Texas Oasis HCBS Dementia Training Course Available Online

The Texas Oasis HCBS Dementia Training Academy course is now available online. This is the same information taught in the regional trainings. In the online course, you will find the following:

  • Self-paced lessons for all levels of experience
  • Warm-up exercises at the beginning of each lesson
  • Wrap-up sections at the end of each lesson
  • In-depth information to satisfy legislative staffing requirements for facilities that provide care to people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
  • Innovative methods and tools to care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, enabling them to remain in the community

The Texas Health and Safety Code requires that facilities, including home and community based providers, ensure staff who care for people with Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder receive training in caring for that population. More information can be found here.

Email questions to QMP@hhsc.state.tx.us.

Registration Now Open for the Advanced CNA Academy

Register now for this free, two-day training. It will provide comprehensive training for nursing facility certified nurse aides, helping them to understand their role in the nursing facility and learn more about how to care for the geriatric population.

Topics to be covered include empowerment, communication, time management, organizational skills, stress and burnout, and professionalism along with understanding geriatric residents and those with intellectual or developmental disabilities, mental illness and complex medical needs. The training also covers competencies such as hand washing, perineal care, nutrition, safety and transfers. Participants will be provided the latest resources and tools to enable them to provide the best possible care and quality of life for residents.

Visit the conference web page for more information. Email questions to QMP@hhsc.state.tx.us.

Center for Excellence in Aging Services and Long-Term Care Update

The Center for Excellence in Aging Services and Long-Term Care is a partnership between HHSC and The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing. The center offers a web-based platform for the delivery of best practices, with a focus on geriatrics and disabilities. The content on the website has been adapted to meet the educational needs of a variety of professionals who provide care to residents of long term care facilities in Texas.

Under the leadership of Dr. Tracie Harrison, the center is an educational platform for the delivery of geriatric and disability best practices to providers of long-term care.

Content for phase IV of the center is now available. This phase of the project provides caregivers with information about the challenges faced by those with intellectual and developmental disabilities as they age. Visit the Center for Excellence in Aging Services and Long-Term Care website for more information.

Infection Control Update

Flu season will be here soon, and nursing facilities must be prepared to implement their vaccination programs and manage any outbreaks that occur.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website provides guidance for vaccination and outbreak management. Specific guidance for long-term care facilities can be found here.

Providers must also be familiar with reporting requirements for infectious diseases.

  • A list of notifiable conditions in Texas is available on the DSHS website, and includes the timeframes for reporting. In addition to the conditions listed, any outbreaks, exotic diseases, and unusual group expressions of disease must be reported. Contact information for your local health department, based upon the county the facility is located in, can be found here.
  • Nursing facilities have additional reporting requirements per 40 TAC §19.1923(b)(1)-(2). NFs are required to self-report outbreaks to the HHS Consumer Rights and Services. For more information about self-reporting incidents to CRS, please see Provider Letter 2017-18. The report must be made to CRS within 24 hours.

QMP has developed and implemented an infection prevention and control best practice focus area. Quality monitors can visit your facility to evaluate your infection prevention and control program, and provide technical assistance for improvement as needed.

If you would like to schedule a QMP visit, please email your request to QMP@hhsc.state.tx.us.

Opioid Use and Substance Abuse

Opioid medications are often prescribed for chronic pain; however the United States is experiencing an epidemic of opioid overdoses with devastating effects on lives, families and communities. In response, the CDC and other organizations developed a number of resources for prescribers and other providers related to opioid medication use.

In January 2018, the Texas Medicaid Vendor Drug Program began limiting the daily morphine equivalent dose that people enrolled in Medicaid fee-for-service could receive, with the maximum allowable decreasing over time.

Medicaid managed care organizations may have prior authorization procedures that must be followed for people covered by their plans. Managed care plans are not required to follow the fee-for-service MED limitations, but they cannot implement policies that are more restrictive than fee-for-service.

Pain management is an important quality of care issue for providers, balancing the risks vs. benefits of any specific treatment or intervention. Research has confirmed that in some populations, such as people with dementia, pain is often under-recognized and undertreated.

QMP has developed this brochure as a resource for prescribers, consultant pharmacists, and facility staff as they as they work to ensure the appropriate use of opioid medications in their residents.

The QMP Pain Management web page has additional evidence-based best practice resources for managing pain in nursing home residents.

Questions can be emailed to QMP@hhsc.state.tx.us.