Twogether Updates

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 contracting practices and models. The committee will not participate in conversation specific to any outstanding protests, appeals, or litigation relating to the STAR/CHIP, STAR+PLUS, or STAR Kids procurements.

For those persons who will be testifying, information for in-person witness registration, can be found here: https://mytxlegis.capitol.texas.gov/HWRSPublic/About.aspx

A live video broadcast of this hearing will be available here: https://house.texas.gov/video-audio/

Instructions related to public access to the meeting location are available here: https://house.texas.gov/committees/public-access-house-committee-meetings/

Texas residents who wish to electronically submit comments related to agenda items on this notice without testifying in person can do so until the hearing is adjourned by visiting: https://comments.house.texas.gov/home?c=c310

REMINDER:    Committee’s Assigned Interim Charges:
1. Monitoring: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 88th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure the intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:
HB 1575, relating to improving health outcomes for pregnant women; and
SB 24, relating to the powers and duties of the Health and Human Services Commission and the transfer to the commission of certain powers and duties from the Department of Family and Protective Services.
2. Medicaid Contracting: Evaluate the appropriate role of the state in overseeing Medicaid managed care.
3. Support for Texans with Intellectual Disabilities: Evaluate access to Home and Community-based Services (HCS) waivers, including the interest list, effects of inflation on the cost of services, and availability of services and service providers.    Consider the long-term stability of long-term services and supports in waiver programs and consider alternative delivery models.

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 following ramifications:

  1. Will not receive email communication from TMHP for their Provider Type or Program.
  2. Will not receive reminder emails regarding their upcoming revalidation due dates.
  3. Will not be able to start a revalidation request until an email address is verified in PEMS. Providers who fail to complete their respective revalidations, by their given due date(s), will be disenrolled from the Medicaid program, which could result in gaps in enrollment. This can cause delay in reimbursement, and/or denial of claims, from both TMHP and MCOs. 
  4. Will not receive email communications regarding corrections to any PEMS request currently in-flight. Providers who do not respond to application deficiencies within a 45-day period will have their applications auto-close.

 

TMHP is providing the Verifying an Email in PEMS handout, which contains step-by-step instructions on how to complete this task within PEMS.

Additionally, providers should ensure the TMHP.com email domain is added to their Safe Senders list in their email system and avoid “unsubscribing” to emails received from the TMHP.com. 

If providers require any direct assistance with completing this action, they can reach out to TMHP by using the Contact Us link on the TMHP website or by calling 1-800-925-9126.

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

May 15th, 2024

From Twogether Consulting!

Hello IDD providers!

 

May is here and it’s that time when we should all be thinking about natural disaster preparedness and emergency evacuation procedures.  As you know this can be a nasty month for flooding, tornadoes, severe hail damage, high winds and of course in the coming months, hurricanes.  We urge you to review your Emergency & Evacuation Policies and Procedures at least annually and as needed.  Providers should complete a Hazard Valuation Assessment for fire, natural disasters and other emergencies possible in your area on an annual basis and of course after such an event to see how your facility responded and maybe address areas of improvement that are needed so you can update your policies & procedures/plans.  Don’t forget to attend any joint trainings on the subject from HHSC for HCS, ICF and ISS providers.  Twogether Consulting plans on scheduling our updated Emergency & Evacuation Planning for IDD providers training via webinar in late June.

 

We have some very nice sample Hazard Valuation Assessment Tools you are welcome to utilize from different free resources. FYI, I believe you are required to do this type of assessment if you are an ISS provider.   Please contact Meghan Jones at meghanjones.tx@gmail.com if you would like to have them emailed to you.

 

 
     Twogether Consulting is happy to announce that this week we have scheduled our 2-day Care Coordination (Case Management)  training in Austin, Tx for May 15th & 16th, 2024. (Private Providers Association of Texas is letting us utilize their office for the training.).  In addition, Core-VA Solutions will be sponsoring a “Lunch & Learn” on day-1, for anyone who wants to attend on our lunch break.  You are not required to attend the class to attend the “Lunch & Learn”, but you must register with us to attend.  We may have another last-minute guest on day-2 at lunch time.  Feel free to contact us tomorrow to verify.  ADP Payroll & Human Resources has requested to be available for providers needing information concerning assistance with payroll, new hire processes, onboarding new hires, and other HR functions as well as assistance with benefits, insurance resources, etc…
     At lunchtime on day-1, Core-VA Solutions will be discussing all the wonderful virtual assistant services they can offer IDD waiver programs as well as other health-related programs. Brittney Russo, the founder of Core-VA Solutions will be presenting.  As an HCS provider herself, she found herself needing assistance and tools to work more efficiently to run her day-to-day HCS program and out of this need Core-VA Solutions was born!  Brittney does understand the need for assistance and support for your nursing program, HR department, billing department (they are very adept at billing in THMP), and much more.  For more information about the Care Coordination training topics, agenda and registration, please go to www.twogetherconsulting.com website or  click on this link
     
     Anyone is free to join us on May 15th, 2024 for the “Lunch & Learn” sponsored by Core-VA Solutions, even if you are not attending the Care Coordination training, but please contact Meghan Jones below, to register to attend the free lunch and learn if you are not attending the Care Coordination Training!
      The following webinar, “POC’s, Corrective Action & Follow-Up Post Survey” (HCS/TxHmL) is scheduled for June 4th, 2024.  Please don’t wait to register.  It will be June before you know it!
     We have been super busy and sometimes it is hard for me to return all phone calls right away, so please feel free to e-mail me or contact Meghan Jones to schedule an appointment for consultation.  Please contact us directly for your care coordination, QIDP, and nursing needs at info@twogetherconsulting.com or you may contact our assistant Meghan Jones at meghanjones.tx@gmail.com.
     We are happy to say that we will continue to provide whatever assistance we can with questions you may have, especially concerning HCS/TxHmL Care Coordination, Nursing, or general survey requirements from LTCR department in these programs.  We continue to assist those working with the ICF/IID program as well.
     We are currently providing on-site live training at this time and live training is open to the public as well.
     FYI-We do still provide “mentoring” assistance for program managers, case managers, and especially for nurses.  We have 2 part-time RN consultants on an as-needed basis or we can refer you out to our partner RN consultants, Nursing Innovations, who provide IDD nursing consultation and/or training for HCS, TxHmL and ICF.  If you have new staff or nurses who need training quicker than classes posted on the calendar, please let me know and we do offer some of our previously recorded sessions for a low cost which includes the handouts.   We are happy to schedule one-on-one training sessions and mentoring with one of our consultants.  We can also refer you to another resource, if more appropriate.
     For HCS Providers who want to purchase specific services and/or specific forms we have on our website, may go to the following link “purchase services” page. If you are having issues downloading forms, please feel free to contact us at info@twogetherconsulting.com and I will be happy to send them to you.
Thank you,
Julie Blacklock/ Owner & IDD Waiver Consultant

AAIDD: Annual Texas Chapter Conference 2024

May 14th, 2024

48th Annual Texas Chapter Convention
Save 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. The Spa at Grand Galvez offers a variety of body treatments, massage, and facials along with a full-service salon. You’re close to the city’s top attractions, the historic Strand District and breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico. Play at the คาสิโนชั้นนำของไทย – ยูฟ่าเบท and enjoy unparalleled gaming.

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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 am a current Our Lady of the Lake University doctoral student. I am conducting a Study of the Relationship Between of Leader’s Authentic Leadership Behaviors and Followers’ Self-Rated Organizational Citizenship Behavior Among Direct Care Professional (DCS) working with People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). I am looking for participants who will complete an anonymous electronic survey that takes no longer than 10 minutes to complete.

Therefore, I am requesting for program providers to help me distribute it among your direct care staff/professionals or service providers.

Participation is voluntary, and there are no consequences for not participating or withdrawing from the study. There are (4) sections: Consent Information and selection for consent, Demographics Questionnaire, Authentic Leadership Inventory (ALQ),  and the Organizational Citizenship Behavior Checklist.  

To participate, direct care staff will need to click on the following link to complete the survey:  

https://ollusa.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3Ud7Sob5JL2JaqW 

 

If you have any questions, or need additional information, please contact me at 956-279-9653 or scastillo16fl@ollusa.edu

You also may contact my OLLU Dissertation Chair, Dr. Yu Sun at ysun@ollusa.eduor you may also contact Dr. Mark Green, Ph.D. at mtgreen@ollusa.edu Leadership Studies Department Chair. 

Thank you for your consideration and time to complete my survey. You are truly making an impact in helping me reach my educational goals.”

Sincerely,

Sergio Castillo

Our Lady of the Lake University

Doctoral Candidate

Cohort 10 -RGV Campus

scastillo16fl@ollusa.edu

(956) 279-9653 cell

 

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 service area, each of these areas has at least one new MCO in their area.  Jefferson service area, which currently has 3 MCOs will only have 2 MCOs beginning September 1, 2024.
See slides 9 – 11 of the attached handout.
~  Lubbock, MRSA Central, MRSA East and MRSA West service areas were not affected, meaning that the current MCOs covering these areas will remain.
See slides 7 and 12 of the attached handout.
  • Letters from HHSC have been sent to current members in the nine (9) areas in which a change in MCOs is occurring.  The letters were sent In March.
  • Members in the 9 affected service areas have until July 20, 2024 to pick a new health plan (MCO) and will be sent a reminder before the deadline.                                                                                  Note: Persons satisfied with their current MCO are not required to respond to the letter, but, if they want, may switch to the new MCO or any other MCO in their area.  Of course, persons currently enrolled in a MCO which was not awarded a ‘new’ contract will need to select a health plan from the MCOs in their service area.
    • Example:  If a person resides in the Jefferson STAR+PLUS Service Area, and is currently enrolled with United Healthcare, the person will need to choose either Wellpoint or Molina since , effective September 1, 2024, United Healthcare will no longer serve that area. On the other hand, if a person residing in Jefferson STAR+PLUS service area is currently enrolled with Molina, the person can either stay with Molina, or change to the other MCO (Wellpoint) in that area.
  • HHSC is planning to conduct information sessions about the changes, but no dates were provided.
As the transition will impact the individuals providers serve and as it is not known when the information sessions/webinars will be held, we urge providers to review this information with the individuals they serve and/or their families.

Star Plus Transition Member Information

Updates For Medicaid Interest Waiver List

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 Providers (PDF), is available on the HHS HCS webpage.

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 recall that the HCS rules used to be under 40 TAC, Chapter 9.  Some of those rules are now under 26 TAC, Chapter 565.  When the rules under Chapter 565 were adopted, the text of the provision under 9.177 (b)  – now under 565.9 (e) –  was slightly revised.  Those revisions are reflected in the May 2, 2024 update to the ISS FAQs. Interested persons may contact the PPAT Office for the former language/requirement.

HHSC Long-term Care Regulation updated the Individualized Skills and Socialization frequently asked questions document on May 2, 2024.

Read the FAQ here (PDF).


April 1st, 2024

ISS Administrative Penalties Scope and Severity Grid

Figure: 26 TAC §559.253(b)

SCOPE AND SEVERITY GRID FOR ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES
ISOLATED PATTERN WIDESPREAD
Immediate threat Substantial=NRTC Substantial=NRTC Substantial=NRTC
J K L
Initial $400–$600 $450–$650 $500–$700
Repeat $500–$700 $550–$750 $600–$800
 

Actual harm

Substantial=NRTC Substantial=NRTC Substantial=NRTC
G H I
Initial $250–$450 $300–$500 $350–$550
Repeat $350–$550 $400–$600 $450–$650
 

No actual harm with a potential for more than minimal harm 

Non-Substantial=RTC Non-Substantial=RTC Substantial=NRTC
D E F
Initial $100–$300 $150–$350 $200–$400
Repeat $200–$400 $250–$450 $300–$500
 

No actual harm 

Non-Substantial=RTC Non-Substantial=RTC Non-Substantial=RTC
A B C
Initial $0–$0 $0–$0 $0–$0
Repeat $0–$0 $0–$0 $0–$0

 

 


March 7th, 2024

HHSC Hold Harmless Period Ending

This “hold harmless” period is ending for ISS providers on March 17, 2024.

Beginning March 18, 2024, HHSC will survey for compliance with all regulatory requirements, including off-site provision of services, and move forward with applicable enforcement actions as outlined in Title 26 Chapter 559, Subchapter H, Division 4 (Survey, Investigations & Enforcement)


Draft Amendments to ISS Licensing Rules 

 
HHSC has posted draft licensing rule amendments to Chapter 559 governing the Individualized Skills and Socialization program.  Comments are due to HHSC March 21, 2024.  See details for commenting and for access to the draft rules at:  https://www.hhs.texas.gov/regulations/policies-rules/health-human-services-rulemaking/comment-proposed-draft-rules
These draft rule amendments include some of the following changes:
 Clarification of ANE requirements
 Clarification of medication administration and related requirements
 Clarification of staff training requirements
 Movement of all rights-related requirements into one subsection
 Expansion and clarification of all environmental provisions 
 Application of administrative penalties and any other sanctions for failure to adhere to the rules.
.

February 14th, 2024

Delays In Receiving ISS Licenses

Some ISS providers have been experiencing delays in receiving their license before the expiration date and concerned of the impact to their program.  HHSC acknowledged they are experiencing delays and has noted the following:    For renewals, as long as the provider has submitted a renewal application, their license is considered active even if processing that application takes HHSC beyond the expiration on their printed license.  Provider Letter PL 2021-14 discusses this issue. 
Reminders:
~   HHSC created a process to allow for an initial temporary license to be issued, which included a health survey be conducted. To effectively manage the workload, HHSC also created a staggered process so that not all licenses expired at the same time. This meant that all applications received before September 1, 2023 were assigned either a one year, two year or three year license, which upon renewal would be issued for three years.
~  The license renewal process does not require a survey, however, surveys will be scheduled every two years at the discretion of the region.
~  HHSC created an ISS webpage which includes access to the rules, training information and other ISS-related information:  https://www.hhs.texas.gov/providers/long-term-care-providers/individualized-skills-socialization

December 15th, 2023

Clarification on Licensure Renewals 

All licensed long-term care providers must submit a renewal application in the Texas Unified Licensure Information Portal (TULIP) before their current license expires. While a re-licensure/recertification survey is part of the renewal process, it doesn’t take the place of submitting a renewal application in TULIP.

HHSC encourages providers to submit the application as soon as possible within the 120 days prior to the expiration of their license, so that if there are issues with TULIP — such as the renewal application not being in the TULIP account — the provider has time to work with TULIP Support prior to their license expiring.

If the provider is waiting on pending documentation — such as a current fire marshal report it’s better to go ahead and submit the renewal application with the deficiency and upload a letter explaining why they don’t have the required documentation.

***If the application isn’t submitted before the license expires, the provider risks providing services without a license.  This is only for licensed LTC providers.  Does not include HCS/TxHmL providers as they are contracted, not licensed.

 


August 18th, 2023

Transition to Individualized Skills and Socialization Survey Deadline Extended

HHSC implemented individualized skills and socialization services in the Home and Community-Based Services (HCS) and Texas Home Living (TxHmL) Medicaid 1915(c) waiver programs, effective Jan. 1, 2023.

HHSC is requesting feedback from HCS and TxHmL program providers only on the impact this change has had on individuals receiving services in the form of a short survey.

Take the survey to provide your feedback.

We thank you for your input. HHSC is extending the deadline to submit responses until Aug. 31, 2023.

All HCS and TxHmL program providers who have not submitted a response must complete the survey by this deadline. Providers who have already completed the survey do not need to submit an additional response.


July 17th, 2023

HHSC Updated the Individualized Skills and Socialization Hold Harmless Period through March 17th, 2024

 

On Jan. 1, 2023, HHSC implemented the DAHS Individualized Skills and Socialization program and offered an initial hold harmless period from Jan. 1, 2023, through June 30, 2023.

HHSC agreed to extend part of the hold harmless period related to the provision of off-site services.

HHSC will survey for compliance with off-site service delivery but will not move forward with enforcement action.

For all other regulatory requirements, beginning July 1, 2023, HHSC will survey for compliance and move forward with applicable enforcement actions as outlined in Title 26 Chapter 559, Subchapter H, Division 4.

The new hold harmless period related to the provision of off-site Individualized Skills and Socialization services begins July 1, 2023, and ends March 17, 2024.

 


March 28th, 2023

Host Home Companion Care Providers Concerning ISS & PHE Flexibilities For In-Home ISS

Clarification Concerning Information Letter No. 2023-10 (Replaces IL 2023-06) from February 2023
In-Home Individualized Skills and Socialization Information for Program Providers for COVID-19 PHE

In response to COVID-19 and to provide access to day habilitation services, the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) temporarily waived certain requirements in Sections 3710, 4381.3, 4381.7(6) and 4381.7(7) of the HCS Billing Requirements and the TxHmL Billing Requirements. Until the end of the COVID-19 PHE, this flexibility will continue as part of in-home individualized skills and socialization.

Effective May 12, 2023, these flexibilities will no longer be in effect:

The flexibility has allowed HCS and TxHmL program providers to provide in-home individualized skills and socialization to an individual in the individual’s residence, including those residing in their own homes or family homes, without having the required justification outlined below. Program providers and LIDDAs need to have transition plans ready for individuals who receive in-home individualized skills and socialization prior to this end date (before May 12th, 2023).

Beginning May 12th, 2023:

in order to receive in-home individualized skills and socialization, individuals must meet all requirements outlined in the HCS and TxHmL Program Rules, the HCS Billing Requirements, and the TxHmL Billing Requirements, which include:
• A physician has documented that the individual’s medical condition justifies the provision of in-home individualized skills and socialization; or
A licensed professional or behavioral support service provider has documented that the individual’s behavioral issues justify the provision of in-home individualized skills and socialization; or
• The individual is 55 years of age or older and requests to receive in-home individualized skills and socialization.
In addition, after May 11, 2023, a service provider of host home/companion care will not be permitted to provide in-home individualized skills and socialization to the individual to whom they provide host home/companion care services.

Clarification & Answer to Question From Some of Our Readers: 

This letter indicates that HHSC does not appear to prevent a host home provider from becoming an ISS provider, nor does it prevent that licensed ISS provider from providing on-site and/or off-site services to their own individuals living with them.  In other words, it would appear they can be a HH/CC provider and licensed ISS provider at the same time and they can provide ISS services to their own individuals they are serving as HH/CC providers.   They can not provide their own in-home ISS (anymore) as an HH/CC provider as of May 12th, 2023.  The only ISS they can provide after May 11th, is if they are a licensed on-site and/or off-site provider.


March 1st, 2023

Reminder Must Be Licensed As ISS Provider To Bill As Of March 1st, 2023

For HCS/TxHmL Providers, you can’t bill for On-site &/or Off-site ISS as of today March 1st, 2023, if you send someone to an ISS location or have staff providing Off-site services (previously Community DH), if they are not listed as a licensed ISS program. 

The directories may be accessed at:  https://www.hhs.texas.gov/providers/long-term-care-providers/day-activity-health-services-dahs  to find out if the ISS program is licensed.

**You can bill for In-Home ISS as persons providing In-Home ISS do not have to be licensed!  No justification is needed for In-Home through May 11th, 2023 I believe. I believe HH/CC providers can still provide In-Home (This was part of the PHE exception prior to March 1st) up through May 11th, 2023, but I am still unclear and will inquire and update everyone when I get some kind of definitive answer.

Previous DH providers & New ISS Provider applicants: If you do not have a temporary ISS license by March 1, 2023, you may not provide or bill HCS, TxHmL, or DBMD providers for on- and off-site ISS services until the temporary license is received.  HCS/TxHmL, DBMD Providers who have individuals attending an ISS program may not send persons to the program until they confirm that the operator of the program has received the license.  There are no exceptions.


February 21st, 2023

More ISS Training

In addition to the training sessions occurring in various locations across the state, HHSC will conduct a training on ISS in Austin on April 3, 2023.
Registration information should be posted on or before March 13th, 2023.

 Very Important:  Surveys of ISS Providers With Temporary Licenses

In case this information was overlooked by new ISS providers:

  • Once HHSC issues a temporary license, HHSC may conduct a survey at any time.
  • HHSC may conduct a survey of any licensed Individualized Skills and Socialization Providers prior to March 1, 2023.
    • i.e. if HHSC issues a temporary license on Feb. 21, 2023, HHSC may conduct an initial survey on Feb. 27, 2023.
  • HHSC conducts unannounced surveys of ISS Providers.
  • For on-site ISS providers, the address on the license must match the address for service provision.
  • ISS providers must allow HHSC surveyors access to the on-site location and off-site activity locations.

Please refer to Texas Administrative Code Title 26, Chapter 559 for more info on the LTCR survey process.


February 10th, 2023

How Do I Find A Licensed ISS Provider?

HHSC has now posted directories on the DAHS webpage to help people find a licensed ISS Provider.

The directories may be accessed at:  https://www.hhs.texas.gov/providers/long-term-care-providers/day-activity-health-services-dahs

 

Please note the following:

  • There are 2 directories:  DAHS with ISS and DAHS-ISS Only.
  • The DAHS with ISS Directory is intended to reflect entities licensed as just a DAHS, and entities licensed as DAHS with ISS.
    • At this time, this particular directory lists all entities as just having a DAHS license. This is because the commission has yet to approve any DAHS with ISS licenses.  The process for approving a DAHS with ISS application takes longer than that of a provider applying as an ISS-only entity.  According to HHSC, the entity must undergo an LSC and Health survey before a license is issued to a DAHS with ISS entity.  Once these have been approved, they will be listed in this directory as DAHS with ISS.
  • Entities listed in the DAHS – ISS Only Directory, currently reflect a 6-month license.  This is because these licenses are considered ‘temporary’ at this time. Once the health survey is conducted the entities will receive a one, two or three-year license

February 5th, 2023

HHSC LTCR Updates the ISS FAQ’s

HHSC Long-term Care Regulation updated the Individualized Skills and Socialization frequently asked questions document on Feb. 01, 2023.

Read the FAQ here.


January 27th, 2023

FYI- somehow I missed this alert back in November for Licensed ISS providers.  Please be sure to log in and set up your account.

PL 22-32 letter issued 11/28/22 to ISS providers that was sent out concerning Blackboard Connect Emergency System

The purpose of this letter was to inform providers of the emergency communication system called Blackboard Connect, how it will be used, and your responsibility in signing up for the system if you are an ISS provider. This system will be used to send emergency and outreach notifications through email, phone, voice and text if available.

The rules require program providers to assign a designee to enroll in and respond to requests through the system. The designee should be someone who is associated with the licensed building or someone who is responsible for communicating emergency communications. However, you may also have other designees, such as corporate headquarters staff, sign up.

Blackboard Connect sign-up process:

Go to this link and click “Sign Me Up!”

If you have any questions, please contact the Policy and Rules Section by email at LTCRPolicy@hhs.texas.gov or call (512) 438-3161.

Rember, this also applies to HCS, TxHmL and ICF providers among other services.


January 16th, 2023

Questions concerning ISS and to the recently published IL 2022-03 ISS Automatic Service Authorizations and EVV for In-Home ISS in OHFM Settings  HHSC asked the 3 IDD associations to send them a list of questions.  If you have not already, please send your questions to your provider associations (PPAT, PACSTX, and TCDD).
Questions to which answers have been received are as follows:
  • The ‘new’ IPC referenced in IL 2022-03 will most likely not be ready until March.  They did not have answers as to what providers should do in the interim or even how service logs should be revised until new ones are available. (The letter does indicate that those individuals receiving DH at the time of the switch to ISS (March 1st, 2023) will initially roll over automatically to ISS ).
  • After Feb. 28th this would apply to all current clients as far as IPC units are concerned. Persons who don’t have any Day Hab units/days on their plan as of Feb. 28th, 2023 and want ISS hours, will have to do a new PDP and request IPC hours.   Providers will have a new IPC form, with ISS on it, before March 1st, 2023.
  • To date, no provider has been issued an ISS license.
  • Providers can confirm that an entity has an ISS license by checking the DAHS directory on the DAHS webpage:   https://www.hhs.texas.gov/providers/long-term-care-providers/day-activity-health-services-dahs
 Unfortunately, no definitive answers have been obtained or decisions reached concerning processes related to service authorizations, IPC revisions and renewals and the automatic addition of ISS units.   It was agreed that a separate meeting on this topic was needed to address some of these issues.
TULIP-related Issues:  Concerns were expressed about challenges accessing TULIP, completing the application and receiving timely and productive assistance from TULIP.  We were told to submit concerns to Stephanie Allred and, depending on the issue, Ms. Allred or her team would address, or Ms. Allred would escalate to TULIP Support:  Ms. Allred may be reached at:  Stephanie.Allred@hhs.texas.gov

ISS FAQs and Upcoming Webinars:

Last Friday HHSC posted updated FAQs for the new service. Read the FAQ here.

On January 26, 2023, from 9:00 to 10:30 HHSC will conduct its quarterly LTC webinar which will focus on ISS.  To register for the webinar, go to:  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5204373791714060639


January 12th, 2023

Information Letter No. 2023-03 Individualized Skills and Socialization Automatic Service Authorizations

Effective January 1, 2023, individualized skills and socialization became an available service in the HCS and TxHmL Programs.  For the time period of January 1, 2023 to February 28, 2023 both day habilitation and individualized skills and socialization will be allowable program services.

Day habilitation will no longer be a Medicaid-billable service in the HCS or TxHmL Programs for dates of service beginning March 1, 2023, and ongoing.

On January 9, 2023, HHSC will automatically add units of individualized skills and socialization for all individuals with day habilitation (including individuals receiving in-home day habilitation through the COVID-19 flexibility) currently authorized on their individual plan of care (IPC). The units will be available for billing immediately for the provision of on-site, off-site, or in-home individualized skills and socialization and will be visible to program providers in the Medicaid Eligibility Service Authorization Verification (MESAV). The added units will be authorized beginning January 1, 2023 through the end of the individual’s current IPC period. For individuals with an IPC period that must be renewed between January 1, 2023 – April 30, 2023, the added units will be authorized until December 31, 2023.
These units for individualized skills and socialization will not be visible to program providers or service coordinators on the IPC in the Long-term Care Online Portal (LTCOP) on the Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership (TMHP) website nor on the dashboard until a revision or renewal IPC is entered. This automatic service authorization will give service coordinators additional time to meet with the individual’s service planning team (SPT) to update the individual’s person-directed plan (PDP) and for program providers to update the individual’s implementation plan (IP) as this new service takes effect. HHSC is implementing this process to minimize disruption to an individual’s desired services.

Service Plan Revisions
At the individual’s next service planning team meeting to complete a revision or renewal IPC (whichever occurs first) for individuals receiving individualized skills and socialization, service coordinators should update the individual’s PDP to reflect the new individualized skills and socialization service. During the service planning team meeting, any new goals related to the provision of on-site and off-site individualized skills and socialization should be discussed and documented in the new action plan. Until the PDP is updated, the individual’s current day habilitation goals, frequency, and duration should be followed for the individualized skills and socialization service.

Following the update to the PDP, the IPC and IP must be updated in accordance with applicable HCS or TxHmL Program rules with the appropriate units of individualized skills and socialization. HHSC will update the IPC and IP form to add individualized skills and socialization by March 1, 2023.
All individual’s PDPs, IPCs, and IPs must be updated with the appropriate units of individualized skills and socialization in accordance with applicable HCS or TxHmL Program rules by December 31, 2023.
For new enrollees and current enrollees who are not currently receiving day habilitation, individualized skills and socialization will need to be added, once the IPC and IP form have been updated, to the individual’s service plan because units will not be auto-authorized for these individuals. Day habilitation can be added and delivered until February 28, 2023.

