Texas Health and Human Services Digest: January 25, 2021

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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.

Please Note: This is a comprehensive list of upcoming meetings provided by HHSC. Not every meeting fits the parameters for coverage by Texas Insight. Refer to Texas Insight’s “Weekly Insight” newsletters for regular updates on planned coverage.

January 25, 2021

January 26, 2021

January 27, 2021

January 28, 2021

January 29, 2021

February 3, 2021

February 4, 2021

February 5, 2021

February 10, 2021

February 11, 2021

February 17, 2021

Proposed Rules
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To let the public know about a rulemaking action – such as new, amended or repealed rules – HHS publishes a notice in the Texas Register, a publication of the Texas Secretary of State.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.

TitleProject No., DescriptionContactComment End Date
Title 25, Chapter 131, concerning Freestanding Emergency Medical Care Facilities#20R009: Freestanding Emergency Medical Care FacilitiesHHS Policy, Rules and Training2/22/21
Title 26, Chapter 509, concerning Freestanding Emergency Medical Care Facilities#20R009: Freestanding Emergency Medical Care FacilitiesHHS Policy, Rules and Training2/22/21
Title 26, Chapter 568, Standards of Care and Treatment in Psychiatric Hospitals#20R008: Voluntary Admission for Psychological ServicesHHS Policy, Rules and Training2/1/21
Title 25, Chapter 289, Subchapter E, Section 289.233, Radiation Control Regulations for Veterinary Radiation Machines#20R030: Veterinary Radiation MachinesDSHS Consumer Protection Division2/1/21
Title 26, Chapter 368, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Habilitative Specialized Services#20R055: IDD Habilitative Specialized ServicesHHS IDD Services2/1/21
Title 1, Chapter 353, Sections 353.1305, 353.1306, and 353.1307, concerning Uniform Hospital Rate Increase Program#21R027: Uniform Hospital Rate Increase ProgramHHSC2/1/21
Title 25, Chapter 411, Subchapter J, Standards of Care and Treatment in Psychiatric Hospitals#20R008: Voluntary Admission for Psychological ServicesHHS Policy, Rules and Training2/1/21
Title 1, Chapter 353, Subchapter O, Sections 353.1309 and 353.1311, concerning Physician Directed Payment Program#21R028: Physician Directed Payment ProgramHHSC1/25/21

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.
TitleProject No.ContactComment Start DateComment End Date
Title 26, Chapter 554, Nursing Facility Requirements for Licensure and Medicaid Certification#21R041Kayla Lail1/21/211/28/21
Title 1, Chapter 353, Subchapter Q, Process to Recoup Certain Overpayments#20R082Marina Hench1/14/211/27/21
Title 26, Chapter 925, Research Involving Health and Human Services Commission Services#20R104HHSC Health and Specialty Care System1/11/211/25/21

2021 Schedule
As HHSC has received a waiver to Rate Hearing Requirements, there will not be a rate hearing conducted on many of these rates.

TitleProposed Effective DatePacket
Updated
Documents
Notice Of Proposed Prospective Reimbursement For Rural Hospitals Participating In MedicaidSeptember 01, 2021 Notice Of Proposed Prospective Reimbursement For Rural Hospitals Participating In Medicaid
09-01-2021-prospective-reimbursement-rural-hospitals-in-medicaid.pdf

Notice Of Proposed Prospective Reimbursement For Rural Hospitals Participating In Medicaid Attachment
09-01-2021-prospective-reimbursement-rural-hospitals-in-medicaid-attch-rate-vis.pdf

Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates, or Charges for Medicaid Biennial Calendar Fee Review of the following: Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs)April 01, 2021 Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates, or Charges for Medicaid Biennial Calendar Fee Review of the following: Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs)
04-01-2021-larcs-biennialcalendarfeereview.pdf
Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Wound CareMarch 01, 2021 Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Wound Care
03-2021-policy-woundcare.pdf
Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Telemonitoring UpdateMarch 01, 2021 Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Telemonitoring Update
03-2021-policy-telemonitoring.pdf
Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Stereotactic RadiosurgeryMarch 01, 2021 Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Stereotactic Radiosurgery
03-2021-policy-stereotactic-radiosurgery.pdf
Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Nutritional (Enteral) Products, Supplies, and Equipment – Home Health & CCP: Immobilized Lipase CartridgeMarch 01, 2021 Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Nutritional (Enteral) Products, Supplies, and Equipment – Home Health & CCP: Immobilized Lipase Cartridge
03-2021-policy-nutrional-prod-sup-equip.pdf
Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Digital Breast TomosynthesisMarch 01, 2021 Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Digital Breast Tomosynthesis
03-2021-policy-dbt.pdf
Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Colorectal Cancer Screening PolicyMarch 01, 2021 Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Colorectal Cancer Screening Policy
03-2021-policy-colorectal-cancer-screen.pdf
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)
03-2021-policy-hcpcs.pdf

Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) Attachments
03-2021-policy-hcpcs-att.zip

Biennial Calendar Fee ReviewMarch 01, 2021 Biennial Calendar Fee Review
03-2021-biennialcalendarfeereview.pdf

Biennial Calendar Fee Review Attachments
03-2021-biennialcalendarfeereview-att.zip

Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Medical Transportation Program (MTP) Fee ReviewJanuary 01, 2021 Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Medical Transportation Program (MTP) Fee Review
01-2021-medical-transport.pdf
Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for 2021 Annual Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) UpdatesJanuary 01, 2021 Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for 2021 Annual Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) Updates
01-01-2021-policy-hcpcs-annual-2021.pdf

Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for 2021 Annual Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) Updates Attachments
01-01-2021-policy-hcpcs-annual-2021-att.zip

Notice of Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Quarterly Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) Updates Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) High Throughput TestingJanuary 01, 2021 Notice of Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Quarterly Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) Updates Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) High Throughput Testing
01-01-2021-notice-adjfees-hcpcs-covid19-highthrouhput-testing.pdf
Notice of Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Quarterly Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) Updates Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)January 01, 2021 Notice of Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Quarterly Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) Updates Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
01-01-2021-notice-adjfeesratescharges-hcpcs-covid19.pdf

Doctors and Clinicians Preview Period is Now Open. The Doctors and Clinicians Preview Period is officially open as of January 25, 2021 at 10 a.m. ET (7 a.m. PT). You can now preview your 2019 Quality Payment Program (QPP) performance information before it will appear on clinician and group profile pages on Medicare Care Compare and in the Provider Data Catalog (PDC). You can access the secured Preview through the QPP website.
Please refer to the resources below on how to preview your information:

To learn more about the 2019 QPP performance information that is available for preview as well as the 2018 clinician utilization data that will be added to the PDC, download these documents from the Care Compare: Doctors and Clinicians Initiative page:

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) can preview their performance information via their 2019 MIPS Performance Feedback Reports. A list of ACO performance information targeted for public reporting is available on the Care Compare: Doctors and Clinicians Initiative page.
The Preview Period will close on March 25, 2021 at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT).

Please note the 2019 QPP performance information is targeted for public reporting in 2021 and will be added to Care Compare and/or the PDC after all Targeted Reviews are completed. If you have an open Targeted Review request, you will still be able to preview your 2019 Quality Payment Program performance information during the Doctors and Clinicians Preview Period.

If you have any questions about public reporting for doctors and clinicians or the Doctors and Clinicians Preview Period, please contact us at QPP@cms.hhs.gov

Updated Group Health Plan (GHP) Valid Defense Instructions Now Available. An updated GHP Valid Defense Instructions document has been posted to the Download section of the Group Health Plan Recovery page on CMS.gov.

Updated MMSEA Section 111 Non-Group Health Plan User Guide Now Available. The updated MMSEA Section 111 NGHP User Guide version 6.2 has been posted to the NGHP User Guide page on CMS.gov. Refer to section 1-1 of each chapter for a summary of updates.

HHSC Announces Pre-Solicitations Meetings for STAR+PLUS. In anticipation of the upcoming solicitation and resulting contract for STAR+PLUS, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission invites managed care organizations that would be eligible to receive the STAR+PLUS contract award (potential respondents) to participate in a pre-solicitation meeting with Medicaid program, legal, and procurement staff.

Meetings are limited to 30 minutes and will allow potential respondents the opportunity to introduce your company’s capabilities and service delivery benefits, provide feedback and/or recommendations on the HHSC procurement process, and provide input and/or recommendations for the future contract. The meeting agenda is strictly limited to these topics, and there will be limited interaction between program staff and vendor representatives in compliance with the HHSC Vendor Interaction Policy (PDF).

Meetings will be scheduled Feb. 1-16, 2021, and will be held virtually using Microsoft Teams or an equivalent virtual method. After Feb. 16, HHSC will no longer discuss the procurement for STAR+PLUS with potential respondents.

To register for a time slot, email PCS_DEC@hhsc.state.tx.us your three preferred time slots, and we will work with you to get the meeting scheduled. Time slots will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. The available dates and times are:

  • Monday, Feb. 1 – 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 4:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 2 – 3:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 3 – 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 4 – 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 4:30 p.m.
  • Monday, Feb. 8 – 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 11 – 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 4:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 16 – 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.

These meetings do not constitute a solicitation for proposals, a commitment to conduct a procurement or an offer of a contract or prospective contract. HHSC will not award a contract as a result of these meetings. HHSC will not be liable for any costs incurred by vendors in the preparation and participation in these meetings.

