Texas Health and Human Services Digest: May 12, 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 Programs5/11/20

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.

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

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) issued a Request for Applications (RFA) for a Money Basics Program. Through this grant, one organization will develop a program that will increase the money management skills of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). This program should be universally available or easily replicable.

Program Goals
A successful money basics program will educate, train, and support people with IDD on how to effectively manage their own money and have more control over their own lives. Knowledge about money management could be shared as:

  • in-person trainings;
  • printed guides;
  • and/or digital self-paced courses

Tools could be available as either printed or online forms. The use of technology could also be incorporated to support ongoing education and/or real-life money management. Participants should include adults with IDD who have income- whether from working, public benefits, or both.
Funding and Program Duration

The funding amount for this RFA is $150,000 for up to five years. Funding is available for one project. The RFA will be open for six months, and the first deadline to apply is June 29, 2020.

Follow this link for detail on the Money Basics Program

The Administration on Disabilities (AoD) at the Administration for Community Living (ACL) is announcing a new funding opportunity for “Community-Based Transition Partnership Planning Grants”.  Transition services and supports currently offered to youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) by school systems and health systems can be both difficult to understand and navigate. Improvements in the transition process and services are needed to enhance coordination of supports across a wide range of services including health care, social supports, leisure, career guidance, housing, education, financial literacy, and employment to better support youth and adults transitioning to community living.

For decades, University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service (UCEDDs) have trained university students, practicing professionals, direct service providers, and policy makers in meeting the needs of individuals of all ages with ID/DD. Additionally, UCEDDs work on the issue of transition for youth and adults with ID/D. They are experienced at working with nonprofit, community-based service provider organizations. UCEDDs are in a unique position to advance promising practices leading to better transition experiences for youth and adults with ID/DD.

ACL seeks to fund up to 10 planning grants for existing UCEDDs to convene partnerships in states that will develop plans to ensure community integration, through the creation of sustainable, high quality, community-based transition pilots, for youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). With this additional funding, UCEDDs will be able to improve transition practices.

View more details and application instructions.

Please note: Entities eligible to apply for funds under this funding opportunity announcement are the 67 current AoD grantees that are designated University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. Applications from other entities not designated as a current UCEDD by 2019 will not be reviewed.    
Please visit the link above for more details about the grant opportunity and application process. This grant opportunity closes on June 29, 2020.

HHSC is requiring TxHmL, DBMD and HCS program providers to complete a brief survey regarding day habilitation services by June 15, 2020. A separate survey must be completed for each location day habilitation is provided or contracted in these programs. Detailed Information is located in the IL20-23 – Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Day Habilitation Survey (PDF). HHSC is conducting the survey to determine the level at which day habilitation settings are currently in compliance with the federal regulation 42 CFR §441.301 (c) (4) regarding home and community-based settings.

Proposed changes to Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System would remove barriers to the development of lifesaving antimicrobials and speed approval of new technology add-on payments

CMS proposed changes for acute care and long term care hospitals that build on the progress made over the last three years and further the agency’s priority to transform the healthcare delivery system through competition and innovation while providing patients with better value and results. The proposed rule would update Medicare payment policies for hospitals paid under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and the Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System (PPS) for fiscal year 2021.

CMS is proposing a separate new hospital payment category for Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy. CAR-T is the first-ever gene therapy, and uses a patient’s own genetically modified immune cells to treat people with certain types of cancer, instead of additional chemotherapy or other types of treatment paid for under the IPPS. Currently, CAR-T hospital cases are paid at the same rate as bone marrow transplants and qualify for additional payments through the temporary new technology add-on payment for high cost cases that’s set to expire this year. The new inpatient hospital payment category, or the Medicare Severity Diagnostic Related Group (MS-DRG), for CAR-T will provide a predictable payment rate for hospitals administering the therapy. This is another example of CMS’s commitment to ensuring that beneficiaries have access to the latest medical innovation and to removing barriers to medical innovation across our healthcare system.

Today’s rule includes proposals to remove barriers to new antimicrobials, which are antibiotics to treat drug-resistant infections. Medicare beneficiaries account for the majority of new diagnoses and resulting deaths due to drug-resistant infections, which also remains a public health concern. To support access to these critical antibiotics for Medicare beneficiaries, CMS is proposing changes for the new technology add-on payment (NTAP) which is an additional payment to hospitals for cases using eligible high cost technologies. CMS is proposing that drugs that are approved by the FDA under the Limited Population Pathway for Antibacterial and Antifungal Drugs (LPAD pathway) can seek an NTAP through an alternative NTAP pathway for certain antimicrobial products, which is the same streamlined pathway we made available last year for drugs designated by the FDA as Qualified Infectious Disease Products (QIDPs). This provides more predictability for these products with respect to new technology add-on payments.

CMS is proposing to collect a summary of certain data already required to be disclosed by CMS’ 2019 price transparency rule, specifically hospitals’ median payer-specific negotiated inpatient services charges for Medicare Advantage organizations and third party payers. In addition, the agency is requesting information regarding the potential use of these data to set relative Medicare payment rates for hospital procedures. These provisions advance the mandates in President’s Executive Orders on Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States, Executive Order on Improving Price and Quality Transparency in American Healthcare to Put Patients First, and Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation’s Seniors.

CMS is taking action to protect the health and safety of our nation’s patients and providers in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Following President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, CMS has announced aggressive actions and regulatory flexibilities to help healthcare providers and states respond to and contain the spread of COVID-19. To keep up with the important work the Task Force is doing in response to COVID-19, go to Coronavirus.gov.  For information specific to CMS, please visit the Current Emergencies Website.