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DADS Provider News, Alerts & Bulletins — Transition Assistance Services (TAS)

Stakeholder Feedback Sought Regarding Options for the Implementation of Transition Assistance Services (TAS) in the Home and Community-based Services (HCS) Program

The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) added Transition Assistance Service (TAS) by an amendment to the Home and Community-based Services (HCS) waiver which was approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on March 4, 2014. CMS approved $1,000 for individuals transitioning from institutions into provider owned or contracted residential settings. Individuals transitioning from institutions into own home or family home settings can use up to $2,500 for TAS.

DADS has encountered a number of information technology challenges surrounding the implementation of TAS in HCS:

  1. TAS providers are not registered in the DADS' Client Assignment and REgistration (CARE) system, a DADS database with demographic, program eligibility, and service planning data for individuals who receive HCS services and supports or have requested HCS services and supports. This is the system used for billing and payment of HCS waiver services.
  2. TAS providers currently bill through Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership (TMHP), the Texas Medicaid program claims administrator. TMHP does not interface with the DADS CARE system.
  3. To allow TAS providers to bill in CARE, TAS providers would need to be registered in the CARE system. This change would delay implementation and require significant funds to complete.

In order to facilitate timely implementation of TAS in HCS, DADS has developed options for billing TAS in the CARE system using one or more of the following options:

  • Option #1: The HCS provider could contract with the TAS providers to deliver TAS.
  • Option #2: HCS providers could contract with DADS to provide TAS. The HCS provider would enter into a separate TAS contract with DADS to deliver TAS. Under a TAS contract, TAS could be provided to individuals enrolling in CLASS, MDCP, DBMD and HCS.Entering into a TAS contract with DADS would not require a TAS provider to deliver TAS to anyone who requests it.
  • Option #3: The HCS provider could deliver the service directly (without the need for a TAS contract), or the HCS provider could contract with the TAS providers to deliver TAS. The HCS waiver would be amended to list HCS providers as eligible to deliver TAS in addition to TAS providers. TAS would be delivered under the providers HCS contract.

DADS is seeking stakeholder feedback regarding these options by COB Monday, July 28, 2014. Feedback can be sent to hcs@dads.state.tx.us.

(7/22/2014)

DADS Guide to Employment for People with Disabilities Now Available

This new publication was designed for people who want to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities including Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) employees, contracted case managers and service coordinators, service providers, and people who receive DADS services and their families.

While some parts of the guide focus on employment services programs, the rest applies to all DADS program participants. As such, all stakeholders are encouraged to use it.

Highlights include:

  • Recommended roles and responsibilities at each stage of a job search
  • Strategies for overcoming the transportation obstacle
  • Tools and guidance for coordinating services with the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
  • Index of DADS rules related to employment supports
  • Information about Medicaid Buy-In, and other ways to maintain needed services while working
  • Description of Social Security Administration work incentives
(7/3/2014)

Community Outreach Meetings Slated for STAR+PLUS Enrollees

People who are required to be included in the Sept. 1, 2014, STAR+PLUS expansion into the Medicaid Rural Service Areas, as well as those who are voluntarily enrolling in STAR+PLUS, are encouraged to attend a community outreach meeting in their area.

Outreach events provide opportunities for the enrollment broker, MAXIMUS, to educate people about the services and benefits available through the various managed care organizations.

A list of events can be found on the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Website at: http://www.txmedicaidevents.com. Follow the instructions on the page to find an event.

People who are required to be enrolled in STAR+PLUS already may have received a STAR+PLUS introductory letter in the mail. The majority also should have received a STAR+PLUS enrollment packet.

Intermediate care facility (ICF/IID), Community Living and Support Services (CLASS), Deaf Blind with Multiple Disabilities (DBMD), Home and Community-based Services (HCS) and Texas Home Living (TxHmL) clients who have not received a packet should call 1-877-782-6440 (TTY: 1-800-267-5008).

All others who did not receive either document, should call 1-800-964-2777 (TTY 1-800-267-5008).

To learn more, visit the Expansion of Managed Care webpage, which contains general information about the Medicaid Managed Care Initiatives and frequently asked questions.

If you have a question, please send it via email to: Managed_Care_Initiatives@hhsc.state.tx.us.

(7/2/2014)

HHSC to Host STAR+PLUS Provider Trainings for Long-term Services and Support Providers (Community Based Alternatives (CBA), Primary Home Care (PHC) and Day Activity Health Services (DAHS)

On September 1, 2014, the STAR+PLUS Medicaid managed care program will expand statewide to the rural service areas of Texas (Central, Northeast and West). People who are age 65 or older or who have disabilities and are covered by Medicaid will begin receiving services through a STAR+PLUS managed care health plan. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is holding provider trainings across the three rural service areas to educate providers on STAR+PLUS managed care and what changes to expect.