HHSC encourages and looks forward to your participation.

State Fiscal Year 2022 Proposed TIPPS Program Size. The Texas Incentives for Physician and Professional Services (TIPPS) proposed program size will be $600 million for state fiscal year 2022. Please note that the program size may fluctuate based upon actual enrollment, utilization and can change year to year based on the Health and Human Services Commission’s assessment of various factors. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) must approve the implementation of TIPPS for state fiscal year 2022.

TIPPS is a proposed physician-directed payment program (DPP) that may serve as a transition for Network Access Improvement Program (NAIP) and Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) for physician practice groups. The program is intended to serve as a performance incentive and value-based payment arrangement with a small component of a uniform rate increase.

CHIRP Program Size for SFY 2022 to be set at $5.02 Billion. The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is proposing the Comprehensive Hospital Increase Reimbursement Program (CHIRP) program size to be set at $5.02 billion for state fiscal year 2022. However, the final program size may fluctuate based upon actual caseloads and utilization that can change year-to-year based on HHSC’s assessment of various factors. Additionally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) must approve the implementation of CHIRP for state fiscal year 2022.

CHIRP is a statewide program that provides for increased Medicaid payments to hospitals for inpatient and outpatient services provided to persons with Medicaid. Texas Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) receive additional funding through their monthly capitation rate from HHSC and are directed to increase payment rates for participating hospitals. As designed, eligible hospitals receive a percent increase paid on claims submitted to a Medicaid MCO. CHIRP’s purpose is to advance goals and objectives in the state’s Medicaid quality strategy by incentivizing improved quality and access for hospitals that serve persons with Medicaid.

GL 20-5004 Criminal Convictions and Licensure Eligibility for Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselors and Counselor Interns (HB 1342-86R) Available Online. GL 20-5004 relating to the eligibility for an occupational license and related administrative penalties has been posted.

This letter provides information on HB 1342 to licensed chemical dependency counselors (LCDCs), counselor interns (CIs), and applicants regarding the eligibility for certain occupational licenses for a person who has been convicted of an offense.

Please read the letter at the below link and if you have questions, contact HCR_PRT@hhs.texas.gov.
Read the letter.

Comments on Proposed Rules Due 2/22 on Freestanding Emergency Medical Care Facilities. Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is accepting comments from stakeholders on the following proposed rules, which are now posted in the Texas Register. The comment period ends February 22, 2021

  • Texas Health and Human Services Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 131 repeal and new Title 26, Part 1, Chapter 509, concerning Freestanding Emergency Medical Care Facilities. Comments can be emailed to HHS Policy, Rules and Training.

Questions can be emailed to HHS Rules Coordination Office.

Read more.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Perinatal Advisory Council Applications Due January 31. If you’re interested in the hospital designation program for levels of care for neonatal and maternal services, you may want to apply to be a member of the Perinatal Advisory Council. But act quickly as applications are due Jan. 31!

Click here to learn more and apply.

HHSC Publishes Guidance for HCSSA Providers Related to the Transition to a Three-year Licensure Term (PL 2021-03). HHSC has published Provider Letter 2021-03, Transition to Three-year License Term and Survey Periods (PDF). The letter describes the process HHSC will use to transition to a three-year licensure term for Home and Community Support Services Agency providers.

Informal Comments on Draft Rules, Requirements for Nursing Facility Licensure and Medicaid Certification – Due Jan. 28. Texas HHS is accepting comments from stakeholders on the following draft rules. The comment period ends Jan. 28, 2021.

  • Texas Health and Human Services Commission Title 26, Part 1, Chapter 554, Subchapter D, relating to Facility Construction, Subchapter K, relating to Nursing Services, Subchapter M, relating to Physician Services, Subchapter Q, relating to Infection Control.

Email comments to Kayla Lail.
Email questions to HHS Rules Coordination Office.
Visit the HHS Rulemaking website for the draft rules.

The Texas Works Handbook Has Been Revised. The Texas Works Handbook has been revised with policy updates, clarifying language, and updates to links.

Click here to see the changes.

OASIS for Clinicians: Overview and Conventions Slated for February 11. This webinar provides foundational guidance on OASIS and the OASIS conventions for data collection. It’s for registered nurses and physical, occupational and speech therapists that collect OASIS data.

Have the OASIS-D Guidance Manual (PDF) ready. We will reference Chapter 1 during the webinar.

Thurs, Feb 11, 2021
10 – 11:30 a.m. CDT
Click here to register for OASIS for Clinicians.
The webinar will not be recorded. No certificates, continuing education credits or administrator clock hours will be provided.

For additional information, email JointEd.Services@hhsc.state.tx.us.

