Texas Health and Human Services Digest: May 11, 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.

May 22, 2020

May 27, 2020

The Administrative Procedure Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 2001(link is external)) 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.

The Administrative Procedure Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 2001(link is external)) 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.

TitleProject No., DescriptionContactComment End Date
Title 25, Chapter 300 Manufacture, Distribution, and Retail Sale of Consumable Hemp Products (link is external)#19R074: Consumable Hemp ProductsDSHS Hemp Program6/8/20
Title 1, Chapter 377 Children’s Advocacy Programs, Subchapter C Standards of Operation for Local Children’s Advocacy Centers (link is external)#20R017: Children’s Advocacy ProgramsHHSC Rules Coordination Office6/8/2
Title 1, Chapter 372 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs, Subchapter F Benefits (link is external)#20R028: SNAP Benefits DistributionHHSC Access and Eligibility Services6/8/20
Title 1, Chapter 353, Subchapter O, Section 353.1305 Uniform Hospital Rate Increase Program (link is external)#20R046: IMDs Eligible for Uniform Hospital Rate Increase ProgramHHSC Hospital Finance and Waiver Programs5/26/20
Title 1, Chapter 355, Subchapter J, Division 11, Section 355.8212 Waiver Payments to Hospitals for Uncompensated Charity Care (link is external)#20R047: Waiver Payments to Hospitals for Uncompensated Charity CareHHSC Hospital Finance and Waiver Programs5/26/20
Title 1, Chapter 355, Subchapter J, Division 11 Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement Program Reimbursement (link is external)#20R038: Unspent Uncompensated Care Payments to HospitalsHHSC Hospital Finance and Waiver Programs5/11/20F

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.
Word format unless otherwise noted.
TitleProject No.ContactComment
Start Date
Comment

End Date

Title 26, Chapter 553 Licensing Standards for Assisted Living Facilities#19R066HHSC Policy Rules and Training5/7/205/21/20
Title 25, Chapter 228, Retail Food#20R023DSHS Consumer Protection Division4/27/205/11/20
Title 26, Chapter 565 Texas Home Living & Chapter 566 Home and Community-based Services#20R040HHSC Policy Rules and Training5/1/205/8/20

 

Pre-publication review and dispute for the Program Year 2019 Open Payments data is available through May 15, 2020. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will publish the Open Payments Program Year 2019 data and updates to the previous program years’ data in June 2020.

Physician and teaching hospital review of the data is voluntary, but strongly encouraged. Please keep in mind the following:

  • Records eligible for review and dispute: all records submitted during the submission period of the current calendar year, including newly edited, submitted, and re-attested records from previous calendar years. For detailed information refer to the Physician and Teaching Hospital Review and Dispute Tutorial
  • Disputes must be initiated by May 15, 2020 in order to be reflected in the June 2020 data publication. Disputes initiated after May 15, 2020 will be reflected in a later data publication / data refresh. For more information on review and dispute timing and publication refer to the Review and Dispute Timing and Data Publication Quick Reference Guide.
  • CMS does not meditate or facilitate disputes. Physicians and teaching hospitals should work directly with reporting entities to resolve disputes.

 

Registration in the Open Payments system is required in order to participate in review and dispute activities.

Registration Details. If you have never registered with Open Payments before:

Make sure you have your National Provider Identifier (NPI) number and State License Number (SLN). Initial registration is a two-step process:

  1. Register in the CMS Enterprise Identity Management System (EIDM);
  2. Register in the Open Payments system

Users that have registered during previous program years do not need to re-register.

If the account has not been accessed for the last 60 days, the account will have been locked due to inactivity. To unlock an account, go to the CMS Enterprise Portal, enter your user ID and correctly answer all challenge questions to gain access to your account. You will be prompted to create a new password.

If the account has not been accessed for 180 days or more, the account will be deactivated. To reactivate the account, call the Open Payments Help Desk at 1-855-326-8366; (TTY Line:1-844-649-2766)

For more information about the registration process, visit the physician and teaching hospital registration page on the Open Payments website.

COVID-19 Review and Dispute Information. CMS cannot extend the pre-publication review and dispute period, but covered recipient review and dispute actions can be completed within the Open Payments system throughout the calendar year. We understand the health care community is working tirelessly to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and appreciate the dedication of health care providers during this time. We remain committed to ensuring covered recipients are aware of and take advantage of their opportunity to review their data and dispute it if needed.

Read the Open Payments Pre-Publication Review and Dispute COVID-19 Announcement.

Only 53 percent of Texas households have responded to the 2020 Census, compared to the national average of 58 percent. There are three ways to be counted – online, by phone, or by mail. With the current COVID-19 situation, the first two options are best and everyone should be aware of census-related scams. If you have not yet completed the once-in-a-decade survey, please do so and encourage others to do so as well. It typically only takes a few minutes and is critically important to a fast-growing state like Texas.

If you represent an organization, we invite you to use your various communication channels and social media accounts to help get the word out. Be sure to use #ShapeYourFuture in your social media posts. There are many resources on the Census 2020 website that your organization can use to help promote the census. And, you can keep up to date on the latest census response data with this interactive map.

Because the results of the survey are used to determine how much funding local communities receive for key public services and how many seats Texas gets in Congress. Officials also use census counts to draw boundaries for congressional, state legislative, and school districts. Getting an accurate count of all residents is critically important to providing the services Texans need, including the services DFPS provides to protect children and vulnerable adults. Remember that the census is more than a population count, it’s an opportunity to help shape the future of Texas communities.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA), and Dallas Independent School District (DISD), with the support of the Governor, launched Operation Connectivity, a statewide initiative to deliver internet connectivity and device solutions for school districts, families, and students in Texas. Operation Connectivity was originally started in Dallas to address the the lack of high speed internet and/or home laptops for many DISD students which caused an interruption to their learning, as education in the classroom transitioned to at-home digital instruction due to COVID-19. While this initiative was inspired by the COVID related issues faced by districts implementing distance learning, this initiative now aims to provide internet connectivity to hundreds of thousands of students statewide.The statewide implementation of this initiative will be led by the Operation Connectivity Task Force. DISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa and TEA Commissioner Morath will serve as co-chairs of the task force. Senator Larry Taylor, Chairman of the Committee on Education in the Texas Senate, and Representative Dan Huberty, Chairman of the Public Education Committee in the Texas House, will serve as members of the task force.The task force members will also include representatives from the following entities:

  • Office of the Governor
  • Local Education Agencies
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • Federal Communications Commission
  • EducationSuperHighway
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  • Department of Information Resources
  • Texas Computer Education Association
  • Chief Technology Officer Council of Texas

The Operation Connectivity Task Force will gather critical information to determine which children in the state do not have internet access and/or home devices, document best practices, identify and secure technology solutions for broadband and devices, develop actionable playbooks for districts across the state, identify funding needs and help secure resources, demonstrate “lighthouse” examples, including at DISD, and push for federal and state-level policies that connect more students learning at home to available technology resources.The task force will convene as a full group every month to review progress and resolve roadblocks, which will help to ensure the overall effort stays on-track. Working teams that support the larger task force will meet on a more regular basis to move forward on achieving milestones. A group of representatives from the Office of the Governor, TEA, and DISD—along with others—will be in regular communication to ensure rapid progress on this initiative.