To read more, please click on link below, for Information Letter 2023-03 related to ISS automatic service authorizations and EVV

IL-2023-03


January 3rd, 2023

Easier Format For ISS Licensing Rules effective Jan. 1, 2023

The link below provides a format that is easier to read and understand the newly adopted licensing rules rather than those when published as adopted in the Texas Register

HHSC Bulletin:

Effective Jan. 1, 2023, HHSC adopts new Individualized Skills and Socialization rules for providers who want to deliver individualized skills and socialization services. New rules provide guidance regarding:

  • applying for an Individualized Skills and Socialization license;
  • provider requirements; and
  • HHSC survey and enforcement actions.

Read the new rules in Title 26 of the Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 559, Subchapter H.

HHSC also published Provider Letter 2023-01 New Regulatory Rules for Long-term Care Regulation (LTCR) Individualized Skills and Socialization Services. This PL provides guidance to Individualized Skills and Socialization providers about the new rules.

Read PL 2023-01.


December 23rd, 2022

NEW RULES FOR ISS & ISS LICENSE

The Individualized Skills and Socialization rules are now published.
See below for the link and pages on which the rules begin for DBMB. TxHmL and HCS, as well as the license rules.
Note:  The other set of rule changes (i.e., changes being made to align with the other federal HCBS Settings rule) have not yet been published as adopted.
To view the rules, click on the following link and then scroll to the pages presented below for each program.
DBMD:  Adopted rules start on page 157 of the pdf
TxHmL:  Adopted rules start on page 164 of the pdf
HCS: Adopted rules start at bottom of page 174 of the pdf (actual rules begin at top of page 175)
License Rules:  Adopted rules start on page 188 of the pdf

December 18th, 2022

HHSC Adds Individualized Skills and Socialization to Email and Text Updates

HHSC added an option to the HHSC email and text update GovDelivery system that subscribers can select to receive updates related to the Individualized Skills and Socialization services program. Users can select to receive Individualized Skills and Socialization program alerts from the “Provider Alerts” drop-down menu.

To sign up for updates, select this link Texas Health and Human Services Commission (govdelivery.com).

For questions about Individualized Skills and Socialization, please email LTCRPolicy@hhs.texas.


November 28th, 2022

Webinar for New Licensing Process Nov. 30th, 2022 Extended to 2 hrs

All providers interested in the new licensing process for the Day Activity Health Services Individualized Skills and Socialization program are invited to a 2-hour webinar on Nov. 30. Originally it was a 1 hr session but has now been extended to have enough time for questions and explanations.

HHSC Long-Term Regulation staff will discuss how to navigate TULIP, the licensing system, explain the license application process and provide an overview of the survey process. There will also be a Q&A session as time allows.

Register for the webinar: Licensing Process Webinar


November 19th, 2022

DAHS ISS Licensing Application Available!

On Dec. 1, 2022, HHSC will launch the Day Activity Health Services (DAHS) Individualized Skills and Socialization License Application in the Texas Unified Licensure Information Portal (TULIP).

Link to TULIP: https://txhhs.force.com/TULIP/s/

Email TULIP_Support@hhsc.state.tx.us with questions related to TULIP functionality or if you have issues gaining access.

Email LTC_NF_DAHS_Licensing@hhs.texas.gov with questions related to the DAHS Individualized Skills and Socialization licensing application


October 13th, 2022

Licensing Application Process For ISS:  

* HHSC will conduct a TULIP Navigation training webinar in the near future to assist providers in how to use TULIP.
HHSC has stated that the application will look very much like the DAHS application with certain sections marked as not necessary for an ISS application and several new ISS-specific questions/sections added.
-The Information Letter (IL) related to potential prohibitive settings/locations for an ISS setting/location should be published soon.
This letter will include instructions for providers which believe their ISS setting/location will need to undergo the heightened scrutiny process to contact HHSC.  HHSC will, in turn, conduct a review which will also have to be approved by CMS.  If approved, the prospective ISS provider may proceed with the license application process. 
The application will include questions that request verification that approval was secured.
-HHSC has stated that a directory of all licensed providers will be available for providers to confirm the license status of ISS providers.
*If an application is completely and correctly filled out, the provider will receive a temporary license (good for 180 days) until HHSC surveys the site/location.
The effective date of one’s license will be the date the temporary license is issued.
*The license fee will be paid via the Texas.gov process/portal.
-Community centers will be required to pay the license fee if they apply for an ISS license.

October 2nd, 2022

Register for Individualized Skills and Socialization Provider Portal Trainings

Individualized Skills and Socialization Provider applicants are required to complete HHSC Individualized Skills and Socialization Provider Trainings. Below are two computer-based trainings, which will assist Individualized Skills and Socialization Providers with applying for a license and preparing for an inspection.

  • Prelicensure Training for Individualized Skills and Socialization Providers
    This training was designed for providers who wish to offer individualized skills and socialization services. Prior to surveys or inspection, an entity must submit an application for a Day Activity and Health Services license. Information about the requirements to obtain a license will be shared. Register for the training.
  • Preparing for an Inspection
    This training was designed to assist Individualized Skills and Socialization Providers to prepare for an inspection. In this course, information about the inspection process and licensure rules will be shared. Register for the training.

Email questions to LTCR Policy.


September 24th, 2022

HHSC Moved The Individualized Skills and Socialization Webpage

The Individualized Skills and Socialization webpage moved from the Resources webpage to the main Long-term Care Providers webpage. This was done so its location is consistent with other Long-term Care Regulation programs and is easier to find.

Individualized Skills and Socialization can be found under the “Community-based Programs” heading.


August 23rd, 2022

No Public Hearing on ISS Licensing Rules

There is no scheduled public hearing on the proposed license rules for the new ISS service. However, providers can submit written comments on the proposed license rules.
Written comments on the proposal may be submitted to:
HHSC Long-term Care Regulation Policy and Rules,
Mail Code E-370, 701 W. 51st Street, Austin, Texas 78751,
Or you may email them to:

Comments must be submitted no later than 31 days after the date the rules were published in the Texas Register; i.e., 31 days after August 12, 2022.. Comments must be (1) postmarked or shipped before the last day of the comment period; (2) hand-delivered before 5:00 p.m. on the last working day of the comment period; or (3) emailed before midnight on the last day of the comment period. If the last day to submit comments falls on a holiday, comments must be postmarked, shipped, or emailed before midnight on the following business day to be accepted. When emailing comments, please indicate “Comments on Proposed Rule 22R050” in the subject line.


Public Hearing on ISS Program Rules

HHSC will conduct a public hearing on the proposed HCS, TxHmL and DBMD ISS program rules on September 7, 2022 from 8:00 am. until Noon.  To register for the virtual hearing, go to:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/927810115195515152

For a copy of the proposed ISS license rules or go to:  https://www.hhs.texas.gov/regulations/policies-rules/health-human-services-rulemaking/comment-proposed-draft-rules


August 13th, 2022

Proposed Licensing Rules for Individualized Skills & Socialization (ISS)
The proposed rules governing the above-referenced rules were published in the Texas Register a few days ago.
See page 2 for instructions for submitting comments.  Interested stakeholders have 31 days from today to submit comments to HHSC.
FYI:  For those of you attending the PPAT (Private Provider’s Association of Texas) Conference,    HHSC is conducting a 2-hour session at PPAT’s conference on ISS.  This is session members and other interested stakeholders will not want to miss.  If you have not registered for the conference, please do so at:  https://www.ppat200.com/overviewregistration.html

August 8th, 2022
ISS Resources page

Texas HHSC has developed the Individualized Skills and Socialization Provider Portal, an online source of information for providers of individualized skills and socialization.

The Individualized Skills and Socialization Provider Portal will allow providers to:

  • Complete and review trainings on the Individualized Skills and Socialization service.
  • Find and review provider letters and other information and releases related to Individualized Skills Socialization.
  • Link to rules and other services related to Individualized Skills and Socialization.

Provider Communications


August 6th, 2022

See Draft/Proposed Rules for ISS in HCS and TxHmL below:

Proposed ISS Rules   (Main portion of  rules start on page 13-52)

Rule Review:  When reviewing the proposed HCS and TxHmL Individualized Skills and Socialization rules, note the following:
  • The anticipated adoption date is October, 2022 with an effective date of November 2022.  These dates also apply to the proposed rules for the DBMD waiver program.
  • Very few changes were made from comments HHSC received during the informal comment period earlier this year. Though we had been apprised of such before this positing, know that any comments you submitted during the informal comment period will need to be resubmitted.
  • Carefully review the introduction to the HCS and TxHmL rules on pages 1 -4, including the sections on Issues and Alternatives and Stakeholder Involvement on page 3.
  • Carefully review the preamble to the rules before reading the actual rules and pay attention to the sections on Impact to Small Businesses.
  • The proposed HCS and TxHmL rules are included in one document.  To help you navigate the document, the following is offered:
~  Introduction to the HCS and TxHmL proposed rules:  Pages 1-4.
~  Preamble to proposed TxHmL rules:   Pages 5-12;  Pages 10-11 contain statements about impact on small businesses.
~  Proposed TxHmL rules:  Pages 13-28.
~  Preamble to proposed HCS rules:  Pages 29 – 36;  Page 34 addresses impact on small businesses.
~  Proposed HCS rules:  Pages 37 – 52

EVV (Electronic Visit Verification) Updates

May 2nd, 2024

Please see links to handouts below:
One provides an update on EVV focusing on the claims matching bypass, compliance review grace periods and geo-perimeter expansion.  The other handout pertains to the phasing out of alternative devices for service providers and CDS employees to clock in and clock out.  The phase out schedule begins January 1, 2025 and ends January 1, 2028.
In late April, HHSC issued a notice explaining its plan to phase out alternative devices and is asking for stakeholder feedback.  Comments are due by 5:00 p.m.on May 15, 2024  and are to be sent to:  evv@hhs.texas.gov

January 7th, 2024

Clarification Landline Vs. Mobile

EVV Program providers and financial management services agencies (FMSAs) must enter and maintain correct information in the EVV system for their service providers or Consumer Directed Services (CDS) employees.

Program providers and FMSAs must not enter an unallowable landline phone type into the EVV system as the member’s home phone landline.

An unallowable landline phone type is a cellular phone or cellular-enabled device, such as a tablet or a smart watch.   A phone used to clock in or clock out through the landline method must be a landline phone, and not a cellular phone or device.  Cellular phones, tablets, smart watches, and laptops come under “mobile devices” and should be entered as such..


TMHP Published EVV Known Issues and Resolutions, Vol. 2


January 1st, 2024

HHSC has revised the Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) rules in Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 1, Chapter 354, Subchapter O. The new TAC rules are effective Jan. 1, 2024.

The new EVV TAC rules:

  • Add the home health care services required by the 21st Century Cures Act, 1903(l) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. §1396b(l)).
  • Add the current policies regarding training, visit maintenance, and requests by program providers and FMSAs to become Proprietary System Operators (PSOs).
  • Add definitions related to the addition of the new TAC rules.
  • Reorganize the structure of the existing EVV-required personal care services list for clarity.

Email questions to HHSC EVV.


December 31st, 2023

HHSC NOTICE: 

HHSC Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) is reaching out to you with time-sensitive information. Also noted in the TMHP news webpage:


December 6th, 2023

Discontinuation of EVV Free Text Reviews

Effective Aug. 1, 2023, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and managed care organizations (MCO) will no longer conduct EVV compliance reviews for required free text.

HHSC no longer requires the documentation of any missing clock in and clock out in the free text field for dates of service on and after Aug. 1. The EVV system now requires missing time not electronically captured to be entered in the Bill Time In and Bill Time Out fields.

New reason codes effective Oct. 1, 2023 (PDF) require program providers, financial management services agencies (FMSAs) and Consumer Directed Services (CDS) employers to enter free text only when using the following two reason codes:

  • Reason Code 210I — Emergency
  • Reason Code 600 — Other

Email questions to HHSC EVV Operations.

 


November 11th, 2023

Prepare for EVV Cures Act Home Health Care Services Implementation

HHSC will require Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) for Medicaid home health care services (HHCS) beginning Jan. 1, 2024, as listed in the Home Health Care Services required to use EVV (PDF). The 21st Century Cures Act is the federal law that requires states to implement EVV.

HHCS Claims for EVV Required Services Must be Submitted to TMHP Starting Dec. 1

  • Program providers and financial management services agencies (FMSAs) must submit all HHCS EVV claims to Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership (TMHP) using TexMedConnect, or through Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) using a Compass 21 (C21) Submitter ID starting with dates of service on or after Dec. 1, 2023.
  • Managed care organizations (MCOs) will reject any HHCS managed care claims with EVV services and dates of service on or after Dec. 1, 2023, back to the program provider and FMSA, directing them to submit the claim to TMHP for EVV claims matching.

Register for TexMedConnect

  • To access TexMedConnect through the TMHP website you must already have an account. If you don’t have an account, set one up using the information provided in the TMHP Website Security Provider Training Manual.
  • Program providers and FMSAs that need help setting up C21 or CMS Submitter IDs should contact the EDI Help Desk at 888-863-3638, Option 4, or visit the TexMedConnect webpage for additional information.

Request EVV Portal Access

  • To access the EVV Portal, program providers and FMSAs must have a TMHP User Account.
  • Program providers and FMSA staff must contact their TMHP Provider Administrator to request EVV Portal access.
  • For full instructions, review the EVV Portal job aids on the EVV Learning Management System (LMS).

Complete Onboarding and EVV Portal Training by Dec. 31

Program providers and FMSAs must complete the following before Dec. 31, to avoid impacts to EVV claims payment:

  • Onboard with the state-funded EVV vendor system, HHAeXchange by submitting the HHAeXchange Provider Onboarding Form.
  • Complete the TMHP Learning Management System (LMS) to complete annual EVV Portal training requirements.

Visit the TMHP EVV Training webpage for more information.

EVV Home Health Care Services Practice Period: Oct. 1 – Dec. 31

The practice period allows program providers and FMSAs, to practice using the EVV system, using the EVV Portal and submitting EVV claims before the Jan. 1, 2024, implementation date. EVV claims will be paid by the payers (HHSC or MCO) even if the EVV visit transactions do not match the EVV claims.

  • Consumer Directed Services (CDS) employers can practice using the EVV system selected by their FMSA.
  • Service providers and CDS employees can practice clocking in and clocking out using their program provider’s or FMSA’s selected EVV system, and the visit data will be transmitted to the EVV Aggregator.

EVV Claims Matching with Denials

Effective Jan. 1, 2024, and after, when an HHCS EVV claim is submitted without a matching EVV visit transaction, the EVV claim will be denied. This applies to all program providers and FMSAs required to use an EVV system. Program providers and FMSAs will be able to view EVV claim match results in the EVV Portal.

Resources:


October 16th, 2023

IMPORTANT NOTICE: EVV Data Access & Conversion

For program providers transitioning to the new state-funded EVV vendor, HHAeXchange:

All visits in the EVV Aggregator will continue to be available and accessible for program providers. One year of historically accepted visits will be available in HHAeXchange as part of data conversion. This will be based on the data available in the EVV Aggregator.

For visit dates within the 95-day visit maintenance window, program providers should refer to the EVV Portal and perform visit maintenance in their legacy vendor system.

*If you rely on specific fields from EVV systems, DataLogic/Vesta and FirstData/AuthentiCare, this data may not be available after they are migrated to HHAeXchange.


Data Conversion

The following data will be transferred from your current EVV systems (AuthentiCare or Vesta) and uploaded to the new HHAeXchange system:

  • Five years of profile data
    • Direct service provider information
    • Member information
    • CDS employer information
    • Service authorization information
  • One year of accepted visit information (from the EVV Aggregator)

Data Availability

EVV visit data for dates of service Sept. 1, 2019, to present is available in the EVV Portal. Program providers or FMSAs needing access to data prior to Sept. 1, 2019, can email HHSC EVV Operations.

Program providers and FMSAs are encouraged to download and archive data in your current EVV systems that is not being converted as outlined above. For program providers and FMSAs that use the EVV systems or the paid for versions of AuthentiCare or Vesta to store or maintain non-EVV visit data, you should take steps now to maintain your non-EVV visit data. Access to the state provided AuthentiCare and Vesta systems will end on Dec. 22, 2023.

Once the data has been reviewed, users should contact HHAeXchange for any issues or concerns with their data.

Email HHAeXchange or call 833-430-1307.

August 20th, 2023

 EVV Alternative Device Policy For New State EVV Vendor

HHSC has updated the alternative device policy notice posted on July 17.

In addition to allocating free alternative devices to 7.5% of the program providers or Financial Management Services Agencies (FMSAs) census (rounded to the nearest whole number), HHSC is allowing the purchase of additional alternative devices for qualifying members.

This policy applies to program providers and FMSAs who will use the new State EVV vendor, HHAeXchange.

Additional information will be forthcoming about the processes for providers and FMSAs to order alternative devices.

Email questions to HHSC EVV Operations.


August 19th, 2023

Hurry Before It’s Too Late!   EVV Onboard with HHAeXchange by Aug. 31

Begin the onboarding process with the new Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) vendor HHAeXchange.

Current Users

Program providers and financial management services agencies (FMSAs) who are transitioning to HHAeXchange, and are not in the proprietary system onboarding process, must submit the HHAeXchange Provider Onboarding Form by Aug. 31.

Application programming interfaces (APIs) can be used to exchange data between third-party software systems, such as payroll systems, electronic health records systems, and the HHAeXchange Portal (the new EVV vendor system).

Program provider and financial management services agencies, who want to integrate their third-party software systems with HHAeXchange, can refer to the specifications listed in the HHAeXchange Web Service API Guide (PDF).

APIs available to integrate with HHAeXchange include:

  • Service Provider (Create, Update, Search, Get)
  • Member (Create, Update, Search, Get)
  • Schedule (Create, Update, Search, Get)
  • Visit (Search, Get)
  • Authorization (Create, Update)

To begin the integration process, submit a ticket through the HHAeXchange Client Support Portal.

Contact HHAeXchange for provider onboarding form questions.


June 13, 2023

Next Steps and Timeline for Transition to New Electronic Visit Verification State Vendor System

HHSC has posted the next steps and timeline to transition to the new, single and state-funded Electronic Visit Verification vendor system, the HHAeXchange Portal.

As stated in the EVV notice posted on May 5, users of the current EVV vendor systems (DataLogic/Vesta or First Data/AuthentiCare) must transition to HHAeXchange or receive approval as an EVV Proprietary System Operator by Oct. 1, 2023.

The following topics are listed in the notice, “Next Steps and Timeline for Transition to HHAeXchange” (PDF):

  • EVV requirement
  • Transition to HHAeXchange by Oct. 1, 2023
  • Proprietary systems
  • HHAeXchange Information Sessions
  • HHAeXchange Provider Onboarding Form
  • EVV Policy updates
  • HHAeXchange System Training
  • Access to the HHAeXchange Portal
  • Contact information and other resources

*Training begins in August and access to the portal begins in September of 2023 for HHAeXchange.

HHSC has created a brief version of the notice that was posted on May 5 about the transition and changes related to the new, single and state-funded Electronic Visit Verification vendor system, HHAeXchange.

Program providers and financial management services agencies may provide the brief notice to their members, services providers and Consumer Directed Services employers. The brief notice is available in English (PDF) and Spanish (PDF).

HHSC will continue to post communications and resources throughout the transition.

Email questions to HHSC EVV Operations.


June 10th, 2023

https://www.hhs.texas.gov/provider-news/2023/06/01/registration-available-hhsc-evv-policy-training-webinars-program-providers-fmsas-cds-employers


Registration Available for HHSC EVV Policy Training Webinars for Program Providers, FMSAs and CDS Employers
June 1, 2023

HHSC is hosting Electronic Visit Verification policy training webinars for program providers, financial management services agencies and Consumer Directed Services employers to complete the EVV policy training requirement. EVV policy training provides training on the EVV Policy Handbook.

Webinar agendas are included in the registration links below.

Webinar Registration

Program providers, FMSAs and CDS employers can also complete the EVV policy training requirement on the HHS Learning Portal.

The EVV Required Training Checklists (PDF) will help track completed EVV trainings.

Register for EVV GovDelivery to receive EVV notices by email, such as training updates and future webinar registrations.

Email questions to HHSC EVV Operations.


June 2nd, 2023

EVV Resources Updates

HHSC has updated three Electronic Visit Verification resources that are located on the EVV webpage:

  • EVV Training Requirements Checklists
  • Getting Started with EVV
  • Program and Service Requirements for Schedules

EVV Training Requirements Checklists

The EVV Required Training Checklists (PDF) is a resource for those required to use EVV due to all previous and upcoming EVV implementations (personal care services and home health care services). This resource was updated with the following:

  • Aligns with EVV Policy Handbook revisions
  • Lists training course names
  • Describes required trainings
  • Defines EVV Portal users, EVV system users and billing staff
  • Includes link to sign up for GovDelivery
  • Has interactive (fillable form) features to help document completed trainings

Getting Started with EVV

Getting Started with EVV is a guide that lists steps and resources to start using EVV. HHSC has created a single-page guide for each of the following stakeholders:

Program and Service Requirements for Schedules

The document, Program and Service Requirements for Schedules (PDF), is a resource that describes requirements related to using schedules in the EVV system. HHSC added managed care organization programs to the document.

Email EVV Operations for questions.


May 13th, 2023

Reminder:  EVV Claims Matching for HCS and TxHmL Will Begin for Dates of Service Starting May 1, 2023

This is a reminder that Electronic Visit Verification claims matching for Home and Community-based Services and Texas Home Living will begin on May 1, 2023. EVV claims with dates of service of May 1, 2023, and after that do not have an EVV visit match will deny.

For more information about billing updates for HCS and TxHmL, including resources to help avoid future payment denials or recoupments, reference the notice located on the EVV web page“EVV Claims Matching for HCS and TxHmL Will Begin for Dates of Service Starting May 1, 2023”.

Email EVV Operations for questions.


April 3rd, 2023

Session 4 ORR Schedules Added to TMHP EVV Proprietary Systems Web Page

HHSC created the Session 4 Operational Readiness Review, which is a special abbreviated Electronic Visit Verification Proprietary System Operator onboarding path that supports additional PSO ORRs. This additional path allows program providers and financial management services agencies to onboard with a previously approved proprietary system or a proprietary system that is participating in the Session 3 Standard Path ORR.

The Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership has updated the EVV ORR section of the EVV Proprietary Systems web page to include ORR schedules, requirements and information about the Session 4 ORR.

Email the TMHP EVV PSO inbox for questions.


January 12th, 2023

Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) for Individualized Skills and Socialization (ISS) IL-2023-03 alert letter

Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) for Individualized Skills and Socialization
Program providers must ensure EVV is used when delivering in-home individualized skills and socialization in an own home/family home (OHFH) setting. For dates of services on and after March 1, 2023,

HHSC will deny or recoup a claim for in-home individualized skills and socialization in the own home/family home setting without a matching EVV visit record. For more information about EVV claims matching, refer to the EVV notice, “EVV Claims Matching for HCS and TxHmL Starts March 1, 2023”.
Program providers must input the Texas EVV Attendant ID for in-home EVV individualized skills and socialization OHFH claims.

Email TMHP EVV Operations for questions or refer to the document, HCS and TxHmL Best Practices to Avoid EVV Claim Mismatches (PDF), for more information to help avoid EVV claim mismatches.

to the LTC Billing Crosswalk for more information about Staff ID requirements.

By January 13, 2023, HHSC will update the EVV Personal Care Services Bill Codes Table, located on the HHSC EVV web page, to include the specific Individualized Skills and Socialization billing codes which require EVV. Sign up for EVV GovDelivery to receive updates by email.

For EVV-related contact information, reference the EVV Contact Information Guide for Program Providers and FMSAs (PDF).

To read more, please click on link below, for Information Letter 2023-03 related to ISS automatic service authorizations and EVV

IL-2023-03


January 2nd, 2023

EVV Vendor Systems Will Display Individualized Skills and Socialization Services Starting 1/1/2023 Before New Authorizations Are Available

This notice is for Home and Community-based Services program providers, Texas Home Living program providers and financial management services agencies required to use Electronic Visit Verification.

As shared in the EVV notice published on Oct. 26, Individualized Skills and Socialization bill codes will replace day habilitation bill codes; therefore, the EVV vendor systems will display 1/1/23 as the effective date for these new services; however, HHSC has extended the date when the new authorizations for Individualized Skills and Socialization services will be available, which is the week of 1/9/23.

Program providers and FMSAs required to use EVV must continue to use EVV.

HHSC will continue posting related updates.

As a reminder, EVV claims matching for HCS and TxHmL starts March 1, 2023. EVV Operations will be posting the updated bill codes, including helpful information to avoid future payment denials or recoupments, following the publication of other HHSC materials.

For other EVV questions, email the EVV Operations inbox.

For questions about Individualized Skills and Socialization services, email the Long-Term Services and Supports Policy inbox.


December 17th, 2022

EVV Training Updates

This notice from HHSC lists Electronic Visit Verification training updates for program providers, financial management services agencies and Consumer Directed Services employers required to use EVV.

Resources from the following training webinars are now available in the HHS Learning Portal by selecting EVV Policy Training – Webinar Recordings FY23:

  • Español – EVV Compliance for CDS Employers (PDF) – Aug. 25 non-required training webinar
  • Annual EVV Policy Training for Program Providers and FMSAs – Sept. 30 and Oct. 27 webinars

If new to EVV and need to complete the EVV policy training requirement, complete one of the applicable computer-based training courses located in the HHS Learning Portal:

An account is required to access the training webinar resources and CBTs, including to obtain a certificate of completion. Note that a “non-required training” does not include a completion certificate because it is considered optional training. Reference the EVV HHS Learning Portal Guide (PDF) for instructions.

For more information on EVV training requirements, reference section 4200 from the EVV Policy Handbook.

Sign up for GovDelivery to receive EVV updates, such as training updates, by email.

Email EVV Operations for questions.


2023 EVV Operational Readiness Review Session & Business Rules for Proprietary Systems Version 3.0

EVV Operations has posted the following notice: Notice of 2023 EVV Operational Readiness Review Sessions and EVV Business Rules for Proprietary Systems Version 3.0 (PDF).

This notice is to inform program providers and financial management services agencies about the publication of the 2023 Operational Readiness Review Sessions, as well as the new EVV Business Rules for Proprietary Systems Version 3.0.


EVV Guidance on Program and Service Requirements for Schedules

HHSC has published the document, Program and Service Requirements for Schedules (PDF), under the Resources section on the Electronic Visit Verification web page. This document describes HHSC requirements related to using schedules in the EVV system.

Email HHSC EVV Operations for questions.


December 1st, 2022

Reminder for STAR+PLUS, STAR Kids and STAR Health: New EVV Bill Codes and Modifier Combinations Effective Dec. 1

As a reminder, starting Dec. 1, new Electronic Visit Verification personal care services Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System and modifier combinations will be effective for:

  • STAR+PLUS
  • STAR Kids
  • STAR Health

Refer to HHSC’s Oct. 31 notice for more information.

Contact your managed care organization for questions about these updates. Refer to the last page of the EVV contact guide (PDF) for MCO contact information.


December 1st, 2022

HCS and TxHmL Updates

The effective dates were updated for HCS and TxHmL services.

Refer to the bill codes table’s revision history dated Dec. 1, 2022, for more information.

For questions, email EVV Operations.


October 16th, 2022

Potential Electronic Visit Verification Changes Coming in 2023

The purpose of this notice is to inform stakeholders that HHSC’s contract for the current Electronic Visit Verification vendor systems (AuthentiCare and Vesta EVV) is scheduled to expire on Aug. 31, 2023.

