Independent Living Base/Operational Grant Standards for Service Providers

 

Chapter 1: Basic Standards for Centers for Independent Living (CILs)

Chapter 2: Program and Grant Administration Standards for Centers for Independent Living (CILs)

Chapter 3: Service Delivery

Chapter 4: Reporting

Chapter 1: Basic Standards for Centers for Independent Living (CILs)

Revision 19-0; Effective March 1, 2019

 

1.1 Overview

The Independent Living Base/Operational Grant Standards for Service Providers (ILBOGS) is specific to the centers that receive state funding for the provision of Independent Living Core Services. The focus of these Standards is on business practices, processes, and policies that are necessary for HHSC and the contractor to comply with federal, state, and agency laws, rules and requirements. Section 101(A)(6) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides that any state agency or contract service provider who receives federal funds must take affirmative action to employ, and advance in employment, qualified individuals with disabilities.

Contracted service providers must be in full compliance with the standards in this chapter and with all applicable clauses in each contract.

Depending on the types of services offered, contracted service providers must also be in full compliance with the applicable standards included in other chapters relevant to the services they provide.

The Independent Living Services Program does not license or certify providers.

Service providers and their staff and sub-contractors, if any, are not employees of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).

HHSC contracts for the services described in this manual only with providers who are in full compliance with the applicable standards. Each provider is required to undergo a review process and to comply with periodic monitoring activities to ensure continued compliance with the ILBOGS.

 

1.2 Purpose

The Independent Living Base/Operational Grant Standards for Service Providers (ILBOGS) helps to ensure that consumers receive quality services to assist them in achieving a successful outcome to their independent living goal. In addition, the ILBOGS helps to ensure taxpayer funds are spent wisely and each purchase paid for with public funds represents full value to the taxpayer. Each contractor is responsible for maintaining compliance with the most recent ILBOGS.

 

1.3 Definitions

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, according to RSA 704 Report, Part II, Reporting Instructions.

Abuse – The negligent or willful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, or cruel punishment with resulting physical or emotional harm or pain; or sexual abuse, including any involuntary or nonconsensual sexual conduct that would constitute the offenses of indecent exposure or assault, committed by the person's caretaker, family member, or other individual who has an ongoing relationship with the person.

Act – The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

Advocacy and Legal Services – Assistance or representation for a consumer in obtaining access to entitled benefits, services and programs.

Assistive Technology Services – Providing or helping with the selection, acquisition or use of any assistive technology; that is, any piece of equipment, product, or software or hardware system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities and any assistive technology service that assists an individual with a disability.

Bilateral Contract – A legally binding document issued by HHSC that includes all terms and conditions and is signed by both HHSC and the contractor.

Billing Question Contact – The person authorized to make billing decisions for the contracted service provider.

Children's Services – Providing specific independent living (IL) services designed to serve individuals under the age of 14 with significant disabilities.

Communication Services – Services that enable consumers to better communicate, such as interpreter services, training in using communication equipment, braille instruction and reading services.

Confidential Information – Any communication or record (whether oral, written, or electronically stored or transmitted, or any other form of communication or record) provided to, or made available to, the service provider or that the service provider may create, receive, maintain, use, disclose or have access to on behalf of HHSC that consists of, or includes any or all of the following:

Conflict of Interest – A situation that creates a risk that professional judgment or actions will be unduly influenced by a personal interest or relationship and creates substantial conflicts with the proper discharge of duties required by this contract and the public interest.

Consumer – Any individual with a significant disability who is eligible for IL services under 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 364.40(a).

Consumer Service Record (CSR) – Maintained for an eligible consumer receiving IL services and meeting the requirements of 34 CFR Section 364.53. In cases where IL services are provided to the parent or guardian of a consumer, the CSR is established for the consumer and the services provided are reflected in that CSR. (Active CSRs are those corresponding to consumers who were served during the reporting year.)

Contract Manager – Manages the service provider contracts for the Independent Living Services Program. Providers may contact the contract manager for any questions about their contract.

Contractor – An entity or person holding a written agreement with a purchasing entity to provide goods and services; or a recipient or sub-recipient holding a written agreement with a grantor or sub-recipient to carry out all or part of a program. Sometimes used interchangeably with the terms "provider" or "service provider."

Core Services – IL services defined in Section 7(17) of the Act, which include information and referral services, IL skills training, peer counseling (including cross-disability peer counseling), transition, and individual and systems advocacy.

