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DADS Provider Alerts — Consumer Managed Personal Attendant Services (CMPAS)

DADS Plans to Propose Personal Attendant Base Wages Rules

DADS plans to propose rules concerning personal attendant base wages. The rules apply to certain community services contractors, consumer directed services employers and financial management service agencies.

The proposed rules have a planned effective date of Sept. 1, 2015. Pending legislative approval of appropriations, the proposal will be presented to the Medical Care Advisory Committee on June 9, 2015, and the Texas Aging and Disability Services Council on June 11, 2015. The proposed rules are scheduled to be published in the Texas Register on June 26, 2015. Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted in accordance with the instructions in the notice of proposed rules.  

The proposed rules will implement the 2016-17 General Appropriations Act (Article II, Special Provisions, House Bill 1, 84th Legislature, Regular Session, 2015), by requiring certain community services contractors and FMSAs to pay a minimum base wage to an employee or subcontractor of a contractor or an employee of a CDS employer providing certain attendant services. Specifically, the proposed rules will change the base wage certain contractors and FMSAs must pay a personal attendant from $7.86/hour to $8/hour. The proposed rules also will change the base wage an employer or designated representative must budget to pay an employee providing certain services through the CDS option from $7.86/hour to $8/hour.

The proposed increase in the base wage for a personal attendant will apply to:

  • PHC
  • FC
  • CAS
  • DAHS
  • RC
  • MDCP flexible family support and respite services
  • CMPAS personal attendant services
  • CLASS habilitation
  • DBMD residential habilitation, chore services and day habilitation
  • HCS supported home living
  • TxHmL community support

Questions can be emailed to bill.campbell@dads.state.tx.us.

(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)

CMPAS Copayment Schedule Has Been Updated

The CMPAS Copayment Schedule has been updated to reflect an increase in the Social Security income limit, effective Jan.1, 2015. CMPAS providers must implement individuals’ new copay amounts, if applicable, as soon as possible.

The schedule can be found in the CMPAS Provider Manual, Section 2000.

Questions can be emailed to CMPAS@dads.state.tx.us.

(2/10/2015)

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)

Revised Contract and Fiscal Compliance Monitoring Protocol for DBMD, ERS, CMPAS and SSPD

Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, DADS contract staff monitoring the DBMD, ERS, CMPAS and SSPD contracts will use the same streamlined contract monitoring procedures that have been used since 2009 for other community services contracts. The major changes include:

  • Sample size
    • DBMD - up to 5 people.
    • ERS, CMPAS and SSPD - up to 30 people. This replaces the current sampling process which starts with an initial sample of up to 25 people and expands to a larger sample size if the initial monitored sample reveals deficiencies.
  • Monitoring period – The monitoring period will be 24 months instead of 3-6 months. Although the number of months in the monitoring period is increasing, it is important to note that the number of months in the review period and in the service delivery documentation that DADS contract staff review remain the same.
  • Missing documents - Documents requested by contract staff during the monitoring are due by the exit conference versus 3 workdays after the exit conference.

Please email questions to Kathie.Carleton-Morales@dads.state.tx.us.

(12/3/2014)

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)

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)

National Medication Schedule Change

The Texas Board of Nursing, Texas Medical Board and Texas State Board of Pharmacy are encouraging all DADS providers to review the attached information, in PDF format, about the reclassification of hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

Remember, all providers that order, dispense, or prescribe HCPs in Texas must comply with requirements for prescribing Schedule II medications as set forth in state and federal law beginning Oct. 6, 2014.

(9/19/2014)

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