Federal News and Information
Medicare Documentation Signature Timeliness
Medicare providers must comply with documentation requirements, including the timeliness of documentation in connection with the provider signature. Unless the documentation for a service is completed; including signature; a provider cannot submit the service to Medicare. Medicare states if the service was not documented, then it was not done.
Providers are expected to complete the documentation of services “during or as soon as practicable after it is provided in order to maintain an accurate medical record.” This statement is from the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) Internet-Only Manual (IOM) Publication 100-04, Chapter 12, (PDF) Section 30.6.1. The manual is located here: https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/Manuals/Downloads/clm104c12.pdf. CMS does not provide any specific period, but a reasonable expectation would be no more than a couple of days away from the service itself.
Texas and New Mexico News and Information
Certification Programs for Hospice and Supported Palliative Care Professionals
TNMHO has posted a list of entities that provide certification to professionals in hospice and palliative care. Please remember, TNMHO does NOT endorse any product or certification. This is for information only.
Go to our members only section on our website: https://www.txnmhospice.org/.
New Mexico News and Information
Determination That A Public Health Emergency Exists
As a result of the consequences of wildfires and straight-line winds on the State of New Mexico, on this date and after consultation with public health officials as necessary, I, Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services, pursuant to the authority vested in me under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, do hereby determine that a public health emergency exists and has existed since April 5, 2022, in the State of New Mexico.
You can access the 1135 Waivers at: https://www.phe.gov/emergency/news/healthactions/section1135/Pages/default.aspx
Texas News and Information
Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC)
NFs, NATCEPs Needed to Serve as Nurse Aide Testing Sites
HHSC Long-term Care Regulation is seeking more nursing facilities to serve as Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program testing sites. Current NATCEPs that are not testing sites are urged to become testing sites.
With the pending expiration of the COVID-19 nurse aide waiver, many temporary nurse aides (those without certification) will want to use work and training gained during the public health emergency to count towards certification. More testing sites are needed to handle the potential volume.
Becoming a testing site will help you recruit new nurse aides to your nursing facility or new students to your training program.
See Provider Letter 2021-19 for information on the certification process for nurse aides training and working under the waiver. https://www.hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/providers/communications/2021/letters/PL2021-19.pdf.
As a reminder, if you do business with a nursing facility this does apply to you!
HHSC Issues Guidance for NFs on Obtaining Written Consent for Treating a Resident with Antipsychotic or Neuroleptic Medication (PL 2022-11)
HHSC has published Consent for Antipsychotic and Neuroleptic Medications (Provider Letter 2022-11) for nursing facilities. The PL explains that under current rules a resident receiving antipsychotic or neuroleptic medications must provide written consent. Written consent can also be given by a person authorized by law to consent on the resident’s behalf. Consent for antipsychotic and neuroleptic medications must be documented on HHSC Form 3713.
PL 2022-11 Consent for Antipsychotic and Neuroleptic Medication: https://www.hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pl2022-11.pdf
Demobilization of Emergency Staffing Resources for LTC Providers, State Operations Center
HHSC is notifying long-term care providers that the process of demobilizing state-supported emergency staffing, which began in February, has been completed. This is due to all areas of the state experiencing a sustained decline in COVID-19 cases since Jan. 26.
During the COVID-19 public health emergency, HHSC provided emergency staffing resources to assist LTC facilities with the burden associated with caring for residents due to COVID-19.
As of May 5, LTC providers may no longer request emergency staffing resources. Likewise, the State Operations Center operated by the Texas Division of Emergency Management is ceasing COVID-19 response operations on May 5. If you have questions email: [email protected].
2022 Hurricane Season Emergency Preparedness with COVID-19
Long-term care providers in Texas are reminded to review their emergency preparedness and response plans before Atlantic hurricane season begins, which runs June 1–Nov. 30. LTC providers should make updates, if necessary.
Providers should factor in COVID-19 contingencies when reviewing their preparedness plans. For example, as applicable:
- Are your receiving facilities and transportation contracts still viable?
- If your provider type is allowed to evacuate to a hotel and that is in your plan, are hotels open in your destination?
- How will you maintain infection control measures during evacuation or sheltering-in-place?
- If you have COVID-19 positive persons in your facility, how will that affect evacuation or sheltering-in-place?
- How will you make sure personal protective equipment is available in addition to food and medicine?