Counseling and Related Services – Services that include information-sharing, psychological services of a non-psychiatric, non-therapeutic nature, parent-to-parent services and related services.

Designated State Unit (DSU) – Units identified under Section 101(a)(2)(B) of the Act. In Texas, HHSC is the DSU.

Enrollment Contracts – The result of the process in which HHSC awards contracts for the same or similar goods or services to all entities that meet qualifications established by HHSC.

Entity – The business requesting, or that has been granted, a bilateral contract with HHSC to provide services on behalf of HHSC consumers.

Exploitation – The illegal or improper act or process of a caretaker, family member, or other individual who has an ongoing relationship with a person with a disability, using the resources of the disabled person for monetary or personal benefit, profit or gain without the informed consent of the disabled person.

Family Services – Services provided to the family members of an individual with a significant disability, when necessary for improving the person’s ability to live and function more independently or to engage or continue in employment. Such services may include respite care.

Formal Competitive Procurement – A competitive procurement process for contracts with an estimated value of more than $25,000.

Headquarters – The location where an entity stores consumer records and performs administrative responsibilities, as required by a bilateral contract with HHSC. Each entity must have a designated headquarters location.

Housing, Home Modifications and Shelter Services – Services related to securing housing or shelter, adaptive housing services (including appropriate accommodations to, and modifications of, any space used to serve or occupied by individuals with significant disabilities). Note: A Center for Independent Living (CIL) may not provide housing or shelter as an IL service either temporarily or long term unless the housing or shelter is incidental to the overall operation of the CIL and is provided to any individual for no more than eight weeks during any six-month period.

Independent Living Plan (ILP) – A plan for the provision of IL services mutually agreed upon by an appropriate staff member of a service provider and by an individual with significant disabilities.

Independent Living Skills Training and Life Skills Training Services – Services that may include instruction in developing independent living skills in personal care, coping, financial management, social skills and household management. These may also include education and training necessary for living in the community and participating in community activities.

Information and Referral Services – Services such as information about available services, as well as referrals to other agencies or resources relevant to independent living.

Legally Authorized Representative – A person who is authorized to sign contracts and official documents for the entity and to otherwise bind the entity.

Liaison – An HHSC staff member who has been assigned to work with the provider to be the first point of contact when questions arise about the Independent Living Services Standards. Liaisons assigned to the provider will routinely monitor the provider to ensure compliance with the Standards.

Mental Restoration Services – Psychiatric restoration services including maintenance on psychotropic medication, psychological services and treatment management for substance abuse.

Mobility Training Services – A variety of services that involve helping consumers get around in their homes and communities.

Neglect – The failure of a consumer or their caretaker to provide the goods or services, including medical services, necessary to avoid physical or emotional harm or pain of the consumer.

Noncompetitive Procurement Process – A process in which competitive procurement process solicitation methods are not required, and a process typically involving a direct application or enrollment process.

Peer Counseling Services – Counseling, teaching, information-sharing and similar kinds of contact provided to consumers by other people with disabilities.

Personal Assistance Services – Services that include help with personal bodily functions; communicative, household, mobility, work, emotional, cognitive, personal and financial affairs; community participation; parenting; leisure; and other related needs.

Physical Restoration Services – Services including medical services, health maintenance, eyeglasses and visual services.

Preventive Services – Services intended to prevent additional disabilities or to prevent an increase in the severity of an existing disability.

Program Manager – A primary role for oversight and supervision of the review schedule and any changes to be promulgated, and responsible for approval of changes and change process steps. Manages all staff in the Independent Living Services Program and should be contacted to discuss any issues that cannot be resolved with the supervisors in the Independent Living Services Program.

Program Specialist for Policy and Reporting (PSPR) – A primary role for developing, writing and maintaining internal policy, standards and other regulatory information.

Prostheses, Orthotics and Other Appliances – Providing or helping a consumer to obtain an adaptive device or appliance that substitutes for one or more parts of the human body.

Provider – A term used to represent entities, either agencies or individuals, approved to provide services to individuals with disabilities served by HHSC. The term "provider" may be used interchangeably with the terms "service provider" or "contractor."

Recreational Services – Providing or identifying opportunities for consumers to participate in meaningful leisure time activities. These may include such things as participating in community affairs and other recreation activities that may be competitive, active or quiet.

