From HHSC: While every effort has been made to offer an accurate and current listing of meeting agendas and events on this calendar, the information has been compiled from a variety of sources and is subject to change without notice to the user.
December 11, 2020
- This meeting will be webcast: Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee (MMMRC) Agenda
- This meeting will be webcast: Medical Advisory Board Physician Meeting Agenda
December 14, 2020
- This meeting will be webcast: Chronic Kidney Disease Task Force (CKDTF) Agenda
- This meeting will be webcast: Governor’s EMS and Trauma Advisory Council (GETAC) Agenda
- STAR+PLUS Pilot Program Workgroup (SPPPW) Quality Subcommittee Agenda
December 15, 2020
- This meeting will be webcast: Long-term Care Facilities Council (LTCFC) Agenda
- This meeting will be webcast: Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Advisory Committee Agenda
December 16, 2020
- This meeting will be webcast: STAR+PLUS Pilot Program Workgroup (SPPPW) Agenda
- Trauma Systems Committee Meeting of the Governor’s EMS and Trauma Advisory Council (GETAC) Agenda
December 22, 2020
- This meeting will be webcast: Toxic Substances Coordinating Committee (TSCC) Agenda
Formal Comments via the Texas Register
To let the public know about a rulemaking action – such as new, amended or repealed rules – HHS publishes a notice in the Texas Register, a publication of the Texas Secretary of State. Interested parties then can review and comment on the proposed rule. The Secretary of State publishes a new issue of the Texas Register each Friday.
The Administrative Procedure Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 2001) requires the notice published in the Texas Register to include a brief explanation of the proposed rule and a request for comments from any interested person. The notice also includes instructions for submitting comments regarding the rule to the agency, including the date by which comments must be submitted. Agencies must give interested persons “a reasonable opportunity” to submit comments. The public comment period begins on the day after the notice of a proposed rule is published in the Texas Register and lasts for a minimum of 30 calendar days.
Below is a list of proposed rules that have been published in the Texas Register. The proposed rules that are published in the Texas Register are open for public comment until the end of the comment period.
Draft Rules Informal Comments
Informal opportunities to comment occur before a rule is published in the Texas Register. HHS staff may solicit informal public and stakeholder input by:
- inviting stakeholders to submit comments on potential rule changes during rule development.
- sharing a draft rule with stakeholders for review.
- using existing HHS advisory committees to comment on rules.
|Title||Project No.||Contact||Comment Start Date||Comment End Date|
|Title 26, Chapter 507, End Stage Renal Disease Facilities||#19R008||HHS Policy, Rules and Training||12/2/20||12/16/20|
2021 Consideration Schedule
|Title||Proposed Effective Date||Packet Updated||Documents|
|Notice Of Proposed Prospective Reimbursement For Rural Hospitals Participating In Medicaid||September 01, 2021||Notice Of Proposed Prospective Reimbursement For Rural Hospitals Participating In Medicaid|
Notice Of Proposed Prospective Reimbursement For Rural Hospitals Participating In Medicaid Attachment
|Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Wound Care||March 01, 2021||Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Wound Care|
|Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Telemonitoring Update||March 01, 2021||Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Telemonitoring Update|
|Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Stereotactic Radiosurgery||March 01, 2021||Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Stereotactic Radiosurgery|
|Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Nutritional (Enteral) Products, Supplies, and Equipment – Home Health & CCP: Immobilized Lipase Cartridge||March 01, 2021||Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Nutritional (Enteral) Products, Supplies, and Equipment – Home Health & CCP: Immobilized Lipase Cartridge|
|Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Digital Breast Tomosynthesis||March 01, 2021||Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Digital Breast Tomosynthesis|
|Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Colorectal Cancer Screening Policy||March 01, 2021||Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Colorectal Cancer Screening Policy|
|Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS)||March 01, 2021||Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS)|
Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) Attachments
|Biennial Calendar Fee Review||March 01, 2021||Biennial Calendar Fee Review|
Biennial Calendar Fee Review Attachments
HHSC: Dates Announced for Federal COVID-19 Vaccination Program for Long-Term Care Staff, Residents. The State of Texas will participate in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, a federal program to vaccinate residents and staff of long-term care facilities against COVID-19. The program is free of charge to facilities and sends staff and Pfizer vaccines from partnering Walgreens and CVS locations to these facilities to vaccinate residents and staff who volunteer to participate.
The first vaccines included in this program will be provided to pharmacies the week of December 21, 2020, and the program will begin December 28, 2020.
Long-term care facilities that have not enrolled in the pharmacy program may choose to enroll with the Texas Department of State Health Services’ Immunization Program to receive vaccines and vaccinate their own staff and residents or partner with a local pharmacy or other vaccine provider.
