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DADS Provider Alerts — Family Care (FC)

Update Regarding Fixed Visit Verification Devices for Providers Currently Required to Use the Santrax System

In anticipation of the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) initiative implementation, provider agencies cannot order new or replacement Fixed Visit Verification Devices (FVVDs) from Sandata Technologies, LLC, under the DADS EVV initiative. This includes providers required to use Sandata's EVV system (Santrax) under the DADS EVV initiative, as well as former DADS provider agencies that transitioned to managed care on September 1, 2014.

If a provider agency requires use of an FVVD for visits from March 1, 2015, through the date the provider agency is required to implement the HHSC EVV initiative, but cannot obtain an FVVD, the provider agency must continue to verify actual hours worked by the attendant and should either:

  • manually enter these hours into Santrax using visit maintenance. Provider agencies should select Reason Code 17 – Individual Does Not Qualify for Fixed Visit Verification Device – Verified Services Were Delivered, a preferred reason code, to document these visits; or
  • retain paper timesheets as service delivery documentation.
(3/20/2015)

Request of Small Alternative Devices for HHSC Electronic Visit Verification Initiative

On March 10, 2015, the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) released a Medicaid Provider Notification announcing that all provider agencies who provide services subject to the HHSC electronic visit verification (EVV) initiative can begin the process of obtaining small alternative devices for individuals that do not have a landline phone. This small alternative device will be installed in the individual’s home for use by the nurse or attendant to document the time the attendant or nurse begins and ends providing services.

To view the HHSC Provider Notification and to download the Medicaid Electronic Visit Verification Small Alternative Device Agreement Form, please visit http://www.dads.state.tx.us/evv/news.cfm.

(3/11/2015)

New Health and Human Services Commission Electronic Visit Verification Implementation Dates and 30-Day Provider Notice

On February 27, 2015, the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) announced it delayed implementation of electronic visit verification (EVV). The timeline of EVV implementation dates are included in the HHSC Provider Notification announcement that serves as notice to providers of the new implementation schedule for the HHSC EVV Initiative.

To view the HHSC Medicaid Provider Notification referenced above, please visit http://www.dads.state.tx.us/evv/news.cfm.

(3/9/2015)

Electronic Visit Verification Update Regarding Sandata Technologies, LLC

Effective February 27, 2015, Sandata Technologies, LLC, has withdrawn participation from the Health and Human Services (HHSC) Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) initiative. There are now three HHSC-approved EVV vendors: Care Monitoring 2000, DataLogic (Vesta), and MEDsys.

Sandata will continue to support EVV services through May 31, 2015, for all provider agencies currently required to use the EVV system. This includes provider agencies required to use the Santrax system under the DADS EVV initiative, as well as former DADS provider agencies that transitioned to managed care on September 1, 2014.

Providers that selected Sandata for the provision of EVV services under the HHSC EVV initiative must select one of the three remaining HHSC-approved EVV vendors by submitting a new, completed Medicaid Electronic Visit Verification Provider Selection Form no later than Friday, March 20, 2015.

To view the HHSC Medicaid Provider Notification and to download the Medicaid Electronic Visit Verification Provider Selection Form, please visit http://www.dads.state.tx.us/evv/news.cfm.

(3/9/2015)

Recent Court Decisions Regarding Amended United States Department of Labor Regulations

The purpose of this notification is to inform providers and consumer directed services (CDS) employers in the programs or services listed below of two U.S. District Court decisions regarding the amended U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulations known as the "Home Care Final Rule." The amended regulations made changes regarding the companionship services exemption in the Fair Labor Standards Act and were to go into effect on January 1, 2015.

Financial Management Services (also called CDS);
Medically Dependent Children Program;
Primary Home Care, Community Attendant Services, and Family Care;
Consumer Managed Personal Attendant Services;
Community Living Assistance and Support Services;
Deaf Blind with Multiple Disabilities;
Home and Community-based Services; and
Texas Home Living.

On December 22, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon issued an opinion and order in Home Care Association of America v. Weil, Civil Action No. 14-967 (D.D.C.), vacating the third party regulation amended by the Home Care Final Rule. To view the decision, see: https://ecf.dcd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2014cv0967-21

On January 14, 2015, Judge Leon issued an opinion and order vacating the Final Rule’s revised definition of companionship services. To view the decision, see: https://ecf.dcd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2014cv0967-32. The district court's orders "vacating" the rule means the Home Care Rule is not in effect.

