New Mexico Register
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham renewed and extended the State of Public Health Emergency through May 30, 2022. To review the order, go to: https://www.srca.nm.gov/nmac/nmregister/pdf/xxxiii10.pdf.
Permanent Vaccine Rule for HCSSA’s: The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) adopts an amendment to §558.303, concerning Standards for Possession of Sterile Water or Saline, Certain Vaccines or Tuberculin, and Certain Dangerous Drugs. The amendment to §558.303 is adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the November 12, 2021, issue of the Texas Register (46 TexReg 7707). This rule will not be republished.
New Rule for Public Health Emergencies: The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) adopts in Texas Administrative Code Title 26, Part 1, new Chapter 570, consisting of §§570.2, 570.111, 570.113, 570.325, 570.327, 570.513, 570.514, 570.611, 570.613, 570.711, and 570.713, concerning Subchapter A, Introduction; Subchapter B, Assisted Living Facilities; Subchapter D, Home and Community Support Services Agencies; Subchapter F, Nursing Facilities; Subchapter G, Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions; and Subchapter H, Home and Community-Based Services.
The adopted HCSSA rules cover: Division 2 Hospice Agencies Operating an Inpatient Facility – visitation and essential caregiver visits
To review the rules that are adopted, go to: https://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/archive/May272022/Adopted%20Rules/26.HEALTH%20AND%20HUMAN%20SERVICES.html#68.
The Texas Register withdrew rules within Chapter 570 as the comments were substantive enough to cause further discussions. Comments can be read within the above link.
- DIVISION 2.HOSPICE AGENCIES OPERATING AN INPATIENT FACILITY 26 TAC §§570.317 – 570.319 (emergency response to outbreak, testing and reporting), 570.321 (screening), 570.323 (staff requirements), 570.329(temporary partial or full closure to allow for space to be used to treat non-hospice clients in an emergency) –The Health and Human Services Commission withdraws these proposed new rules which appeared in the November 12, 2021, issue.
- SUBCHAPTER D. HOME AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT SERVICES AGENCIESDIVISION 1.ALL HCSSAS EXCEPT HOSPICE INPATIENT UNITS 26 TAC §§570.301 – 570.303 (emergency outbreak, epidemic or pandemic), 570.305 (reporting) , 570.307 (screening) , 570.309 (staff requirements), 570.311 (determining essential visit), 570.313 (supervisory visits by telecommunication), 570.315 (client symptoms)–The Health and Human Services Commission withdraws these proposed new rules which appeared in the November 12, 2021, issue.
Federal News and Information
Palmetto GBA to Discontinue Support of Internet Explorer
As of June 15, 2022, Palmetto GBA’s eServices Portal and other online services will no longer support Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE). After this date, we will officially support the following browsers:
- Microsoft Edge (most current version)
- Mozilla Firefox (Version 84.x)
- Google Chrome (Version 87.x)
If you are currently using IE we strongly encourage you to update to one of the above web browsers. When changing browsers it is important to familiarize yourself with the various user interfaces and navigational changes.
If you are presently using one of the browsers listed above, there will be no changes when utilizing eServices or other online services offered by Palmetto GBA.
Palmetto GBA is committed to providing our users with the most updated technological standards and guidelines so that you can continue to utilize our services successfully. If you are having issues installing the programs or encountering other errors, we encourage you to reach out to your help desk or I.T. professional for assistance.
Texas News and Information
Governor Abbott Renews COVID-19 Disaster Declaration
Governor Abbott. renewed the disaster proclamation for all counties in Texas on May 22, 2022. To read the declaration, go to: https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-renews-covid-19-disaster-declaration-in-may-2022
Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC)
List Published: NATCEPs Willing to Take on Additional Nurse Aide Students
HHSC has published a list of Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Programs that are willing to take on additional nurse aide students seeking certification using work training and experience gained during the COVID-19 public health emergency. HHSC polled NATCEPs to see who is able to take on additional nurse aide students and the those who responded “Yes” were added to the list. The list can be accessed here: https://www.hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/table-natcepts-additional-nurse-aide-student-availibility.pdf.