The rural service area managed care organizations will be present to answer questions.

On June 26th, 2014, a STAR+PLUS provider training will take place in Tyler. For additional details and training dates, check the meeting notices on the HHSC website for listings entitled, “STAR+PLUS Trainings.”

(5/29/2014)

Information Letters from MAXIMUS Regarding STAR+PLUS Expansion

Beginning the week of May 5, 2014, MAXIMUS began sending a mail-out to individuals who will be covered under the STAR+PLUS Medicaid Managed Care expansion effective September 1, 2014. The expansion will affect individuals who reside in a Medicaid Rural Service Area (MRSA); AND individuals who are not in a MRSA but reside in an ICF/IID or are enrolled in the HCS, TxHmL, CLASS or DBMD waiver program as of September 1, 2014 or later.

MAXIMUS is sending the mail-out to individuals on behalf of the Health and Human Services Commission, in their capacity as the state's enrollment broker for managed care. The mail-out includes the letter, frequently asked questions and a comparison chart for the managed care organizations in each area. The materials (except for the comparison charts) in English and Spanish are posted at http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/medicaid/managed-care/Letters-from-HHSC.shtml

(5/19/2014)

Mindful Planning to Promote Strong Integrated Employment Outcomes

During this online event, we will discuss what it means to be mindful in employment planning efforts and how to meet families and individuals where they are during various life stages. This approach should result in a plan that is action-oriented, realistic, and doable, and reflects tangible employment goals.

Designed for:
State and local agency representatives, service providers, and case managers, but all are welcome!

When
Date: May 20, 2014
Time: 3 p.m. ET
Length: 90 minutes

More details
For event details and to register click on this link: http://connectpro97884399.adobeconnect.com/selnfammindful/event/event_info.html.

(5/14/2014)

Transition Assistance Service Rule Revision

Texas Administrative Code Chapter 62, Contracting to Provide Transition Assistance Services, is being revised to:

  • allow individuals leaving General Residential Operations (GRO) facilities or Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions (ICF/IDD) to receive transition assistance services;
  • update the definition section of Chapter 62;
  • update the language throughout the rule.

Please review the attached rule revision and submit any comments or edits to PDO@dads.state.tx.us by close of business May 16, 2014.

(5/6/2014)

Notice of Proposed Rules for the Chapter 49 Rules Rewrite

The notice of proposed rules for the Chapter 49 rules rewrite was published in the April 18, 2014 issue of the Texas Register. You can view it online at http://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/archive/April182014/Proposed%20Rules/40.SOCIAL%20SERVICES%20AND%20ASSISTANCE%20.html#36

The last day of the formal comment period is May 18, 2014.

The applicable provider types are:

(1)
Medicaid waiver programs and services under Title XIX, §1915(c) of the Social Security Act as follows:
(A)
Community Living Assistance & Support Services (CLASS) Program:
(i)
CLASS-case management agency (CMA);
(ii)
CLASS-continued family services (CFS);
(iii)
CLASS-direct service agency (DSA); and
(iv)
CLASS-support family services (SFS);
(B)
Deaf Blind with Multiple Disabilities (DBMD) Program;
(C)
Home and Community Based Services (HCS) Program;
(D)
Medically Dependent Children (MDCP) Program:
(i)
MDCP-adaptive aids (AA);
(ii)
MDCP- home and community support services agency (HCSSA);
(iii)
MDCP-minor home modifications; and
(iv)
MDCP- Out of Home Respite (OHR):
(I)
MDCP-adaptive aids (AA);
(II)
MDCP- home and community support services agency (HCSSA);
(III)
MDCP-minor home modifications; and
(IV)
MDCP- Out of Home Respite (OHR):
(V)
MDCP-OHR-hospital; and
(VI)
MDCP-OHR-host family;
(E)
Texas Home Living (TxHmL) Program; and
(F)
Transition assistance services (TAS);
(2)
Medicaid state plan services under Title XIX, §1902(a)(10)(A) of the Social Security Act as follows:
(A)
hospice;
(B)
primary home care (PHC)/ community attendant services (CAS); and
(C)
day activity and health services (DAHS);
(3)
services and programs under Title XX, Subtitle A of the Social Security Act as follows:
(A)
adult foster care (AFC);
(B)
emergency response system;
(C)
home delivered meals (HDM);
(D)
residential care (RC);
(E)
DAHS;
(F)
family care (FC);
(G)
consumer managed personal attendant services (CMPAS);
(H)
special services to persons with disabilities (SSPD); and
(I)
SSPD – 24-hour shared attendant care;
(4)
relocation services;
(5)
financial management services under the consumer directed services option authorized under Texas Government Code, §531.051 as follows:
(A)
financial management services agency (FMSA)--CLASS;
(B)
FMSA-DBMD;
(C)
FMSA-HCS;
(D)
FMSA-MDCP;
(E)
FMSA-PHC/CAS/FC; and
(F)
FMSA-TxHmL.
(5/2/2014)