Providers affected by an adverse event, such as severe weather, or expects it will need to temporarily exceed capacity due to a disaster, should contact their HHSC LTC Regulatory regional office: https://www.hhs.texas.gov/about/find-us/long-term-care-regulatory-regional-contact-numbers.
Please refer to your program’s rules for more important information regarding emergency preparedness: https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac%24ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=3&ti=26&pt=1.
NF, ALF COVID-19 Vaccination Reporting Emergency Rules Expired May 5
Emergency rules for nursing facilities and assisted living facilities that required COVID-19 vaccination reporting expired May 5. This means that effective May 6, NFs and ALFs no longer have to report COVID-19 vaccination amongst staff and residents to HHSC.
The following rules expired May 5:
- 26 TAC §554.2804 – Nursing Facility
- 26 TAC §553.2004 – Assisted Living Facility
Email questions to LTCR Policy: [email protected].
HHSC LTCR State Office Architectural Unit Contact Information Update
HHSC Long-term Care Regulation State Office Architectural Unit has updated their contact information for facility-based long-term care providers. The LTCR Architectural Unit can be reached by calling 512-438-2371 or emailing [email protected].
Inpatient hospice providers~
Emergency Rule Update Regarding Hospital Off-Site Facilities and Designation of Licensed Hospital Space in Response to COVID-19
On March 15, 2022, HHSC adopted an emergency rule permitting a currently licensed hospital to apply to temporarily operate an off-site inpatient facility, including hospital space designated by another currently licensed hospital for use as an off-site facility, without obtaining a new license to more effectively treat and house patients in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
HHSC notified providers of this emergency rule by issuing Guidance Letter 22-1002 on March 15, 2022.
This emergency rule expires on July 12, 2022, and HHSC does not intend on extending the emergency rule beyond the expiration date. The letter can be accessed here: https://www.hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/gl22-1002.pdf.
Once the emergency rule expires on July 12, 2022, all licensed hospitals utilizing this emergency rule must resume operations and obtain licensure for off-site locations as required by Texas Administrative Code Title 25, Chapter 133 at https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac%24ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=4&ti=25&pt=1&ch=133. .
For questions or more information, please contact us by emailing [email protected].
COVID Relief Grants
HHSC released the following statement “
Senate Bill (SB) 8, 87th Legislature, 3rd Called Session, 2021, appropriates funding for the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to issue awards to support Texas healthcare providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These awards include funding for Rural Hospitals, Nursing Facilities, Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs), home health agencies (HHA), Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities or related conditions (ICFs/IID), and providers of Community Attendant Services.
This does NOT apply to hospice providers. HCSSA licenses with a home health category and serving home health patients can access this grant.
Follow-up Survey: Planning and Response Capabilities of the State Health Care System
Senate Bill 969, as passed by the 87th Texas Legislature and signed into law by the Governor, requires DSHS to evaluate the planning and response capabilities of the state health care system, including hospitals, long-term care facilities and laboratories, to respond to public health threats.
This is a follow-up survey in response to a survey that was sent statewide in April. The results of that survey have been received and analyzed to identify the top five strengths and top five areas for improvement of the planning and response capabilities of the state health care system.
The deadline to take the follow-up survey is May 27 and will take about 10 minutes to complete. Coordinate with other people in your organization to not submit multiple or duplicate responses for a single entity.
Texas Medicaid Healthcare Partnership (TMHP)
EFT Process for LTC Providers Contracting with HHSC Information
Providers that plan to offer services for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Long-Term Care (LTC) programs must complete both of the following processes: • Enrollment • Contracting LTC providers are required first to enroll in Texas Medicaid through the Provider Enrollment and Management System (PEMS). Once enrolled in Texas Medicaid, providers must complete contracting processes with HHSC. This will include all contracting steps including Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and direct deposit setup and maintenance.
For more information on
- Enrollment through PEMS, call the TMHP Contact Center at 800-925-9126
- HHSC contracting processes, call the LTC program Contact Center at 800-626-4117 or 800-727-5436
- Providers with questions about how to sign up for or obtain direct deposit or how to sign up for EFT, contact HHSC Accounting at 737-867-7580 or [email protected] .
Scheduled System Maintenance Outage June 10, 2022
TMHP has scheduled a system maintenance outage to begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 10, 2022, to last until 7 p.m., Saturday, June 11, 2022. During a system maintenance outage, all web-based applications and functions are unavailable. For more information, call the TMHP Contact Center at 800-925-9126 or the TMHP-CSHCN Services Program Contact Center at 800-568-2413.