On April 26, 2022, HHSC posted a competitive solicitation on the Electronic State Business Daily for EVV System Management Services. Contractor responsibilities will include:

  • Providing and managing a single EVV vendor system
  • Review and approval of provider-operated EVV proprietary systems  If you have an outside vendor (proprietary vendor), these will be reviewed as well.
  • Coordinating EVV system integration with the EVV aggregator
  • Providing operational and technical support for the functions listed above

Notification of contract award is anticipated in March 2023.

HHSC, at its sole discretion, may publish updates about the anticipated award date to the Procurement Forecast on the HHS Procurement Opportunities web page. Respondents are responsible for periodically checking the ESBD and the HHSC Procurement Forecast web page for updates.

HHSC must maintain the confidentiality and integrity of the procurement process; therefore, no additional information is available at this time. HHSC will provide more information in future announcements.

Email questions about this solicitation to Andrick Reese.


September 25th, 2022

EVV Updates for HCS and TxHmL Program Providers and FMSAs

HHSC and the Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership posted helpful information for Home and Community-based Services program providers, Texas Home Living program providers and financial management services agencies required to use Electronic Visit Verification.

HHSC Notice

This notice is to help program providers and FMSAs that are receiving EVV mismatches for Day Habilitation services.

Refer to the Sept. 15 notice for information on billing requirements, such as which Day Habilitation bill codes to use.

TMHP Notice

This notice provides information about EVV requirements for In-Home Day Habilitation and about EVV claims matching starting Nov. 1 for HCS and TxHmL.

Refer to the Sept. 19 notice for more information and resources.

Email EVV Operations for questions.


September 25th, 2022

EVV Claims Matching Refresher for HCS and TxHmL

Electronic Visit Verification claims matching for Home and Community-based Services and Texas Home Living will begin for dates of service starting Nov. 1.

To help prepare, the Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership will host a refresher webinar on Oct. 13, for:

  • HCS program providers
  • TxHmL program providers
  • Financial management services agencies

Refer to TMHP’s Sept. 15 notice for more information and to registerl

Click here for more information


September 18th, 2022

EVV Compliance Job Aids Updated

The Electronic Visit Verification Compliance Job Aids have been updated. They are in the compliance section on the EVV web page.

The job aids were simplified and provide updated information about the following EVV Compliance standards:

  • EVV Usage Scores and reviews
  • Required free text reviews
  • Landline phone verification reviews

August 31st, 2022

Annual EVV Policy Webinars for Program Providers & FMSAs

To view information about the upcoming webinars (September 30th and October 27th) and how to register go to:  https://www.tmhp.com/news/2022-08-30-annual-evv-policy-training-webinars-program-providers-and-fmsas
Both of the above-referenced webinars will cover the same information.  Information about the annual EVV policy webinars for CDS employers will be posted soon.

July 28th, 2022

EVV Portal and Training Updates

Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership updated the Electronic Visit Verification Portal and related training materials on July 14.

Refer to the EVV Portal and Training Updates notice on TMHP’s EVV webpage for more information.

Email questions to TMHP.


July 5th, 2022

EVV Claims for HCS and TxHmL Will Deny for Dates of Service Starting Sept. 1

HHSC has extended the start date when Electronic Visit Verification claims for Home and Community-based Services and Texas Home Living will deny for no matching EVV visit. This will begin for the dates of service of Sept. 1, 2022, and after.

The extension gives HCS and TxHmL program providers and financial management services agencies more time to improve their claims matching. Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership will provide more outreach and training on this topic. Trainings will be announced at a future date.

Refer to the HCS and TxHmL Best Practices to Avoid EVV Claim Mismatches (PDF) for technical guidance.

HCS and TxHmL EVV claims must continue to be submitted through the Client Assignment and Registration System or TMHP.

  • Submit EVV claims to CARE for dates of service before May 1, 2022.
  • Submit EVV claims to TMHP for dates of service of May 1, 2022, and after.

Program providers, FMSAs and Consumer Directed Services employers must continue to use EVV during this period. However, HCS and TxHmL claims will not be denied for an EVV mismatch. HCS and TxHmL claims during this period are still subject to HHSC provider fiscal compliance reviews conducted by HHSC Provider Fiscal Compliance..

Email EVV Operations for questions.


July 1st, 2022

EVV Claims for HCS and TxHmL Will Deny for Mismatched Visits Starting July 1

Starting July 1, Electronic Visit Verification claims for Home and Community-based Services and Texas Home Living must have a matching EVV Visit, or claims will deny.

Refer to the June 20 notice for more information and resources.

Email EVV Operations for questions.


June 12th, 2022

EVV Portal and Training Updates

Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership updated the Electronic Visit Verification Portal and related training materials on June 9.

There are also two new visit rejection codes related to EVV system transfers.

Refer to the EVV Portal and Training Updates notice on TMHP’s EVV webpage for more information.

Email questions to TMHP.


June 6th, 2022

EVV Policy Handbook Revision and Training Updates

The Electronic Visit Verification Policy Handbook has been revised.

Revisions include:

  • Adding new sections for the Consumer Directed Services option.
  • Updating Schedules policy.
  • Updating Visit Maintenance Reduction Features policy.

These revisions are effective June 1 and are outlined in the new revision log (PDF), located on the EVV webpage.

The handbook’s policies include EVV standards and policy requirements for:

  • Program providers
  • Financial Management Services Agencies
  • Consumer Directed Services employers
  • Payers, such as HHSC and managed care organizations

Computer-based training on the HHS Learning Portal were updated to include the policy revisions.

  • EVV Policy Training for Program Providers and FMSAs CBT
  • Initial EVV Policy Training for CDS Employers CBT
    • Note: The updates to the Spanish CBT will publish in June.

Email HHSC EVV Operations for questions about this notice.


May 30th, 2022

EVV Claims Matching for HCS and TxHmL Will Resume July 1

Electronic Visit Verification claims matching will resume for all Home and Community-based Services and Texas Home Living billing code combinations with dates of service of July 1, 2022 or after.

HHSC will post another notice with more information and resources to avoid EVV claims mismatches before July 1, 2022.

Email EVV Operations for questions about this notice.


May 8th, 2022

EVV Portal and Training Updates

Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership updated the Electronic Visit Verification Portal and related training materials on April 29.

Refer to the EVV Portal and Training Updates notice on TMHP’s EVV webpage for more information.

Email TMHP EVV Operations with questions


March 7th, 2022

EVV Notice for HCS/TxHmL Program Providers

The migration of Home and Community-based Services (HCS) and Texas Home Living (TxHmL) forms and claims entry to Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership (TMHP) has been moved from March 1, 2022, to May 1, 2022. The postponement allows more time for program providers to set up the necessary TMHP accounts and take relevant training courses. HCS and TxHmL program providers must continue to use the Client Assignment and Registration (CARE) system to submit claims using existing billing code combinations for service groups 12 and 15 for dates of service prior to May 1, 2022.

HHSC is aware that some program providers updated authorizations in the EVV systems to reflect the new billing code combinations for service groups 21 and 22 that were scheduled to take effect March 1. To avoid the re-entry of authorizations, HHSC and TMHP will take the following actions:

  • By March 4, the EVV Aggregator will accept billing code combinations for service groups 12, 15, 21 and 22 on EVV visits for dates of service through April 30, 2022, to prevent visit rejections.
    • For dates of service on or after May 1, 2022, the EVV Aggregator will only accept billing code combinations for service groups 21 and 22.
  • Turn on the EVV07 claims matching bypass for all HCS and TxHmL billing code combinations to avoid claim denials through May 31, 2022.
    • Claims matching for all HCS and TxHmL billing code combinations will resume June 1, 2022.
  • Publish an updated EVV Service Bill Codes Table to reflect these changes.

HCS and TxHmL claims will not be denied for an EVV mismatch. HCS and TxHmL claims during this period are still subject to HHSC provider fiscal compliance reviews conducted by HHSC Provider Fiscal Compliance.

**For visits that have been rejected by the aggregator due to incorrect billing code combinations, program providers must re-export the visit and ensure it is accepted in the EVV aggregator prior to submitting claims.

Please refer to HHSC’s ‘Continue Submitting Claims and Forms Using CARE System Until May 1, 2022’ notice for more information.

For technical questions related to the EVV Aggregator, contact TMHP. For other general EVV inquiries, contact HHSC EVV Operations.


March 3rd, 2022

EVV Policy Handbook Revisions Now Available

HHSC revised sections and appendices of the Electronic Visit Verification Policy Handbook.

The handbook includes EVV standards and policy requirements for:

  • Program providers.
  • Financial Management Services Agencies.
  • Consumer Directed Services employers.
  • Payers, such as HHSC and managed care organizations.

The revisions are effective March 1 and are briefly described in the 22-2 notice. For more information about the policy changes, refer to the new revision log (PDF) located on the EVV webpage.

Email HHSC EVV Operations with questions.


February 28th, 2022

EVV Portal and Training Updates

Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership updated the Electronic Visit Verification Portal and related training materials on Feb. 28.

For more information, refer to the EVV Portal and Training Updates article on TMHP’s EVV webpage.

For questions, email TMHP EVV Operations.


January 8th, 2022

EVV Policy Handbook Revisions – Jan. 7th, 2022

HHSC revised parts of the Electronic Visit Verification Policy Handbook. These revisions are effective Jan. 7 and are listed in Revision Notice 22-1.

The handbook’s policies include EVV standards and policy requirements for:

  • Program providers.
  • Financial Management Services Agencies.
  • Consumer Directed Services employers.
  • Payers, such as HHSC and managed care organizations.

For questions, email HHSC EVV Operations.


November 21st, 2021

EVV Portal and Training Updates for November 2021

Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership made improvements to the EVV Portal and related training materials on Nov. 11.

For more information, access the November 2021 EVV Portal and Training Updates article on TMHP’s EVV webpage.

FYI- When you click on the link above for updates from HHSC, please be sure to scroll to the bottom and click on “accept” as this is a disclaimer page.  You must do this 1st.   I have received some comments that some providers get confused when they see this page on the EVV website first pop up and they think they are on the wrong page, or there is a problem with the website page, etc…

Email TMHP with questions about these updates.


November 18th, 2021

Revised EVV Policy Handbook Now Available

The Electronic Visit Verification Policy Handbook was revised.

The handbook’s policies are effective Nov. 1, 2021 and include EVV standards and policy requirements for:

  • Program providers
  • Financial Management Services Agencies
  • Consumer Directed Services employers
  • Payers such as HHSC and managed care organizations

The handbook replaces policies previously on the HHSC EVV webpage.  See EVV Policy Handbook Revisions – November 2021 (PDF) for differences between previously published policies and the revised handbook.

The following computer-based training courses on the EVV Training page of the HHS Learning Portal now reflects the revised EVV Policy Handbook:

  • Initial EVV Policy Training for CDS Employers
  • EVV Policy Training for Program Providers and FMSAs

Use the applicable checklist within EVV Training Requirements Checklist (PDF) for EVV training requirements and completion options.

Email questions to HHSC EVV Operations.


November 17th, 2021

EVV Visit Maintenance Unlock Request Updates

HHSC published EVV Visit Maintenance Unlock Request spreadsheet updates.

These updates let the user request corrections to data element(s) on an EVV visit transaction(s) after the visit maintenance time frame has expired.

Program providers, Financial Management Services Agencies and Consumer Directed Services employers must use the request spreadsheets found on the EVV webpage.

The updates to the program provider and FMSA Request (Excel) include:

  • New fields
  • Added drop-down lists to applicable fields
  • Updated and simplified field headers
  • Revised instructions to:
    • Reflect EVV policy updates
    • List detailed steps and notes to complete the Request

The new Request for Consumer Directed Services employers (Excel) include:

  • A new request spreadsheet for CDS employers who selected Option 1 on Form 1722, Employer’s Selection for EVV Responsibilities, to complete visit maintenance. This includes:
    • Drop-down lists for applicable fields
    • Sections for CDS employers and payers to complete
  • Instructions reflect:
    • EVV policy updates
    • Detailed steps and notes to complete the request

    Review the instructions on the spreadsheets for more information.

    Email questions to your payer, either HHSC or a managed care organization


July 4th, 2021

EVV Visit Maintenance Policy Now Available

The Electronic Visit Verification Visit Maintenance Policy (PDF) is now available on the HHSC EVV webpage. The policy is effective July 1, 2021 and:

  • Requires the program provider, Financial Management Services Agency or Consumer Directed Services employer to ensure each EVV visit transaction is complete, accurate and validated.
  • Incorporates the Visit Maintenance: Last Visit Maintenance Date Policy.
  • Incorporates the Visit Maintenance Unlock Request Policy.
  • Includes the new visit maintenance time frame of 95 calendar days. (previously 60 calendar days) from the date of service delivery.

Email questions to HHSC EVV Operations at EVV@hhs.texas.gov.


July 4th, 2021

HHSC EVV Webpage Updates Now Available

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission updated and archived web sections and content, updated and added additional information related to the 21st Century Cures Act (Section 12006) and added new resources for the following Electronic Visit Verification webpages:

Email questions to HHSC EVV Operations at EVV@hhs.texas.gov.


July 3rd, 2021

Revised EVV Visit Transaction Rejection Guide Now Available

The Electronic Visit Verification Visit Transaction Rejection Guide (PDF) was revised and is now available.

The guide provides step-by-step instructions for program providers and Financial Management Services Agencies to identify and correct issues that result in transaction rejections in the EVV system.

The guide is published on TMHP’s EVV Training webpage.

Email TMHP with questions.


April 17th, 2021

EVV Policy Training for CDS Employers Now Available in Spanish

The computer-based training course, Initial EVV Policy Training for CDS Employers, is available in Spanish on the HHS Learning Portal.

To translate the HHS Learning Portal to Spanish, select Español from the drop-down menu in the upper left-hand corner of the webpage.

The policy training is tailored to the selection on Form 1722, Employer Selection for Electronic Visit Verification Responsibilities.

Registrants are not required to complete the Form 1722 Pre-Course Survey.

Follow the instructions throughout the course to complete and receive certification.

Email the HHSC EVV Mailbox for questions about EVV policy training.


March 16th, 2021

HHSC Publishes EVV Requirements of Signatures on Enrollment Documentation           (IL 2021-13)

HHSC has published IL 2021-13, EVV Notification Requirement (PDF), replacing IL 2020-01.

The letter addresses revisions on instructing LIDDAs on the requirements of signatures on enrollment documentation.

It also addresses new activity requirements for HCS, TxHmL, CDS program providers and LIDDA service coordinators.

For questions, email HCS Policy or CDS.


March 10th, 2021

Temporary EVV Policies for the Feb. 2021 Severe Winter Weather

In response to the recent severe winter weather, HHSC issued Temporary EVV Policies for Severe Winter Weather (PDF).

The flexibilities are for dates of service from Feb. 10, 2021 through Feb. 24, 2021.

The flexibilities are for program providers, financial management services agencies and consumer directed services employers required to use EVV.

Email questions to the HHSC EVV Mailbox.


February 7th, 2021

EVV Refresher Training on Feb. 19

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission and Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership are hosting an Electronic Visit Verification webinar.

This training is a refresher and covers topics for Home and Community-based Services program providers, Texas Home Living program providers and financial management services agencies who submit EVV claims for HCS and TxHmL EVV-required services.

The training is not required and is not a substitute for annual EVV training requirements.

Certificates of completion will not be issued.

Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions throughout the training.

Both HHSC and TMHP will conduct a live question and answer session.

The registration link is below and provides details, such as agenda topics.

HCS/TxHmL EVV Refresher Training – Claims Submission/Claims Matching Policies & Best Practices to Avoid EVV Claim Mismatches
Friday Feb. 19
10 a.m. – Noon
Register for the webinar.

Email HHSC EVV for questions.


Reminder:  Entering Schedules for EVV-Required Services

The Electronic Visit Verification system allows Home and Community-based Services, Texas Home Living program providers, CDS Employers and Financial Management Services Agencies to enter schedules for EVV-required services. This is not an HHSC requirement. Program Providers, FMSAs and CDS employers can choose to enter a schedule into the EVV system.

EVV is only required for the following services:

  • Community First Choice Personal Assistance Services/Habilitation
  • In-Home Day Habilitation in own home or family home settings
  • In-Home Respite in own home or family home settings

Email hcspolicy@hhsc.state.tx.us or txhml@hhsc.state.tx.us with questions.


January 24th, 2021

EVV Portal and Training Updates for January

On Jan. 14, Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership made improvements to the Electronic Visit Verification Portal by updating the EVV Reason Code Usage and Free Text Report and updated the related training materials.

Read the TMHP article EVV Portal Improvements and Training Updates for details.

Email TMHP with questions about these updates.


January 24th, 2021

HCS & TxHmL Best Practices to Avoid EVV Claim Mismatches for CFC PAS/HAB Services

HHSC has published Best Practices to Avoid Electronic Visit Verification Claim Mismatches for Home and Community-based Services and Texas Home Living (PDF) program providers and financial management services agencies.

The best practices help HCS and TxHmL providers avoid claim denials related to EVV.

The best practices are linked above and on the HHS EVV Training webpage in the Best Practices section.

Email questions about EVV policy to HHSC EVV.


January 18th, 2021

EVV Compliance Oversight Reviews Delayed for EVV Usage and Misuse of EVV Reason Codes

HHSC told managed care organizations to delay compliance oversight reviews for EVV Usage and Misuse of EVV Reason Codes. Evaluation of visit data collected during the grace period ensures the compliance measures continue to align with current EVV policy.

EVV Usage and Misuse of EVV Reason Codes reviews for the compliance grace period ended on Aug. 31, 2020 for:

  • EVV visits with Sept. 1, 2019 to Aug. 31, 2020 dates of service.
  • Program providers required to use EVV by state law before the Cures Act Implementation identified on pages 3 and 4 of the Programs and Services Required to Use EVV (PDF) document.

Next Steps

  • HHSC will notify program providers 90 calendar days before reviews begin for EVV Usage and Misuse of EVV Reason Codes for EVV visits with dates of service on and after Sept. 1, 2020.
  • HHSC and MCOs will continue reviews for EVV Landline Phone Verification and Required Free Text.
  • Program providers can use the EVV Usage Report, and EVV Reason Code Usage and Free Text Report in the EVV Portal to track these compliance measures.

Program providers can contact their payer or email HHSC EVV with their questions or concerns.


January 10th, 2021

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EVV Notification Requirement for HCS/TxHmL Program Providers 

HHSC has published IL 2021-01 Electronic Visit Verification Notification Requirement (PDF).

The letter informs HCS and TxHmL program providers they are now required to use the EVV system for CFC PAS/HAB, in-home respite, and day habilitation provided in the home of an individual who has a residential location of “own/family home.”

Texas Government Code, §531.024172(c), requires that HHSC inform an individual who receives a service requiring the use of EVV that the individual is required to comply with the EVV system. HHSC has developed a form for providers to comply with this statute.

The Electronic Visit Verification Responsibilities and Additional Information form is included with the IL 2021-01 (PDF).


January 4th, 2021

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 EVV for HCS and TxHmL providers has gone live since January 1, 2021 (includes CDS and FMSA’s)

Resources for providers, including escalation processes, regarding EVV questions & concerns:
Process for organizations/associations escalating issues on behalf of their members:
  • Email HHSC EVV Operations, Electronic_Visit_Verification@hhsc.state.tx.us, regarding:
    • EVV Policy and Compliance Questions
    • General EVV Inquiries and Complaints
    • Good idea to CC your provider association, if you are a member (PPAT, PACSTX..)
  • Email TMHPEVV@tmhp.com, regarding TMHP issues and EVV vendor complaints/issues.
    • Copy Evan Wilkerson on urgent TMHP or EVV vendor issues.
Reminder:  It’s critical that provider associations and their members send any issues to the official mailboxes (electronic_visit_verification@hhsc.state.tx.us and EVV@tmhp.com) for tracking purposes.  Providers and associations may email Evan Wilkerson (TMHP) on urgent issues, but be sure to also send to the official HHSC and TMHP email boxes.

December 20th, 2020

Cures Act EVV:

Preparing for Jan. 1, 2021 Implementation

HHSC will require Electronic Visit Verification for all Medicaid personal care services beginning on Jan. 1, 2021. This requirement is mandated by the federal 21st Century Cures Act. If HHSC does not comply, Texas will lose federal funding for Medicaid services.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021:

  • Document all delivery visits for an EVV-required service in the EVV system. EVV-required services on the Programs, Services, and Service Delivery Options Required to Use EVV (PDF) document.
  • An EVV-required service claim will be paid only if:
    1. The EVV visit transaction that supports the claim is accepted into the EVV Portal before claim submission.
    2. The claim receives an “EVV01 – EVV Match” result code in the EVV Portal after the claims matching process is performed.

Program providers and financial management services agencies must complete the following before Jan. 1, 2021, to avoid impacts to EVV claims payment:

  • EVV system onboarding. This includes system setup and training.
    • If an EVV vendor system is selected from the state vendor pool, the EVV vendor provides the training. Refer to the TMHP EVV Vendors webpage for more information about EVV vendors and their contact information.
    • If an EVV proprietary system is selected, the program provider or FMSA handles system training.
  • EVV training requirements outlined in the Cures Act EVV: Training Requirements Checklists (PDF).
  • Document all visits for EVV-required services in the EVV system.

CDS employers must complete the following before Jan. 1, 2021, to avoid delays in payment to their CDS employees:

HHSC is providing the following support to program providers, FMSAs, and CDS employers. This is to reduce impacts to claims payment and payment to CDS employees as they adjust to the new EVV requirements.

  • If a visit is not captured through an electronic verification method, enter the visit manually into the EVV system and confirm acceptance into the EVV Portal to avoid claim denials. Instructions for manually entering a visit are posted in the following locations:
    • DataLogic/Vesta EVV system.
    • First Data/AuthentiCare EVV system in the “Custom Links” section.
  • HHSC has published Best Practices to Avoid EVV Claim Mismatches (PDF) to help program providers and FMSAs ensure a claim is not denied for reasons related to EVV.
  • HHSC has issued the 90 Day Visit Maintenance Temporary Policy (PDF). extending the time to complete visit maintenance for dates of service between Jan. 1, 2021 and March 31, 2021.
  • An EVV compliance grace period will be applied for one year to all Cures Act EVV Expansion services with dates of service between Jan. 1, 2021 and Dec. 31, 2021 for the compliance measures listed in EVV Compliance Oversight Reviews Policy (PDF).

The EVV Contact Information Guides provide points of contact for EVV-related questions and issues:

Visit the HHS EVV website for more information.


November 28, 2020

HCS and TxHmL CARE Service Authorization instructions for EVV

HCS and TxHmL are required to manually enter each individual’s service authorization in the EVV Vendor System.

Providers can find instructions here on how to find their service authorizations in CARE.

If additional assistance is needed after the service authorization is obtained, program providers can contact their EVV vendor for further instructions.


Existing EVV Users: Temporary EVV Policies for COVID-19 to End Dec. 31

HHSC is extending the Temporary EVV Policies for COVID-19 (PDF) through Dec. 31, 2020 for program providers currently required to use Electronic Visit Verification. HHSC will end the temporary policies after Dec. 31, 2020.

Program providers submitting EVV claims for dates of service on and after Jan. 1, 2021:

  • Must ensure a matching EVV visit transaction is accepted in the EVV Portal before billing the claim, or the claim will be denied.
  • Will no longer receive an EVV07 match code in the EVV Portal.
  • Will no longer have 180 days to complete visit maintenance.

Reminder: HHSC extended the practice period for the Cures Act Expansion. Claims for EVV services included in the Cures Act Expansion, will be denied without a matching EVV visit transaction for dates of service on and after Jan. 1, 2021.

Best Practices for Temporary EVV Policies for COVID-19

Program providers should continue to follow the Best Practices for Temporary EVV Policies for COVID-19 (PDF) to avoid recoupments for claims submitted between March 21, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020.

Contact your payer for questions or email HHSC EVV.

Visit the HHS EVV webpage.


HCS and TxHmL Program Providers Required to Select an EVV Vendor
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HCS and TxHmL Program Providers Required to Select an EVV Vendor

Effective Jan. 1, HHSC will require HCS and TxHmL program providers to use EVV for the following services:

  • Community First Choice Personal Assistance Services/Habilitation
  • In-Home Respite
  • In-Home Day Habilitation (Own Home or Family Home only)

HCS and TxHmL program providers are required to select an EVV vendor and complete EVV training to meet the Jan.1 deadlines. The requirement to select an EVV vendor and complete training applies to all contracted HCS and TxHmL program providers.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, service claims for CFC PAS/HAB will be denied by the claims adjudication system and not paid by HHSC if the program provider has not onboarded with an EVV vendor.

Read IL 20-07 (PDF) for more information about selecting an EVV vendor and completing training to be EVV-compliant by the Jan. 1 deadline.


Deadline Approaching Soon!!

October 21, 2020

Remember everyone:  Effective Dec. 1, HHSC will require HCS and TxHmL program providers to use EVV for the following services:

  • Community First Choice Personal Assistance Services/Habilitation (CFC PAS/HAB)
  • In-Home Respite
  • In-Home Day Habilitation (Own Home or Family Home only)

HCS and TxHmL program providers are required to select an EVV vendor and complete EVV training to meet the Dec.1 deadlines. The requirement to select an EVV vendor and complete training applies to all contracted HCS and TxHmL program providers.

Beginning Dec. 1, 2020, service claims for CFC PAS/HAB will be denied by the claims adjudication system and not paid by HHSC if the program provider has not onboarded with an EVV vendor.

Click here to read IL 20-07 (PDF) for more information about selecting an EVV vendor and completing training to be EVV-compliant by the Dec. 1 deadline.

Contact EVV if you have questions about EVV requirements.


Oct. 11th, 2020

EVV Revised Policies Effective Oct. 1

HHSC has revised the following electronic visit verification policies, effective Oct. 1. The information is for program providers and financial management services agencies. It is on the Policy section of the HHS EVV webpage.

Claims Matching Policy (PDF)

The policy:

  • Includes additional EVV claims match result codes
  • Identifies exceptions to the claims matching process

Claims Submission Policy (PDF)

  • The policy includes detailed information about the requirement to submit claims for EVV-required services to the appropriate HHSC claims management system.
  • The EVV Billing Policy has been incorporated into the policy.

Email HHSC EVV with your questions.


Oct. 11th, 2020

Updated EVV Service Bill Codes Table Effective Oct. 1

The EVV Service Bill Codes Table is updated effective Oct. 1. The table is on the HHS EVV webpage in the Service Bill Codes Table section. See:

  • Below for the major updates
  • The Revision History in the table for a complete list of the changes

Program providers and FMSAs can refer to the table for the list of EVV-relevant services and bill code information to avoid EVV visit transaction rejections and EVV claim mismatches.

Units Matching

The updated table shows that during the EVV claims matching process for dates of service on and after Oct. 1, billable units on the EVV visit transaction will be matched to billed units on the claim for:

  • EVV-relevant services delivered through the service responsibility option in Managed Care and fee-for-service Long-Term Care programs.
  • Community First Choice Personal Assistance Services/Habilitation in the Community Living Assistance and Support Services program (Service Group 2, Service Code 10CFC T2026).

Home and Community-based Services and Texas Home Living Programs

  • The table clarifies the EVV Requirements for In-Home Day Habilitation in the HCS Program when In-Home Day Habilitation and In-Home Respite services are provided in a member’s own home or family home setting.
  • The “Claims Place of Service” column in the “CARE LTC FFS” tab only includes place of service code 12 (Home Location) because EVV is only required to capture services that need an in-home visit.

Email HHSC EVV for questions.