Rehabilitation Technology Services – Providing or helping consumers obtain adaptive modifications, such as wheelchairs and lifts, that address the barriers confronted by individuals with significant disabilities, including barriers to education, rehabilitation, employment, transportation, IL or recreation.

Service Authorization – The means by which HHSC authorizes a contractor to supply goods or services based upon specified terms and conditions. A service authorization is the only valid authorization by which purchases are made. No goods or services can be provided to a consumer without a service authorization for the specific good(s) or service(s) approved to be provided only for the start date and end date of the specific service authorization. Previously known as a "purchase order (PO)."

Service Provider – A term used to represent entities, either agencies or individuals, approved to provide services to individuals with disabilities served by HHSC. Sometimes interchanged with the terms "provider" or "contractor."

Significant Disability – An individual with a significant disability means an individual with a severe physical, mental, cognitive or sensory impairment whose ability to function independently in the family or community or whose ability to obtain, maintain or advance in employment is substantially limited and for whom the delivery of IL services will improve the ability to function, continue functioning, or move toward functioning independently in the family or community or to continue in employment.

Sub-Contractor – An independent contractor performing services that can be controlled by the employer. For more information, see: https://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Independent-Contractor-Defined. Anyone who is issued an IRS1099 is considered a sub-contractor.

Therapeutic Treatment – Services provided by registered occupational, physical, recreational, hearing, language or speech therapists.

Training and Technical Assistance Supervisor – A primary role for contribution of content changes, field level feedback and communication of changes in training updates, as required.

Transportation Services – Providing or arranging for transportation.

Youth Transition Services – Any service that develops skills specifically designed for youths with significant disabilities between the ages of 14 and 24 to promote self-awareness and esteem, develop advocacy and self-empowerment skills and explore career options, including transitioning from school to such activities as post-secondary education, vocational training, employment, continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living or community participation.

Other Services – Any IL services not listed above.

 

1.3.1 HHSC Professional Standards

HHSC does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, disability or veteran's status in the procurement of products or services.

HHSC shall maintain a written code of standards governing the performance of HHSC employees engaged in the procurement of products or services.

HHSC shall develop and maintain written policies covering the nature and scope of each of the products and services it purchases and the criteria under which each purchase shall be performed.

HHSC shall develop and maintain written policies to ensure best value purchasing practices based on a balance of quality, timeliness, cost and service after the sale.

HHSC policies shall ensure consumer products and services are provided in accordance with individual plans jointly developed with each consumer.

HHSC shall use appropriate procurement methods in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations.

HHSC shall maintain procurement procedures designed to ensure provider performance meets the terms, conditions and specifications of each purchase.

HHSC shall provide each consumer the opportunity to make informed choices regarding the product or service being purchased and the provider who will supply the product or service.

Full consideration of comparable services and benefits available to consumers must be considered by HHSC staff and used before HHSC funds can be expended to purchase consumer products and services.

 

1.4 Organizational Structure

The service provider's organizational and administrative structure must contribute effectively to the achievement of its goals.

A provider that is organized as a corporation must have a board of directors that establishes policy on property, funds management and operations. The corporation must maintain articles of incorporation and a certificate of incorporation (a charter) and must provide copies of all relevant documentation to HHSC upon request.

A provider that is organized as a not-for-profit entity must maintain documentation of non-profit status and must provide copies of all relevant documentation to HHSC upon request.

A provider that is organized as a sole proprietorship or partnership must provide copies of all relevant documentation to HHSC upon request. A provider may also be a partnership, limited partnership, limited Texas corporation, professional association, out-of-state corporation, limited liability corporation (LLC), state agency or university, or government agency.

The Open Enrollment Posting will contain a description of any additional documents that must be submitted by a provider at application. HHSC may request additional documentation when policy and standards are updated to comply with local, state and federal requirements.

 

1.5 Open Enrollment Contracts

In an enrollment process, HHSC enlists or enrolls contractors under a method that is open to all entities who meet qualifications established by HHSC. The enrollment process is conducted in an open and fair manner that reasonably provides interested, qualified entities equal opportunity to obtain a contract with HHSC.

The enrollment process helps HHSC create a contractor pool large enough to provide consumers a viable choice of service providers. The existence of a contract with HHSC does not guarantee that a contractor will receive business from HHSC or serve a specific number of consumers.

Typically, enrollment contracts do not have a specific dollar value. Open enrollment contracts are issued for all services and goods described in the Independent Living Base/Operational Grant Standards for Service Providers.

