Texas Health and Human Services Digest: January 4, 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.

January 6, 2021

January 8, 2021

January 11, 2021

January 12, 2021

January 13, 2021

January 15, 2021

January 21, 2021

January 26, 2021

January 27, 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To let the public know about a rulemaking action – such as new, amended or repealed rules – HHS publishes a notice in the Texas Register, a publication of the Texas Secretary of State.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 1, Chapter 353, Subchapter O, Sections 353.1309 and 353.1311, concerning Physician Directed Payment Program#21R028: Physician Directed Payment ProgramHHSC1/25/21
Title 26, Chapter 748, Minimum Standards for General Residential Operations#20R039: Legislative and Other Updates to Chapters 745 and 748Gerry Williams1/19/21
Title 25, Chapters 133, 135, 137, 139, and 229, concerning Medical and Health Care Billing#20R045: Medical and Health Care BillingHHS Policy, Rules and Training1/19/21
Title 26, Chapters 506, 507, 509, 510, and 564, concerning Medical and Health Care Billing#20R045: Medical and Health Care BillingHHS Policy, Rules and Training1/19/21
Title 25, Chapter 217, Subchapters A and B, concerning Milk and Diary#20R051: Milk and DairyDSHS Milk and Dairy Unit1/19/21
Title 26, Chapter 280, Pediatric Teleconnectivity Resource Program for Rural Texas#20R081: Pediatric Teleconnectivity Resource Program for Rural TexasHHS Rules Coordination Office1/19/21
Title 40, Chapter 109, Subchapter C repeal, concerning Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program#18R061: Specialized Telecommunications Assistance ProgramBryant Robinson1/19/21
Title 26, Chapter 360 Subchapter C, concerning Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program#18R061: Specialized Telecommunications Assistance ProgramBryant Robinson1/19/21
Title 25, Chapter 411, Subchapter M repeal, concerning Standards of Care in Crisis Stabilization Units#18R040: Standards of Care in Crisis Stabilization UnitsHHS Rules Coordination Office1/19/21
Title 26, Chapter 306, Subchapter B, concerning Standards of Care in Crisis Stabilization Units#18R040: Standards of Care in Crisis Stabilization UnitsHHS Rules Coordination Office1/19/21
Title 26, Chapter 558, Licensing Standards for Home and Community Support Services Agencies#19R069: Legislative Implementation and TULIP Process UpdateJoyce Stamatis1/19/21
Title 26, Chapter 744, Minimum Standards for School-Age and Before or After-School Programs#20R026: Regulation of Child-Care FacilitiesAimee Belden1/19/21
Title 26, Chapter 746, Minimum Standards for Child-Care Centers#20R026: Regulation of Child-Care FacilitiesAimee Belden1/19/21
Title 26, Chapters 747, 748, & 749, Minimum Standards for Child-Care Homes, General Residential Operations, and Child-Placing Agencies#20R026: Regulation of Child-Care FacilitiesAimee Belden1/19/21
Title 26, Chapter 745, Licensing#20R039: Legislative and Other Updates to Chapters 745 and 748Gerry Williams1/19/21

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 25, Chapter 295, Subchapter I, Texas Environmental Lead Reduction#21R034DSHS Environmental Hazards Branch1/4/211/19/21
Title 26, Chapter 551, Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions#19R072HHS Policy, Rules and Training1/4/211/19/21

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, 2021Notice 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 Wound CareMarch 01, 2021Notice 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, 2021Notice 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, 2021Notice 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, 2021Notice 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, 2021Notice 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, 2021Notice 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, 2021Notice of Proposed Adjustments to Fees, Rates or Charges for Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS)
03-2021-policy-hcpcs.pdfNotice 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, 2021Biennial Calendar Fee Review
03-2021-biennialcalendarfeereview.pdfBiennial Calendar Fee Review Attachments
03-2021-biennialcalendarfeereview-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)January 01, 2021Notice 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

Comment Period Closing January 4 at 11:59 pm ET: CMS Proposes New Rules to Address Prior Authorization and Reduce Burden on Patients and Providers

This is a reminder that the Comment Period for this proposed rule closes tonight January 4, 2021, at 11:59 pm ET. On December 10, 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 proposed rule is available to review today at: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/121020-reducing-provider-and-patient-burden-cms-9123-p.pdf

Press Release: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-proposes-new-rules-address-prior-authorization-and-reduce-burden-patients-and-providers

Fact Sheet: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/reducing-provider-and-patient-burden-improving-prior-authorization-processes-and-promoting-patients

To read more on the importance of these proposed changes, please visit CMS Administrator Seema Verma’s blog post: https://www.cms.gov/blog/reducing-provider-and-patient-burden-and-promoting-patients-electronic-access-health-information

For more information on the CMS proposed rule, please visit: https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/Interoperability/index

January Office Hours for the VBID Hospice Benefit Component. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center’s Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model team will host its monthly office hours to provide technical and operational support to interested stakeholders. This office hours session will focus on answering live questions from attendees. During office hours, presenters will also answer questions received in advance; please submit any questions prior to the session by emailing the VBID Mailbox at VBID@cms.hhs.gov.