DSHS: COVID Update.
- Disease Reporting & Case Definitions
- ADDED: Suspect COVID-19 Case Reporting Guidance (PDF, V.1.0, released 12/11/2020)
- Persons Under Monitoring (PUM)
- Travelers and Community Contacts
- ADDED: CDC Updated Guidance: Options to Reduce Quarantine for Contacts of Persons with SARS-CoV-2 Infection Using Symptom Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing (PDF, V.1.0, released 12/02/2020)
- Travelers and Community Contacts
- COVID-19 Vaccine
- DSHS Resources
- ADDED: Vaccine Management Resources
- DSHS Resources
- Resources for Nursing Homes & Long Term Care Facilities
- ADDED: COVID-19 Therapeutics
- The COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel’s Statement on the Emergency Use Authorization of the Casirivimab Plus Imdevimab Combination for the Treatment of COVID-19 (NIH)
- Portfolio of COVID-19 Medical Countermeasures (ASPR)
- Project ECHO Outpatient Therapeutics Mini-Series
- Bamlanivimab (Lilly)
- Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for emergency use of bamlanivimab
- Bamlanivimab Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers
- Bamlanivimab Fact Sheet for Patients and Caregivers
- FDA Frequently Asked Questions on the EUA for Bamlanivimab
- Lilly bamlanivimab information
- Lilly Bamlanivimab Antibody Playbook
- Bamlanivimab Pocket Resource Card
- Bamlanivimab Overview, Allocation, and Distribution
- Casirivimab/Imdevimab (Regeneron)
- Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for emergency use of casirivimab and imdevimab
- FDA Frequently Asked Questions on the Emergency Use Authorization of Casirivimab + Imdevimab
- Casirivimab/Imdevimab Fact Sheet for U.S. Health Care Providers (English)
- Important Prescribing Information: A Letter from Regeneron to Healthcare Providers on Preventing Medication Errors
- Casirivimab/Imdevimab Fact Sheet for Patients and Caregivers (English)
- Regeneron casirivimab/imdevimab information
- Regeneron casirivimab/imdevimab guidebook
- Overview, Allocation & Distribution (casirivimab/imdevimab)
- Billing and Coding
- ADDED: Trauma Service Area D (Abilene) and respective counties.
- ADDED: Trauma Service Area E (Dallas/Ft. Worth) and respective counties.
- Attestation for Counties in High Hospitalization TSAs with Minimal COVID‑19 Cases
- UPDATED: See the list of counties that have qualified for and submitted an attestation.
- Texas COVID-19 Test Collection Sites
- UPDATED link: View COVID-19 Test Collection Sites
DSHS: Texas adds probable cases, antigen test positivity rate to data dashboard. The Texas Department of State Health Services today will update the COVID-19 data dashboard to include additional data and to simplify the layout to improve functionality.
DSHS is adding case counts for probable cases statewide and by county. Probable cases are those identified through antigen testing or a combination of symptoms and a known exposure without a more likely diagnosis. Reporting probable cases allows Texans to see a more complete picture of how COVID-19 is affecting Texas since both confirmed and probable cases represent active infections. For that reason, they will be included in the estimates of active and recovered cases.
In addition to the probable case counts, DSHS is adding a positivity rate for antigen tests. This positivity rate, based on when people were tested, aligns with the most reliable positivity rate for molecular tests. These positivity rates, which show the percentage of tests taken in a given period that are positive, provide a consistent view of the severity of the pandemic over time because they most closely reflect the conditions when people were tested.
The configuration of the dashboard will change to improve performance. Some tabs will be combined, and users will be able to toggle between confirmed and probable cases, fatalities, and active and recovered estimates by county on a single tab. Case and fatality demographics will also be consolidated onto one tab.
After several months of posting three positivity rates for molecular tests, as previously announced, DSHS will retire the rates based on when lab results were reported to the state and the legacy rate which used the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases over seven days divided by the number of new molecular test results over the same period.
ESRD Treatment Choices Model Webinar Materials, Additional Resources Posted. CMS has released the final rule for the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Treatment Choices (ETC) Model to encourage greater use of home dialysis and kidney transplants for Medicare beneficiaries with ESRD, while reducing Medicare expenditures and preserving or enhancing the quality of care furnished to beneficiaries with ESRD. The Model will begin on January 1, 2021.