HHSC may choose not to contract with an entity because of prior history of non-compliance with HHSC or another state agency.

HHSC will not award a contract to entities that are debarred or excluded by the state of Texas from doing business with the state.

HHSC will not award a contract to entities listed on any of the following:

The contractor, contractor's employees, representatives, agents, and any sub-contractors shall serve as independent contractors with respect to HHSC in providing services under a contract. As such, the contractor's employees are not employees of HHSC, are not eligible for HHSC employee benefits and shall not represent themselves as HHSC employees.

The contractor is responsible for providing all legally required unemployment and workers' compensation insurance for the contractor's employees. The contractor accepts liability and retains responsibility for the performance of sub-contractors providing services under the terms of the contract. Sub-contractors providing services under the contract shall meet the same requirements and level of experience as required of the contractor. No sub-contract under the contract will relieve the contractor of the responsibility of ensuring the requested services are provided. The contractor accepts responsibility for compensating any party with whom they enter into a sub-contract relationship. If the contractor uses a sub-contractor for any or all of the work required, the following conditions will apply:

 

1.6 Open Enrollment Postings

All state agencies, including HHSC, are required to post solicitations for purchases of $25,000 or more on the Electronic State Business Daily (ESBD), which is maintained by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Entire open enrollment packages are posted for a minimum of 21 calendar days. To view state agency procurement opportunities of $25,000 or more, go to: https://comptroller.texas.gov/purchasing/publications/sam-epls.php

 

1.7 Applicants Eligibility

An Open Enrollment Application Packet is only considered to be acceptable and responsive if the responding entity's application packet:

All applicants must follow all instructions for the specific open enrollment requisition number listed in the Electronic State Business Daily posting for which they are applying. Postings may further outline specifications and requirements that must be addressed in the application process.

Submission of an incomplete or inaccurate application packet may prevent the responding entity from being eligible for the potential award of a contract with HHSC, as described in the Open Enrollment Posting.

Failure to update incomplete or provide missing data from the application packet will prevent the responding entity from being eligible for the potential award of a contract.

 

1.8 Awarded Contract

Each service provider's contract(s) will include terms and conditions. Many HHSC contracts will offer the opportunity for renewals. Awarded contracts will describe the services and counties in which the provider has been approved to provide contracted goods or services. HHSC can terminate a contract for cause at any time. To view specific terms and conditions, providers should refer to their contract(s).

 

1.8.1 Data Use Agreement (DUA)

All contracts resulting from an Open Enrollment Posting solicitation will include a requirement that the contractor and any sub-contractors who access, create or maintain confidential information must execute a Data Use Agreement (DUA). A copy of the DUA can be found at: https://hhs.texas.gov/doing-business-hhs/business-contracting-opportunities.

 

1.8.2 Service Provider Orientation

HHSC requires all newly enrolled providers to attend a service provider orientation session as a condition of their contract.

Upon completion of the orientation session, each provider shall be provided with a copy of their contract, signed by both the provider and HHSC.

HHSC will not initiate contracted services until the provider completes the service provider orientation.

Service providers are responsible for keeping all forms on file with HHSC up to date. HHSC may require service providers to update forms to ensure current information is on file.

The liaison can provide a list of the forms that must be updated.

 

1.9 Renewals

1.9.1 Options on Existing Contracts

When renewal options exist and HHSC has a continued need for goods or services, the HHSC contract manager may process a renewal amendment for the contract before the date the contract expires. HHSC conducts a renewal assessment prior to renewing any contract. Renewal amendments must be signed by all parties before the current contract expires.

 

1.9.2 Renewal Assessment

HHSC decides whether renewing a contract is in the best interest of the consumer and HHSC.

The renewal decision is based on an evaluation of the:

 

1.9.3 No Renewal Options in an Existing Contract

When an existing contract is expiring and there is no renewal provision, the contractor must respond to an Open Enrollment Posting on the Electronic State Business Daily found at: https://comptroller.texas.gov/purchasing/publications/sam-epls.php. When possible, the existing contractor should submit an application to a posting on the Electronic State Business Daily prior to their contract expiring to prevent a lapse in their ability to serve HHSC consumers.