 

 

 

Clarification: No EVV For In-Home DH (3 & 4-bed Homes or Host Homes)
September 11, 2020

HHSC is issuing this guidance from CMS to Home and Community-based Services program providers. It clarifies electronic visit verification requirements for in-home day habilitation.

All service events occurring on or after Dec. 1, 2020, for an EVV-required service, must be captured in the EVV system and accepted into the EVV Aggregator.

EVV is not required for In-Home Day Habilitation provided to someone in a:

  • Three or four-person home
  • Host home
  • Companion care residential setting

EVV is only required for the following services:

  • Community First Choice Personal Assistance Services/Habilitation
  • In-Home Day Habilitation in own home or family home settings
  • In-Home Respite in own home or family home settings

See IL 20-07 Electronic Visit Verification in the HCS and TxHmL Program (PDF) for information about EVV requirements.

Additional Guidance on Day Habilitation Services

Program providers billing claims for In-Home Day Habilitation services requiring EVV will continue to use the current claims procedure code, T2020. The EVV Service Bill Codes Table lists this code on the HHS EVV website.

HHSC is developing separate bill codes for Out-of-Home Day Habilitation and will provide guidance before implementing the new codes.

Email hcspolicy@hhsc.state.tx.us with questions.


No EVV For In-Home DH: 3 & 4-bed Homes or Host Homes

August 20th, 2020

HHSC just informed the three IDD associations that it received clarification from CMS that EVV will not be required for in-home day habilitation delivered in a three- or four-bed home or host home. HHSC will send notice regarding this to all affected stakeholders.   This does however mean that In-Home DH provided in an individual’s “Own Family Home” will still require staff to utilize EVV.


CURES Act EVV Training is Underway for HCS/TxHmL Providers

Program providers and FMSAs affected by the Cures Act EVV expansion must complete EVV policy and EVV Portal training before Dec. 1, 2020, and then annually. See the EVV Required Training Checklist (PDF) for more information.

To meet the training requirement, program providers and FMSAs attending these webinars must:

  1. Register for Session 1.
  2. Register for Session 2.
  3. Attend both sessions from start to finish.

To register, click the links below:

FMSAs

HCS/TxHmL

Additional Training Opportunities

Program providers and FMSAs can also meet training requirements by completing computer-based training online in the HHSC Learning Portal and TMHP Learning Management System. HHSC and TMHP are planning additional live training events this fall and will provide more information when available.

Email TMHP for questions about registration or the EVV Portal.

Email questions about EVV training requirements.

 For more Cures Act information, visit the HHS EVV Cures Act webpage.


 

If you miss the EVV training dates, you may take them on the HHSC learning portal:

https://learningportal.dfps.state.tx.us/


 

Please go to HHSC’s page on Electronic Visit Verification for the latest information/ updates to EVV.  Please see Training & Joint Training pages from HHSC as well!

https://hhs.texas.gov/doing-business-hhs/provider-portals/long-term-care-providers/resources/electronic-visit-verification


Updated Timeline for Cures Act EVV Expansion     

The updated timeline for expanding the Cures Act EVV requirement to all Medicaid personal care services is now available on the HHS Cures Act EVV website.

The timeline includes new information and resources about the EVV Practice Period beginning July 1, completing training requirements, and more.

This information is for Cures Act program providers and FMSAs (PDF) required to use Electronic Visit Verification by Jan. 1, 2021.

For questions, contact EVV.



New EVV Proprietary System Onboarding Documents Available

TMHP has posted new information about the EVV proprietary system onboarding process on the TMHP EVV Proprietary Systems webpage.

The documents located in the Onboarding section provide an overview of the approval process that a program provider or FMSA must complete before using their own EVV proprietary system. For more information, refer to the article on the TMHP EVV website (PDF).

Resources


Trainings Available:

EVV Policy Training (Provided by your payer)

  • The HHSC EVV Policy computer-based training (CBT).
  • The MCO Policy training. Contact your MCO for EVV Policy training opportunities.

EVV Aggregator and EVV Portal Training (Provided by TMHP)

There will also be instructor-led trainings (EVV Roadshow) in October. Find the schedule and register on the HHS Learning Portal.

Additional training resources are available on the HHSC EVV website and the TMHP EVV Provider Training webpage.

For questions about this alert, email Electronic_Visit_Verification@hhsc.state.tx.us.

 

Online, interactive EVV training courses are available

in the HHS Learning Portal and TMHP Learning Management System. Completing these courses help program providers meet EVV training requirements.

The HHS Learning Portal includes training about HHSC EVV Policy.

The TMHP Learning Management System includes training about:

  • EVV Vendor Selection
  • EVV Portal
  • EVV Portal Standard Reports and Search Tools
  • EVV Claims Submission and Billing

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, students, parents/guardians, and agency providers. Local education agencies (LEAs), including districts and open-enrollment charter schools, can change this designation, as needed, to make sure that the employee serving in this role has the appropriate knowledge and skills necessary for providing information about effective transition services. Throughout this guide when the term “parent or parents” is used, the term includes the definition aligned to 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 300.30. That definition includes biological or adoptive parent, foster parent, guardian, an individual acting in the place of a biological parent with whom the child lives or is legally responsible for the child’s welfare, or a surrogate parent as defined in 34 CFR § 300.519.

Click on the link below to see the guidelines

TED Guidelines

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.

Click the link below to download this resource.

DOWNLOAD PDF

Parent's Guide to the ARD Process

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 months of FY 2024.  Where possible the report compares the most recent data to data the 3 associations previously collected.
In the communication to the HHSC Executive Commissioner the 3 associations requested to meet with her and other agency leadership to discuss the report in greater detail.  Know that the report will be posted on the Time to Care Coalition website and will be shared with the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute (TCCRI).
All of these efforts have been made to assist with hopefully getting an increase in direct support worker wages.

 

“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 available the next day to download.  For those who would like more information, they should contact the LTC Help Desk at 800-626-4117 (option 1).

TMHP also created a short video detailing this process: Claims Data Export – YouTube

***PFD will be adding this information to the cost report training.

 


January 1st, 2023

HHSC will be producing a lookup tool for the 2023 accountability report and it will be posted to STAIRS like they did for the 2022 cost report. It should be available as of February 2023, when the reports normally are released in STAIRS. A Gov Delivery will be sent out once the tool is posted to STAIRS.

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 

Time To Care Coalition (TTCC)

April 14th, 2024

Below is some very important information about the new “Time To Care Coalition”  

What is the Coalition’s purpose? To increase awareness about the current and future access to IDD community-based services — more specifically, to increase awareness about the unprecedented workforce shortage in ICFs/IID and HCS group homes and its impact on services to individuals with IDD, secure emergency funding to increase wages of direct care staff working in these group homes and lay the groundwork for the next Texas legislative session.  Note: The Coalition is acutely aware of the critical need for all persons providing attendant or direct care services across the host of Medicaid programs in Texas to receive wages higher than what the 88th Texas Legislature funded.  However, given the number of providers exiting these services (i.e., terminating their contracts) or just closing or reducing the number of group homes they currently operate, the Coalition is currently focused on emergency funds for the aforementioned IDD group homes.
How did the Coalition start? As past efforts in garnering attention on services to persons with IDD have not been successful, a small group of providers concerned about the future of IDD services in Texas came together to establish the Coalition.  Recognizing that past efforts seemed ‘siloed’ (meaning it was primarily just IDD providers), the Coalition deemed it critical to widen the circle of support for IDD services.  This is being accomplished by reaching out to organizations and persons which, heretofore, have never been tapped (or actively tapped) which may have a strong interest in not only supporting the Coalition, but, more importantly, supporting delivery of quality services to persons with IDD.  Note:  Given time needed to establish the Coalition, create a website and determine and plan strategies for ‘getting the word out’, outreach to other organizations, and even to Texas IDD providers, was initially minimal. Now that the Coalition has officially launched, it is actively reaching out to prospective supporters.
Why are emergency funds needed?
  • To increase the wages of direct care working in ICF/IID and HCS group homes.  The 88th Texas Legislature only appropriated funds to increase wages of direct care working in the ICF/IID and HCS group homes to $10.60/hour.  The increase does not afford IDD service providers the competitive edge needed to maintain or recruit hardworking, dedicated caregivers. These caregivers deserve to be paid a wage that is commensurate with their work and their contributions to the lives of people with IDD.
  • To protect individuals’ access to IDD services – in short, preserve the IDD service system.  The already prevalent and growing shortage of direct care staff supporting individuals with IDD is rapidly increasing and directly contributing to group home closures, displacement of individuals and decreased stability leading to more behavioral episodes and medical events.  Without emergency funding, the current network of IDD providers will continue to shrink, eroding not only individuals’ choices in where they receive and who provides their services, but also placing at risk their health and safety and desire to remain in the community.
Are there other funding sources available to increase IDD direct care wages?  No!  Medicaid is the sole source of funding for IDD services.  The only way to increase pay for direct care staff is for the Legislature to appropriate funds.
Where can one find out more about the Coalition, its activities and current list of supporters?  Though not all sections have been fully developed with a few needing  some tweaks to ensure clarity in the Coalition’s message, the website may be viewed at:  https://timetocaretx.org/
What does support entail?  There are various options available to participate and support the Coalition.  Organizations can choose all of the options or just one or two of the options.
  • Donating to the Coalition, though it’s important to note that a monetary donation is not required.
  • Consenting to have your organization’s logo on the Time to Care website.  If interested in this option, complete this Release Form and send, along with your company logo, to:  IDD@pluspr.com.
  • Sharing information about the Coalition with others both within your organization (staff, families and individuals you serve) and outside your organization (such as churches, vendors/businesses or parent groups).
  • Posting information and news about the Coalition on one’s website, Facebook and any other social media one uses.

 

 

 

***Twogether Consulting would ask that you please share this information and website.

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/

IDD Webinar – Mastering Inflation

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 for free at no cost.  For example, you are posting on Indeed, Linkedin, BenefitMall, Facebook, PACSTX job postings, an online newspaper, etc… If you would like to post an opening with a complete job description (or longer than a few paragraphs), the cost is $15 for a one-time fee. We will continue to run this post until you notify us otherwise.  All current updates are also noted in our bi-weekly newsletter.

We will also continue to repost openings when we can on our Linkedin page as well as our Facebook and Instagram pages for Twogether Consulting.

There is no charge, we just ask you all to keep referring us to others who don’t know about us for their IDD program needs and of course, we hope you will continue to use our services to assist you with your training needs, on-site and off-site assistance. 

Julie Blacklock/ Owner


Job Fair: Mary Lee Foundation – Austin, Tx

April 16th & 20th, 2024

 

 

Current Job Postings (See below)


Position posted 2/09/24                POSITIONS STILL AVAILABLE

Mary Lee Foundation

 

Position: Direct Support Proffessionals (HCS & ICF Programs)

Contact: Marc Estrada (Human Resources)

Ph:   (512) 443-5777 

mestrada@maryleefoundation.org

Location:   (Southpointe) 1336 Lamar Square  Austin, Texas

Status:  Full-time, Night Shift, Weekends, Per Diem, Overnight

Hours: 8am-5pm Mon-Fri

Pay Rate: Base Rate of $13.50/hr and up to $15.50/hr for certain shifts

Call us at 512-443-5777 and interview today!

  • Incentives
    • No experience necessary – We provide training!
    • $1,250 Sign-on Bonus for Full-Time hires!
    • Generous Paid Time Off (PTO)
    • 403(b) Retirement Plan
    • Annual Retention Bonus
    • Career Growth Opportunities with paid training
    • Insurance Options (Medical, Vision) for all Full-Time employees
    • Paid Company Dental insurance and Life Insurance for all Full-Time employees
    • Referral program
    • Student Loan Forgiveness after 10 years of service
    • We promote from within!

Mary Lee Foundation is looking for Direct Support Professionals to provide person-centered care tailored to meet the needs of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. You’ll make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities while receiving a great opportunity for professional growth.

Some things you will find yourself doing in this position:

  • Assisting clients with daily personal tasks, including bathing and dressing
  • Completing housekeeping tasks such as vacuuming, washing dishes and tidying
  • Helping plan client appointments and organize a schedule
  • Organizing with transportation arrangements to appointments
  • Shopping for groceries and preparing meals that meet specific client dietary needs
  • Encouraging client engagement in social networks and communities

Competitive Benefits:

  • Generous Paid Time Off (PTO) – 24 days per year!
  • Career Growth Opportunities with paid training
  • Insurance Options (Medical, Vision,) for all Full-Time employees
  • Company paid Dental Insurance for all Full-Time employees
  • Paid Orientation
  • Referral program
  • Student Loan Forgiveness after 10 years of service
  • We promote from within!

 

 


Position posted 1/14/24                       NOW CLOSED

Mary Lee Foundation

 

Position: ICF QIDP (Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional)

Contact: Marc Estrada (Human Resources)

Ph:   (512) 443-5777 

mestrada@maryleefoundation.org

Location:   (Southpointe) 1336 Lamar Square  Austin, Texas

Status: Full-Time

Hours: 8am-5pm Mon-Fri

Pay Rate: $19/hr

 

 

Benefits:

On the 1st of the month following 60 days of full-time employment, this position is eligible for Dental/Vision/Health/Life insurance. Paid Annual Leave Time can be used after the 90-day probationary period is completed.

 

 

Qualifications: 

  • 2 years experience working with people with disabilities
  • Supervisory experience preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree in a human services related field (i.e., social work, special education, psychology, rehabilitation counseling, or sociology)
  • Proven working experience in case management, including as a nurse, medical, mental health care manager or a related job
  • Good criminal history
  • Valid Drivers License
  • Clean driving history

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: 

  • Excellent knowledge of case management principles, healthcare management and reimbursement
  • Previous experience with psychological aspects of care
  • Effective communication skills
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills
  • Familiarity with professional and technical emerging knowledge
  • Problem solving skills and ability to multi-task
  • Compassionate with teamwork skills

Click link below to read more:

 Job Description


Position posted: 01/14/23                POSITIONS STILL AVAILABLE

Mary Lee Foundation Day Hab (Austin, Tx)  Habillitation & ISS Program

 

Position: Direct Support Professional – Adult Day Hab

Contact: Marc Estrada (Human Resources)

Ph:   (512) 443-5777

mestrada@maryleefoundation.org

Status: Full Time Non-Exempt
Hours: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, Mon – Fri
Starting pay: $13.50/hr

 

 

Benefits:

On the 1st of the month following 60 days of full-time employment, this position is eligible for
Dental/Vision/Health/Life insurance. Paid Annual Leave Time can be used after the 90-day probationary period
is completed

 

 

Job Requirements:

1. Must assist individuals with intellectual & developmental disabilities at all times while attending day habilitation &/or receiving ISS (individualized Skills & Socialization) services..
2. Supervise and assist individuals with meal prep and/or eating, personal
hygiene, grooming and other activities including but not limited to: adult daily living skills, leisure activities & community outings as needed.
3. Complete records as designated by policies and procedures such as, but not limited to;
documentation of training classes, progress notes/service delivery logs, medication leave reports, and any behavioral
management programs.
4. Provide input to individual program planning for individuals. Train/instruct individuals in areas of
individual program plan or implementation plans under the training system established by the QIDP/CM, including
supervision of individuals  in day program or ISS activities in various life, social and vocational skills
5. Be aware of the approximate location of all individuals on assigned building.
6. Supervise and assist individuals in recreational activities both on campus and off campus.
7. Assist in general upkeep and repair of facility such as, but not limited to: keeping inside and
outside of vehicles clean and ensuring sufficient gasoline level for next usage, cleaning of facility
grounds and/or buildings, and informing appropriate management staff for resolving noted
problems areas.
8. Teach independent living skills classes, supervise and assist participants with meal preparation,
prompt and assist participants with personal hygiene, grooming and other activities as needed.
9. Check attendance logs and service logs for accuracy and ensure they are turned in a timely
manner.
10. Make written reports of significant incidents that occur and inform appropriate staff if needed

 

Click link below to read more:

Full Job Description


 

 

 

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 Message 2024-029***

**HHSC IDD Services and PASRR has published a memo outlining the responsibilities of the local intellectual and developmental disability authorities (LIDDAs) after HHSC Long-term Care Regulation (LTCR) identifies a potential threat involving an individual in a Home and Community-based Services (HCS) or Texas Home Living (TxHmL) program.  

See memo below:

https://acrobat.adobe.com/id/urn:aaid:sc:us:16f0c68c-6687-4801-9c8f-c4b783ce594c

If you have any questions regarding this letter or the LIDDA’s responsibility after notification of a potential threat, please e-mail IDDMFPSupport@hhs.texas.gov.

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 increase direct care wages to $15/hour, the results of our August 2023 survey (previously sent to all members), and the letter 51 Texas State House Representatives sent to the HHSC Executive Commissioner last fall urging her to secure additional funds (also previously sent to members).   Please share!

Making life-or-death decisions for $10.60 an hour: Texas group homes suffer from staffing crisis

Miranda Suarez

KERA News

March 27, 2023

https://www.keranews.org/health-wellness/2024-03-27/making-life-or-death-decisions-for-10-60-an-hour-texas-group-homes-suffer-from-staffing-crisis

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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 services from STAR+PLUS) on March 1st informing them of the change.
Providers we encourage you to let your individuals you serve and their families know of the upcoming changes and to expect, if not already received, a letter from HHSC and Texas STAR+PLUS informing you of the need to select an MCO.
See the notice below:
Date Individuals Must Select an MCO:   Though various external sources reported that the selection must be made by July 1, 2024, a letter one PPAT member shared indicated the selection due date is July 10, 2024.
EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 2024
Notice of Award: In accordance with 1 T.A.C. §391.219, HHSC issued a Notice of Award to the following Respondents:
  • United Healthcare Community Plan of Texas, LLC. – Bexar, Central Texas, Dallas, Harris, Hidalgo, Northeast Texas, Tarrant and Travis Service Areas
  • Molina Healthcare of Texas, Inc. – Bexar, Dallas, El Paso, Harris, Hidalgo, Jefferson, Northeast Texas and Tarrant Service Areas
  • Superior HealthPlan, Inc. – Central Texas, Dallas, Hidalgo, Lubbock, Nueces, Travis and West Texas Service Areas
  • Amerigroup Insurance Company – Jefferson, Lubbock, Nueces and West Texas Service Areas
  • New Contracts: 
  • Community First Health Plans, Inc. – Bexar Service Area
  • El Paso Health – El Paso Service Area
  • Community Health Choice Texas, Inc. – Harris Service Area

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 expectations including what prompts HHSC (the Money Follow the Person unit) to notify LIDDAs of the need for an on-site inspection and a change in the response time to conduct the visit from “within 48 hours” to “in 2 business days.”

In order to minimize confusion and multiple calls between the provider and their staff and the provider and the LIDDA regarding the purpose of a LIDDA’s unannounced visit and its inquiries about an event that poses potential threat to one’s health and safety, HHSC is preparing a communication for distribution to providers and to LIDDAs for their use when fulfilling this requirement.

Providers understandably do have concerns about this new provision. 

PEMS: Update On HCS Revalidations For Current Providers

March 11th, 2024

The notice below provides an email address/box for providers to use in obtaining assistance with the revalidation process, please remember to contact HHSC’s oversight email box to report any inconsistencies you receive from TMHP representatives regarding practice locations, site visits and payment holds.   That email address is:  oversight@hhsc.state.tx.us

(HCS) Providers May Continue Submitting Service Claims While Completing Medicaid Enrollment Revalidation

“The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is aware that 1915(c) HCS providers are experiencing delays in completing Medicaid enrollment revalidation through the Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership (TMHP), due to the need for additional clarification and guidance for submitting practice location information. HHSC and TMHP are working to address this and will provide further clarifications and instructions to HCS providers in the near future.

In the meantime, HCS providers that intend to stay enrolled in Medicaid must continue to work with TMHP to complete all aspects of Medicaid enrollment revalidation not related to practice locations. HCS providers that intend to stay enrolled in Medicaid may continue to submit electronic service claims for services rendered even if their Medicaid enrollment revalidation date has passed because of process delays related to practice location issues. Further, HCS providers will not be placed on vendor hold if their Medicaid enrollment revalidation has been submitted in the Provider Enrollment Management System but has not been completed because of issues related to practice locations and site visits.

HCS providers that need assistance with completing the steps for revalidation can contact the TMHP Provider Relations department at provider.relations@tmhp.com.”

**A TMHP representative can schedule an enrollment walkthrough to assist with questions and completing the revalidation steps.

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 (ICF/IID).  Don’t forget, as of March 1st, 2024, this replaces the previous ANE Reporting  & Investigations process.  Reporting is now done to (CII) Complaint & Incident Intake.


February 25th, 2024

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

HHSC 2/23/2024 Notice:  

HHSC has released a new letter of guidance regarding the revised ANE reporting process to CII and the ANE investigation process for ICF/IID.  Here is the published provider letter (PL) 2024-04

Beginning March 1, 2024, reporting of investigations for allegations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation (ANE) for Medicaid consumers served by an Intermediate Care Facility for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (ICF/IDD) will transition from the Department of Family and Protective Services Statewide Intake (DFPS SWI) to HHSC Regulatory Services Complaint and Incident Intake (CII). 

Additionally, processes related to investigations of ANE of ICF/IDD will change as of March 1, 2024.

For questions contact LTCRPolicy@hhs.texas.gov.


January 20th, 2024

Surrogate Decision-Making Program (SDMP)

Randy Rowley, Manager, SDMP, HHSC, provided an overview of the surrogate decision-making program to the workgroup.  Click here for link to ppt

HHSC December 27, 2023 Bulletin:

The legislatively mandated Surrogate Decision-making Program (SDMP) authorizes Surrogate Consent Committees (SCCs), comprised of trained volunteers, to provide written informed consent for individuals residing in community-based ICFs/IID who have been assessed to lack the capacity to make certain treatment decisions for themselves and have no legal guardian or actively involved family members serving as Surrogate Decision Makers (SDMs) or the treatment decisions are beyond the scope of the SDMs.

The SDMP facilitates compliance with Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 42 and state ICF/IID rules regarding protection of individuals rights.

For the list of treatment decisions that a SCC can make see the HHS SDMP webpage.

Watch for upcoming training event announcements.

For questions about SCCs, or if you want to volunteer to serve on a SCCemail SDMP Manager Randy Rowley or call 512-438-4306.


ICF Rules-TAC Code Draft Title 26 Part I Ch 551

Draft Rules


Personal Needs Allowance Information Letter

Personal Needs Allowance (PNA):  PNA of individuals residing in a nursing home or ICF/IID from $60/month to $75/month, and for couples from $120/month to $150/month effective January 1, 2024.   HHSC posted an information letter regarding this change:

IL 2023-45 Personal Needs Allowance (PNA) Adjustment (Replaces IL 2022-16) (texas.gov).


June 15th, 2023

Personal Needs Allowance Increase Bill passed during 88th legislature session 

~  HB 54 (Thompson) relating to increasing the personal needs allowance of persons in a nursing home or ICF/IID from $60/month to $75/month.

December 15th, 2022

ICF Resources

These resources can also be found on the ICF Provider Portal page.


September 25th, 2022

HHSC Publishes Updated Guidance on the Amelioration of Administrative Penalties for ALF, ICF/IID, and NF Providers

HHSC Long-term Care Regulation has published Provider Letter 2022-24 – Amelioration of Administrative Penalties (replaces PL 2013-18).

The letter provides guidelines to assisted living facilities,

intermediate care facilities for individuals with an intellectual

disability or related conditions, and nursing facilities about

the amelioration of administrative penalties assessed for state licensure

violations.

Read the provider letter details.


June 12th, 2022

ICF COVID-19 Vaccination Reporting Emergency Rules Expired June 6!!

Emergency rules for Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions that require COVID-19 vaccination reporting expired June 6.

This means that effective June 7, ICFs no longer have to report COVID-19 vaccination data for staff and individuals to HHSC.

The following rules expired June 6:

  • 26 TAC §551.48 – ICF/IID Provider COVID-19 Vaccination Data Reporting Requirement.

Here is a copy of the previous rule that expired:

551.48.ICF/IID Provider COVID-19 Vaccination Data Reporting Requirement.

(a) An intermediate care facility administrator and one additional designee must enroll in an emergency communication system in accordance with instructions from Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).

(b) An intermediate care facility must respond to requests for information received through the emergency communication system in the format established by HHSC.

(c) Within 24 hours of becoming aware of a staff or resident’s COVID-19 vaccination, an intermediate care facility must accurately report COVID-19 vaccination data for staff and individuals in the format established by HHSC.

(d) Subsection (c) of this section does not apply to state supported living centers.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the emergency adoption and found it to be within the state agency’s legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on August 10, 2021.

Email questions to LTCR Policy.


April 29th, 2022

ICF Visitation Rules Update

An alert went out to remind providers that all visitation must be allowed. Essential caregiver and end-of-life visits must be allowed for all individuals with any COVID-19 status. A facility may be cited if visitation is not allowed.

Review ICF/IID visitation rules from April 4th, 2022, for additional information.


April 10th, 2022

COVID-19 ICF Mitigation, Response Rule Revised Effective April 6

HHSC Long-term Care Regulation has published a revised Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions COVID-19 Mitigation and Response Emergency Rule. It is effective April 6, 2022.

The revised rule:

  • Removes the requirements to have plans for obtaining and maintaining a two-week supply of full PPE.
  • Clarifies that a facility does not have to provide the name of the person who tested positive for COVID-19 when reporting to CII.

April 10th, 2022

HHSC Publishes Description of Key Changes to 26 TAC 551, ICF/IID (PL 2022-07)

HHSC has published Provider Letter 2022-07, Description of Key Changes to 26 TAC 551, Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions, for ICF/IID providers. This letter describes the key changes to Title 26 of the Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 551, that were effective on Feb. 24.

Throughout the rule, HHSC updated citations, agency names, and terminology; corrected minor grammatical and punctuation errors; and revised sentence structures to make the chapter easier to read.  In addition, the following items are addressed in this letter:

– New Requirements for Infection Prevention and Control Policies and Procedures

-HHSC included a state rule that refers to each Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Condition of Participation (CoP). Additions to 26 TAC 551 include • Governing Body • Client Protections • Facility Staffing • Active Treatment • Client Behavior and Facility Practices • Health Care Services • Physical Environment • Emergency Preparedness • Dietetic Services.

– transition from paper applications to the use of the online licensure portal, called the Texas Unified Licensure Information Portal (TULIP)  (Disclose information when applying for “relocation” and application information must be submitted through portal in “TULIP” system)

-Now require evaluation of the emergency preparedness and response plan at least every two years, instead of annually.

-ANE & Incident definitions

-Administrative penalties for each visit are limited to the cap amount, regardless of the number or duration of violations as of Sept. 1st, 2021

****If you have any questions about this letter, please contact the Policy and Rules Section by email at LTCRPolicy@hhs.texas.gov or call (512) 438-3161


April 6th, 2022

COVID Screening in ICF’s

ICF COVID-19 Mitigation and Provider Response emergency rules require an intermediate care facility must screen individuals according to HHSC guidance

.ICFs must screen individuals:

•upon admission or readmission to the facility; and

•at least once a day.

ICFs must screen each employee or contractor for the following criteria (listed below) before entering the facility at the start of their shift.

•Staff screenings must be documented in a log kept at the facility entrance and must include the name of each person screened, the date and time of the evaluation, and the results of the evaluation.

**Staff who meet any of the criteria must not be permitted to enter the facility.

As per ICF/IID Expansion of Reopening Visitation Emergency rules, ICFs are required to screen all visitors for signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

*Visitor screenings must be documented in a log kept at the entrance to the facility, which must include the name of each person screened, the date and time of the screening, and the results of the screening. The visitor screening log may contain protected health information and must be protected in accordance with applicable state and federal law .