Discontinuation of Community Based Alternatives Contract Enrollment Due to September 1, 2014 STAR+PLUS Expansion

The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is expanding the STAR+PLUS Medicaid managed care delivery system into the West, Central and Northeast service areas. The anticipated start date is September 1, 2014. The counties affected by the change are listed in the table below.

Medicaid Rural
Service Areas
Counties
West Andrews, Archer, Armstrong, Bailey, Baylor, Borden, Brewster, Briscoe, Brown, Callahan, Castro, Childress, Clay, Cochran, Coke, Coleman Collingsworth, Concho, Cottle, Crane, Crockett, Culberson, Dallam, Dawson, Dickens, Dimmit, Donley, Eastland, Ector, Edwards, Fisher, Foard, Frio, Gaines, Glasscock, Gray, Hall, Hansford, Hardeman, Hartley, Haskell, Hemphill, Howard, Irion, Jack, Jeff Davis, Jones, Kent, Kerr, Kimble, King, Kinney, Knox, La Salle, Lipscomb, Loving, Martin, Mason, McCulloch, Menard, Midland, Mitchell, Moore, Motley, Nolan, Ochiltree, Oldham, Palo Pinto, Parmer, Pecos, Presidio, Reagan, Real, Reeves, Roberts, Runnels, Schleicher, Scurry, Shackelford, Sherman, Stephens, Sterling, Stonewall, Sutton, Taylor, Terrell, Throckmorton, Tom Green, Upton, Uvalde, Val Verde, Ward, Wheeler, Wichita, Wilbarger, Winkler, Yoakum, Young, and Zavala,
Central Bell, Blanco, Bosque, Brazos, Burleson, Colorado, Comanche, Coryell, DeWitt, Erath, Falls, Freestone, Gillespie, Gonzales, Grimes, Hamilton, Hill, Jackson, Lampasas, Lavaca, Leon, Limestone, Llano, Madison, McLennan, Milam, Mills, Robertson, San Saba, Somervell, and Washington
Northeast Anderson, Angelina, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Cooke, Delta, Fannin, Franklin, Grayson, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Hopkins, Houston, Lamar, Marion, Montague, Morris, Nacogdoches, Panola, Rains, Red River, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Trinity, Upshur, Van Zandt, and Wood

Effective May 1, 2014, the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) Community Services Contracts (CSC) Section will discontinue enrolling contract applicants in the above STAR+PLUS expansion counties for the following types of Community Based Alternatives (CBA) contracts:

  • Home and Community Support Services (CBA/HCSSA)
  • Consumer Directed Services (CDS) for CBA
  • Transition Assistance Services (TAS) for CBA
  • Assisted Living/Residential Care Services for CBA
  • Adult Foster Care for CBA
  • Home Delivered Meals for CBA
  • Emergency Response Services for CBA

The latest effective date for new CBA contracts in these areas will be May 1, 2014.

Enrollment for all other types of programs will continue without change in the counties listed above. For example, contracts for Primary Home Care/Family Care (PHC/FC) and CDS for PHC will continue to be enrolled in these counties.

For information about the expansion Medicaid Managed Care, refer to the HHSC website at: Medicaid Managed Care Initiatives. For questions about this letter, please contact Community Services Contracts at (512) 438-2080 or Paul Straka, Manager, at (512) 438-3460.

(4/25/2014)

Reminder: Survey About Direct Service Workers Runs Through April 7

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is asking all providers that employ direct service workers to take a short survey about their employees. The survey should take about five minutes. The deadline to complete the survey is close of business April 7, 2014.

Click here to take the survey.

This survey is the first step in learning more about:

  • the experiences of direct support workers,
  • what motivates them,
  • the problems they face and
  • what would make their jobs more rewarding.

The next step will be to select a representative sample of direct service workers from across the state to participate in a survey and focus groups.

If you have questions, please contact Ron Ayer, Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services project manager, at ron.ayer@dads.state.tx.us or at 512-438-5001.

(4/4/2014)

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