 

1.10 Amendments

Any changes, deletions, extensions or amendments to a contract must be made in writing and signed by both parties, except for unilateral amendments issued by HHSC. A unilateral amendment may be provided in writing from the HHSC contract manager to the contractor under the following circumstances, including, but not limited to:

Amendments may be made if HHSC approves a change to the Independent Living Base/Operational Grant Standards for Service Providers (ILBOGS) that will apply only to providers meeting an identified need for a group of consumers that will not benefit from the services as currently described in the ILBOGS. When this occurs, the amendment will outline the scope, definitions, staff qualifications, deliverables and/or fees, as applicable, to which the contractor must adhere. The authorized representative of each party included in the amendment must sign the amendment.

 

1.10.1 Adding Services or Counties to an Existing Contract

If the services or counties the contractor wants to add were included in the original Open Enrollment Electronic State Business Daily Posting the contractor applied to, an amendment can be made to an existing contract if HHSC determines it has a current need for the goods or services.

If the services or counties the contractor wants to add were not included in the original Open Enrollment Electronic State Business Daily Posting, a new application must be completed that corresponds to an active Electronic State Business Daily Posting.

 

1.11 Base/Operational Grant Service Standards

1.11.1 Adherence to Standards

Contractors must comply with all standards in Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. Each contractor is required to be compliant with the most recent content in the Independent Living Base/Operational Grant Standards for Service Providers (ILBOGS); it is suggested that the contractor visit the ILBOGS website every 30 days to review any changes.

Revisions to the ILBOGS are made periodically.

Failure to follow applicable standards and contract requirements may have adverse consequences for the provider, such as denial of payments, recoupment of payments, suspension of service provisions to HHSC consumers, or loss of an awarded contract.

 

1.11.2 Exceptions to Contracted Service Descriptions

Infrequently, the description of the service to be provided may be changed to accommodate the needs of a consumer. Exceptions to contracted service may be approved only in situations where the exception is:

When the service description, as defined in the ILBOGS, is changed or a fee is lowered, a Contracted Service Modification must be completed by HHSC staff, and signed by the contractor's legal representative and submitted for HHSC approval. HHSC staff submit the complete, accurate and signed Contracted Service Modification to the liaison for approval. After approval, the Contracted Service Modification is submitted to the contract manager, program manager and Office of Independent Living Services director.

If the contractor identifies a need for a possible exception to contracted service, the contractor should discuss the need with the consumer's contract manager. The contract manager makes the final decision whether to pursue requesting an exception to contracted service.

A copy of the approved Contracted Service Modification must be retained in the contractor's consumer file.

 

1.12 Staff Documentation

1.12.1 Staff Information Form

Each provider must have the following documents on file for all personnel who provide services directly to HHSC consumers, including the director:

Form 3455 must be submitted and updated 45 days prior for any of the following:

The service provider is responsible for ensuring all staff maintain qualifications and sign this form verifying the staff member's qualifications, as documented in the Independent Living Base/Operational Grant Standards for Service Providers. Staff qualifications are listed within the chapter in which the service is defined.

Form 3455 must be submitted both to the HHSC contract manager and the contract manager who manages the provider's contract.

 

1.12.2 Temporary Waiver of Director and Staff Services Credentials

When a service provider loses a credentialed staff member, a temporary exception to use a non-credentialed staff member to act as director or to provide contracted services may be approved. The waiver is specific to the provider and staff member named in the Temporary Waiver of Credentials. The Temporary Waiver of Credentials is submitted by completing an email with the following information:

The Temporary Waiver of Credentials is allowed only when:

HHSC will only approve the Temporary Waiver of Credentials for individuals who fail to maintain their credentials on rare occasions. The Temporary Waiver of Credentials was developed to assist with the time needed to gain credentials for new staff.

A copy of the approved email requesting the Temporary Waiver of Credentials must be kept in the contractor’s file by the HHSC contract manager and by the service provider.

The Temporary Waiver of Credentials must be approved before the non-credentialed staff person provides any direct services to HHSC consumers.

 

1.13 Contractors Standards of Conduct

Contractors must maintain and implement written standards of conduct for the contractor's staff members. The Independent Living Base/Operational Grant Standards for Service Providers must incorporate all professional standards of conduct and ethics required by the licensing or credentialing entity for positions held by the contractor's staff.

 

1.13.1 Professionalism

Contractors are expected to perform contractual services in a professional manner at all times to include:

 

1.13.2 Conflict of Interest

Contractors and potential contractors may not offer, give or agree to give HHSC staff anything of value. This includes, but is not limited to, prepared foods, gift baskets, promotional items, gift cards or meals. If a violation occurs, corrective action may be required, up to and including contract termination or disqualification from receiving a future contract.

