Texas Health and Human Services Digest: July 22, 2020

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Previous meetings have made alternative arrangements like phone-in capability or have been canceled. These meetings are on the calendar as of today.

July 23, 2020

July 24, 2020

July 27, 2020

July 28, 2020

July 29, 2020

July 30, 2020

July 31, 2020

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To let the public know about a rulemaking action – such as new, amended or repealed rules – HHS publishes a notice in the Texas Register, a publication of the Texas Secretary of State.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.,
ContactComment End Date
Title 1, Chapter 354, Subchapter D, Division 8 DSRIP Program Demonstration Years 9-10#19R067: Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program DY 9-10HHS Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement Program8/17/20
Title 26, Chapter 567 Certificate of Public Advantage#20R041: Certificate of Public Advantage (COPA)HHS Health Care Regulation’s Policy, Rules, and Training8/10/20
Title 25, Chapter 98, Subchapter C, Division 2 Advisory Committee#20R052: Texas HIV Medication Advisory CommitteeDSHS HIV-STD Program8/10/20
Title 26, Chapter 746, Subchapter B, Division 2 Required Notification#20R025: Annual Reporting of Employees Leaving Child-Care CentersHHS Child Care Regulation8/10/20

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.

The following are draft rules on which HHS is accepting informal public or stakeholder input. All rules are posted in MS Word format unless otherwise noted.

TitleProject No.ContactComment Start DateComment End Date
Title 26, Chapter 745 Licensing, Subchapters A, C, D, and L, and Chapter 748 Minimum Standards for General Residential Operations#20R039HHS Child Care Regulation7/15/207/29/20
Title 25, Chapter 217, Subchapter A, Grade Specifications and Requirements for Milk, and Subchapter B, Grade A Raw Milk and Raw Milk Products#20R051DSHS Milk and Dairy Unit7/14/207/28/20
Repeal of Title 25, Chapter 289, Subchapter E, §289.233 Radiation Control Regulations for Radiation Machines Used in Veterinary Medicine and new §289.233#20R030DSHS Consumer Protection Division7/13/207/27/20
Figures for new Title 25, Chapter 289, Subchapter E, §289.233 Radiation Control Regulations for Radiation Machines Used in Veterinary Medicine#20R030DSHS Consumer Protection Division7/13/207/27/20


HART (Hospice Abstraction Reporting Tool) v1.6.0 is now available in the Related Links section at the bottom of the HIS Technical web page. HART is a Java based software application that provides an option for Hospice facilities to collect and maintain facility, patient and HIS Record information for subsequent submission to the appropriate national data repository. HART is free software provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and is offered in two configuration types, standalone and network client. Please navigate to the HIS Technical webpage.

An issue was identified with the data display of the Discharge to Community (DTC) [CMS ID I019.02] Medicare claims-based measure on the IRF Provider Preview Reports that were added to each Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility’s (IRF’s) IRF Provider Preview Reports folder in iQIES on 06/16/2020.  Specifically, the data for the Lower and Upper Limit Confidence Interval Risk-Standardized Discharge to Community Rate are erroneous.  The report should display the Lower Limit risk-standardized rate first, followed by the Upper Limit risk-standardized rate.  The display in the recently distributed report shows the Upper Limit risk-standardized values first, followed by the Lower Limit values.  Here is an example of the erroneous display: 57.64% (53.73%, 61.39%).

New IRF Provider Preview Reports that correctly displays the Lower Limit Confidence Interval Risk-Standardized value, followed by the Upper Limit Confidence Interval Risk-Standardized values were made available in the IRF Provider Preview Reports folder in iQIES on Friday June 19, 2020 and at the same time, the older version of the reports were removed from the folder.
If you have questions regarding this information, please contact the QIES Technical Support Office help desk by phone at (800) 339-9313 or by email at iQIES@cms.hhs.gov.

The data contained within the Preview Reports is based on quality data submitted by IRFs between Quarter 1 – 2019 and Quarter 4 – 2019 and reflects what will be published on IRF Compare during the September 2020 refresh of the website. Providers have until July 21, 2020 to review their performance data. Corrections to the underlying data will not be permitted during this time; however, providers can request CMS review of their data during the preview period if they believe the quality measure scores that are displayed within their Preview Reports are inaccurate.

Beginning with the September 2020 refresh, CMS will publicly display on the IRF Compare website six new measures. For more information: IRF Quality Public Reporting webpage, IRF Compare

Welcome to OIG Update – a monthly newsletter from the Texas Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG). This newsletter highlights some of the OIG’s recent efforts in detecting, preventing and deterring fraud, waste and abuse in the delivery of Texas health and human services programs. Within this email, you’ll find hyperlinks to the OIG’s latest Quarterly Report, an audit conducted by our team and information about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quarterly Report released 
The OIG released its Quarterly Report for the third quarter of fiscal year 2020. The agency recovered more than $212 million, identified another $50 million for potential future recovery, and achieved $27 million in cost avoidance. Read the report.

OIG updates provider deadlines 
The OIG has recently adjusted a variety of deadlines due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Texas providers are encouraged to visit the OIG COVID-19 webpage on a regular basis to find all the relevant notices and deadlines. Click here to learn more.

Audit recommends MCO reporting improvements
An OIG audit of a Texas managed care organization evaluated the effectiveness of its special investigative unit. Read the OIG’s recommendations to prevent fraud, waste and abuse.