*A visitor may not participate in a visit if the visitor has signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or active COVID-19 infection.

Screening Criteria:

•fever, defined as a temperature of 100.4 Fahrenheit and above, or

signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat;

•other signs or symptoms of COVID-19, including

-chills,

-new or worsening cough,

-shortness of breath or difficulty breathing,

-fatigue,

-muscle or body aches,

-headache,

-new loss of taste or smell,

-sore throat,

-congestion or runny nose,

-nausea or vomiting,

-or diarrhea;

•any other signs and symptoms as outlined by the CDC in Symptoms or Coronavirus at cdc.gov;

•contact in the last 14 days with someone who has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, is under investigation for COVID-19, or is ill with a respiratory illness, regardless of whether the person is fully vaccinated, unless the person is entering the facility to provide critical assistance; or

•testing positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days.


April 6th, 2022

Reporting Confirmed Case of  COVID-19 in ICF/IID

A facility must notify the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Complaint and Incident Intake of COVID-19 activity as described below.

(1) A facility must notify HHSC of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in staff or individuals, and the first confirmed case of COVID-19 after a facility has been without cases for 14 days or more, at HHSC Complaint and Incident Intake (CII) through TULIP, or by calling 1-800-458-9858, within 24 hours of the positive confirmation.

(2) A facility must submit a Form 3613-A Provider Investigation Report, minus the name of the person who tested positive for COVID-19, to HHSC Complaint and Incident Intake, through TULIP, by email at ciiprovider@hhs.texas.gov, or by fax at 877-438-5827, within five working days from the day a confirmed case is reported to CII.


April 6th, 2022

COVID-19 Mitigation and Response Emergency Rule Updated

HHSC Long-term Care Regulation has published a revised Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions COVID-19 Mitigation and Response Emergency Rule.

It became effective April 6, 2022.

The revised rule:

•Points to guidance from the Texas Department of State Health Services and HHSC rather than the CDC.

•Removes the requirements to have plans for obtaining and maintaining a two-week supply of full PPE.

•Removes the requirement to have spaces to don and doff PPE

•Clarifies that a facility does not have to provide the name of the person who tested positive for COVID-19 when reporting to CII.


February 27th, 2022

HHSC Adopts Revised ICF/IID Rules – Effective Feb. 24th, 2022

HHSC Long-term Care Regulation has adopted updates to the Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability (ICF/IID) or Related Conditions program rules. The revised rules are in the Texas Administrative Code Title 26, Chapter 551. They are effective Feb. 24, 2022.

Key changes to the rule are to:

  • Implement House Bill 1848 from the 86th Legislature, Regular Session, 2019 which requires new infection control policies and procedures in long-term living facilities.
  • Implement House Bill 3720 from the 87th Legislature, Regular Session, 2021 which limits the total amount of an administrative penalty assessed against an ICF/IID.
  • Reintegrate the conditions of participation from the Code of Federal Regulations.
  • Corrects legacy agency terms, update rule citations, and edit for clarity and consistency.

COVID-19 ICF/IID Webinar Recording from Feb. 14 Available

A recording of the Feb. 14 Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions COVID-19 Q&A with HHSC Long-term Care Regulation and DSHS is available for those who could not attend.

There have been changes made to the PowerPoint based on the information provided by DSHS during the webinar.

Read the COVID-19 Q&A (PDF).

Listen to the webinar recording.

Email LTCR Policy for the transcript.


February. 20th, 2022

Mar. 07 ICF COVID-19 Webinar with HHSC LTCR

Long-term Care Regulation and the Department of State Health Services will provide the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic and take live questions from participants in this intermediate care facilities provider webinar.

Provider attendance is critical to staying current with COVID-19 requirements and guidance. ICF/IID providers are strongly encouraged to attend all COVID-19 webinars with LTCR and DSHS.

Those using Internet Explorer may have difficulties registering for the webinar. If so, try using another browser, such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

March 7, 2022
11 a.m.–12 p.m.
Register for the COVID-19 Webinar.


February 13th, 2022

HHSC is not currently assessing compliance with CMS’s Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination rules, published in the Federal Register on November 5, 2021.

ICF COVID-19 Vaccination Data Reporting and Emergency Communication System – Feb 7

HHSC Long-term Care Regulation has published a revised ICF/IID Provider COVID-19 Vaccination Data Reporting Rule (PDF). It became effective February 7, 2022 and includes Emergency Communication System Enrollment for Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions providers.

The rule requires ICF/IIDs to:

  • Report COVID-19 vaccine data within 24 hours
  • Enroll in an emergency communication system

January 7th, 2022

ICF COVID-19 Response Plan and FAQ Updated – Jan. 7

Document   Version    Date    Change    Comments

Version 3.5                1/5/2022     Changes to pages 6, 31, 38, 39, 40, 51, 72 71, and Changes made to reflect the most updated CDC guidance.

Version 3.4               12/07/2021  Changes to pages 15, 16, 25, 26, 31, 35 Edited to include revised ICF COVID-19 Provider Response Mitigation Rules for ICFs/IID

For changes made previous to 12/07/2021,  please read the Table of Changes starting with page 7 of 19 of the Response Plan.

Update your Infection Control Policies and other related policies accordingly. 

HHSC has revised the ICF COVID-19 Response Plan and Frequently Asked Questions document in response to the most recent CDC guidance.


November 21st, 2021

HHSC Publishes PL 2021-38 Medicaid Bed Reallocation

HHSC published Provider Letter 2021-38 Medicaid Bed Reallocation which explains the process to request reallocated ICF/IID Medicaid beds from HHSC. This letter replaces Provider Letter 2019-21.


November 4th, 2021

Updated ICF/IID COVID-19 FAQ and COVID-19 Response Plan Revised

HHSC has revised the Frequently Asked Questions for ICF/IIDs about COVID-19 (PDF) and the ICF/IID COVID-19 Response Plan (PDF) in response to the revised COVID-19 Expansion of Reopening Visitation for ICF Providers rules.

October 24th, 2021

New PL 2021-21 COVID-19 – Expansion of Reopening Visitation for ICF Providers

Super important!!!!

HHSC has published Provider Letter 2021-21, COVID-19 Response – Expansion of Reopening Visitation (PDF) for ICF/IID providers. This letter replaces Provider Letter 2021-10. This letter describes the criteria for expanded visitation as well as address changes in response to Executive Order No. GA-38(link is external) and updated CDC guidance.

Updated COVID-19 Expansion of Reopening Visitation Emergency Rules for ICF Providers

HHSC Long-term Care Regulation has published revised COVID-19 Expansion of Reopening Visitation Emergency Rules for Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICFs/IID) or Related Conditions (PDF). The rules address changes in response to Executive Order No. GA-38 (PDF)(link is external) and updated CDC guidance.The rules became effective on October 20, 2021.

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September 15th, 2021

HHSC Publishes Amended Statutory Cap Regarding 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).

September 5th, 2021

Guidance for Providers Regarding Entry into LTC Facilities (PL 2021-33)

HHSC Long-term Care Regulation has published Provider Letter 2021-33, Authority to Enter Long-term Care Facilities (PDF), for ALF, HCS, ICF/IID and NF providers. This letter reminds providers that they must allow persons providing critical assistance and providers of essential services to enter the facility if they pass the facility’s COVID-19 screening.


September 5th, 2021

ICF/IID Leave During COVID-19 Rule Reinstated

HHSC has published IL 2021-42 ICF/IID Services During COVID-19 (PDF), which replaces IL 2020-43.

A resident must be discharged from the Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions, with or without a contract to hold the resident’s placement in accordance with 26 TAC Section 261.227(j), if the resident is absent from the ICF/IID for one full day or more and the absence is not during leave described in 26 TAC Section 261.226.

August 1st, 2021

HHSC Publishes Updated COVID-19 Response Plan and Frequently Asked Questions for ICF Providers

HHSC Long-term Care Regulation updated the ICF COVID-19 Response Plan and FAQ document on July 29, 2021.

Read the updated ICF COVID-19 Response Plan (PDF).

Read the updated ICF FAQs (PDF).


March 24th, 2021

HHSC Adopts New Expansion of Reopening Visitation Emergency Rules for ICF Providers!!!

HHSC has adopted new Expansion of Reopening Visitation (PDF) emergency rules that establish criteria for expanded indoor and outdoor visitation as well as essential caregiver visits. These rules are effective March 24, 2021.

HHSC Publishes COVID-19 Response – Expansion of Reopening Visitation for ICF Providers (PL 2021-10)

HHSC has published Provider Letter 2021-10, COVID-19 Response – Expansion of Reopening Visitation (PDF) for ICF/IID providers. This letter replaces Provider Letter 2020-43. This letter describes the criteria for expanded indoor and outdoor visitation as well as essential caregiver visits.


March 22nd, 2021

ICF COVID-19 March 22 Webinar Recording Available

A recording of the March 22, 2021, ICF/IID COVID-19 Q&A with HHSC LTC Regulation and DSHS is available for those who could not attend.

Listen to the COVID-19 Q&A recording.

Read the COVID-19 Q&A (PDF).


March 11th, 2021

Recording of ICF COVID-19 March 8 Provider Webinar Available

A recording of the March 8, 2021 ICF/IID COVID-19 Q&A with HHSC LTC Regulation and DSHS is available for those who could not attend.

Listen to the COVID-19 Q&A recording.

Read the COVID-19 Q&A (PDF).


February 8th, 2021

Draft ICF/IID Rule Changes

Attached please find the following:
Proposed changes of significant importance to ICF/IID providers are those under section 551.42 related to Infection Prevention and Control and section 551.236 related to Administrative Penalties.  See below for details.
Section 551.42:  According to HHSC this section incorporates provisions in  HB 1848  (86th – Klick) as well as clarifies the intent of 42 CFR §483.470 (l) which contains requirements to which ICF/IID providers must already adhere.  Please review the provisions under this section (starts at bottom of page 34) carefully.  Note:  As shared via a previous notice about House bills filed between January 5, 2021 thru January 31, 2021, Representative Campos has filed HB 1221 relating to communicable disease and infection prevention and control measures for certain long-term care facilities; authorizing an administrative penalty. The bill applies to ICFs/IID, NHs and ALFs.
Section 551.236:  The changes are the result of HB 3803 (86th – Guillen & Klick) which were intended to reinstate administrative penalty caps in the ICF/IID program that existed prior to Sunset for the legacy Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) in 2015.  As proposed in the attached rule, however, the rule allows the total penalty amounts allowed by law to be levied on a per day basis which conflicts with the intent of HB 3803.  In other words, and as recognized by HHSC during the 86th legislative process, the administrative penalty cap would be a total cap on penalties, not penalties accrued per day (though penalties prior to the cap are accrued on a daily basis).   See page 99 of the attached draft rule
.
In a conversation the three IDD associations had with HHSC regarding this matter, HHSC acknowledged that the rule was not consistent with the intent of HB 3803.
HHSC agreed to discuss the matter internally and report back to the three provider associations.  Concerned that HHSC will not implement the rule as intended, the three IDD associations will either pursue an amendment to the current statute to ensure intent clarity of Chapter 252, Health and Safety Code, Section  252.065 or request a letter of intent from the authors of HB 3803, or both.

February 7th, 2021

Feb. 8- ICF/IID Provider Bed Hold Payments Webinar &

Reminder to Provide Letter to Families

IL 2020-43ICF/IID Services During COVID-19 directed program providers to give a copy of the letter attached to that IL to each resident who was:

  • Absent from an ICF/IID
  • Not on leave
  • Was not discharged from the ICF/IID

If you have not provided the letter to residents who meet that criteria, do so immediately. It was to be complete by Oct. 5, 2020.  You must assist residents in deciding to do only one of the following:

  • Return to the facility.
  • Continue to be absent from the facility, be discharged, but enter into an agreement with the ICF/IID to hold your place at the facility.
  • Continue to be absent from the facility and be discharged.

HHSC Medicaid and CHIP Services will issue instructions to providers about entering COVID-19 therapeutic leave for days a resident was away from an ICF/IID to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Register for the following webinar to review the emergency rules authorizing this leave and the instructions for entering it.

ICF/IID Provider Bed Hold Payments Webinar
Friday, Feb. 5
9:30-11 a.m.
Register for the Bed Hold Payment Webinar.

The emergency rule authorizing payment for COVID-19 therapeutic leave (PDF) is effective Jan. 29, 2021.


January 19th, 2021

HHSC Updates the ICF COVID-19 Response Plan and FAQ Document

Please be sure to update your infection control and other related policies based on the updated Response Plan!!! 

Let us know if we can help.  We will be working on some of these addendums in the next few weeks. 

HHSC Long-term Care Regulation updated the ICF COVID-19 Response Plan and FAQ document on Jan. 12, 2021.

Read the updated ICF COVID-19 Response Plan (PDF).

Read the updated ICF FAQs (PDF).

Jan. 25 ICF Provider COVID-19 Webinar with HHSC LTC Regulation

Long-term Care Regulation and the Department of State Health Services provide the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic and take live questions from participants in this ICF provider webinar. Provider attendance is critical to staying current with COVID-19 requirements and guidance.

ICF/IID providers are strongly encouraged to attend this and all biweekly COVID-19 webinars with LTCR and DSHS.

Those using Internet Explorer may have difficulties registering for the webinar. Please try another browser such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

ICF Provider Webinar
Jan. 25, 2021
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Register for the COVID-19 Webinar.

Recording of ICF COVID-19 Jan. 11 Provider Webinar Available

A recording of the January 11, 2021 ICF/IID COVID-19 Q&A with HHSC LTC Regulation and DSHS is available for those who could not attend.

Listen to the COVID-19 Q&A recording.

Read the COVID-19 Q&A (PDF).


January 10th, 2021

Informal Comments on Draft Rules for ICF/IID or Related Conditions

HHSC is accepting informal comments from stakeholders on the following draft rules, which are now posted on the HHS Rulemaking page. The comment period ends Jan. 19, 2021.

This project implements two bills from the 86th Legislature, Regular Session, 2019. House Bill (H.B.) 1848 contains required elements for infection prevention and control. H.B. 3803 limits the daily amount of an administrative penalty assessed against an ICF/IID. The project will also update rule references and agency names, amend rules to align with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services conditions of participation in the ICF/IID program, and edit the rules for clarity and consistency.


HHSC Publishes Revised Reporting Guidance for Long-Term Care Providers

(PL 20-37)

HHSC has published a revised version of Provider Letter 20-37, Reporting Guidance for Long-Term Care Providers (PDF). The revision includes information for ALF and ICF providers offering point-of-care testing for COVID-19 and clarifies reporting requirements for NF providers.


November 22nd, 2020

November 30 ICF Provider COVID-19 Webinar with HHSC LTC Regulation

LTCR and DSHS provide the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic and take live questions from participants in this ICF provider webinar. Provider attendance is critical to staying current with COVID-19 requirements and guidance.

ICF/IID providers are strongly encouraged to attend this and all biweekly COVID-19 webinars with HHSC Long-term Care Regulation and the Department of State Health Services.

Those using Internet Explorer may have difficulties registering for the webinar. Please try another browser such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

ICF Provider Webinar

November 30, 2020

11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Register for the COVID-19 webinar.


Recording of November 16 ICF COVID-19 Q&A Provider Webinar Available

A recording of the November 16, 2020 ICF/IID COVID-19 Q&A with HHSC LTC Regulation and DSHS is available for those who could not attend.

View the COVID-19 Q&A recording.

View the COVID-19 Q&A (PDF).


10/16/20

Important Information!

LTCR FORM 2195: Expansion of Reopening Visitation Status Attestation and Letter PL 20-43 (for ICF Only)

Note: to receive an approved general visitation designation, a small ICF/IID that cannot provide separate areas, units, wings, halls, or buildings for individuals who are COVID-19 positive, COVID-19 negative or unknown COVID-19 status, based on the status of the entire facility, must:

  • have no facility-acquired COVID-19 cases in individuals for at least 14 consecutive days; and
  • have no COVID-19 cases in staff.

An ICF/IID must provide instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education regarding

  • signs and symptoms of COVID-19;
  • infection control precautions; and
  • other applicable facility practices (e.g., the use of facemasks or other appropriate PPE, specified entries and exits, routes to designated visitation areas, and hand hygiene).

An ICF/IID that does not meet the criteria for a visitation designation must permit closed window visits and end-of-life visits for individuals regardless of their COVID-19 status, as well as essential caregiver visits for individuals with COVID-19 negative or unknown COVID-19 status.

Such an ICF/IID must also develop and implement a plan to meet the visitation criteria and submit the plan to the regional director in the Long-term Care Regulation (LTCR) region where the ICF/IID is located within five days of submitting the new 2195 Expansion of Reopening Visitation Status Attestation Form,

or

within five days of receiving notification from HHSC that the ICF/IID was not approved for general visitation designation. 


LTCR Form 2195

Each ICF/IID must submit LTCR Form 2195 to the Regional Director in the LTCR region where the facility is located and must provide information about whether the ICF/IID meets or does not meet the criteria for expanded general visitation.

Each ICF/IID must submit a completed form 2195 to the Regional Director no later than October 31, 2020.

An ICF/IID that does not meet the visitation designation criteria must attest that it:

  • is permitting closed window visits, end of life visits, and essential caregiver visits;
  • will develop and implement a plan to meet the visitation designation criteria as defined in 26 TAC §551.47; and
  • has included the plan with the form or will submit the plan within five business days of submitting the form.

To seek a designation for general visitation, an ICF/IID must complete LTCR Form 2195, Expansion of Reopening Visitation Status Attestation, to notify LTCR that the ICF/IID seeks a designation as a visitation facility.

The form must be emailed to the LTCR regional director in the LTCR region where the facility is located. Any applicable pictures and facility maps must also be included with LTCR Form 2195.

The LTCR regional director or designee will review the form within three working days of submission and notify the ICF/IID whether it has received been approved for a visitation designation.

An ICF/IID with previous approval for visitation does not have to submit LTCR Form 2195 or other documentation unless the previous visitation approval has been withdrawn, rescinded, or canceled, or was for only indoor or outdoor visitation instead of both indoor and outdoor visitation.

If approved, the ICF/IID must allow outdoor visits, indoor plexiglass visits, open window visits, and vehicle parades in accordance with the applicable emergency rule. HHSC LTCR can conduct an on-site visit to confirm an ICF/IID’s compliance with the requirements. If HHSC determines that the ICF/IID does not meet the requirements for the designation as a visitation facility, the ICF/IID must immediately stop all visitation except a closed window visit, end-of-life visit, and visits by persons providing critical assistance, including designated essential caregivers.

If, at any time after a visitation designation is approved by HHSC, the ICF/IID experiences an outbreak of COVID-19, the ICF/IID must notify the Regional Director in the LTCR Region where it is located that the ICF/IID no longer meets visitation criteria, and the ICF/IID must immediately stop all visitation, except a closed window visit, end-of-life visit, or visits by persons providing critical assistance, including essential caregivers.

The ICF/IID can submit a new request for designation when it meets all visitation criteria.

Under Section 37.10 of the Texas Penal Code, a person commits a criminal offense if he or she makes a false entry in a governmental record; makes, presents, or uses any record or document with knowledge of its falsity and intent that it be taken as a genuine governmental record; or makes, presents, or uses a governmental record with knowledge of its falsity. In addition, making a false statement on the attestation form can result in the imposition of an administrative penalty as described in Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 252, section 252.065(a)

Contact Information for Submitting LTCR Form 2195 to the LTCR Regional Director: https://hhs.texas.gov/about-hhs/find-us/long-term-care-regulatory-regional-contact-numbers

If you have any questions about this letter, please contact the Policy, Rules and Training Section by email at PolicyRulesTraining@hhsc.state.tx.us or call (512) 438-3161.


10/05/20

Deadline for Decision To Return to Facility/Payment to Hold Bed/Discharge Option  

HHSC Email  Update
“These information letters listed below, provide confirmation of the agency’s intent to seek CMS approval for a retainer or bed hold payment, discusses the emergency rule, and directs providers to share prepared information with clients who are affected by these changes. We understand that the turnaround time to inform clients and their families is minimal; however, we wanted to give families time to decide next steps and providers time to adjust to the families’ decision.”  (November  1st, 2020 is the deadline).  Basically if the individual has been away from the facility during COVID-19, they will need to make a decision of whether they are coming back to occupy a “bed”, pay themselves to keep the “bed” or if they will discontinue services (discharge) without receiving any ICF services at this time.  There is a sample letter to send to the individual and their families to get them ready to make this decision.

Information Letter No. 20-43 ICF/IID Services During COVID-19


10/03/20

Quick TIPS on New Changes for Expansion of Facility Visitation Rules & Other Policies Concerning COVID-19

Essential Caregiver Visits and Salon Services Visitor   (Visitor types above and beyond normal designated visiting facility type)

Essential Caregivers are allowed even if the facility does not have designated visitation.  They must be at least 18 years of age.  Can be family, friend, guardian.

  • 1.They must wear a facemask. 2. They must have evidence of negative COVID-19 test in the past 14 days and must be screened by facility staff prior to the visit.  (Pay attention to the new additional symptoms and discontinuation of asking about international travel). 3. There is a 2- hr limit unless the facility allows a longer period of time. 4.They can have physical contact with their individual (and only their individual)  5.They must be limited to access to their person.  6.An assigned person must escort them to and from the location they are going to meet with the individual- room, outside…  7. The facility must approve the face mask they are going to wear or provide an appropriate mask.  8.If they do not have an appropriate face mask or the facility can’t provide one, they will need to reschedule the visit. 9. The facility must create an identifying badge for the essential caregiver or any salon service visitors. 10. The facility must have attestation stating the essential caregiver has visited and when they left (include time arrived, when they left, who they visited).  11. Essential caregivers must be trained on PPE and how to wear PPE, handwashing, and other infection control practices and there must be proof of this training that the facility maintains.   12..The individual must be COVID-19 negative to have an Essential caregiver visit or Salon Service Visitor.
  • ***(If client status is unknown, the essential visitor would have to wear a face mask (not N-95, save that for your staff who need to work with COVID-19 + individuals), gown, gloves, goggles or face shield, so the facility might need to provide these other items)

Phase I Visitation Rules, no longer in effect!

Expanded Visitation Rules now in effect:  The facility must apply with form 2194  for the Designated Visitation Facility, do not require all these same requirements an essential visitor (or Salon Service Visitors)- Designated visits include: open window visits, closed window visits, parade visits (open window or closed) outside visits, (and in plexiglass separate areas).   Must use physical distance, visitor screening, individual will wear face mask or face covering if tolerated and the same for the visitor -they must wear a face mask or face covering.  Provider Letter 20-38 has the link with form 2194 at the end of it.  We encourage you to email the form.  Most staff at HHSC are not in the office  Visitation Designation department has 3 days to approve or deny the 2194 form request.  Only the administrator or director can fill out form 2194!!

Previous Level 1 Attestation Approval: If you previously submitted the 2192 and received approval, you do not need to request a new one with form 2194, if your status is the same.  If you want to change the visitation type, then you will need a new form. ( i.e. you did not want plexiglass partition previously and now you do.)

Small facilities must request visitation designation for the whole facility (unless you have a way to separate all cohort areas completely.) Do not fill out section #3.  That is only for NF’s. 

The provider must develop and must enforce policies and procedures including testing strategies for Essential Visitors, in addition to the testing that must occur at least 14 days prior to 1st visit and all other polices related, such as essential visitor requirements discussed above.  Remember your testing strategies  are required  to provide expectations for the essential visitor for how often they will be required to test and when, for any visits they are making, after the initial “essential caregiver visit”.

For vehicle parades, the individual needs to remain 10 ft or more from the vehicle for safety.

Plexiglass booths on the inside must be approved by a life safety person for your region Send in pictures.  Does have to be a plexiglass barrier, does not have to be 2 and 3 sided.

**Closed window and End of Life visits are the only visits an individual may have if they are COVID-19 + (positive)

Remember staff should be assigned to an appropriate cohort (COVID-19 +, COVID-19 Negative or Unknown) then they should stay with that Cohort.  In addition, there should be a policy at the facility for limiting the sharing of staff.  If you need help with your policy concerning “COHORTS” and ” Mitigation of COVID-19 by Limiting Sharing of Staff”, please contact us.  I do have some policies you can purchase if needed.  Please contact me at:  info@twogetherconsulting.com


 

FAQ’s (June 2020)

(Section) Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IIDs)
31.Question:
How should an ICF handle the discharge summary when a client is admitted on a temporary emergency basis from the community or another ICF?

Answer: Regulations regarding ICF/IID discharge have not been waived. A discharge, even on a temporary emergency basis, requires that key developmental, behavioral, social, health and nutritional information be shared with the accepting facility in the community or non-facility provider. CMS is aware that staffing shortages and/or client surges due to the PHE create a high demand on available staff time that makes it difficult to complete a full discharge summary for each client. Each ICF will need to evaluate what amount and detail of documentation is necessary to ensure that critical health information is shared with the accepting facility or other provider. When available and if appropriate, the Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) should maximize the use of telehealth for the completion of a client’s discharge plan during the PHE.

32.Question:
How should an ICF handle the development of a Comprehensive Functional Assessment (CFA) and an Individual Program Plan (IPP) when a client is admitted on a temporary emergency basis from the community or another ICF?
Answer: Clients who are admitted on a temporary emergency basis to an ICF during the PHE will nonetheless continue to need to have a Comprehensive Functional Assessment (CFA) and an Individual Program Plan (IPP) in accordance with 42 CFR 483.440(c). Completion of these documents will provide an opportunity for the IDT and staff to meet the basic and critical care needs of the client. CMS is aware that staffing shortages and/or client surges due to the PHEmay create a high demand on available staff time that makes it difficult to complete a full CFA and IPP. Each ICF will need to evaluate what amount and detail of documentation is necessary to ensure that critical health and treatment information is identified to allow active treatment during the PHE. This health and treatment information will support successful adjustment for the client to the new temporary living environment. When available and if appropriate, the IDT should maximize the use of telehealth for the development of a client’s IPP for temporary emergency admissions during the PHE.
33.Question:
During the PHE are ICFs still required to have and use a specially constituted committee or committees?
Answer: Yes. CMS believes that the use of this committee may be of value during the time of the COVID-19 PHE. The committee can provide an opportunity to support and make suggestions to facilities as they may need to adapt policies and procedures as well as why and how services are being provided to clients, which clients may find difficult to understand and potentially lead to inappropriate adaptive behavior. When available and if appropriate, the specially constituted committee should maximize the use of telecommunications to convene this committee as a resource to support the challenges faced by staff and clients during the PHE.
34.Question:
When a client has tested positive for COVID-19 and the ICF/IID implements quarantine procedures, client rights are immediately abridged and severe behaviors are likely to occur. What is the guidance from CMS on balancing the CDC expectations with the rights of the individual?
Answer: The health and safety of the clients, visitors, and staff at an ICF/IID are of the utmost importance for CMS. Based on the ICF Emergency Preparedness plan, and in accordance with the requirement at 42 CFR 483.440(c)(3)(v) that the IPP assess the client’s health status in the context of a COVID-19 diagnosis, the ICF/IID must revise the client’s IPP to reflect specific procedures and steps that will be taken to quarantine the client while also taking every step reasonable to protect the rights, safety, and health of the infected client, as well as those of the staff and other clients. ICF/IIDs are encouraged to use telehealth and assistive technology to minimize social isolation to the extent possible.
35.Question:
Are intermediate Care Facilities required to participate in the COVID-19 CDC National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) reporting requirements?
Answer: ICF/IIDs do not have a regulatory requirement for the reporting of communicable diseases, healthcare-associated infections, and potential outbreaks to Federal (such as the CDC), State and/or local health departments. ICF/IIDs do have a requirement under 42 CFR 483.420(c)(6), which addresses communication to family and/or guardian when a client’s condition changes, including the onset of serious illness (such as COVID-19). Although reporting to CDC is not required, ICF/IIDs may voluntarily report COVID-19 cases to the CDC, and CMS encourages them to do so to facilitate public health tracking of the pandemic. You may find the following CDC resource links helpful:
Rural Health Clinics (RHC)/Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)
36.Question:
Has CMS implemented any flexibilities to help RHCs and FQHCs respond to the PHE posed by COVID-19?