Please note that some NATCEPs may offer additional training for a fee, however, it is not required by the Nurse Aide Transition from Temporary Status rules. https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac%24ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=26&pt=1&ch=556&rl=100.
For additional information see PL 2021-19 Certification Process for Nurse Aides Training and Working Under a Waiver. Go to: https://www.hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/providers/communications/2021/letters/PL2021-19.pdf.
HHSC Urges Long-Term Care Facilities to Update Emergency Preparedness Plans Before Hurricane Season
- Long-term care facilities are reminded to make sure their emergency preparedness plans are updated ahead of the start of an active hurricane season forecasted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Providers across the state are urged to review their emergency preparedness and response plans before hurricane season begins June 1.
- “We are reminding providers how urgent it is to ensure that their plans are updated and that staff at every level are trained on how to fully execute them,” said Stephen Pahl, deputy executive commissioner for HHSC’s Regulatory Services Division. “We all know how unpredictable and dangerous the Texas hurricane season can be, so it is critical that facilities do everything they can in advance to protect residents’ health and safety.”
- Long-term care providers include nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, hospices, intermediate care facilities and Home and Community-based Services group homes. These facilities are required to regularly prepare for natural disasters, including hurricanes and flooding.
- A complete emergency preparedness and response plan includes up-to-date information about evacuation destinations, transportation plans, responsibilities of staff members, continuation of care and treatments for residents, and communication procedures. HHSC issues guidance to providers about updating their plans and encourages facilities to visit the DSHS Texas Ready website for helpful hurricane preparedness resources, including sample plans, disaster supply checklists, and more information on preparing for hurricanes and other emergencies.
- In addition to long-term care facilities, HHSC also requires hospitals, dialysis centers, and state-regulated child-care operations to maintain an updated emergency plan and ensure staff are fully trained on how to execute it.
- Emergency preparedness plans should continue to address COVID-19 contingencies, including securing supplies of personal protective equipment and maintaining infection control measures during evacuations or sheltering-in-place.
- The Atlantic hurricane season, which affects the Gulf Coast of Texas, runs from June 1 until November 30.
About Texas HHS Disaster Services
In the event of an emergency, Texas HHS is ready to help by providing regulatory support for health care facilities, long-term care facilities, and child-care operations; public health and medical support; shelters for people with medical needs; disaster food assistance; counseling services assistance; water and ice; and special waivers for Medicaid providers and clients as needed. For more information, visit the Texas HHSC Disaster Services website: https://www.hhs.texas.gov/services/financial/disaster-assistance.
HHSC Free Training Opportunities
HHSC has posted and emailed a detailed list of trainings that staff may be interested in. Topics include:
- HCSSA administrator
- Abuse, Neglect Exploitation
- Certified Nurse Aide (rules and caring for residents)
- Managing Complaints
- Hurricane and Flood Preparedness
If you did not see the email, go to the following links:
- Joint Training: https://apps.hhs.texas.gov/providers/training/jointtraining.cfm
- HCSSA Training: https://apps.hhs.texas.gov/providers/training/hcssa.cfm
- Web-based training: https://www.hhs.texas.gov/providers/long-term-care-providers/long-term-care-provider-resources/long-term-care-provider-web-based-training
Texas Medicaid Healthcare Partnership (TMHP)
HHSC Publishes Information on Preparing for Fee-for-Service Claims Billing Closeout IL 2022-31
This information letter (IL) is for providers to prepare for the Aug. 31 end of fiscal year closeout. It is important for providers to promptly submit claims to be paid by HHSC for any unbilled services. HHSC will publish additional details regarding cutoff dates for fiscal year 2022 in an upcoming HHSC information letter when they are available.
Submit questions about this project by calling Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership at 800-626-4117, Option 1. Invalid or inappropriate recoupments should be immediately reported to HHSC Provider Recoupments and Holds by calling 512-438-2200, Option 3. The letter is located here: https://www.hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/IL2022-31.pdf.
Disclaimer: The Texas and New Mexico Hospice Organization publishes the Regulatory Update as an information only item. TNMHO has no attorneys nor does it represent the state and federal governments. All legal questions or concerns should be directed to your attorney or the governments involved.