What: Webinar: Monthly Technical Support Office Hours for the CY2021 VBID Hospice Benefit Component
When:
Tuesday, January 12, 2020
1-2 PM EST
How to Join: Registration for the webinar is now open. Register now using the link here.
Event number: 133 292 9311
Event password:  vbid-hospice

Additional Resources:
For more information, visit the VBID overview page or contact VBID@cms.hhs.gov. To stay updated on the Hospice Benefit Component, sign up for the listserv. Other resources are listed below:

  • Hospice provider-friendly webpages, with a myriad of resources, are available here.
  • A downloadable list of Medicare Advantage Organizations participating in the Hospice Benefit Component of the VBID Model, with contract and plan benefit package identification information, service area and contact information can be found here: VBID CY2021 Hospice Benefit Contact Information (XLS).
  • The CY2021 VBID Hospice Benefit Component Technical and Operational Guidance document can be found here.

A transcript and audio recording of office hours will be posted to the Outreach and Education website at https://innovation.cms.gov/innovation-models/vbid-hospice-benefit-outreach-education for downloading.

CMS Preclusion List. The monthly CMS Preclusion List has been published. Feel free to contact PreclusionList@cms.hhs.gov if you have any questions or concerns.
Thank you,
CMS Preclusion List Team

The Deadline to Submit Your 2020 Data for the Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program is March 1. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reminds all Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program participants that the deadline to submit 2020 data is March 1, 2021 at 11:59 PM ET.

Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program participants are required to register and attest through the QualityNet Secure Portal.

Specific submission details for each program are listed below.

  • Medicare Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) – These participants must attest to CMS through the QualityNet Secure Portal.
  • Medicaid Eligible Professionals (EPs), Eligible Hospitals, CAHs – These participants should follow the requirements of their State Medicaid agencies to submit their meaningful use attestation.
  • Dual-Eligible Hospitals and CAHs – Those who qualify for both the Medicare and Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Programs are required to demonstrate meaningful use to CMS through the QualityNet Secure Portal (not their State Medicaid agency).

Registering on Behalf of a Medicaid EP?
An EP can designate a third party to register and attest on his or her behalf. To do so, users working on behalf of an EP must have an Identity and Access Management System (I&A) web user account (User ID/Password) and be associated with the EP’s National Provider Identifier. If you are working on behalf of one or more EPs and do not have an I&A web user account, please visit I&A Security Check to create one.

Note: States and territories will not necessarily offer the same functionality for registration and attestation in the Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program. Check with your state or territory’s Promoting Interoperability Program to see what functionality is offered.

Additional Resources
Medicare & dual-eligible hospitals participating in the Medicare and Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Programs may contact the QualityNet help desk for assistance at 1 (866) 288-8912 or qnetsupport@hcqis.org.

Request for Information: Guidance on Current Research on the Prevention of Black Youth Suicide. Over the past several years, there has been a significant increase in the rate of suicide and suicidal ideation and behaviors (SIB) among Black youth. From 2001 to 2015, Black youth under 13 were twice as likely to die by suicide compared to their White peers, and the suicide death rate among Black youth was found to be increasing faster than any other racial/ethnic group.

This Request for Information (RFI) seeks input from a variety of stakeholders including researchers, healthcare providers, community leaders, and individuals from other relevant organizations (e.g., schools, social welfare, justice, faith communities) around the risks for and prevention of death by suicide and suicidal ideation and behaviors (SIB) of Black children and adolescents. Specifically, this RFI seeks information on topics of epidemiology, etiology, trajectories, preventive interventions, treatment interventions, and services interventions.

For consideration, comments must be submitted electronically via the NIH RFI websiteComments must be received by January 15, 2021. Response to this RFI is voluntary and may be submitted anonymously. While not required, NIMH strongly encourages respondents to include their name, the organization they are representing, and their role in the organization. The submitted information will be reviewed by NIH staff.

Learn more

Gov. Abbott, HHSC Announce Extension of Emergency SNAP Benefits for Jan. 2021. Gov. Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas HHSC will provide approximately $204 million in emergency SNAP food benefits for the month of January as the state continues its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recipients will also see an additional 15 percent increase in their total benefits in January due to recently passed federal legislation. Read more here.

HHSC Proposes Rule Amendments for Uniform Hospital Rate Increase Program. The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is accepting comments on amended §353.1305, concerning Uniform Hospital Rate Increase Program (UHRIP); new §353.1306, concerning Comprehensive Hospital Increase Reimbursement Program (CHIRP) for program periods on or after September 1, 2021; and new §353.1307, concerning Quality Metrics and Required Reporting Used to Evaluate the Success of the Comprehensive Hospital Increase Reimbursement Program. The proposed rules are published in the January 1, 2021 issue of the Texas Register.

Currently in UHRIP, HHSC directs a Medicaid managed care organization (MCO) to provide a uniform rate increase for in/out-patient services for hospitals participating in the MCO’s network in a designated service delivery area. To continue incentivizing hospitals to improve access, quality, and innovation in the provision of hospital services in Year 5 of the program (i.e., September 1, 2021, through August 31, 2022) and beyond, HHSC is proposing new quality metrics, eligibility requirements and financing components for the program.

