plan (PDF) in response to the revised HCS and TxHmL COVID-19 Mitigation and Visitation rules 9/21/21 Updated to reflect changes in response to GA-38 regarding facemasks and updated CDC guidance The Table...

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Montessori Webinar Series: Montessori Methods With Older Adults With Dementia

HHSC and Money Follows the Person Demonstration Grant Bringing webinar series to health care professionals. It discusses the work of Dr. Montessori and the Montessori Method when working with older adults with dementia. Dr. Cameron Camp provides this series. The series will also focus on understanding the application of Montessori principles to improving staff engagement. Discussions includes specific principles and techniques. Montessori Inspired Lifestyle: Montessori Based Dementia...

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Guidance for Ending of the Temporary Suspension of Certain LTCR Requirements During COVID-19 Outbreak (PL 2021-29)

HHSC Publishes Guidance for Ending of the Temporary Suspension of Certain LTCR Requirements During COVID-19 Outbreak (PL 2021-29) Updated September 15th, 2021  (Originally posted on August 15th, 2021) HHSC has published Provider Letter 2021-29 (replaces PL 2020-21 and 2020-26) - End of Temporary Suspension of Certain LTCR Requirements During COVID-19 Outbreak (PDF). The letter describes the rule suspensions that ended, the rule suspensions that are still in place, and the rule suspensions that...

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Day Habilitation: Update on “Off-Site” DH Services

September 5th, 2021 HHSC Publishes In-Home Day Habilitation Information for Program Providers for COVID-19 (IL 2021-39) The Texas HHSC is temporarily waiving certain requirements in Section 3710, 4381.3, 4381.7(6) and 4381.7(7) of the Home and Community-based Services Billing Guidelines and the Texas Home Living Billing Guidelines. This is in response to COVID-19 and to provide access to needed day habilitation services. HHSC has published a revision to this guidance, IL 2021-39 In-Home Day...

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Informal Dispute Resolution Process-HCS/TxHmL/ICF

September 5th, 2021  HHSC Publishes Revised Informal Dispute Resolution (PL 2021-07) HHSC published a revised version of Provider Letter 2021-07, Informal Dispute Resolution (PDF). A revision was made to update the contact phone number. . The Informal Dispute Resolution (IDR) process gives nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities, Home and Community-based Service and Texas Home Living waiver providers the opportunity to informally dispute regulatory survey...

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HHSC Changes To Structure, Organization, and Contact Info: Survey & Certification (HCS/TxHmL)

September 1st, 2021 The Health and Human Services Commission created the Regulatory Services Division (RSD) in 2017 as regulatory functions consolidated from the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS), and the Department of State Health Services (DSHS). As part of this consolidation effort, new teams were developed while keeping the division’s core values of quality, consistency, efficiency, and accountability in mind. RSD...

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Disaster Preparedness: Requests To Exceed License Capacity Due to an Emergency

Requests For Exceeding Licensed Capacity During Severe Gulf Coast Weather HHSC Long-term Care Regulation is reminding providers to be ready to implement emergency preparedness plans. If your facility is impacted by severe weather such as wind or flooding, or is in an area under mandatory evacuation orders, contact the HHSC LTCR Regional Director in the region where the facility is located. In addition to contacting the HHSC LTCR RD, all requests to exceed licensed capacity due to an emergency...

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LTC Provider Reporting Guidelines as COVID-19 Cases Surge (ICF Providers)

August 26, 2021 Assisted living facilities, nursing facilities, and intermediate care facilities for people with intellectual disabilities are only required to report COVID-19 cases in residents or staff to HHSC if: It is the facility’s first ever COVID-19 case It is the facility’s first case after having had no COVID-19 cases among staff or residents for 14 days or longer Read Provider Letter 2021-04 (PDF). Email questions to LTCR Policy for more information, including a decision tree on when...

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LTC COVID-19 and Visitation Expansion Rules For in HCS in Texas

August 25th, 2021 Program Provider Response to COVID-19 and Visitation Expansion for HCS (PL 2021-30) HHSC published Provider Letter 2021-30 Program Provider Response to COVID-19 and Visitation Expansion for HCS. This letter replaces PL 2021-09.  This letter describes the actions a program provider must take to mitigate COVID-19 according to Executive Order GA-38(link is external) and CDC guidance and the criteria for expanded indoor and outdoor visitation as well as essential caregiver...

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HCS/TXHML Survey Operations Transformation (PL 2021-26)

August 15th, 2021 HHSC Publishes HCS and TxHmL Survey Operations Transformation (PL 2021-26) In advance of the HCS Waiver Survey and Certification unit’s transition to Long-term Care Survey Operations, HHSC has published PL 2021-26, HCS and TxHmL Survey Operations Transformation (PDF). The letter provides information about HHSC’s transformation efforts and what HCS and TxHmL program providers can expect on August 30, 2021.

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Information Letter No. 21-32 –Requirements for IPC Submissions for Individuals Requesting Services Funded with GR

August 1st, 2021 Information Letter No. 21-32 –Requirements for IPC Submissions for Individuals Requesting Services Funded with General Revenue This information letter describes the documentation that a CLASS case manager, DBMD program provider, HCS service coordinator, or HCS program provider must submit to HHSC to request the use of general revenue to pay for services above the individual cost limit of a waiver program. To justify a request to use general revenue when an individual is...

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Update to COVID-19 Guidance for SC’s Concerning SC Visits & Contacts

Update to COVID-19 Guidance for Service Coordinators Fee-for-service Medicaid 1915(c) waiver case managers and service coordinators may use telehealth or the phone to conduct service coordination visits. This temporary policy change extends through Aug. 31, 2021. SC's are encouraged to complete visits by phone, telehealth or telemedicine. Program providers must complete the required background checks for all service providers. They must follow: The Texas Administrative Code, Title 40, Part 1,...

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Links to Long-Term Care Bulletins

  See link to August 2021 edition below: The August 2021 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 Provider Resources section of the bulletin. See link to February 2021 edition below:...

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Texas Medicaid 1115 Transformation Waiver Update

July 17th, 2021 Texas Medicaid 1115 Transformation Waiver Extension HHSC announces its submission of an extension application to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the Texas Healthcare Transformation Quality Improvement Program (THTQIP) waiver under section 1115 of the Social Security Act. The extension request is for approximately 10 years, which will provide the 1115 waiver authority through 2030. The extension reflects the same terms and conditions agreed to and...

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Stakeholder Webinar: HCS Funding-American Rescue Plan Act – July 15, 2021

July 14, 2021 The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 was signed into law on March 11, 2021. Section 9817 of ARPA provides states with a temporary ten (10) percentage point increase to the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) for Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS), if certain federal requirements are met. States must use funds equivalent to the amount of federal funds attributable to the increased FMAP to implement activities that enhance or strengthen Medicaid HCBS....

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Proposed Billing Guidelines HCS/TxHmL

Stakeholder Comments Requested for HCS, TxHmL Billing Guidelines, As Well As Proposed Billing Requirements, Provider Fiscal Compliance and TMHP Revisions HCS and TxHmL Stakeholders can now comment to the HCS, TxHmL and CFC Billing Guidelines by July 18, 2021 about the proposed revisions: Proposed Billing Requirements Provider Fiscal Compliance TMHP revisions The proposed billing guidelines revisions and a summary of changes were posted on June 18, 2021. They are located on the Long-term Care...

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