Answer: Yes. CMS has temporarily waived certain regulatory requirements providing flexibilities to assist RHCs and FQHCs in furnishing services during the COVID-19 PHE. This includes temporarily modifying the following:(a)50% mid-level staffing requirement for RHCs;(b)Physician supervision requirement for nurse practitioners (NPs), to the extent permitted by State law; and(c)Location requirements for existing RHCs and FQHC to allow additions of temporary service locations.Please see https://www.cms.gov/files/document/summary-covid-19-emergency-declaration-waivers.pdf for additional waiver information. Additional flexibilities, including guidance for RHCs and FQHCs furnishing telehealth services during the PHE, are also described in this CMS MLN Article: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/se20016.pdf

37.Question:
When do these flexibilities go into effect?
Answer: The flexibilities for staffing requirements, physician supervision of nurse practitioners, and temporary expansion sites are retroactively effective beginning March 1, 2020, through the end of the emergency declaration and CMS issues an end of outbreak notification.
38.Question:
Do these flexibilities apply to all RHCs and FQHCs?
Answer: The flexibilities for physician supervision of NPs apply to all RHCs and FQHCs, to the extent permitted by state law. Flexibilities to the 50% mid-level staffing requirement apply to RHCs only as the mid-level requirement is RHC specific. Lastly, flexibilities to the location requirement apply to existing RHCs and FQHCs.
39.Question:
How does the mid-level practitioner 50% flexibility benefit an RHC? Are RHCs required to submit any documentation to CMS for this waiver?
Answer: This waiver provides RHCs with flexibilities with regards to the percentage of operating hours the facility has a mid-level practitioner available to furnish patient care services. While the waiver offers flexibilities with staffing mixes, a physician, NP, physician assistant, certified nurse midwife, clinical social worker, or clinical psychologist must be available on site to furnish patient care services whenever the RHC is open and operating. CMS does not require any submission of documentation for this waiver.
40.Question:
How does the waiver affect the physician supervision of NPs?
Answer: During the PHE, NPs may function to the fullest extent possible without physician supervision, and to the extent of applicable state law. However, the physician continues to be responsible for providing the overall medical direction for the RHC/FQHC’s health care activities, consultation for, and medical supervision of all other health care staff, either in person or through telehealth and other remote communications.
41.Question: Can an RHC/FQHC provide patient care services at temporary locations?

Answer: Yes. During the COVID-19 PHE, CMS is allowing currently approved RHCs/FQHCs to provide patient care services in temporary expansion sites to help address the urgent need for supplementary care. These temporary sites are not restricted to the rural/shortage area location requirements. Each location is obligated to follow RHC/FQHC regulations to the extent not waived. Therefore, the RHC/FQHC may provide services provided at a temporary location under the CMS Certification Number (CCN) for the permanent location. The RHC/FQHC is expected to be operating in a manner not inconsistent with its state’s emergency preparedness plan. Note: FQHCs must also have an updated Health Resource and Service Administration (HRSA) Notice of Award, expanding the scope of service to include the temporary location(s) to support response to the COVID-19 PHE.

42.Question:
Do these flexibilities apply to temporary locations established in a parking lot?
Answer: Yes. During the COVID-19 PHE, CMS is allowing RHC/FQHCs to establish temporary expansion sites in a parking lot; either on or off its premises. As with other temporary expansion locations, the parking lot site must meet the same RHC/FQHC regulations as the main site, unless otherwise waived. Therefore, the RHC/FQHC may provide for those services via the existing CCN of its approved permanent location. RHC/FQHC is expected to be operating in a manner not inconsistent with its state’s emergency preparedness plan.
43.Question:
Can an RHC/FQHC provide patient care services to a patient in the patient’s vehicle?
Response:During the COVID-19 PHE, to help minimize transmission, an RHC/FQHC visit can take place if the patient is in a vehicle on the premises of the RHC/FQHC and all requirements for a billable visit are met (e.g. medically-necessary, face-to-face visits with an RHC/FQHC practitioner). The RHC/FQHC would provide the services using its existing CCN. All services provided are held to all RHC/FQHC regulations, unless otherwise waived. This includes, but is not limited to, the provisions of services as per 42 CFR 491.9(c). RHCs/FQHCs must consider the clinical appropriateness of services before conducting a visit and/or treating a patient in their vehicle.
44.Question:
Will a RHC or FQHC seeking approval of its temporary location as being consistent with the emergency response and pandemic plan be provided with evidence of approval or denial from the state?
Answer: State emergency plans and processes will vary. RHCs/FQHCs should retain any communications with the State emergency preparedness representatives to demonstrate that its temporary location(s) are not inconsistent with the state emergency preparedness and pandemic plan for the COVID-19 PHE. Once the state has approved the addition of temporary location(s), there are no additional CMS enrollment or reporting requirements. The RHC/FQHC may begin utilizing the temporary expansion location throughout the duration of the COVID-19 PHE.
45.Question:
May an RHC or FQHC continue providing RHC/FQHC services at the temporary location once the COVID-19 PHE ends?
Answer: No. All waived CoPs, CfCs, requirements, and most temporarily revised regulations will terminate at the end of the PHE. If the RHC/FQHC wishes to continue services at the temporary expansion location after the PHE has ended, the facility must submit form 855A to begin the process of enrollment and initial certification as a RHC or FQHC under the regular process and meet all applicable requirements, including 42 CFR 491.5.
46.Question:

My RHC participates in Medicare through one of the two CMS-approved RHC Accreditation Organizations (AOs). Do waivers of CMS regulations apply to CMS-approved accrediting programs? Do I need to notify the AO of my desire to temporarily add a service location during the COVID-19 PHE?

Answer: The flexibilities apply to both accredited and non-accredited RHCs. Notifying your AO of the temporary location is recommended.
47.Question:
Where can I find answers to COVID-19 flexibilities regarding Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) billing for RHCs and FQHCs?

Answer: To assist RHCs and FQHCs in furnishing service during the COVID-19 PHE, CMS has provided additional flexibilities related to billing for services. These temporary flexibilities currently include Expansion of Virtual Communication Services for RHCs and FQHCs to include online digital evaluation and management services using patient portals, and Revision of Home Health Agency Shortage Area Requirement for Visiting Nursing Services Furnished by RHCs and FQHCs. Please see the Medicare FFS Billing FAQ document available at https://www.cms.gov/files/document/03092020-covid-19-faqs-508.pdf. Please see Section II.L of the Interim Final Rule with Comment Period, “Medicare and Expanded Flexibilities for Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) Medicaid Programs; Policy and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) During Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-–19 Public Health Emergency (PHE)”(85 FR 19230, 19253), available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/06/2020-06990/medicare-and-medicaid-programs-policy-and-regulatory-revisions-in-response-to-the-covid-19-public, for more information on regulatory changes for RHCs and FQHCs.


Webinar info:  How to prevent infectious diseases and the spread of infectious diseases in ICF-Specifically COVID-19 (May 27th, 2020)

See the following pdf link from HHSC

https://hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/doing-business-with-hhs/providers/long-term-care/icfiid-covid-updates-qa-webinar-may-27-2020.pdf


March 13th ICF FAQ’s  See link below:

Survey Operations Resume as of June 15th, 2020

From HHSC
As of June 15, 2020, Survey Operations has begun to resume some normal survey activity, and Enforcement is also resuming enforcement processes and activities. This means we will be issuing various due process notice letters to individuals, agencies, and facilities that have been on hold due to COVID.
Please contact Enforcement Director Derek Jakovich by email at derek.jakovich@hhsc.state.tx.us if you have questions.
In response to questions regarding what normal survey and enforcement activities are resuming as of June 15 and what programs are affected, HHSC replied as follows:
As of June 15, 2020 Survey Operations is resuming some survey activity such as complaints with lower priorities, and possibly some licensure and certification surveys. For Enforcement, due process notice letters such as denials, revocations, and imposition of administrative penalties will be issued and the opportunity to appeal will be provided. Of course, the COVID circumstances may affect these activities.
The notice applies to NF, ALF, DAHS, PPECC, HCSSA, and ICF/IID.

Providers Must Log Residents’ Leave

All community-based ICF/IID program providers must submit an absence request in the TMHP ICF/IID Online Portal for a resident away from the facility for one or more full days. See the TMHP ICF/IID Online Portal User Guide (PDF) starting on page 52 for more information. The program provider must submit a return request within three days after a resident returns to the facility. See page 58 of the Online Portal User Guide for an explanation.

Please ensure that information entered in the portal for absences is current. HHSC uses the information to determine how many residents are absent from their facilities and the length of those absences.

 

Contact Information
If you have any questions about this letter, please contact the Policy, Rules and Training Section by email at

PolicyRulesTraining@hhsc.state.tx.us or call (512) 438-3161.


Provider Joint Training Opportunities

Check out Joint Provider Trainings link from HHSC, for more info:
https://apps.hhs.texas.gov/providers/training/jointtraining.cfm#course_112

 


Survey Process for ICF Has Changed: Please Be Aware

You may check your SOMA (Surveyor’s Operational Manual for ICF in Appendix J) for these changes.

https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/Manuals/downloads/som107ap_j_intermcare.pdf 

http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/Transmittals/2018Downloads/R178SOMA.pdf


Appendix Q of SOMA (Immediate Jeopardy) Changes

http://www.tmhp.com/News_Items/2019/04-Apr/CMS%20Releases%20Revision%20to%20Appendix%20Q%20Immediate%20Jeopardy%20Guidelines.pdf

CMS clarifications letter

https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/SurveyCertificationGenInfo/Downloads/QSO19-09-ALL.pdf

Online basic training for Core Appendix Q is available on the Integrated Surveyor Training
Website at the following link:https://surveyortraining.cms.hhs.gov/
This basic training is intended to provide Regional Office and State Survey Agency surveyors, management staff, and
training coordinators, as well as providers, suppliers, and laboratories, and other stakeholders with
the ability to identify immediate jeopardy
.
NOTE: This is a required training for RO and SA staff involved in immediate jeopardy
determinations. All RO and SA surveyors, members of management, and training coordinators
are expected to take this training as soon as practicable, but not later than March 22, 2019.
Point of Contact:
For questions related to this information, please add in subject line
“Immediate Jeopardy Inquiry” and send your email to:
QSOG_GeneralInquiries@cms.hhs.gov  
.
Effective Date:
Immediately-This policy should be communicated to all survey and certification staff, their managers and the State
and Regional Office training coordinators within 30 days of this memorandum.

 

SOMA appendix Q Section  Immediate Jeopardy 

https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/Manuals/downloads/som107ap_q_immedjeopardy.pdf


II.  Proposed ICF/IID Rates: Below please find the link to information about the August 2, 2019 HHSC public hearing on the proposed ICF/IID rates.  The hearing will be at 3:00 p.m. and held in the HHSC public hearing room (first floor of HHSC).  Additional information about the hearing (specifically, needed member action) will be forthcoming.
Though the above link provides the proposed rates, below is a chart which reflects both the current and proposed ICF/IID rates.  Note that with the exception of LON 9, all LON categories and facility settings/sizes are proposed to receive an increase.  Also, at this time, the specifics regarding the impact of the increases on the rate categories (residential direct and indirect  & day habilitation direct and indirect) are not yet available.  According to HHSC the ‘specifics’ should be available on or after this Friday (July 19, 2019).

LON & Facility Size

Current Rates

Proposed Rates

SMALL

 

 

LON 1

$144.25

$150.31

LON 5

$160.74

$167.90

LON 8

$182.82

$191.85

LON 6

$223.88

$236.59

LON 9

$406.11

N/C

MEDIUM

 

 

LON 1

$118.04

$123.14

LON 5

$134.06

$140.24

LON 8

$158.90

$166.92

LON 6

$190.24

$200.79

LON 9

$385.84

N/C

LARGE

 

 

LON 1

$112.09

$116.30

LON 5

$119.64

$124.64

LON 8

$133.22

$139.44

LON 6

$179.40

$188.96

LON 9

$387.25

N/C

 

 

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 Intellectabilty, go to https://replacingrisk.com/person-centered-services

For those of you who want to learn more about IntellectAbility’s Person-Centered Training, Resources and Tools. 

Have a Question? Call (727) 437-3201

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 protocol.

The reporting time is still “within 1 hr of your knowledge or suspicion of Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation”.

The new phone # for reporting ANE to CII is:  1-800-458-9858. 

Please do not report to DFPS anymore starting March 1st, 2024 as they will no longer be investigation ANE for the ICF/IID programs.

 

A few items of note: 

-CII will be the only place facility or persons reporting ANE will need to make your report.  This should help with redundancies.

-CII will prioritize allegations that are serious health and safety concerns for individuals in the program.

-The facility will not receive a findings report from CII.

-The facility will not receive the findings until surveyors present them to the provider at the entrance meeting during a survey that results from an ANE report and investigation by CII.

-The facility should start protective measures for their individuals and corrections as soon as they are aware of the allegation, so this may start much earlier if the allegation is self-reported (immediately after self-reporting).

-The facility will also need to begin an internal investigation right away and within 5 days of the internal investigation fill out and submit a 3613-A report form to send in to CII.   Facility will no longer wait for a PIR investigation report.

-PIR will no longer be part of the process.  CII will receive all ANE reports, process them and complete Investigations.

-The facility is still required to report to other legal entities as appropriatei.e, client’s rights issue contact IDD Ombudsman, robbery or stolen items, missing person-report to law enforcement, etc…

Resident-to-resident Aggression:  Facilities only need to report resident-to-resident aggression that results in serious injury.  ( See TAC Title 26 Part I Ch 551.213)  What is considered a serious injury?  (See TAC Ch 711.3  for the definitions.)

 

Things your Report To CII Including ANE (section 551.213)

A facility must report any of the following incidents to HHSC’s Complaint and Incident Intake Section at 1-800-458-9858 within one hour after suspecting or learning of the incident:

(1) alleged (Class I) physical abuse of a resident, as defined in Chapter 711 of this title, that caused or may have caused serious physical injury;
(2) alleged (Class I) sexual abuse of a resident, as defined in Chapter 711 of this title;
(3) sexual activity between residents resulting from coercion, physical force, or taking advantage of the disability of a resident;
(4) sexual activity involving a resident less than 18 years of age;
(5) the pregnancy of a resident;
(6) resident-to-resident aggression that results in serious physical injury;
(7) the death of a resident; and
(8) a resident whose location has been unknown by the facility for more than eight hours or less than eight hours if there are circumstances that place the resident’s health or safety at risk.

 

Ch 26 Tac 771.3 

Definition of Serious Physical Injury

(34) Serious physical injury

(A) In state-supported living centers and state hospitals only, any injury requiring medical intervention or hospitalization or any injury determined to be serious by a physician or APRN. Medical intervention is treatment by a licensed medical doctor, osteopath, podiatrist, dentist, physician assistant, or APRN. For the purposes of this subchapter, medical intervention does not include first aid, an examination, diagnostics (e.g., x-ray, blood test), or the prescribing of oral or topical medication;

 (B) For all other service providers, any injury determined to be serious by the appropriate medical personnel. Examples of serious physical injury include:

(i) fracture;

(ii) dislocation of any joint;

(iii) internal injury;

(iv) contusion larger than two and one-half inches in diameter;

(v) concussion;

(vi) second or third degree burn; or

(vii) any laceration requiring sutures or wound closure.


February 25th, 2024

HHSC 2/23/2024 Notice:  

HHSC has released a new letter of guidance regarding the revised ANE reporting process to CII and the ANE investigation process for ICF/IID.  Here is the published provider letter (PL) 2024-04

Beginning March 1, 2024, reporting of investigations for allegations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation (ANE) for Medicaid consumers served by an Intermediate Care Facility for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (ICF/IDD) will transition from the Department of Family and Protective Services Statewide Intake (DFPS SWI) to HHSC Regulatory Services Complaint and Incident Intake (CII). 

Additionally, processes related to investigations of ANE of ICF/IDD will change as of March 1, 2024.

For questions contact LTCRPolicy@hhs.texas.gov.

Upcoming Webinars:

Reporting Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation Changes and Self-Reporting Incidents for ICFs/IID

Tuesday, Feb. 27
10–11:30 a.m.
Register for Feb. 27 webinar.

 

**ICF/IID Reporting and Investigating ANE Webinar with HHSC LTC: 

This session will be similar to the other 3 webinars, but will provide additional information about the ANE process as well as information regarding what providers can expect both during and after an investigation. It is recommended that you register for this webinar and one of the other 3 webinars

Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024

11:00 a.m.–noon

Register for the ICF Webinar.

 

Reporting Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation Changes and Self-Reporting Incidents for Intermediate Care Facilities
Tuesday, March 5
10–11:30 a.m.
Register for March 5 webinar.

Reporting Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation Changes and Self-Reporting Incidents for Intermediate Care Facilities
Thursday, March 21
2–3:30 p.m.
Register for March 21 webinar.

 

 

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, submitters can contact UR at 512-438-5055 or email deskURLONIPC@hhs.texas.gov.

For questions about enrollments or transfers, submitters can contact PES at 512-438-2484 or email enrollmenttransferdischargeinfo@hhs.texas.gov.

Provider Webinar Available:  To access a recording of the “TMHP LTC Portal for HCS/TxHmL Providers and FMSAs” webinar, please visit the HCS and TxHmL Webinars and FAQs web page.


January 19th, 2024

Other Portal Resources:  FAQ’s & Training Webinar:

In case you weren’t aware, there are FAQ’s on using the IDD portal and there is a training webinar for HCS/TxHmL/ICF/CFC Non-waiver programs

IDD Portal FAQ’s

Training webinar pre-recorded video HCS/TxHmL/ICF/CFC Non-waiver programs


November 12th, 2023

IDD Portal Information & Additional Training Resources

The Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Operations Portal is an online based application used by long-term care IDD providers and Local Intellectual Developmental Authorities (LIDDAs) to submit and receive documents to and from Texas Health and Human Services IDD Program Eligibility and Support (PES) and IDD Waivers Utilization Review (UR) sections. The portal is only meant to replace document submissions by fax and mail.

It does not replace the responsibility of providers or LIDDA’s to ensure accurate completion of documents, maintain signed paper copies of forms in individual records, and comply with HIPAA regulations when making submissions to the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). During initial account setup, the provider or LIDDA assigns a security authority who is responsible for managing their staff’s access to the portal. Providers and LIDDAs are responsible for ensuring procedures are in place to properly manage staff’s access to individual’s records inside and outside of the portal, just as they did prior to portal implementation.

Click on to see: IDD-operations-portal-user-guide


April 15th, 2019

As of April 1, 2019, Long-term care intellectual and developmental disability providers and local IDD authorities can electronically submit and receive documents to and from HHS IDD Program Eligibility and Support and IDD Utilization Review.

Who Can Use the Portal?

If you contract with HHS to provide IDD services in the following programs, you can register and begin using the portal:

  • Community First Choice
  • Community Living Assistance and Support Services
  • Deaf-Blind with Multiple Disabilities
  • Home and Community-based Services
  • Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities
  • Texas Home Living

What Are the Benefits?

To learn more, read the IDD Operations Portal Flyer (PDF).

Where Do I Register and Learn How to Use the Portal?

Complete the Initial Account Setup and register your business with the portal at txhhs.force.com. To learn more, read the IDD Operations Portal User Guide (PDF).

HHS will use email alerts, information letters, training webinars and in-person communications via existing stakeholder meetings to provide portal updates.

For technical issues, contact the IDD Operations Portal Team at IDD_Ops_Portal@hhsc.state.tx.us.

Assistance With Medicaid Renewal & Eligibility Issues

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 of the Regional Directors.

In addition to the list of Regional Directors, HHSC provided the information on a PowerPoint on the end of continuous Medicaid coverage or Medicaid Unwinding.

Actions You Can Take Now
-Download Ambassador Toolkit from https://www.hhs.texas.gov/services/health/coronavirus-covid-19/end-continuous-medicaid-coverage-ambassador-toolkit

-Visit www.hhs.texas.gov/update

-Email: update@hhs.texas.gov – Stakeholder Engagement Email

Join the Ambassador Program email list- Ambassador Program Contact List

Links to Long-Term Care Bulletins

Image result for Bulletin free clipart

 

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:


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:

https://www.tmhp.com/sites/default/files/file-library/ltc/bulletins/February%202021%20LTC%20Bulletin%20No.%2085_Final%20for%20Web.pdf


See link to November 2020 edition below:

https://www.tmhp.com/sites/default/files/file-library/ltc/November%202020%20Long-Term%20Care%20Provider%20Bulletin%20No.%2084.pdf

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 program services they offer to an individual. The requirement to provide the full array of services includes individuals receiving Community First Choice (CFC) services and individuals who choose to receive some or all of their services through the Consumer Directed Services (CDS) option.

For a complete list of the program services, see the following TAC references:

**If a LIDDA becomes aware that an HCS or TxHmL program provider is not offering the full array of program services, the LIDDA should report this information to the IDD Ombudsman at https://hhsportal.hhs.state.tx.us/heartwebextr/hhscIddo, or call 800-252-8154, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For any questions please email iddservicesacoffice@hhs.texas.gov.

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

This public hearing will be webcast. Members of the public may attend the public hearing in person at the address above or access a live stream of the public hearing at https://texashhsmeetings.org/HHSWebcast. Select the tab for the Moreton M-100 Live on the date and time for this public hearing. Please e-mail Webcasting@hhsc.state.tx.us if you have any problems with the webcasting function.

Public Hearing. The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will conduct a hybrid public hearing, at the date, time, and location stated above, to solicit feedback and public comment on the prevocational or similar services under Home and Community-based Services (HCS), Texas Home Living (TxHmL), and Deaf Blind with Multiple Disabilities (DBMD) Medicaid waiver programs, as related to House Bill 4169, 88th Regular Session, 2023.  (Work Readiness Program)

Public hearing on prevocational or similar services under HCS, TxHmL, and DBMD Medicaid waiver programs as related to House Bill 4169, 88th Legislature, Regular Session, 2023

    1. Overview presentation by HHSC staff
    2. Public comment

 

Read more….

Contact: Questions regarding agenda items, content, or public hearing arrangements should be directed to Kaili Hintz, Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Policy Manager, Medicaid and CHIP Services, at 512-632-6419 or LTSS_Policy@hhs.texas.gov.

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 link.

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 based on the new effective date.

Contact the Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership Long-Term Care Help Desk at 800-626-4117 or 800-727-5436 for assistance with submitting forms.

MillinPro Billing Software: Helping Texas IDD Providers Become More Efficient

January 18th, 2024

millin logo animated 1x

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 their internal process that has led us to an incredible 99.2% collection rate on all eligible claims.

Millin aims to simplify the billing process by bypassing much of the manual work you need to do on TMHP.

Millin aims to automate most of the process with features that include eligibility checks, batch submission capabilities, issue-tracking and a library of reports designed to replace the R+S functions of TMHP.

Click on the link below to watch video

https://www.gotostage.com/channel/3b0bd3b1a47c4e80be974f4bcfa54d7b/recording/a35649ed23264fa787ba1d72f7e1d5e5/watch

Texas Webinar Powerpoint for Twogether – January 2024

Twogether Consulting hopes that this has been a great resource for HCS/TxHmL/ICF providers.  Mention that you are a client of Twogether Consulting for a 50% discount on all initial implementation fees.


Did You Know Millin Billing Pro Can Help Providers With TMHP Billing & EVV?

Check Out This Info From Milling Billing Pro.

 

See the following Vimeo Videos.  If you need billing software or billing services for TMHP and EVV this may be a great option for Texas HCS & TxHmL providers.  They are also ready for the change over to ISS (Individualized Socialization Skills) when March 1st, 2023 comes around.  To request a demo from Millin Billing please go to  Request A Demo

Remember to tell them how you heard about Millin Billing Pro (Twogether Consulting) for a discounted rate.

Millin Billing Pro Video

 

Management System video from Millin Billing

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

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 TxHmL Providers and FMSAs will have the opportunity to ask questions** regarding the LTC Online Portal for HCS and TxHmL.

 


October Webinar 2023


September Webinar 2023

In case you missed the Town Hall Webinar from Sept. 13th, here are the links to the handouts

Presentation Handout

Provider Quick Reference Contact List (HCS/TxHmL) Update 091323

Panelists: • Ashley Wechsler –Program Eligibility and Support (PES) •Holly Lindsey –Utilization Review (UR) •Marie Redman –Provider Claims Services (PCS) • Rhonda Kay Richie –Local Procedure Development and Support (LPDS) • Kali Schmidt –Contract Administration & Provider Monitoring (CAPM) • Rick Bishop –Claims Management • Amy Aubin –Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Policy Unit • Joan Workman –HHSC Information Technology (IT) •Depesh Shah -Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership (TMHP)

Some of The Topics Discussed Included:

-Fiscal Year 2023 Year-End Closeout Process (CARE) & The Process For Closeout in LTC

-Claims Processing Update and Claims Overlapping With IPC’s

-Claims Data Export: How to Remove Duplicate Lines

-Suspensions, Terminations (In particular- screens/forms in TMHP for LIDDA and the Provider that need to be completed)

-How to Use Pivot Tables in Excel  (There are training videos on Youtube for Pivot Tables and it is suggested that providers watch these videos.  My understanding is that these tables may help some with cost reporting data that is needed)

-Requesting Inactivation

-Improvements to the phone system, including the Automated Inquiry System(AIS) as of Sept. 5th, 2023 and updated Contact List For TMHP


FYI- Trending Issues: Upcoming YoutubeTraining Video –Claims DATA Export will come out on September 18th, 2023

Some of the things that will be covered are: •How to convert the Claims Data Export file to a workable file. •Highlight some of the relevant data you can use. •Show how to work with the data.

.


August Webinar 2023

A recording of the Aug. 9 TMHP LTC Town Hall for HCS/TxHmL Providers and FMSAs webinar is available for those who could not attend. The webinar recording and slides have been posted to the HCS and TxHmL Webinars & FAQs webpage.

Listen to the webinar here.

Email TxHmL Policy for questions.

Topics:

  • Volume 22 and 23 additions
  • Span billing across IPC billings
  • Claims Data Export
  • Correction to overall enhancements (not RNS)
  • Revision and renewal IPCs
  • Clarification of Pending DADS Review Notification

 


July 24th, 2023

The July 12 recording of the TMHP LTC Portal Town Hall Webinar for HCS Providers, TxHmL Providers and FMSAs is now available. Topics included:

  • Trending Issues
  • Individual Movement Forms
  • Provider Location Updates
  • IPC Transfers

The June 14 recording of the TMHP LTC Portal Town Hall Webinar is also available. Topics included:

  • Trending Issues
  • Release 2 Enhancements
  • Navigating the TMHP website
  • Entering PC3s
  • Adding and Removing CDS Services

Visit HCS/TxHmL Webinars and FAQs for more details.

Contact HCS and TxHmL with any questions.

