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DADS Provider Alerts — Family Care (FC)

Important Changes June 1, 2015, for Provider Agencies Using DADS EVV

The Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) has been working with Sandata Technologies, LLC, (Sandata) to ensure that provider agencies who currently have data in the Sandata Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) system (Santrax) will continue to have access to that data after May 31, 2015, to complete visit maintenance and to run reports in Santrax.

Provider agencies will see many changes to the Santrax system beginning June 1, 2015. DADS urges provider agencies to go to http://www.dads.state.tx.us/evv/news.cfm now to learn about important details on the particular aspects of EVV services that will continue to be available through Sandata; how long those services will be available; and steps provider agencies must take now to prepare for changes they will experience effective June 1, 2015.

Please visit http://www.dads.state.tx.us/evv/news.cfm and read the information under “DADS EVV Data Access for Provider Agencies” for more information regarding this alert.

(5/26/2015)

Register Now for Dementia in Long-term Care and Community Settings

Do you provide services to, care for or have a relationship with someone who has dementia? Then register now for the free “Texas Taking the Next Step: Dementia in Long-term Care and Community Settings” conference in Austin on Aug. 20 at the Palmer Events Center. The first 600 registrants will receive a free copy of the book “Untangling Alzheimer’s” by Tom Cummings.

The event is sponsored by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services and Texas State University.

Participants will be able to:

  • Attend a keynote by Dr. G. Allen Power, internationally renowned author and geriatrician
  • Experience the world as a person with dementia by taking part in a virtual dementia tour
  • Learn how music can trigger memories in people with dementia

Continuing education will be available; details will be available soon.

Questions about the event can be emailed to Claudia.Leal@dads.state.tx.us.

(5/5/2015)

DADS to Require New Forms as Part of Contracting Process

DADS stakeholders that apply for a contract with the agency or that respond to a request for proposal after April 6, 2015, will need to complete a Data Usage Agreement if the resulting contract would provide the contractor access to confidential information.

Beginning May 1, 2015, the agency also will require a completed Information Security and Privacy Initial Inquiry if the contract will require access to confidential information.

This process is being implemented in all Texas health and human services agencies to establish a clear and consistent process for safeguarding confidential information and for reporting and correcting any unauthorized use or disclosure of the confidential information.

Providers can review the documents at: http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/about_hhsc/BusOpp/BO_home.shtml.

Email questions pertaining to DADS active contracts to Kathie.carleton-morales@dads.state.tx.us.

Email questions about this policy to Sylvia.kauffman@hhsc.state.tx.us.

(4/6/2015)

Department of Labor Appeals Home Care Ruling

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has appealed the ruling in the lawsuit brought by associations of home care companies challenging the Home Care Final Rule (PDF). (See DADS alert titled “Recent Court Decision Regarding Amended United States Department of Labor Regulations.”)

The DOL stated its enforcement schedule, announced Oct. 9, 2014, would not change. The appeal is proceeding on an expedited schedule and a decision could be made as early as this summer.

The changes that are being appealed effect the companionship services exemption in the Fair Labor Standards Act that may pertain to these DADS programs:

  • 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
  • Texas Home Living

If the Court of Appeals issues a decision favorable to the DOL on or after July 1, 2015, the DOL stated it immediately will implement the selective enforcement process as outlined in the enforcement schedule. Providers and CDS employers should continue to assess the budgetary, staffing and administrative impact of the Home Care Final Rule, if any, and be prepared to alter the budgets or hire additional staff to meet compliance should the DOL win its appeal.

For more information, visit the DOL homecare website, call the DOL at 1-866-487-9243 or consult your legal counsel.

(4/2/2015)

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)

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