HCS & TxHmL Best Practices to Avoid EVV Claim Mismatches for CFC PAS/HAB Services. HHSC has published Best Practices to Avoid Electronic Visit Verification Claim Mismatches for Home and Community-based Services and Texas Home Living (PDF) program providers and financial management services agencies.

The best practices help HCS and TxHmL providers avoid claim denials related to EVV.

The best practices are linked above and on the HHS EVV Training webpage in the Best Practices section.

Email questions about EVV policy to HHSC EVV.

QIPP Year Five CHOWs, Eligibility and Enrollment. Planning has started for nursing facility enrollment in the Quality Incentive Payment Program Year Five. The eligibility period is Sept.1, 2021 to Aug. 31, 2022. Use the following information to guide your participation and enrollment:

  • Changes of ownership must be received by Feb. 12, 2021 to enroll in QIPP under a new ownership or new class. The effective date must be 30 days or more after submission of the CHOW application.
  • A list of eligible private facilities for enrollment in QIPP Year Five will be posted to the QIPP Provider Finance website no later than Jan. 15, 2021.
  • The enrollment period for QIPP Year Five is March 15, 2021 to April 15, 2021. More enrollment details will be provided as the enrollment window approaches.
  • Non-state government-owned facilities participating in QIPP Year Five will receive suggested inter-governmental transfer responsibilities on April 27, 2021.
  • NSGOs participating in the IGT QIPP funding process must make their IGT declaration of intent by May 12, 2021. The expected settlement dates are:
    • First half due by June 2, 2021 for settlement on June 3, 2021.
    • Second half due by Dec. 1, 2021 for settlement on December 2, 2021.

Contact QIPP quality monitoring staff via email with your questions.

The STAR+PLUS Program Support Unit Operational Procedures Handbook has been revised. Updates 26 Texas Administrative Code §554.2401 reference in Appendix XI, STAR+PLUS HCBS Program Medical Necessity Denial Attachment, and Appendix XXXIII, STAR+PLUS HEART Naming Conventions.

Click here to see the changes.

The STAR Kids Program Support Unit Operational Procedures Handbook has been revised. Updates 26 Texas Administrative Code §554.2401 references in Appendix XVIII, STAR Kids HEART Naming Conventions, and Appendix XXVII, MDCP Medicaid Necessity Denial Attachment.

Click here to see the changes.

Construction of New State Hospital Now More Than Halfway Complete in Houston. Construction is over halfway complete on the new 264-bed state psychiatric hospital in Houston, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced today. The UTHealth Behavioral Sciences Center will provide inpatient psychiatric care for adults from Harris County and surrounding counties.

HHSC has partnered with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) for the design, development and construction of the facility. The medical school will also contract with HHSC to operate the hospital.

Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas lawmakers approved $126.5 million in funding for the planning and construction of the new hospital.

Construction crews are building the 253,000-square-foot UTHealth Behavioral Sciences Center (UTHealth BSC) next to the UTHealth Harris County Psychiatric Center (UTHealth HCPC) in the Texas Medical Center. Combined, the new hospital and UTHealth HCPC will have 538 beds, making the campus the largest academic psychiatric hospital in the country.

Construction is underway on two new four-story buildings that are connected by an enclosed, air-conditioned walkway. Eleven 24-bed units will have a mix of single and double occupancy patient rooms, as well as therapy rooms, classrooms, and activity rooms for art, music, and recreation. The hospital also includes two courtyards providing natural light throughout the building to promote recovery. The hospital was designed to be a therapeutic environment that helps patients successfully transition back to their home communities.

Officials and construction crews broke ground on the new hospital in June 2019. Construction is scheduled to be completed in November 2021 with the first patients to be admitted in February 2022. Once open, UTHealth Behavioral Sciences Center will create more than 400 new jobs and become the first new public psychiatric hospital built in the Houston area in almost 35 years.

Visuals
Downloadable content is available including produced video of the projectb-rollpictures of the ongoing construction, and video sound bites from HHSC Deputy Executive Commissioner Mike Maples, UTHealth Chief Operating Officer Steve Glazier, and Dr. Jair Soares, executive director of the new hospital.

State Hospital System Transformation
Gov. Abbott and the Texas Legislature have approved $745 million for the construction and transformation of state hospitals in Austin, Kerrville, Rusk, San Antonio and Houston. The construction projects will add at least 350 new inpatient psychiatric beds at the state hospitals within the next four years. The added capacity will help reduce waiting lists for inpatient psychiatric treatment. For more information about state hospital construction projects throughout the state, visit the Changes to the State Hospital System page on the HHSC website.

Children Waiting for Adoption. See the latest children who were added to or updated in the Texas Adoption Resource Exchange (TARE).