 


June 14th, 2023

May Webinar 2023

April Webinar 2023

March Webinar 2023

February Webinar 2023

January Webinar 2023

December Webinar 2022

November Webinar 2022

HCS and TxHmL Rules Update and Site Assessments of 3-Person Residences, 4-Person Residences, and Host Home/Companion Care Settings Webinar

October Webinar 2022



January 16th, 2023

Helpful Information:  From TMHP Portal Town Hall Meeting on 1/11/23

-A representative from one of the LIDDAs  (Alamo Area Council of Governments) relayed the following information:

  1. If an individual moves from one LIDDA to another (LIDDA to LIDDA transfer) and they are going to new HCS or TxHmL provider, the old LIDDA has to do INT form 1st and then the new LIDDA has to do the transfer to the new provider.  These things must happen in this order, or it will hold things up in your transfer.
  2. One of the major problems the LIDDA’s have is that the LOCATION code is being changed by the system (a glitch of some sort in TMHP) and then it is greyed out by the system so they can’t put anything in that spot where location code goes.  They can’t edit it to correct it. This has caused many of the delays in transfers and this is why alot of providers might be thinking the LIDDA is causing the delay.  However, that may not be the case because of this issue.  Good news: Enhancement to allow the LIDDA to type in location code instead of grey out barrier. This is happening Friday Jan. the 13th.  This should provide a resolution to this “glitch” in the system.  Hopefully, it will allow a lot of transfers to go through.  This problem has been happening since April of 2022 for LIDDA’s.
  3. FYI-HHSC sent out a letter to LiDDAS, that they should not hold up on transfers if the location code is not correct.  They can then contact HHSC about correcting the location code after the fact.

 

-In some situations, if the LIDDA itself is not changing during the transfer (transfer from one provider to another, but LIDDA the same), then the provider needs to make the changes on the IMT form before the -LIDDA can submit.  They have to complete the process in that order before the transfer can be submitted.  Meaning the previous form must be done before the new form should be completed.

-One of the HCS providers shared the following information:  Somewhat related to location codes.  She was closing a couple of location codes after the home was no longer open.  Noticing that the drop-down list is out of sync.  She would put in the address of the new location and go to close the old location code and the drop-down link showed a different address for the location being closed out than it should.  It is like it is out of sync.   This fix happening this Friday should also fix that for the provider. Basically using right code but the wrong address is showing up in the dropdown menu’s.  Referring to PLU system.

-If providers are experiencing any delays with LIDDA not submitting any forms they are required to submitted. Please try to resolve that by escalating that to LIDDA director, so HHSC says they want you to then send an email to interestlistpreenroll_liddahelp@hhs.texas.gov.  then they can reach out to them directly.

To escalate tickets:  Email. LTCOPS-Escalations@TMHP.com to escalate tickets

-Another provider noted the following issue: When they migrated to TMHP, somehow their contract address was now incorrect.  The provider’s company name was no longer associated with the right contract #.  It is not something the provider did on their side. So far, they have had no luck in changing that address to the correct address for their contract #.  Provider information update.  They will need to check it on the provider system data to find out.  Contract and Administration and Monitoring will have to help with the correction of the error.  This is also the case if providers have questions about a contract’s begin and end date, or when it expires, etc.. Go to the contract manager. HHSC acknowledges that there has been alot of turnover in this department.  (Don’t I know it, lol.)  Information provided by Kaliope Schmidt was to do the following: Go to iddwaivercontractenrollment@hhsc.state.tx.us and cc Kaliopi.schmidt@hhs.texas.gov

One Provider had a Transfer since May of 2022 that hasn’t gone through because the old provider’s address is showing on the location since transferring, so it does not match the contract of the new provider. Hopefully, the fix will come from the Friday the 13th, 2023 enhancement. 

Client assignment question:  In the CARE system, this was done differently than in THMP so has caused a domino effect.  i.e. Individual on temp discharge, would be re-assign to a different temp discharge location code.  The local authority wanted her back into rotation. …….  We can’t view who is assigned to what location on what date, so couldn’t figure out how to move people sometimes.  People at the help desk don’t even know how to look up people’s locations and assignments.  What can we do? 

To do that in the portal for now until June 2023, when they will have an enhancement out to correct this issue, providers must use the form status inquiry page (FSI) you can search for the consumer’s forms by imputing their Identifier (Medicaid or CARE #) and put in with search criteria.  Leave the form blank but put in the date range or a little bit longer time if needed and search that.  In the list should receive list of forms for the consumer for your organization.  The effective date on the forms, if you click it, the system will show the list by effective date and which code has the latest effective date, and then that form as the latest location code.  But won’t help unless the form is completed already.  Location availability information is limited. The provider has to keep trying to look up everything in a fashion that seems long and very backward.  It is the opposite of what the provider needs.  It ends up being the longest way to look if up.  The provider asked if they would create something in their June enhancement, that shows the moves of a person, hoping to build the function to search the function by location, what client is with them. 

-If on temp discharge is the individual still assigned a code from the facility or a new code form (IMT suspension purpose code form)?  Because the provider currently has to wait for the suspension form to finish the process so it is considered complete before they can do anything. How long does that usually take?  Ask CARE people to get back to you.

-Another provider said they can’t do IMF form til the Residential component is changed but can’t change the residential component until IMF changed.  Moving from 1 location to the other inside the same agency.  Moving from HH/CC to RSS.  So, when they try to change the residential type, it won’t let her progress from there in TMHP.  Provider needs to submit IPC revision to change residential type.  Then at the same time on that revision form, then the location code is updated for you to update IMF automatically. Don’t need to do the IMT, just the IPC revision form to change the residential type and location code.  That changes the residential component type, submit IPC revision or transfer if that is the case. 

-How do you know what claims to pay when you get your overpayment letter? To request a list, please contact the  THMP-LTC Help desk at 1-800-626-4177 or 1-800-626-5436 (Option #1  then Option #7). The provider will need to provide a secure email for them to send the list. Should get within 24 hrs.  Can also go to your Tex Med connect and remittance status screens.

HHSC asked providers to limit ISS questions at this time, but here is one that came up during the session:

-In-Home ISS come March 1st, 2023-does the provider need to submit documentation like BCBA documentation or medical/physician’s order of need, before it is entered into TMHP billing?  Anything the provider needs to be prepared for?  They have to go back and find out about it.  Don’t know now.

 


Other Important Contacts:

Issues that go to UR (Utilization Review): • 8578 ID/RC form with purpose code 3 or 4 on the LTC Online Portal  • Renewal or revision IPCs

Utilization Review (UR)
512-438-5055  email:  deskURLONIPC@hhs.texas.gov


Issues that go to PES (Program Enrollment Services)  • 8578 ID/RC with a purpose code 2 forms * initial or transfer IPCs forms • Suspensions • 3615 Continuation of Suspension forms • 3616 Request for Termination forms • Individual Movement (IMT) forms for LA Reassignments

Program Eligibility and Support (PES)

512-438-2484
enrollmenttransferdischargeinfo@hhs.texas.gov

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

November Webinar 2023

October Webinar 2023

September Webinar 2023

August Webinar 2023

July Webinar 2023

 

 


June 14th, 2023

July 19 IDD and PI Webinar with HHSC LTCR

June 8, 2023

HHSC Long-term Care Regulation will host a webinar for HCS, TxHmL, PI and ICF/IID providers regarding the latest information from LTCR.

Those using Internet Explorer may have difficulties registering for the webinar. If so, try using another browser, such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

July 19, 2023
10–11:30 a.m.
Register for the IDD/PI webinar.


February 5th, 2023

IDD and PI Quarterly Webinar with HHSC LTCR Recording Available

The January 26 recording of the Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) Programs and Provider Investigations (PI) Quarterly Webinar with Long-term Care Regulation (LTCR) is available.

Listen to the webinar recording.

Read the IDD and PI Webinar (PDF).

Any questions or requests for transcripts may be emailed to LTCR Policy.

 


November 1st, 2022

HCS & TxHmL Updates Provider Webinar from Oct. 13

For:  HCS/TxHmL program providers, LIDDA’s, and other interested parties

This webinar will provide information on the following:

  • Substantial changes are being made to the HCS and TxHmL Program rules.
  • IL 2022-49, assessments of HCS three-person residences, four-person residences and host home/companion care settings for compliance with the federal HCS settings rules.

HCS and TxHmL Program Updates Provider Webinar

Oct. 13

1–3 p.m.

Register for the Pre-Recorded Oct. 13 webinar.

 


September 25th, 2022

TMHP LTC Portal for HCS/TxHmL Providers and FMSAs Webinar

Medicaid and CHIP Services (MCS) will begin hosting monthly meetings for 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.

Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership (TMHP) and Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) staff from the following departments will be available to provide information and answer questions:

  • Program Eligibility and Support (PES).
  • Utilization Review (UR).
  • Provider Claims Services (PCS).
  • Contract Administration & Provider Monitoring (CAPM).
  • Local Procedure Development and Support (LPDS).

Save the Dates

The webinars will be held on the following dates. We encourage Providers and FMSAs to invite staff who use the LTC Online Portal for HCS and TxHmL programs.

Standing Meeting Agenda

  • Trending issues – discuss trending issues and solutions to increase successful processing of forms.
  • Updates on LTC Online Portal for HCS and TxHmL – provide relevant updates.
  • Questions and Answers – HCS and TxHmL Providers and FMSAs will have the opportunity to ask questions* regarding LTC Online Portal for HCS and TxHmL.

*To comply with HIPAA requirements, questions that include any identifying information for a specific individual will not be allowed during the monthly meetings.

Email Questions to TxHmL Policy.


September 25th, 2022

HCS and TxHmL Updates Provider Webinar

HHSC will host the HCS and TxHmL Services Program Updates Provider Webinar on Oct. 13 for HCS and TxHmL program providers, local intellectual and developmental disability authorities, and other interested parties.

This webinar — offered on Thursday, Oct. 13, from 1–3 p.m. — will provide information on the substantive changes made to the HCS and TxHmL Program rules. Both webinars will provide the same information, so program providers and LIDDAs can register for the time that works best for them.

Email questions about the webinar to your program policy inbox:

HCS Policy

TxHmL Policy


September 12th, 2022

Updated HCS and TxHmL Waiver Programs FAQ Document Now Available- Sept. 2022

The Home and Community-based Services and Texas Home Living Waiver Programs Frequently Asked Questions document has been updated.

Read the full alert.


July 15th, 2022

HCS and TxHmL Webinar Recorded From July 14th, 2022

July 12, 2022

Webinar topic includes:

  • Forms Submission and Processing in TMHP LTCOP

HCS and TxHmL Webinar
July 14, 2022
2:30 – 4 p.m.

Click link below to register to watch recording of this session.
Register for the webinar

Email questions about the webinar to your program policy mailbox:


 

July 13th, 2022

IDD and PI Quarterly Webinars

 


May 5th, 2022

HCS and TxHmL FAQ Updates Available May 9 and May 23

The Home and Community-based Services and Texas Home Living Waiver Programs Frequently Asked Questions document has been updated.

HCS-TxHmL-FAQ-TMHP-TexasMedConnect

Read the full alert here.


Updated HCS and TxHmL COVID-19 FAQ

May 6th, 2022 

Read the revised Updated COVID-19 FAQs for HCS and TxHmL Providers (PDF).


September 1st, 2022

HHSC has revised the Updated HCS and TxHmL COVID-19 FAQ (PDF)


 

August 15th, 2021

 HCS and TxHmL Webinar Recording Available

” WSC Transition into HHSC LTCR”

(From August 10th, 2021)

Long-term Care Regulation hosted a webinar for HCS and TxHmL program providers to discuss upcoming HHSC organizational changes, introduce LTCR survey operations leadership, and answer questions about the Waiver Survey and Certification unit’s transition into LTCR survey operations.

A recording of August 10, 2021, HCS and TxHmL Transformation Webinar with HHSC Long-Term Care Regulation is available for those who could not attend.

Read the HCS and TxHmL Transformation Webinar (PDF).

Listen to the webinar recording here.

.


May 23rd, 2021

June Infection Control Basics for HCS and TxHmL Providers Webinars

This webinar will review basic infection control concepts such as hand hygiene, standard and transmission-based precautions, and steps to prevent the spread of infectious disease.
Registration for each class is limited to 50 participants.

June 3
10 – 11:30 a.m.
Register for the June 3 webinar.

June 10
10 – 11:30 am
Register for the June 10 webinar.

June 17
10 – 11:30 a.m.
Register for the June 17 webinar.

June 24
10 – 11:30 a.m.
Register for the June 24 webinar.


 

.March 16th, 2021 Updated

Updated COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions for HCS and TxHmL Providers

HHSC has published an updated Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 for Home and Community-based Services and Texas Home Living providers.

Read the Updated COVID-19 FAQs for HCS and TxHmL Providers (PDF).


March 19 Recording of Clarification of Administrative Penalties and Related Processes Webinar Available

A recording of the March 19, 2021 Clarification of Administrative Penalties and Related Processes for HCS and TxHmL Providers webinar is available for those unable to attend.

Listen to the webinar recording here.


March 4 Recording of Writing Acceptable Plans of Correction Webinar Available

A recording of the March 4, 2021 Writing Acceptable Plans of Correction webinar for HCS and TxHmL program providers is available for those unable to attend.

Listen to the webinar recording here.


Feb 25. HCS & TxHmL Provider Responsibilities: Death Notifications & Investigation Reports Webinar

This webinar will provide information about program provider responsibilities for reporting abuse, neglect and exploitation and providing notifications of death.

Feb. 25
1-3 p.m.
Register for the webinar.

Jan. 5 Recording Webinar Available – HCS and TxHmL Changes to Survey Process and Hold Harmless Period Overview

A recording of the Jan. 5, 2021, HCS and TxHmL Changes to Survey Process and Hold Harmless Period Overview webinar is available for those unable to attend.

Listen to the webinar recording here.


Jan. 7 Recording of HCS and TxHmL Administrative Penalties and Amelioration Available

A recording of the Jan. 7, 2021 HCS and TxHmL Administrative Penalties and Amelioration webinar is available for those unable to attend.

Listen to the webinar recording here.


DSHS Video on Long-term Care Facilities COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Now Available

The Department of State Health Services has published a recorded training for long-term care providers on COVID-19 precautions to take and how to accomplish them.

View the video training

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, the provider can wait until its next revalidation to add them.

The revalidation process does not apply to ISS at this time.

HHSC stated that if there are providers whose applications have been pending for some time with no communication as to their status or have other application issues, you can contact your provider associations to contact HHSC or you can contact PEMS directly.


HHSC/TMHP PEMS Notice: 

The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and TMHP are collaborating on distributing information regarding the need to revalidate and how to obtain assistance for this.

Videos have been created showing how to complete a revalidation request from start to finish for an organization’s NPI or a performing provider through PEMS.

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, information that is required to be updated or confirmed, along with handbooks and user guides that are helpful for any account assistance that may be necessary.

Enrollment Revalidation Quick Reference Guide

Enrollment Revalidation QRG

These are valuable resources that should be able to assist most providers through their revalidation request. Additionally, please see the posts HHSC has provided on their LinkedIn and Twitter (X) accounts with these reminders.

LinkedIn

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7125134416267411456

Twitter (X)

https://x.com/TexasHHSC/status/1719369023580676295?s=20

For additional assistance please have the Providers reach out to our contact center at 800-925-9126.

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 revalidation requests again per Federal guidelines. Revalidation is the process by which a provider updates or confirms information with their enrollment record every 3-5 years. Revalidation requests can be started up to 120 days prior to this date.

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 of the Long-Term Care Facilities Council. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission executive commissioner will appoint members to the council to serve a term expiring Aug. 31, 2026.”

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m., Jan. 19.

HHSC will consider the applicants’ qualifications, background and interest in serving on the council and will try to choose council members who represent the diversity of all Texans. For this reason, HHSC considers applicants’ ethnicity, gender and geographic location.

A council member must regularly take part in council meetings. They may also have to take part in subcommittee meetings or other related activities. Council meetings are held about once every three months in Austin or at the call of the presiding officer. Council members aren’t paid to attend or travel to and from council meetings or related activities.

HHSC prefers that you submit your application electronically, but you may submit the application by email, mail or fax to the following addresses:

Email: HHS_Appointments@hhs.texas.gov Subject: LTCFC

Mail: Texas Health and Human Services Commission 701 W 51st Street Mail Code 0223 Austin, TX 78751 Attn: ACCO

Fax: 512-206-3984 Attn: LTCFC

For more information about the council visit the council website or email Laura Gutierrez.

For more information about the application process, email the Advisory Committee Coordination Office.

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, information that is required to be updated or confirmed, along with handbooks and user guides that are helpful for any account assistance that may be necessary.

 

Enrollment Revalidation Quick Reference Guide

Enrollment Revalidation QRG

New Critical Incident Management Reporting System: Updates

February 25th, 2024

Critical Incident Management System Monthly Provider Demonstrations

FEI Systems will host a monthly provider demonstration webinar on Jan. 9, 2024, from 10-11:00 a.m. Monthly provider demonstration webinars are offered to providers with access to the Critical Incident Management System (CIMS). The Texas Health and Human Services Commission 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 Disabilities providers (DBMD).
  • Home and Community-based Services providers (HCS).
  • Texas Home Living providers (TxHmL).
  • Local Intellectual and Developmental Disability Authorities (LIDDA).

Register for the webinars by logging into CIMS and navigate to Help (top right of dashboard). Click on Help, followed by Training. Choose Register for Provider Demonstrations from the available courses.

Email MCS_CIMS@hhs.texas.gov with any questions.

 


June 2nd, 2023

Critical Incident Management Reporting System (CIMS) Incident Report Submission Status

HHSC has published IL 2023-19, Critical Incident Management Reporting System Incident Report Status. This letter is an update on the form submission status of critical incident reports entered into CIMS.

This Information Letter applies to:

  • Community Living Assistance and Support Services providers and case management agencies (CLASS)
  • Deaf Blind with Multiple Disabilities providers (DBMD)
  • Home and Community-based Services providers (HCS)
  • Texas Home Living providers (TxHmL)
  • Local intellectual and developmental disability authorities (LIDDAs).

Please contact MCS_CIMS@hhs.texas.gov with any questions.

 


October 13th, 2022

Please Don’t Forget To Sign Up For CIMS Training

Only 200 of the 800 providers/users have completed the training and have signed in/register

Providers must start using CIMS by November 1st, 2022. If you are a member of one of the 3 IDD associations, HHSC will provide each of these associations with the names of those entities so each association can reach out to their respective IDD waiver members who are not on the list/have yet to complete these steps.


August 11th, 2022

Critical Incident Management System (CIMS) Now Live

HHSC announces the new Critical Incident Management System is now live. CIMS is a statewide tool for reporting critical incidents.

All providers must begin entering critical incidents into CIMS no later than Nov. 1.

See IL 2022-23 for more information about CIMS.

This alert applies to:

  • Community Living Assistance and Support Services providers
  • Deaf Blind with Multiple Disabilities providers
  • CLASS case management agencies
  • Home and Community-based Services providers
  • Texas Home Living providers
  • Local intellectual and developmental disability authorities

INSTRUCTIONS FROM HHSC FOR COMPLETING TRAINING AND CORRECTING/ADDING USERS:

“The provider administrator with the active user account created in CIMS is required to complete the training in the system. Once the provider administrator completes the training, provider administrators can begin adding new users to their organization and reassigning roles so other members of the organization can enter critical incidents into CIMS.

If the designated provider administrator still works for an organization, HHSC will not change the designated administrator for a provider organization. If the designated provider administrator no longer works for the organization, HHSC will work with the current designated employee to ensure that person is added as a user in CIMS. HHSC staff must verify the employee requesting CIMS access works for a contracted provider or a local intellectual and developmental disability authority before access can be granted.

Now that CIMS has gone live, providers can no longer change contact information in CARE or send provider administrator contact updates to HHSC if the provider administrator is employed with the organization.”

Providers are required to use current systems for entering critical incidents until they have completed CIMS registration and training and begin entering critical incidents into CIMS.

Email questions to the MCS-CIMS inbox.


April 12th, 2022

Critical Incident Management System (CIMS):  The go-live date is late July.  See additional information below.

 


April 10th, 2022

Register Now for the April 26 Webinar on HHSC’s New CIMS Part II

HHSC is offering CLASS CMAs, CLASS DSAs, DBMD, HCS and TxHmL providers more information on the new Critical Incident Management System
debuting this summer. The webinar will be held:

Tuesday, April 26, 2022
2:30 – 4 p.m.

Register here to attend the New Critical Incident Management System Webinar.

From HHSC I-2022-23 revised letter: 

The system is targeted to go live July 25, 2022. Prior to the go-live date, HHSC and FEI Systems will provide training on the new system for waiver provider staff who will use the CIMS to report critical incidents. There will be training provided by FEI Systems using webinar formats; however, there will be limited capacity and these trainings will be focused on staff using the CIMS to report incidents. Virtual training resources will be available and accessible to waiver provider staff in addition to the information provided during training webinars. The goal is to support waiver provider staff with virtual training available for reference at any time to support using the system.


 

April 10th, 2022

HHSC has Published Critical Incident Management System (CIMS) 1915(c) Medicaid Waiver Program Providers (Revised) IL-2022-23

IL-2022-23 is posted to the HHS site CLASS, LIDDA, DBMD, HCS, and TxHmL

This letter replaces Information Letter 2022-14 and is a status update on the CIMS implementation which impacts fee-for-service 1915(c) waiver program providers, CLASS Case Management Agencies and LIDDAs.

Submit questions to LTSS_Policy@hhs.texas.gov


February 27th, 2022

HHSC Publishes New Reporting System for Critical Incidents Management

 (CIMS) See Letter (IL 2022-14)

(As if providers don’t have enough new things to learn, lol)

Sorry to say, we are gearing up for a new critical incident reporting system, and I know providers have so many other new things to learn between Migrating from CARE to TMHP,  Utilizing the E-learning portal, EVV, etc.., but, HHSC has approved IL-2022-14 CIMS for CLASS, LIDDA, DBMD, HCS and TxHmL Providers.

The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will implement a new statewide critical incident management system (CIMS) for reporting critical incidents. The new system will be in compliance with guidance issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on March 12, 2014.  There will be training sessions leading up to the implementation date of June 1st, 2022.

Questions about this project can be submitted to the following email address:  LTSS_Policy@hhs.texas.gov


HCS and TxHmL Webinar Slated for 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:

 

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:


May 1st, 2023

HHSC Publishes Revision 23-2 of the HCS and TxHmL Program Billing Requirements

Just an update, as of April 1st, 2023 Billing Requirements have been updated, if you missed the prior alert from HHSC.

Revision 23-2 is effective April 1, 2023. All revisions are outlined in the Revision 23-2 Section of each document.

The Billing Requirements are located on the Long-term Care Provider Resources webpage and HHS Handbooks webpage and are outlined below:

Email questions to TxHmL Policy.


September 11th, 2022

HHSC Publishes Revision 22-2 of the HCS and TxHmL Program Billing Requirements, CFC Billing Requirements

Revision 22-2 is effective Sept. 1. All revisions are outlined in the Revision 22-2 Section of each document.

The Billing Requirements are located on the Long-term Care Providers webpage and Handbooks webpage and are outlined below:

Email questions to TxHmL Policy.


May 8th, 2022

HHSC Publishes Revision 22-1 of the HCS and TxHmL Program Billing Requirements, CFC Billing Requirements

Revision 22-1 is effective May 2. All revisions are outlined in the Revision 22-1 Section of each document.

The Billing Requirements are located on the Long-term Care Providers webpage and Handbooks webpage and are outlined below:

Email questions to TxHmL Policy.

January 31st IDD and PI Webinar with HHSC LTCR

IDD & PI Webinar January 31st, 2024

HHSC Long-term Care Regulation will host a webinar for HCS, TxHmL and ICF/IID providers regarding the latest information from LTCR.

Those using Internet Explorer may have difficulties registering for the webinar. If so, try using another browser, such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

IDD and PI Webinar
Jan. 31, 2024
10–11 a.m.

Register for the IDD/PI Webinar.

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 standards and the TAC moved to Ch 565 (Subchapters A-F).


June 14th, 2023

(No longer current)

In case you have not seen the answers to some of the unanswered questions at the time of the Certification Principles series recorded in 2021, please note you can find those at the Q&A doc below.

HCS/TxHmL Certification Principles Webinar Series Participant Q&A

FYI Current as of 9/22/21*


August 12th, 2021

HCS/TxHmL Certification Principles 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.

Certification Principle Trainings

 These modules are designed to provide interpretive guidance on the certification principles found in TAC Title 40, Part 1, chapter 9.

E-mail LTCR Joint Training for a transcript of any of the recordings below.

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 applies to “individualized skills and socialization” not clarifying if it applies to all or a portion of the services that fall under that umbrella. Because in-home ISS has significant differences from facility-based and off-site ISS (e.g., in-home ISS does not require a license, typically only applies to one person, may only be delivered in a person’s own home, and the rate issue we have already discussed), providers have assumed the base wage requirement only applies to licensed services.

HHSC states: “The application of the minimum wage for direct care staff providing ISS was adopted in the Texas Administrative Code rules that were promulgated to incorporate the wage increase appropriated by the Texas Legislature. Historically, Day Habilitation did apply a minimum wage requirement for staff providing services to individuals in some waiver programs, but not all waiver programs; consistent with the legislative approach that the minimum wage be uniform across all programs, we also adopted in the TAC the requirement that the minimum wage be paid consistently across all services and waivers.”

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.

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.

Facilities with generators should perform any maintenance or needed testing while the weather is mild. This will ensure the equipment functions in case of extreme cold or power loss.

It’s important to review building integrity and identify any areas that may need repair, reinforcement or weatherproofing. Multi-story buildings should review any other needed measures should evacuation be required and have a plan in place for how to move residents around or out of the building if there’s a loss of power.

Preparing for disaster is the most important step in protecting the Texans we serve and reducing the risk for loss of life.

***To find your region and your Emergency Management Coordinator for your area, please go to: https://tdem.texas.gov/regions


LTC Provider Resources During an Emergency

Long-term care providers impacted by the current severe weather event should be implementing emergency management plans. LTC providers in need of resources or assistance during an emergency, such as the current severe weather, are reminded that you can:

  • Contact your LTCR regional office regarding events that are affecting residents (such as no heat, evacuation, frozen fire sprinkler systems, etc.). They can initiate an emergency request.
  • Contact your local emergency management or Regional Advisory Council, who can initiate a STAR request.
  • Contact your local power company if you are having power issues. Nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and inpatient hospices should inform the power company that you are an LTC provider, as those providers are prioritized for service restoration per the Public Utility Commission rules.
  • Contact your Texas Department of Emergency Management District Contacts if you are having challenges getting generator fuel.

If you need guidance or assistance in relocating residents, work with your LTCR Regional Director. All requests to exceed licensed capacity must be approved by the Director of Survey Operations. If your facility is projected to exceed its licensed capacity because it is accepting residents who have been evacuated from another facility, email Renee Blanch-Haley and include State Capacity Increase Request in the subject line.

Please refer to Provider Letter 2018-19 (PDF) as applicable and to your program’s rules for additional important information regarding emergency preparedness. If you have any questions, contact your LTCR regional office, email LTCR Policy Rules and Training or call 512-438-3161.

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.

Joint Training From HHSC For Providers

Texas Health and Human Services

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.


January 2024 HCS/TxHmL Provider Training Opportunities

Administrative Penalties and Related Processes for HCS & TxHmL Providers

Wednesday, Jan. 3
11:00 a.m.–noon.
Register here for webinar.

HCS Certification Standards: An Overview of Changes

Monday, Jan. 8
3:30–4:30 p.m.
Register here for webinar.

