Texas Health and Human Services Digest May 6, 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

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced today he will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $824.1 million in local sales tax allocations for May, 5 percent less than in May 2019. These allocations are based on sales made in March by businesses that report tax monthly, and sales made in January, February and March by quarterly filers.

Widespread social distancing requirements were not in place across much of the state until late March, meaning the impact of those measures affected only a portion of allocations for this month. The agency expects next month’s allocations, based on April sales, will show steeper declines compared to a year ago.

For details on May sales tax allocations to individual cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose districts, visit the Comptroller’s Monthly Sales Tax Allocation Comparison Summary Reports.

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.

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, 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.
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 Date
Comment
End Date
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 Health and Human Services Commission wants to strengthen service and care coordination between MCOs and other case management entities with the Service and Care Coordination Online Survey. With the information collected, we can identify potential gaps in processes and communication and in training needs and opportunities.

This survey is for informational purposes and should take about 25 to 45 minutes to complete. The deadline for feedback has been extended to Friday, May 15, 2020. Complete the survey here.

These are the people who should complete this survey. Service coordinators, service managers, LIDDA habilitation coordinators, case managers, wraparound facilitators, recovery management entity staff, and others who provide service or care coordination for one of the following:

  • Service coordinators or service managers of Texas Medicaid managed care organizations
  • Case management for children and pregnant women
  • Children with Special Health Care Needs
  • Community Living Assistance and Support Services
  • Deaf Blind with Multiple Disabilities
  • Consumer Directed Services
  • Early Childhood Intervention
  • Financial Management Services Agency
  • General revenue
  • Home and Community-based Services
  • Home and Community Based Services Adult Mental Health
  • Home Health Agency or Home and Community Support Services Agency
  • Local Intellectual and Developmental Disability Authority
  • Local Mental Health Authority/Local Behavioral Health Authority
  • State hospital
  • STAR Kids Medically Dependent Children Program
  • Texas Home Living
  • Youth Empowerment Services

Email your survey questions.

The DSHS TB/HIV/STD Section will move to a new physical location between May 18 and May 29, 2020. Due to COVID-19 precautions, the physical work location of most staff will not change until those precautions are modified. However, phone numbers, fax numbers, and the delivery address will change in stages:

May 18: The main section phone number will change to 737-255-4300. Some section fax machines and staff phone numbers will change. The physical delivery address will change to 201 West Howard Lane, Austin, Texas 78753. The mailing address will not change (DSHS TB/HIV/STD Section, Post Office Box 149347, MC 1873, Austin, Texas 78714). Please do not send deliveries to the new physical address until the location is staffed.

May 22: Fax and phone numbers for the HIV/STD Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch will change.

May 29: Fax and phone numbers for the Texas HIV Medication Program and Tuberculosis and Hansen’s Disease Branch will change.

Unchanged by the move: Section staff email addresses. Section web addresses. The Texas HIV Medication Program 1-800 number.

Stakeholders will be informed of the changed phone and fax information directly by DSHS staff. To learn more, contact Section staff, call the current Section phone number 512-533-3000, or email the section.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. There are several types of skin cancer, but melanoma causes most skin cancer deaths. Melanomas are tumors that arise from melanocytes, the cells that produce your skin’s natural color (pigment).

Melanoma is caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. The biggest environmental risk factor for developing melanoma is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. UV radiation damages DNA. However, other factors are also linked to increased risk for melanoma, including family history, a light skin complexion, and having a lot of freckles and moles.

Most cases of melanoma are sporadic, meaning that the genetic changes that led to the cancer were not inherited. Rather, the pigment cells accumulated these changes over a lifetime. But there are also inherited genetic changes that can increase your risk for skin cancer. Previous genome-wide association studies in people of European descent identified 21 genetic loci (regions of the genome) linked to melanoma risk, and other approaches identified another 12.

To evaluate genetic risk of melanoma more broadly for people across the globe, an international team of researchers led by Drs. Maria Teresa Landi at NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI), Matthew Law at QIMR Berghofer, and Mark Iles at the University of Leeds compared DNA from nearly 37,000 people with melanoma to 375,000 healthy people. Study participants were from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, northern and western Europe, and the Mediterranean. Results were published on April 27, 2020, in Nature Genetics.

The team identified 54 loci that were associated with melanoma, half of which were previously linked to a person’s risk for melanoma.

By combining their meta-analysis with genetic data linked with known risk factors, they identified another 31 loci that influence melanoma risk. These included eight linked to melanoma and mole count, 17 to melanoma and light hair color, and four to melanoma with both mole count and light hair color.
They found no major differences in the results between people living in different geographic regions.

Read the full release here.

Smiles for Moms and Babies works directly with TX Home Visiting (HV) Programs to provide oral health education about the importance of regular dental check-ups and home care for mom and baby. Check out our new video and lesson plan about what to expect during your child’s first dental visit. New materials are available in English and Spanish.

Coronavirus Disease 2019
The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) has adopted emergency rules related to Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-19. TSBDE has collated important COVID-19 resources for dentists.

Information about what to do if you’re sick, testing, symptoms, prevention tips and more is at dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus.

Looking for Oral Health Data?
The Oral Health Improvement Program collects and analyzes data from many sources. Data briefs are now available at Oral Health by the Numbers.