In order to help ETC Model Participants prepare for the ETC Model, CMS hosted an introductory webinar on Wednesday, December 9, 2020. The webinar provided an overview of the ETC Model, including:
- Participant selection
- The Home Dialysis Payment Adjustment
- The Performance Payment Adjustment
- The ETC Model timeline, including the timing of payment adjustments
- Information about how to communicate with CMS about the ETC Model.
CMS posted the slides, recording, and transcript of the webinar to the ETC Model website. Other materials posted to the Model website include the following:
- ETC Model Beneficiary Notification Form and Guidance
- ETC Model Achievement Benchmarks for Measurement Year 1
For more information about the ETC Model, please visit the ETC Model website. You can also find more information about the ETC Model in the Specialty Care Models To Improve Quality of Care and Reduce Expenditures Final Rule, CMS-5527-F. The Final Rule is available in the Federal Register. For any questions, please email the ETC Model team at ETC-CMMI@cms.hhs.gov.
CMS Proposes New Rules to Address Prior Authorization and Reduce Burden on Patients and Providers. Under President Trump’s leadership, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would improve the electronic exchange of health care data among payers, providers, and patients, and streamline processes related to prior authorization to reduce burden on providers and patients. By both increasing data flow, and reducing burden, this proposed rule would give providers more time to focus on their patients, and provide better quality care.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a harsh light on many longstanding inefficiencies in the health care system—including the lack of data sharing and access. Today’s proposed rule aims to improve this for patients navigating care. The proposed rule would build on the Trump Administration’s Interoperability and Patient Access final rule published by the CMS in May.
The rule would require payers in Medicaid, CHIP and QHP programs to build application programming interfaces (APIs) to support data exchange and prior authorization. APIs allow two systems, or a payer’s system and a third-party app, to communicate and share data electronically Payers would be required to implement and maintain these APIs using the Health Level 7 (HL7) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard. The FHIR standard is an innovative technology solution that helps bridge the gaps between systems so both systems can understand and use the data they exchange.
On behalf of HHS, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) is also proposing to adopt certain standards through an HHS rider on the CMS proposed rule.
Read the release.
To read more on the importance of these proposed changes, please visit CMS Administrator Seema Verma’s blog post here: https://www.cms.gov/blog/reducing-provider-and-patient-burden-and-promoting-patients-electronic-access-health-information
The proposed rule is available to review today at: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/121020-reducing-provider-and-patient-burden-cms-9123-p.pdf The comment period will close on January 4, 2021.
For a copy of the Fact Sheet, visit: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/reducing-provider-and-patient-burden-improving-prior-authorization-processes-and-promoting-patients
For more information on the CMS proposed rule, please visit: https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/Interoperability/index
Changes to Texas Administrative Code Chapter References for HHS System. As part of the transformation of the Health and Human Services (HHS) system, rule chapters are being relocated in the Texas Administrative Code (TAC).
Effective January 15, 2021, rules in:
- 40 TAC Social Services Assistance, Part 1, Department of Aging and Disability Services, Chapter 19, Nursing Facility Requirements for Licensure and Medicaid Certification
Will be transferred to:
- 26 TAC Health and Human Services, Part 1, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Chapter 554, Nursing Facility Requirements for Licensure and Medicaid Certification.
The table below outlines recent rule transfers.
|Rule Title||Current TAC||New TAC|
|Basis and Scope||40 TAC 19, Sub A||26 TAC 554, Sub A|
|Definitions||40 TAC 19, Sub B||26 TAC 554, Sub B|
|Nursing Facility Licensure Application Process||40 TAC 19, Sub C||26 TAC 554, Sub C|
|Facility Construction||40 TAC 19, Sub D||26 TAC 554, Sub D|
|General Provisions||40 TAC 19, Sub D, Div 1||26 TAC 554, Sub D, Div 1|