Infection Control for HCS & TxHmL Providers

Tuesday, Jan. 9
2–3 p.m.
Register here for webinar.

ICF Dietetic Services

Tuesday, Jan. 30
10–11 a.m.
Register here for webinar.

Live Session!  Writing Acceptable Plans of Correction for HCS and TxHmL Providers
Wednesday, Jan. 17
9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Waco, TX
Register here for in-person class.


November 10th, 2023

November 2023 HCS/TxHmL Provider Training Opportunities

Death Notifications for HCS/TxHmL Providers
Monday, Nov. 20
4–5 p.m.
Register here for webinar.

 

Writing Acceptable Plans of Correction for HCS and TxHmL Providers                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

9:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Texas Health and Human Services Commission
535 S. Loop 288, Suite 2001
Room: Conference Room 2134
Denton, TX 76205
(19 MAX)  Register For Live Training here

 

Writing Plans of Correction for Individualized Skills and Socialization Providers
2:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, November 28, 2023 

Register here for webinar


October 15th, 2023

October 2023 HCS/TxHmL Provider Training Opportunities

Writing Plans of Correction for Individualized Skills and Socialization Providers
Monday, Oct. 30
2–4 p.m.
Register here for webinar.

What Surveyors Look for in Intermediate Care Facilities – ICF
Tuesday, Oct. 31
10–11 a.m.
Register here for webinar.

Understanding the Survey Process
Tuesday, Oct. 31
1–2:30 p.m.
Register here for webinar.

 


August 24th, 2023

September 2023 HCS/TxHmL Provider Training Opportunities

Individualized Skills and Socialization Survey Process and ANE Overview
Friday, Sept. 1
9–10:30 a.m.
Register here for webinar.

Top 10 Citations for HCS and TxHmL Providers for FY 2022
Tuesday, Sep. 5
3:30–4:30 p.m.
Register here for webinar.

Writing Plans of Correction for Individualized Skills and Socialization Providers
Tuesday, Sept. 19
1:30–3:30 p.m.
Register here for webinar.

Administrative Penalties for HCS and TxHmL Providers
Thursday, Sept. 21
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Register here for webinar.

HCS Certification Standards: An Overview of Changes
Thursday, Sept. 28
3–4:30 p.m.
Register here for webinar.

 


Coming in July 2023!

HCS Certification Standards: An Overview of Changes (course description)

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

11:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Register

 

Regulatory Services Incident Reporting for Individualized Skills and Socialization Providers (.5 hours) (course description)

Thursday, July 6, 2023

3:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Register

 

Infection Control Basics for HCS and TxHmL Program Providers (course description

Wednesday, July 12

9:30 AM – 10:30 AM

Register

 

Hurricane and Flooding Readiness for Home and Community Based Services and Texas Home Living and Individualized Skills and Socialization (course description)

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Register

 

and more coming

 


June 13th, 2023

June 2023 HCS/TxHmL Provider Training Opportunities

Hurricane and Flooding Readiness for HCS and TxHmL Providers and Individualized Skills and Socialization Providers
Tuesday, June 13
4:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
Register here for webinar.

Individualized Skills and Socialization Basic Program Overview
Tuesday, June 20
1–2 p.m.
Register here for webinar.

Individualized Skills and Socialization Basic Program Overview
Thursday, June 22
10–11 a.m.
Register here for webinar.

Understanding the Health Maintenance Activity (HMA) Rules ALF
Thursday, June 22
2–3 p.m.
Register here for webinar.

Individualized Skills and Socialization Basic Program Overview
Thursday, June 22
10–11 a.m.
Register here for webinar.

Regulatory Services Incident Reporting for Individualized Skills and Socialization Providers (.5 hours) (course description)

Monday, June 26, 20232:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Register

Hurricane and Flooding Readiness for ICFs
Tuesday, June 27
1–3 p.m.
Register here for webinar.

 

Regulatory Services Incident Reporting for Individualized Skills and Socialization Providers (.5 hours) (course description)

Monday, June 26, 2023

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Register

 

Writing Acceptable Plans of Correction of HCS and TxHML (course description)

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM  (Live Session in Conroe)

Register

 

HCS & TxHmL Training

ISS Training


April 2023 HCS/TxHmL Provider Training Opportunities

Most Cited Deficiencies for HCS & TxHmL Providers
Wednesday, April 12
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Register here for webinar

Individualized Skills and Socialization Basic Program Overview
Wednesday, April 12
4–5 p.m.
Register here for webinar

Writing Acceptable Plans of Correction of HCS and TxHmL
Thursday, April 20
9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Marshall, TX
Register here for in-person class

Individualized Skills and Socialization Program Basic Overview (1 hour) (course description)

Friday, April 28, 20233:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Register here for webinar

 


February 2023 HCS/TxHmL Provider Training Opportunities

Infection Control Basics for HCS and TxHmL Program Providers (course description)

Wednesday, February 8, 2023 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Register here for webinar

Administrative Penalties and Related Processes in HCS & TxHmL Settings (course description)

Tuesday, February 28, 20231:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Register here for webinar


Dec. 2022 HCS/TxHmL Provider Training Opportunities

Emergency Preparedness 101 for HCS and TxHmL Providers

Tuesday, Dec. 1311:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Register here for webinar

HCS/TxHmL Program Provider Responsibilities in Death Reviews and Provider Investigating Reports

Wednesday, Dec. 211–2 p.m.

Register here for webinar

Writing Acceptable Plans of Correction for HCS and TxHmLThursday, Dec. 29

9 a.m.–4 p.m.Nacogdoches, Texas

Register here for in-person class


Oct./Nov. 2022 HCS/TxHmL Provider Training Opportunities

Top 10 Most Cited Deficiencies for HCS and TxHmL Providers (course description

Wednesday, October 5, 20221:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Register for webinar

 

Hurricane and Flooding Readiness for HCS/TxHmL (course description)

Wednesday, October 12, 20221:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Register for webinar

 

Infection Control Basics for HCS and TxHmL Program Providers (course description)

Wednesday, October 19, 20222:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Register for webinar

 

Emergency Preparedness 101 for HCS Program Providers (course description)

Tuesday, November 1, 20221:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Register for webinar


July 2022 HCS/TxHmL Provider Training Opportunities

Long-term Care Regulation staff and program providers are invited to attend the following trainings hosted in July:

Writing Acceptable Plans of Correction for HCS and TxHmL
Wednesday, July 6
10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Register for the webinar.

Writing Acceptable Plans of Correction for HCS and TxHmL
Wednesday, July 6
10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Register for the webinar.

Hurricane and Flooding Readiness for HCS and TxHmL
Tuesday, July 12
1–2:45 p.m.
Register for the webinar.

Hurricane and Flooding Readiness for HCS and TxHmL
Tuesday, July 12
1:30–2:45 p.m.
Register for the webinar.

Administrative Penalties and Related Processes for HCS and TxHmL
Wednesday, July 20
1:30–2:45 p.m.
Register for the webinar.

Administrative Penalties and Related Processes for HCS and TxHmL
Wednesday, July 20
1:30–2:45 p.m.
Register for the webinar.

Infection Control Basics for HCS and TxHmL
Thursday, July 28
1:30–3 p.m.
Register for the webinar.

Additional classes may be added, and all available training opportunities can be found on the following websites:


July 5th, 2022

Nursing in HCS and TxHmL Settings -Recorded Session:  April 5th, 2022

This three-hour webinar covers requirements for the provision and delegation of nursing care in HCS and TxHmL settings. A Texas Board of Nursing representative will be a guest presenter. The most frequently cited deficiencies related to these requirements will be noted during the training. No CEs are offered for this webinar. However, a certificate of attendance will be provided.

**You can still watch the recording from this session, click on the registration link below.

From April 5, 2022
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Register here for the webinar.

Registration is limited. A recording will be available after the presentation for those unable to attend. Contact LTCR Policy with questions.


Missed a COVID-19 training? Many COVID-19 presentations for long-term care providers are recorded and are available 24/7. Please be sure to select the most appropriate recording for your program. Note that recordings are accurate as of the date of presentation and that updated guidance may be available.

Visit the recording library at https://www.gotostage.com/channel/covid-19webinarsforltc.

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 with an intellectual disability or related condition (ICF/IID), or other similar long-term care facility who receives medical assistance. The monthly PNA would increase from $60 to $75 for a person and from $120 to $150 for a couple.

The increase in the minimum PNA requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approval of a Medicaid State Plan Amendment (SPA). Subject to CMS approval, HHSC anticipates the increase in the PNA will be effective Jan. 1, 2024.

HHSC will publish a Provider Information Letter with more detaied later.

Email ICF/IID with any ICF/IID questions.

 

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 webinar.

Email questions to John Huffine.


November 13th, 2023

Employment First Discovery Tool:

HHSC publishes a newly, updated Employment First Discovery Tool (Form 8401) and accompanying instructions based on the rule implementation related to Senate Bill 50, 87th Legislature, Regular Session, 2021. Effective November 14, 2023, use of the tool is required to ensure that individuals who want to work receive employment services from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) or through the Medicaid waiver program in which the individual is enrolled.

Impacted programs:

  • Community Living Assistance and Support Services (CLASS)
  • Deaf-Blind with Multiple Disabilities (DBMD) programs
  • Home and Community-Based Services (HCS)
  • Texas Home Living (TxHmL)
  • STAR+PLUS Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS)

HHSC has published IL 2023-41 Employment First Discovery Tool. Beginning on November 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.

The tool with instructions is located under the Forms section on the respective program areas HHSC webpage.


June 5th, 2023

IL 2023-22

Employment First Assessment Tool: Proposed Rules

The employment first assessment tool should be utilized to ensure individuals receiving services through HCS, CLASS, DBMD & TxHmL, who want to work receive employment services from TWC.
The Information Letter and proposed rules (informal comment period)  presented below are the result of SB 50 (Zaffirini), 87th Texas Legislature.
IL 2023-22, Employment First Uniform Assessment Tool As indicated in the Information Letter, upon adoption of the rules, Service Coordinators and Case Managers will be required to use the assessment tool to assess an individual’s desire to work.  Though not required now, until the rules are adopted, which will supposedly be by this fall.
**HHSC is encouraging Service Coordinators (HCS/TxHmL) and Case Managers to begin using the tool.

Home and Community-Based Services (HCS) and Texas Home Living (TxHmL) – During the completion of the Service Coordination Assessment (Form 8647), the service coordinator asks the person about their desire to work. Document the person’s response on Form 8647.

If the individual indicates a desire to work, the service coordinator must complete the Employment First Uniform Assessment and make a referral to Texas Workforce Commission or refer the person for employment services through the waiver program where the person is enrolled.

Employment First Uniform Assessment   Form 8401

The draft rules and instructions for submitting comments can be found at the following link under Draft Rules (see Project #22R102): https://www.hhs.texas.gov/regulations/policies-rules/health-human-services-rulemaking/comment-proposed-draft-rules

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 many years with the Texas chapter of AAIDD and for her time teaching at Texas State.

Julie Andrews Blacklock

 

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 recipients
Register here.

Contact

For more information visit the HHS website or email the Age Well Live Well inbox.

 

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 IntellectAbility

I started practicing in the field of healthcare for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in the 1990s. I very quickly realized how little I knew about this field. I found myself being responsible for the healthcare of hundreds of people with IDD without fully understanding many concepts that I later learned were important. Most health professional schools do not provide training about the healthcare needs of people with IDD.  Click here to read more…

 

For more resources and articles from IntellectAbility, please go to: https://replacingrisk.com/idd-resources/

 

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 did not register before, this is your last chance to see scheduled webinars. Participation is optional but encouraged, so sign up today. Webinars are scheduled from 9-11 a.m. Central Time.

  1. Register for the Friday, November 17 Webinar

Contact HHSC EVV Operations with any questions.

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 727-437-3201 or email us at Inquiries@ReplacingRisk.com

They can provide a demo to help you detect health risks in at-risk populations and check out their helpful video about the screening tool by clicking on link below

Health Risk Screening Tool

 

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 been rate changes or enhancements.
  • A provider or financial management services agency (FMSA) has been removed, added, or changed.
  • The form is not autofilling with the most current information, and all other forms (e.g., transfers or individual updates) are correctly processed and in Processed/Complete status.

Complete Related Forms Prior to Selecting Use as Template

Before using the Use as Template option, ensure that all related forms are correctly processed and marked as Processed/Complete. For more information, contact the LTC Help Desk at 800-626-4117 (select option 1).

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 which they require additional support.

Topics:

-HHAeXchange System EVV Services Details Missing
-EVV Service Providers With an Older Version of the HHAeXchange Mobile Application (App)
-Large Number of Visits Pending Confirmation
-Mobile App and HHAeXchange System Times Not Matching
-Clocking In and Out Multiple Times During Night Shifts
-HHAeXchange Credentials/ Access Issues (System and Mobile App)
-HHAeXchange Learning Management System (LMS) Credentials/ Access Issues

Service providers and agencies must refer to the latest HHSC EVV PCS Service Bill Codes Table and EVV HHCS Service Bill Codes Table for narrative descriptions of the available bill codes.

Service providers must download the newest version (currently v23.10.03) of the HHAeXchange+ mobile app and check regularly for updates. The forced update function has been enabled so that future updates will be pushed directly to the user. Older versions of the app will no longer be supported after October 11, 2023.

Refer to the HHAeXchange update page for more information.

HHAeXchange will provide training to service providers on how to resolve automatic verification issues through Lunch and Learn sessions and a job aid. Refer to the training page on the HHAeXchange Texas Info Hub for upcoming Lunch and Learn training opportunities and to review the Call Dashboard recorded training.

Providers can email HHAeXchange at TXsupport@hhaexchange.com to have their credentials resent or for guidance on accessing the LMS test. Include the Agency name and NPI when submitting a request.


For questions or more information about HHAeXchange, email TXsupport@hhaexchange.com.

For general questions about EVV, email TMHP at EVV@tmhp.com.

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 send the form.  I am also working on a protective devices assessment (to go along with the risk assessment for restraints the provider has to complete currently) so providers can easily meet new certification standards, Title 26 Part 1 Ch Subchapter F: 565.37
     Twogether Consulting has been busy helping new ISS providers and we have a webinar scheduled for November 30th, 2023 posted on our website.  Twogether Consulting has been busy assisting HCS providers with survey prep. and plans of correction.  In addition, we have live classes scheduled in Houston, Tx for January 2024 for Nurses and Case Managers. We will be posting live sessions in San Antonio for December, before the next newsletter, so keep checking the website. (around November 10th, 2023).
     For those of you in need of full policy and procedures, I hope to have updated policies available for sale by mid-January 2024.
     Please contact us directly for your care coordination, QIDP, and nursing needs at info@twogetherconsulting.com or you may contact our assistant Meghan Jones at meghanjones.tx@gmail.com. We are happy to say that we can still continue to provide for most of your needs at this time.  We are happy to provide whatever assistance we can with questions you may have, especially concerning HCS/TxHmL Care Coordination, Nursing, or general survey requirements from LTCR department in these programs.  We also still provide assistance with the ICF/IID program and expect to have some webinars in the near future for ICF including nursing.  We are currently providing on-site live training at this time and live training is open to the public as well.
     
     FYI-We do still have “mentoring” assistance (especially great for new nurses) from our RN consultant on an as-needed basis.  If you have new nurses who need training quicker than classes posted on the calendar, please let me know and we do offer some of our previously recorded sessions for a low cost which includes the handouts.  We are also happy to schedule one-on-one training sessions and mentoring with either of our 2 nurse consultants.
Thank you,
Julie Blacklock/ Owner & IDD Waiver Consultant
     

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 part of the new certification standards in Title 26 Part I Chapter 565 TAC codes.

 

 

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 certifications, MA permits, NFA licenses and NATCEP approvals active on June 16, 2023, will be considered active until April 30, 2024.

For registration issues in TULIP, email TULIP_Support@hhsc.state.tx.us.

For NA questions, email NurseAideRegistry@hhs.texas.gov.

For MA questions, email Medication_Aide_Program@hhs.texas.gov.

For NFA questions, email nfa_licensing_program@hhs.texas.gov.

For NATCEP questions, email Regulatory_NATCEP@hhs.texas.gov.

 

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.

The presentation can be found here.

Future meeting notices and information will continue to be shared on these sites, so please check back regularly.

COVID-19 Provider Information

COVID-19 Client Information

For additional questions, please write to Medicaid_COVID_Questions@hhsc.state.tx.us.


May 8th, 2022

May 5, 2022 MCS COVID-19 Stakeholder Information Session

Thank you for your interest in listening to the May 5 Texas Medicaid CHIP COVID-19 Information Session.

The audio from this session can be found here.

The presentation can be found here.

Future meeting notices and information will continue to be shared on these sites, so please check back regularly.

COVID-19 Provider Information

COVID-19 Client Information

For additional questions, please write to Medicaid_COVID_Questions@hhsc.state.tx.us.


April 10th, 2022

April 7, 2022 MCS COVID-19 Stakeholder Information Session

Thank you for your interest in listening to the April 7 Texas Medicaid CHIP COVID-19 Information Session.

The audio from this session can be found here.

The presentation can be found here.

Future meeting notices and information will continue to be shared on these sites, so please check back regularly.

COVID-19 Provider Information

COVID-19 Client Information

For additional questions, please write to Medicaid_COVID_Questions@hhsc.state.tx.us.


 

January 9th, 2022

January 6, 2022 MCS COVID-19 Stakeholder Information Session

The audio from this session can be found here.

The presentation can be found here.

Future meeting notices and information will continue to be shared on these sites, so please check back regularly.

COVID-19 Provider Information

COVID-19 Client Information

For additional questions, please write to Medicaid_COVID_Questions@hhsc.state.tx.us.


 

December 30, 2021

COVID-19 Cases Rise – Guidance for LTC Providers

COVID-19 cases are increasing 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 guidelines and rules:

  • COVID-19 mitigation and visitation rules
  • Any applicable COVID-19 response plans for your provider type
  • Your provider’s own infection prevention and control policies

Find COVID-19 resources on:

Your vigilance following infection control requirements can make a difference in protecting vulnerable Texans.

LTC providers are always required to provide services to residents or clients before, during and after an emergency. The emergency plan or policy must include:

  • Planning for staff shortages.
  • A backup plan to ensure operations and care of residents or clients continue.

Read program-specific rules related to staffing, emergency preparedness, and infection control.

checklist (PDF) is available to assist you with creating a plan for dealing with an outbreak of flu or COVID-19.

If you need help with updating your COVID Mitigation Plans within Infection Control Policies or Emergency Evacuation Plans with these new updates to Mitigation of COVID-19, please contact us.  We may be able to help you.  Contact us at:  info@twogetherconsulting.com 


 

December 30th, 2021

Dec. 13 ICF COVID-19 Webinar Recording Available

A recording of the Dec. 13, 2021, ICF/IID COVID-19 Q&A with HHSC LTC Regulation and DSHS is available for those who could not attend.

Read the COVID-19 Q&A (PDF).

Listen to the webinar recording here.

Email LTCR Policy for the transcript.


 

December 29th, 2021

COVID RESOURCES FOR HCS/TXHML

Home and Community-based Services (HCS) and Texas Home Living (TxHmL)

Additional Guidance and Resources

 

Shelter-in-Place and Stay-at-Home Orders for HHSC Providers, Vendors and Contractors 

HHSC Provider, Vendor and Provider Contractor Guidance for Shelter-in-Place and Stay-at-Home Orders

All mission-essential workers for HHSC, providers, vendors and contractors whose work cannot be performed through teleworking must continue to report to their work or duty stations, including in areas where local government authorities have issued shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders. It is critical that workers for HHSC providers, vendors and contractors continue to provide the life-sustaining and lifesaving care and benefits our clients need. It is equally critical that HHSC providers, vendors and contractors provide their workers with a safe and healthy environment in which to work. To protect those workers reporting to HHSC offices and facilities, the agency is requiring additional efforts to sanitize workspaces, implement CDC social distancing measures, and limit face-to-face interaction with clients and patients as much as possible through temporary measures, such as waiving certain interview processes and prohibiting visitors to HHSC-operated and licensed facilities.

For more specific guidance, please contact the particular HHSC program or department your services involve.

Resources

 


November 5th, 2021

Beginning May 6, 2021, HHSC has been posting pre-recorded sessions monthly. These sessions will continue to share information with stakeholders about the implementation of various Medicaid/CHIP flexibilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. HHSC may return to weekly sessions as needed if there are changes to the public health emergency.

 

Please click on the link below to hear recorded session from NOV 4 Texas Medicaid CHIP COVID-19 Information Session Webinar

The audio from this session can be found here.

If you need a copy of the transcript or want to download a handout of the presentation, click links below:

The presentation can be found here.

Future meeting notices and information will continue to be shared on these sites, so please check back regularly.

COVID-19 Provider Information

COVID-19 Client Information

For additional questions, please write to Medicaid_COVID_Questions@hhsc.state.tx.us.


 

September 15th, 2021

Oct. 4 ICF COVID-19 Webinar with HHSC LTCR

Long-term Care Regulation and the Department of State Health Services provide the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic and take live questions from participants in this ICF provider webinar. Provider attendance is critical to staying current with COVID-19 requirements and guidance. ICF/IID providers are strongly encouraged to attend this and all COVID-19 webinars with LTCR and DSHS.

Those using Internet Explorer may have difficulties registering for the webinar. Please try another browser such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

October 4, 2021
11 a.m. – noon
Register for the COVID-19 Webinar.


September 15th, 2021

Sept. 13 ICF COVID-19 Webinar Recording Available

A recording of September 13, 2021, ICF/IID COVID-19 Q&A with HHSC LTC Regulation and DSHS is available for those who could not attend.

Read the COVID-19 Q&A (PDF).

Listen to the webinar recording here(link is external).


August 30th, 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 emergency staffing support.

The State is asking that jurisdictions and health care entities be judicious with requests for staffing, as the State will not be able to address all staffing needs, especially as the need for emergency staffing ramps up across the state.

LTC providers are always required to provide services to residents or clients before, during and after an emergency.

The emergency plan must include:

  • Planning for staff shortages
  • A back-up plan to ensure operations and care of residents continues

For COVID-19 Vaccination, Testing Kits, PPE, Disinfection, and HAI/EPI Support:

Long-term care providers can request:

  • COVID-19 mobile vaccine clinics for residents and staff
  • BinaxNow testing kits. Read PL 2020-49 for details.
  • PPE (providers should exhaust all other options before request)
  • Facility cleaning and disinfection
  • Healthcare-associated infection and epidemiological support

To Request Support:

To initiate a request for COVID-19 support described above, contact the HHSC LTCR Regional Director in the region where the facility is located.

HHSC LTCR staff are responsible for initiating a State of Texas Assistance Request on behalf of the long-term care provider.

HHSC LTCR staff may request supporting documentation to verify need.


 

August 15th, 2021

LTC Provider COVID-19 Resource Contacts Have Changed

Federal COVID-19 Local Fiscal Recovery Funds are being distributed to cities and counties throughout Texas. HHSC urges long-term care providers in need of COVID-19 resources to use the following resources:

  • Contact your city, county or regional advisory council to find out if resources or funds will be available for health care staffing support, testing services, resident or site assessment, and disinfecting services as these resources are no longer available through HHSC.
  • For mobile COVID-19 vaccination needs, call 888-90-TEXAS to ask for a Mobile Vaccination Team to come out to your facility.
  • Contact DSHS:
  • Reach out to the HHSC Long-Term Care Regulation Regional Director in your region to ask for:
    • BinaxNow testing kits. Review PL 2020-49 (PDF) for details.
    • Health care-associated infection and epidemiological support.
    • COVID-19 vaccine. Providers should go through all other options before this one.

LTC providers can now order COVID-19 therapeutics directly.


 

July 18th, 2021

August 2 ICF COVID-19 Webinar with HHSC LTCR

Long-term Care Regulation and the Department of State Health Services provide the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic and take live questions from participants in this ICF provider webinar. Provider attendance is critical to staying current with COVID-19 requirements and guidance. ICF/IID providers are strongly encouraged to attend this and all COVID-19 webinars with LTCR and DSHS.

Those using Internet Explorer may have difficulties registering for the webinar. Please try another browser such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

ICF Provider Webinar
August 2, 2021
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Register for the COVID-19 Webinar.


July 16th, 2021

July 6 ICF COVID-19 Webinar Recording Available

A recording of the June 14, 2021, ICF/IID COVID-19 Q&A with HHSC LTC Regulation and DSHS is available for those who could not attend.

Read the COVID-19 Q&A (PDF).

Listen to the webinar recording here(link is external).


 

Illustration of two people looking at a computer screen

May 2021
Building COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence Webinar

The CMS Office of Minority Health, along with guest speakers from the FDA and CDC, hosted a webinar on May 13 to provide information and resources to help address vaccine hesitancy in your community.
  • Watch the recording and download the slide deck (PDF) from the presentation.
  • Download the supplemental handout (PDF) for information and outreach materials you can use to educate your community about the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Download the Vaccinate with Confidence fact sheet (PDF) to learn about CDC tools and technical assistance available to state and territorial health departments to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence and uptake.

 

May 12th, 2021

Quality In LTC Conference Online

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Health and Human Services made the decision to move forward with an online Quality in Long-Term Care conference. The conference presentations are available on the HHS Learning Portal, and can be accessed through August 2021. To obtain a certificate of completion, participants must view the selected presentation(s), and complete the associated learning quizzes and course evaluations. The certificate, noting any continuing education hours awarded, can be downloaded from the HHS Learning Portal.

Questions can be emailed to QMP@hhs.texas.gov


From HHSC May Newsletter

COVID-19 updated resources, see link below:

https://www.tmhp.com/sites/default/files/file-library/ltc/bulletins/May%202021%20LTC%20Bulletin%20No%2086.pdf


May 6th, 2021

APR 29 MCS COVID-19 Stakeholder Update

The audio from this session can be found here.

The presentation can be found here.

Future meeting notices and information will continue to be shared on these sites, so please check back regularly.

COVID-19 Provider Information

COVID-19 Client Information


 

April 17th, 2021

March 18, 2021 MCS COVID-19 Stakeholder Information Session

Thank you for your interest in listening to the March 18 Texas Medicaid CHIP COVID-19 Information Session.

The audio from this session can be found here.

The presentation can be found here.

Future meeting notices and information will continue to be shared on these sites, so please check back regularly.

COVID-19 Provider Information

COVID-19 Client Information

For additional questions, please write to Medicaid_COVID_Questions@hhsc.state.tx.us.


April 17th, 2021

Reminder: Providers Can Request Free COVID-19 Testing Kits

ALF, HCS, HCSSA, ICF/IID and NF providers in counties where the COVID-19 positivity rate is more than 10 percent can request free COVID-19 testing kits.

The test kits are only to test essential caregivers or HCSSA staff going into an NF or ALF who have direct contact with people receiving hospice services. Providers can request the free BinaxNOW point-of-care antigen COVID-19 test kits by filling out the attestation form (PDF). The attestation form includes instructions for requesting the free COVID-19 testing kits for each eligible provider type.

March 28th, 2021

Free BinaxNOW COVID-19 POC Tests Available for LTC Providers

HHSC, along with the Texas Department of Emergency Management, is expanding the criteria for requesting free BinaxNOW COVID-19 point of care test kits to all the following.

  • Nursing facilities
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disability or related conditions
  • Home and community-based services providers
  • Home and community support services agencies

Use these free BinaxNOW COVID-19 POC test kits to test anyone including residents, staff and visitors.

Providers must attest to adhere to certain training and reporting requirements and have one of the following.

  • Current Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment Certificate of Waiver
  • Current CLIA laboratory certificate

Providers must