New rules governing Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) issued by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) became effective on March 17, 2014. This rule reflects CMS' intent to ensure that those receiving services and supports through Medicaid's HCBS programs have full access to the benefits of community living and can receive services in the most integrated setting. The final rule includes a period for states to ensure programs meet the home and community-based services settings requirements. More information about the rule can be found at http://www.medicaid.gov/Medicaid-CHIP-Program-Information/By-Topics/Long-Term-Services-and-Supports/Home-and-Community-Based-Services/Home-and-Community-Based-Services.html
The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services has posted the final statewide transition plan for a 30-day public comment period, extending from Nov. 7, 2014 - Dec. 7, 2014. The plan may be seen here: http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/medicaid/hcbs/Statewide-Transition-Plan-Final-110614.pdf.
A dedicated mailbox available for each of the waiver programs to submit comments are listed at: http://www.dads.state.tx.us/providers/HCBS/contact.html(11/7/2014)
The Texas Health and Human Service Commission (HHSC) is hosting feedback sessions in November and December to gather information about the STAR+PLUS expansion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The first session will be in Corpus Christi on Nov. 10. Others will be in Longview and Fort Worth.
During these sessions, people with IDD, their family members, advocates, and acute care and long-term care providers will be able to give their feedback about the STAR+PLUS transition. HHSC will not present information during these sessions, but instead will collect feedback and ideas that may affect future managed care initiatives.
Information about the Corpus Christi session and other sessions will be available on the HHSC website at http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/news/meetings.asp. Questions can be directed to Heather Kuhlman at 512-462-6356 or through email at Heather.Kuhlman@hhsc.state.tx.us.(11/7/2014)
On Nov. 1, 2014, the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) will notify contracted HCS and TxHmL providers via mail that DADS plans to terminate inactive contracts. The notice letters will state that, effective Nov. 30, 2014, DADS is terminating contracts that were inactive for at least 18 months as of Aug. 31, 2014, and which have remained inactive since. The letters will also tell contractors how to appeal these contract terminations.
IDD providers and other interested DADS stakeholders have until Oct. 24 to complete a short survey about future DADS training. The survey can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XWX9W2J
The survey focuses on training needs for providers and staff who work with people who have IDD who have challenging behaviors.
You can email questions about the survey to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “Training Survey” in the subject line.(10/20/2014)
DADS providers will now have until Friday, Oct. 17 to complete a survey from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) about the Affordable Care Act.
The survey, which went to providers with 100 or more employees, will help HHSC determine the cost of the mandate on long-term care providers. The results will be reported to the Texas Legislature, which requested the information.
If you did not receive the survey in your email inbox, please check your spam folder. The survey was sent Oct. 6.
Questions about the survey can be directed to the HHSC employee assigned to your program. A list of program contacts is on the HHSC website at:http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/rad/long-term-svcs/contacts.shtml.(10/16/2014)
Please access webcasting at the CORRECTED link: http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/news/webcasting.asp.
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) are holding a public stakeholder meeting on Oct. 13, 2014, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. to hear public testimony about recently-adopted Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rules concerning Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) and its impact on certain programs administered by HHSC, DSHS and DADS.
The stakeholder meeting will be at the Brown-Heatly Building, Public Hearing Room, 4900 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX, 78751. It also will be available by webcast.
This meeting is open to the public. No reservations are required and there is no cost to attend this meeting. The rule text can be viewed at: http://www.medicaid.gov/Medicaid-CHIP-Program-Information/By-Topics/Long-Term-Services-and-Supports/Home-and-Community-Based-Services/Home-and-Community-Based-Services.html
In addition, an assessment of compliance with the settings provisions for DADS programs can be viewed at: http://www.dads.state.tx.us/providers/communications/alerts/HCBS_settingsassessment.pdf
The agenda for this meeting is public testimony regarding compliance with the new federal regulations.
9 a.m. -1 p.m.
1 p.m. - 5 p.m. - remaining 1915(c) Medicaid waivers, 1915(i), and 1915(k), including:
HHSC and DADS will accept comments through several channels.
People with disabilities, who wish to attend the meeting and require auxiliary aids or services, should contact Kathy Cordova at 512-487-3402 at least 72 hours before the meeting so appropriate arrangements can be made.(10/9/2014)
As of Oct. 6, 2014, the drug Hydrocodone became a Schedule II Drug. DADS providers need to know the following about all Schedule II medications:
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)
Based on stakeholder input, DADS has revised Form 8584, Comprehensive Nursing Assessment.
In addition to terminology, formatting and grammatical changes, two sections were removed from the original form to create new forms:
Providers are not required to use these optional forms and may develop their own forms or processes to document required information.
A copy of the approved Texas Home Living waiver amendment is available on the DADS website at: www.dads.state.tx.us/providers/TxHmL/waivers.html. The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approved the amendment in August 2014 with retroactive effective date of Sept. 1, 2013.(9/30/2014)
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