Texas Health and Human Services Digest: May 8, 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

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.

TitleProject No., DescriptionContactComment End Date
NEW: Title 25, Chapter 300 Manufacture, Distribution, and Retail Sale of Consumable Hemp Products (link is external)#19R074: Consumable Hemp ProductsDSHS Hemp Program6/8/20
NEW: 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 Office6/8/20
NEW: 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

Summary. Please note, some aspects of influenza surveillance may be affected by current COVID-19 response activities. For information about COVID-19 in Texas, please visit www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus .

Compared to the previous week, the percentage of specimens testing positive for influenza reported by hospital laboratories has decreased. The percentage of patient visits due to influenza-like illness (ILI) has decreased. No influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported. No influenza-associated institutional outbreaks or school closures were reported.

Laboratory Results. Influenza In response to the COVID-19, influenza testing at Texas Public Health Laboratories has significantly decreased to increase capacity for SARS-CoV-2 testing. Please note, this will affect data in Table 3 and Figure 2. Hospital laboratories across Texas voluntarily report influenza tests (antigen, culture, and PCR) to the National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS). Providers throughout Texas also submit specimens for influenza testing (PCR) to Texas public health laboratories, including the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) state laboratory in Austin and the nine Texas Laboratory Response Network (LRN) laboratories. The results reported by Texas NREVSS participants and public health laboratories for the current week are summarized in the two tables below.

Additional influenza test results (rapid tests, culture, PCR) and ILI activity were reported from providers and public health departments throughout the state (see county map at the end of this report).

Access the full report here.

The Administration on Disabilities (AoD) at the Administration for Community Living (ACL) is announcing a new funding opportunity for “Closing the Health Disparity Gap for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (ID/DD): Strengthening the U.S. Health Care Workforce”.

Many health care providers do not receive the training needed to ensure that individuals with ID/DD receive adequate and equitable care. AoD seeks to improve health outcomes for the ID/DD population by changing the training received by medical and other health-professions students. This project is a critical activity of AoD’s strategic priority to reduce health disparities, extend life expectancy, and ensure access to equitable and accessible healthcare. It will complement the AoD’s Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities (CDHPD) at the University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCCEDD) funded last year.

ACL seeks to fund one five-year cooperative agreement (totaling $1,750,000) that will increase and accelerate current efforts to embed ID/DD content into medical and allied health school education programs. The goal of the project is to improve quality healthcare for individuals with ID/DD by increasing the ID/DD-specific knowledge, skills, attitudes, and competence of the health care workforce.

The intended outcomes of the project will be an increase in the number of medical and allied health professional students trained in ID/DD; increased student knowledge of the health care needs of individuals with ID/DD; increased number of medical and allied health professionals reporting being prepared to provide health care to individuals with ID/DD; and increasing the knowledge and skills of the medical and allied health care faculty to train students on the ID/DD population.

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

Texas Health and Human Services is accepting comments from stakeholders on the following proposed rules, which are now posted in the Texas Register. The comment period ends June 8, 2020.

  • Texas Health and Human Services Commission 1 TAC, Part 15, Chapter 372 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs, Subchapter F Benefits. Comments can be emailed to HHSC Access and Eligibility Services.
  • Texas Health and Human Services Commission 1 TAC, Part 15, Chapter 377 Children’s Advocacy Programs, Subchapter C Standards of Operation for Local Children’s Advocacy Centers. Comments can be emailed to HHSC Rules Coordination Office.

Texas Department of State Health Services is accepting comments from stakeholders on the following proposed rules, which are now posted in the Texas Register. The comment period ends June 8, 2020.

  • Department of State Health Services 25 TAC, Part 1, Chapter 300 Manufacture, Distribution, and Retail Sale of Consumable Hemp Products. Comments can be emailed to DSHS Hemp Program.

Questions can be emailed to HHS Rules Coordination Office.

Visit the HHS Rulemaking website for more information.