|Facilities Licensed Before September 11, 2003||40 TAC 19, Sub D, Div 2||26 TAC 554, Sub D, Div 2|
|Provisions Applicable to All Facilities||40 TAC 19, Sub D, Div 3||26 TAC 554, Sub D, Div 3|
|Construction and Initial Survey||40 TAC 19, Sub D, Div 4||26 TAC 554, Sub D, Div 4|
|Facilities Licensed on or After September 11, 2003 and Before April 2, 2018||40 TAC 19, Sub D, Div 5||26 TAC 554, Sub D, Div 5|
|Plan Review||40 TAC 19, Sub D, Div 6||26 TAC 554, Sub D, Div 6|
|Small House and Household Facilities||40 TAC 19, Sub D, Div 7||26 TAC 554, Sub D, Div 7|
|Building Rehabilitation||40 TAC 19, Sub D, Div 8||26 TAC 554, Sub D, Div 8|
|Facilities Licensed on or After April 2, 2018||40 TAC 19, Sub D, Div 9||26 TAC 554, Sub D, Div 9|
|Resident Rights||40 TAC 19, Sub E||26 TAC 554, Sub E|
|Admission, Transfer, and discharge Rights in Medicaid-Certified Facilities||40 TAC 19, Sub F||26 TAC 554, Sub F|
|Freedom From Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation||40 TAC 19, Sub G||26 TAC 554, Sub G|
|Quality of Life||40 TAC 19, Sub H||26 TAC 554, Sub H|
|Resident Assessment||40 TAC 19, Sub I||26 TAC 554, Sub I|
|Quality of Care||40 TAC 19, Sub J||26 TAC 554, Sub J|
|Nursing Services||40 TAC 19, Sub K||26 TAC 554, Sub K|
|Food and Nutrition Services||40 TAC 19, Sub L||26 TAC 554, Sub L|
|Physician Services||40 TAC 19, Sub M||26 TAC 554, Sub M|
|Rehabilitative Services||40 TAC 19, Sub N||26 TAC 554, Sub N|
|Dental Services||40 TAC 19, Sub O||26 TAC 554, Sub O|
|Pharmacy Services||40 TAC 19, Sub P||26 TAC 554, Sub P|
|Infection Control||40 TAC 19, Sub Q||26 TAC 554, Sub Q|
|Physical Plant and Environment||40 TAC 19, Sub R||26 TAC 554, Sub R|
|Administration||40 TAC 19, Sub T||26 TAC 554, Sub T|
|Inspections, Surveys, and Visits||40 TAC 19, Sub U||26 TAC 554, Sub U|
|Enforcement||40 TAC 19, Sub V||26 TAC 554, Sub V|
|Enforcement Generally||40 TAC 19, Sub V, Div 1||26 TAC 554, Sub V, Div 1|
|Licensing Remedies||40 TAC 19, Sub V, Div 2||26 TAC 554, Sub V, Div 2|
|Remedies in Medicaid-Certified Facilities||40 TAC 19, Sub V, Div 3||26 TAC 554, Sub V, Div 3|
|Certification of Facilities for Care of Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and related Disorders||40 TAC 19, Sub W||26 TAC 554, Sub W|
|Requirements for Medicaid-Certified Facilities||40 TAC 19, Sub X||26 TAC 554, Sub X|
|Medical Necessity Determinations||40 TAC 19, Sub Y||26 TAC 554, Sub Y|
|Vendor Payment||40 TAC 19, Sub AA||26 TAC 554, Sub AA|
|Nursing Facility Responsibilities Related to Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR)||40 TAC 19, Sub BB||26 TAC 554, Sub BB|
|General Provisions||40 TAC 19, Sub BB, Div 1||26 TAC 554, Sub BB, Div 1|
|Nursing Facility Responsibilities||40 TAC 19, Sub BB, Div 2||26 TAC 554, Sub BB, Div 2|
|Nursing Facility Specialized Services for Designated Residents||40 TAC 19, Sub BB, Div 3||26 TAC 554, Sub BB, Div 3|
You will need to refer to the new TAC chapters after January 15, 2021. All letters, memoranda, and other guidance remain in effect while HHSC updates outdated references. The rule transfer notice was posted in the December 11, 2020, issue of the Texas Register.
If you have questions about these administrative moves, email the Rules Coordination Office.
Influenza Update. This information has recently been updated and is now available.
DSHS Legislative Information. The following reports have been finalized and posted to the DSHS Legislative Information page:
- Report on Emergency Scheduling of Controlled Substances
- Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee and DSHS Joint Report
- EMS Provider Licensing Requirements
- Improving the Quality of Cause of Death Information Related to Maternal Mortality
- Performance Measures for LHDs
- Maternal Health and Safety Activities Report
- Sickle Cell Task Force Report
- FY2020 DSHS Report on EMS Complaints and Investigations
All 2020 DSHS Legislative Mandated Reports can be found here and will be posted as they are submitted to the Legislature. For reports prepared for previous sessions, see the Archived Reports and Presentations page.
DSHS Texas Birth Defects. The Texas Birth Defects Monitor Volume 26 is now available on the Texas Birth Defects Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch’s website here. This volume includes topics such as:
- Case Management Partnership with Regional Specialized Health and Social Services: A Closer Look at Down Syndrome
- Updated Data from the Texas Birth Defects Registry, 2012-2017
- Critical Congenital Heart Defect Mortality
For comments and questions, please send an email to BirthDefects@dshs.texas.gov.