Based on these decisions, DADS rescinds DADS Bulletin dated December 2, 2014 and Information Letter 14-66 , dated October 17, 2014, regarding Impact of Department of Labor Companionship Exemption on Financial Management Services Agencies and Consumer Directed Services Employers.

For information about these district court decisions, please see the following DOL website at http://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/; call DOL’s toll-free information and helpline, 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243), available 8am to 5pm in your time zone; or consult your legal counsel.

The DOL may appeal the district court’s decision. DADS will provide updates as information becomes available.

(1/20/2015)

Notice to DADS Providers Currently Using Electronic Visit Verification Regarding Fixed Visit Verification Devices

DADS providers in Regions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9 who are currently participating in the DADS Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) initiative will no longer be able to order new or replacement Fixed Visit Verification Devices (FVVDs) from Sandata Technologies. Any pending or new orders will not be fulfilled under the DADS EVV initiative.

If an Individual requires use of an FVV device for visits between December 23, 2014 and January 31, 2015, but cannot obtain one, provider agencies must verify actual hours worked by the attendant and manually enter these hours using visit maintenance. Providers should select Reason Code 17 – Individual Does Not Qualify for Fixed Visit Verification Device – Verified Services Were Delivered, a preferred reason code, to document these visits.

(12/30/2014)

Provider Agency Selection of an EVV Vendor for HHSC EVV Initiative

Beginning February 1, 2015, all Medicaid-enrolled service providers (provider agencies) who provide Medicaid services that are subject to electronic visit verification (EVV) are required to use a Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) approved EVV system to record on-site visitation with the individual/member. All applicable provider agencies, including Financial Management Services Agencies (FMSAs), must select an EVV vendor and submit a completed Medicaid Electronic Visit Verification Provider System Selection Form by January 9, 2015.

The Medicaid Electronic Visit Verification Provider System Selection Form may be downloaded or printed from http://www.dads.state.tx.us/evv/news.cfm.

HHSC has also announced an updated EVV implementation timeline. Please visit the DADS EVV website for more information.

(12/8/2014)

Amended United States Department of Labor Regulations Effective January 1, 2015

The purpose of this notification is to inform providers in the following programs or services that amended U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulations will go into effect on January 1, 2015.

Medically Dependent Children Program;
Primary Home Care, Community Attendant Services, and Family Care;
Consumer Managed Personal Attendant Services;
Community Living Assistance and Support Services;
Deaf Blind with Multiple Disabilities;
Home and Community-based Services; and
Texas Home Living.

The amended regulations prohibit third party employers (which includes private entities) of domestic service employees, from claiming the companionship services exemption or the live-in domestic service employee exemption to the Fair Labor Standards Act. The regulations may be found at 29 CFR Part 552. Consequently, effective January 1, 2015, the regulations require you to pay at least the federal minimum wage and overtime pay to your domestic service employees, regardless of the employees’ duties.

For information about the amended DOL regulations, including DOL Fact Sheets, please see the following DOL website: http://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/; call DOL’s toll-free information and helpline, 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243), available 8am to 5pm in your time zone; or consult your legal counsel.

DADS rescinds this bulletin per the DADS Bulletin dated January 20, 2015.

(12/2/2014)

Changes to Certain Electronic Visit Verification Reason Codes Effective Dec. 1, 2014

Based on stakeholder input, The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) reviewed the Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) reason codes. As a result, DADS has revised, reinstated, and added new reason codes.

DADS providers who are required to use the EVV system, must begin using the revised, reinstated and new reason codes on December 1, 2014.

EVV reason codes and training is available at http://www.dads.state.tx.us/evv/. View the changes at http://www.dads.state.tx.us/evv/news.cfm.

Any questions regarding this alert can be sent to cpc@dads.state.tx.us.

(10/31/2014)

Ebola Health Alert

For the latest and most reliable information about the Ebola virus in Texas, go here https://service.govdelivery.com/accounts/TXHHSC/subscriber/new and sign up for email updates from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

DSHS has confirmed one case of Ebola in Dallas County, and has issued an alert that can be seen here www.dallascounty.org/department/hhs/documents/DSHS_EbolaTestHealthAlert.pdf. DSHS emphasizes that the virus is transmitted only through direct contact with the blood or body fluids of someone infected with the disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a checklist www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/hospital-checklist-ebola-preparedness.pdf to use in case your organization identifies anyone who has traveled to or from an area affected by Ebola.

The checklist will help detect and respond appropriately to possible Ebola cases, while protecting clients and facility staff.

(10/3/2014)

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