Real or apparent conflicts of interest may occur when a former employee of HHSC becomes an employee or a contractor of an entity that has a bilateral contract with HHSC.

Each contract must have a Conflict of Interest Certification, https://apps.hhs.texas.gov/PCS/HHS0000066/Nondisclosure-Conflicts-Interest-Certification.pdf, on file.

 

1.14 Insurance Coverage

1.14.1 General or Business Liability

The contractor must have general or business liability insurance coverage that protects consumers, employees and visitors when the contractor conducts business in a building it owns, leases or uses in kind while providing services to HHSC consumers. The contractor is required to keep a current and accurate insurance form or its equivalent on file with HHSC. A state agency may be exempt from this requirement.

 

1.14.2 Professional Liability

It is highly recommended that the contractor have professional liability insurance, also called "professional indemnity insurance" or "errors and omissions insurance." Professional liability insurance protects service-providing individuals and companies from negligence claims made by a client and damages awarded in such a civil lawsuit. The contractor should keep a current and accurate insurance form or its equivalent on file with HHSC if this type of insurance is in place. A state agency may be exempt from this requirement.

 

1.14.3 Motor Vehicle Insurance

Contractors are not required to transport consumers. Contractors electing to transport consumers in motorized vehicles must meet the minimum liability requirements set forth by the Texas Department of Insurance. Contractors must maintain records of any staff who have transported or may transport consumers in vehicles. These records must provide evidence of a valid driver license, personal injury protection (PIP) and auto liability insurance coverage.

 

1.14.4 Workers' Compensation

The contractor must keep records showing evidence of compliance with current workers' compensation law.

 

1.15 Safe and Secure Environments

Contractors must support a safe and secure environment for their employees, HHSC consumers and visitors. The contractor must record all incidents in accordance with the entity's policies and procedures.

An "incident" is defined as an unusual or unexpected event that may compromise the health or safety of people or the security of property. The contractor is responsible for reporting any incident that involves an HHSC consumer, a contractor's staff person, (including sub-contractors) and/or the public. Examples of incidents include, but are not limited to:

All incidents must be reported within one business day to the following individuals:

HHSC has a system in place to ensure employees report incidents, as required by Health and Human Services (HHS) policies.

 

1.16 Physical Locations

Any service provider that owns, leases or uses dedicated space in which HHSC consumers will be provided services is considered to have a physical location.

The service provider must complete the Service Provider Physical Location Information form for each facility.

 

1.16.1 Occupation Permit or Building Permit

Environmental safety must comply with local building occupancy codes. Providers must provide documentation of compliance to HHSC at application and to the liaison whenever the physical location changes. Renters should contact their landlords to obtain such documentation.

 

1.16.2 Fire Safety

Each provider must:

Providers who rent must contact their landlords for appropriate documentation.

Most fire departments conduct inspections but need advance notice to schedule an inspection. If the contractor's local fire department does not conduct inspections, the contractor may request an inspection from the Texas Department of Insurance, State Fire Marshal's Inspection Services Division, 333 Guadalupe, Austin, Texas 78701, telephone 512-305-7900.

In each physical location where services are provided, the provider must have:

Each entity must have a policy that requires all fires to be reported to the HHSC liaison within one workday.

 

1.16.3 General Building Safety

Aisles and work safety zones must be accessible.

Hazardous or flammable materials must be appropriately identified, used and stored in a safe manner. These materials should be stored in a secured metal cabinet.

Machinery with moving parts must be equipped with appropriate protective guarding and instructions for safety.

 

1.16.4 Accessibility

Each facility and the entity headquarters must maintain a paper copy of the completed ADA Checklist for Existing Facilities found at https://www.adachecklist.org/checklist.html. HHSC staff may inspect the physical location for accuracy of responses provided on the ADA Checklist for Existing Facilities, and for compliance with meeting a consumer's needs related to accessibility. HHSC may also request access to the completed checklist at any time, such as at liaison visits and monitoring reviews.

If an item or location on the checklist is found not to be accessible, describe how the physical location will ensure services will be provided to HHSC consumers that will be using the area(s) found to not be accessible.

 

1.16.5 Safety Plan

Each provider must have a safety plan for each physical location that ensures the safety and health of staff, consumers and the visiting public. The plan must include:

Each provider must have an incident reporting system in place. A form for staff reporting of incidents must be developed.