HHSC is proposing the amendments to comply with federal regulations that require directed-payment programs to advance goals included in the state’s Medicaid managed care quality strategy and to align with the ongoing efforts to transition from the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program. HHSC is amending §353.1305 to make the rule applicable to the program period before September 1, 2021.

UHRIP Becomes CHIRP. Proposed new §353.1306 and §353.1307 will apply to program periods on or after September 1, 2021, and UHRIP will be re-named the Comprehensive Hospital Increase Reimbursement Program (CHIRP). CHIRP will be comprised of the Uniform Hospital Rate Increase Payment (UHRIP) and the Average Commercial Incentive Award (ACIA). Proposed new §353.1306 describes the methodology HHSC will use to calculate and administer reimbursement increases and the eligibility requirements for the program. Proposed new §353.1307 describes the quality metrics and the required reporting HHSC will use to evaluate the success of the program.

HHSC Requests Comments on Proposed Rules. HHSC is accepting public comments on the proposed rules until February 1, 2021. A public hearing is scheduled for January 11, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. (CST) to receive public comments on the proposal. Persons interested in attending may register for the public hearing here. You may also submit written comments via email to: RAD_1115_Waiver_Finance@hhsc.state.tx.us.

Informal Comments on Draft Rules Due 1/19 on Texas Environmental Lead Reduction and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions (ICF/IID). Texas Health and Human Services Commission is accepting informal comments from stakeholders on the following draft rules. The comment period ends January 19, 2021.

  • Texas Health and Human Services Commission Title 26, Part 1, Chapter 551, Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions. Comments can be emailed to HHS Policy, Rules and Training.

Texas Department of State Health Services is accepting informal comments from stakeholders on the following draft rules. The comment period ends January 19, 2021.

  • Texas Department of State Health Services Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 295, Subchapter I, Texas Environmental Lead Reduction. Comments can be emailed to DSHS Environmental Hazards Branch.

Questions can be emailed to HHS Rules Coordination Office.
Visit the HHS Rulemaking website for more information.

Read more.

Informal Comments on Draft Rules for ICF/IID or Related Conditions. HHSC is accepting informal comments from stakeholders on the following draft rules, which are now posted on the HHS Rulemaking page. The comment period ends Jan. 19, 2021.

This project implements two bills from the 86th Legislature, Regular Session, 2019. House Bill (H.B.) 1848 contains required elements for infection prevention and control. H.B. 3803 limits the daily amount of an administrative penalty assessed against an ICF/IID. The project will also update rule references and agency names, amend rules to align with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services conditions of participation in the ICF/IID program, and edit the rules for clarity and consistency.

HHSC to Hold Online Public Hearing About Proposed Quality Metrics for QIPP SFY2022. HHSC will conduct an online public hearing to allow interested people to present comments on proposed metrics and their associated performance requirements for the Quality Incentive Payment Program for nursing facilities for SFY2022. In accordance with 1 TAC §353.1304read the Draft Quality Metrics for QIPP (PDF).

Hearing details:
Friday, Jan. 15, 2021
9:30 – 11 a.m. CST
Register here for the public hearing.

HHSC welcomes public comments about the proposed metrics in writing or during the public hearing. Written comments should be submitted by email to the Quality Monitoring Program no later than 5 p.m. CST on Jan. 25, 2021. People wanting to make oral comments must register for the online public hearing. Upon registration, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Registration will be open until the start of the online public hearing.

The following reports have been finalized and posted to the DSHS Legislative Information page:

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.

For additional information, contact DSHS Government Affairs at govtaffairs@dshs.texas.gov or 512-776-7263

Expanding Community-Based Care (CBC). The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has released the annual Community-Based Care Implementation Plan. The plan proposes expanding Community-Based Care to four additional catchment areas: DFPS Regions 3e, 4, 5, and 9.

This expansion is included in the DFPS Legislative Appropriations Request. If funded, the transition will begin in FY 22. Please see the implementation plan for anticipated timeframes and a map of the regions that would be affected.

Community-Based Care is a new way of providing foster care and case management services. It’s a community-based approach to meeting the individual and unique needs of children, youth, and families. Within a geographic area, a single contractor (single source continuum contractor or SSCC) is responsible for finding foster homes or other living arrangements for children in state care and providing them a full range of services.

In 2010, DFPS began expanding the community’s role in meeting the challenges of serving children in foster care. In 2017, the Legislature directed DFPS to expand this model to include both foster care and relative or “kinship” placements and to give the SSCC sole responsibility for case management – rather than sharing that responsibility with DFPS. The SSCC is responsible for moving children from foster care or kinship care into permanent homes. As Community-Based Care expands statewide, the focus of the Child Protective Services program will shift to oversight to ensure quality services and outcomes for children.

This is an exciting time for DFPS and the many organizations that are working with us to reshape the foster care system. Your input and support have been critical and will continue to be important as we move forward.

We encourage you to submit any questions to the Community-Based Care mailbox. You can learn more about Community-Based Care on the DFPS website.

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