Texas Health and Human Services Digest: May 7, 2020

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • Linkedin

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

This meeting will be webcast Proposed Medicaid Payment Rates for the Medicaid Biennial Calendar Fee Review

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.

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

End Date

NEW: 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 Administration for Community Living (ACL) has opened a new funding opportunity on Alternatives to Guardianship Youth Resource Center. Research shows the majority (57 percent) of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (ID/DD) ages 18 to 22 receiving publicly funded services have guardians. This Center will work to divert high school students with ID/DD away from guardianship to less restrictive decisional supports. The target audience for this information includes youth with ID/DD, parents and caregivers of high school students with ID/DD, special education teachers, education administrators, advocates, vocational rehabilitation counselors, guidance counselors, and school district officials.

ACL seeks to fund one five-year grant to create an Alternatives to Guardianship Youth Resource Center (totaling $1.5 million). As a result of funding this Center, expects that:

  • More students with ID/DD will have more decisional options, such as Powers of Attorney, supported-decision-making (SDM), joint bank accounts, bill paying services, and medical or educational release forms, on completion of high school;
  • Fewer young adults with ID/DD will be subject to guardianship;
  • The public will become more knowledgeable of alternatives to guardianship; and
  • Youth will become more independent by gaining job experience and personal responsibilities.

To achieve these outcomes, the grantee will develop partnerships, conduct background research on alternatives to guardianship, develop resources and conduct outreach, create a community of practice, conduct youth leadership development, evaluate the project, and establish sustainability of these activities.

View more details and application instructions.

Please visit the link above for more details about the grant opportunity and application process. This grant opportunity closes on June 29, 2020.

The Administration on Disabilities (AoD) seeks to fund one (1) five-year grant to create an Alternatives to Guardianship Youth Resource Center. Research shows the majority (57 percent) of people with ID/DD ages 18 to 22 receiving publicly funded services have guardians. The Center will work to divert high school students with ID/DD away from guardianship to less restrictive decisional supports. The target audience for this information includes youth with ID/DD, parents and caregivers of high school students with I/DD, special education teachers, education administrators, advocates, vocational rehabilitation counselors, guidance counselors, and school district officials. As a result of funding this Center, AoD expects that:
1. More students with I/DD will have more decisional options, such as Powers of Attorney, supported-decision-making (SDM), joint bank accounts, bill paying services, and medical or educational release forms, on completion of high school;
2. Fewer young adults with I/DD will be subject to guardianship;
3. The public will become more knowledgeable of alternatives to guardianship; and4. Youth will become more independent by gaining job experience and personal responsibilities.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today issued a final rule that continues efforts to promote affordability, improve consumer choice, ensure program integrity, and increase market stability. In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, CMS is also announcing today a one week extension of the Qualified Health Plan (QHP) certification and rate review timelines. This additional time will allow issuers and states to better collect and assess data around the effects of COVID-19 and thereby establish more accurate premium rates.

The final Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for the 2021 benefit year, also referred to as the 2021 Payment Notice, contains several provisions intended to promote affordable insurance coverage, including a blueprint for issuers to design innovative healthcare plans that empower consumers to receive high value services at lower costs. For example, under such a design, an issuer can offer a plan that provides high-value services like blood pressure monitoring or cardiac rehabilitation with zero cost sharing. The rule also makes it easier for individual market issuers to offer wellness incentives to enrollees by explicitly recognizing certain incentives as quality improvement activities (QIA).

The final rule maintains the lower user fee rates on issuers participating on the federal Exchange platform that was set in the 2020 Payment Notice. These lower rates are made possible by CMS’s ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the Exchange, resulting in savings that will continue to be passed along to consumers in the form of lower premiums.

The rule also includes provisions aimed at improving consumer access to health coverage. Consumers will benefit from several improvements to special enrollment periods (SEPs), such as being able to make their coverage effective sooner under certain SEPs starting in January 2022. We are also providing State-based Exchanges (SBEs) that operate their own eligibility and enrollment platforms, with greater flexibilities to customize the display of quality information for consumers by either displaying quality rating data provided by CMS or quality rating data from their state.

Finally, the rule takes a number of important steps to improve program integrity and safeguard taxpayer dollars, including finalizing enhancements to the Periodic Data Matching (PDM) processes to reduce the risk of incorrect Advance Payments of the Premium Tax Credit (APTC) payments to enrollees determined to be deceased or dually enrolled in Medicare. In addition, the rule strengthens policy around the annual reporting of state-required benefits that are mandated in addition to Essential Health Benefits (EHB). States are now required to annually notify CMS of any additional state-required benefit mandates, or defer to CMS to do so, to help ensure taxpayers and consumers are not inappropriately paying the cost for these state mandates. States are required to defray the cost of any new state-mandated insurance benefits that are in addition to EHB, so that taxpayers do not inappropriately cover that portion of enrollees’ premiums.

Today, CMS also issued the Final 2021 Annual Letter to Issuers which provides guidance to issuers that want to offer QHPs on a Federally-facilitated Exchange (FFE), the final Key Dates Calendar for the 2020 Calendar Year and the revised Rate Review Bulletin.

The Governor’s Extraordinary Emergency Funds (EEF) for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) have been depleted. The department has been able to fund several submitted emergency requested across the State of Texas and any submitted requests for funding will be reviewed for consideration for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21).

Funding is set aside each fiscal year from the EMS and Trauma Care System Account (911 Funds), the Trauma Facilities and Trauma Care System Fund (enacted by Senate Bill 1131, 78th Legislature) and the Designated Trauma Facility and Emergency Medical Services Account (enacted by House Bill 3588, 78th Legislature) to support the emergent, unexpected needs of EMS providers or DSHS-approved organizations. Proposals are evaluated based on impact to the regional or statewide EMS/trauma system.

Eligible applicants include:

  • licensed EMS providers
  • registered first responder organizations
  • licensed hospitals

Applications must include a description of the following:

  1. The Extraordinary Emergency Fund Checklist.
  2. A written proposal. Describe the recent extraordinary emergency event that has occurred and the impact to your service. Explain how denial of this request for funding will affect your community. Describe alternative solutions you have sought to resolve your emergency. Describe the types of subsidy you receive from the community.
  3. Budget documentation for the last year and current quarter (income/expense/savings statements).
  4. Invoice(s) or quoted price for the item(s) you need.

Include complete answers to the following questions to assist us with the evaluation of your proposal in determining a funding recommendation.

  • Did this need arise suddenly?
  • Does budget documentation represent typical income/revenue funds appropriate for operating an organization of this size?
  • Will our assistance maintain the level of your service? Emergency funds are not intended to expand your service.
  • If requesting equipment, describe how the replacement item(s) compares to the original piece of equipment. Is the replacement item an upgrade?
  • Does your organization participate in the Regional Advisory Council?

Applicants may return the above application packet to us by fax (512/834-6736), postal service at Office of EMS/Trauma Systems, Department of State Health Services, MC 1876, P O Box 149347, Austin, TX 78714-9347, or by email to:

Liana Mendoza, Grants and Funding Specialist
Liana.Mendoza@dshs.texas.gov
Phone: 512-834-6752

Learn more here.