The minimum information required on the incident report form must include:

Upon request, copies of incident reports pertinent to HHSC consumers must be made available to HHSC staff members.

The following incidents must be reported to the referring HHSC liaison and program manager by close of business the next working day:

 

1.17 Allegations or Incidents of Abuse, Exploitation or Neglect of Persons with Disabilities

Texas law requires that allegations or incidents of abuse, exploitation or neglect of persons with disabilities be immediately reported to the appropriate investigatory agency (see the table below) or, if taking place in a location other than a residential setting, the local law enforcement agency. If a licensed professional is involved, report to the appropriate professional licensure agency and the local law enforcement agency.

The provider must develop policies and procedures regarding the recognition and appropriate reporting of such allegations or incidents. These procedures must also require notification to the appropriate HHSC program manager and the liaison within one workday if an HHSC consumer is involved in an allegation of abuse, exploitation or neglect. Procedures must also ensure cooperation with investigations conducted by HHSC.

The appropriate investigating agency's toll-free number and the HHSC liaison's office number must be posted in a location that is readily accessible to consumers and the staff.

If the alleged abuse, exploitation or neglect occurs in residential situations such as: then report the incident to the HHSC Ombudsman Office and to the:
a Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) licensed assisted living facility, nursing home, adult day care facility, intermediate care facility for individuals with an intellectual disability or related conditions, or adult foster care Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Complaints Management and Investigations
P.O. Box 149030, Mail Code E-340
Austin, Texas 78714-9030
Tel: 800-458-9858
a Texas Department of State Health Services licensed substance abuse facility or program Texas Department of State Health Services Substance
Abuse Compliance Group Investigations
1100 West 49th Street
Austin, Texas 78756
Mail Code 2823
Tel: 800-832-9623
a Texas Department of State Health Services licensed hospital Texas Department of State Health Services
Facility Licensing Group
1100 West 49th Street
Austin, Texas 78756
Complaint Hotline 888-973-0022

a Texas Department of Family and Protective Services licensed child care operation, including:

  • a residential child care operation
  • a state licensed facility or community center that provides services for mental health, intellectual disabilities, or related conditions
  • the person's own home
  • an adult foster home (that has three or fewer consumers and is not licensed by HHSC)
  • an unlicensed room and board facility

Texas Department of Family and Protective
Services Statewide Intake Division
P.O. Box 149030
Austin, Texas 78714-9030
Tel: 800-252-5400

www.txabusehotline.org

 

 

1.18 Confidentially Consumer and Employee Information

All staff members of the contractor must maintain confidentiality of consumer and employee information. The contractor must have policy and procedures that address access to confidential records. The contractor must provide physical safeguards for confidential records and ensure that confidential records are available only to authorized staff members. Consumer case records must be stored in a secured location where there is maximum protection against fire, water damage, theft and other hazards.

 

1.18.1 Data Encryption

HHSC policy and federal law mandates all emails containing consumer or agency confidential information must be sent under encryption. Contractors must send HHSC consumer confidential information in a secure manner when emailing information to HHSC employees or to any other individual.

HHSC requires FIPS 140-2 level of encryption. If a contractor does not have this level of data encryption, the provider shall ask HHSC staff to send an encrypted email related to the consumer to the contractor's email address and this email can be used to send encrypted information back to HHSC if the directions are followed accurately.

 

1.19 Records

Upon request, the contractor must make available to HHSC any documents, papers, and records that are directly pertinent to the goods or services being provided to HHSC consumers.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

 

1.19.1 Record Storage

All original records must be maintained in a paper format. No records can be stored in an electronic manner, such as cloud services or other services that host on the internet or that store, manage or process data. If records are maintained on company or personal server(s) or computer(s), these records must be protected in a secure manner.

 

1.19.2 Record Retention

All records must be maintained in a paper format for seven years from the date of submission of the final bill or until all billing-related questions are resolved, whichever is later. Local servers and personal computers may be used to complete records and to store copies of records. All local servers and/or personal computers are required to maintain a level of security that ensures records are maintained in a safe and confidential manner, as defined in the Information Security and Privacy Initial Inquiry (SPI) found at: https://hhs.texas.gov/laws-regulations/forms/miscellaneous/hhs-information-security-privacy-initial-inquiry-spi.

 

1.20 Substance Abuse

Any observations or other evidence of use of alcohol or drugs by an HHSC consumer with a disability of substance abuse must be reported immediately to the HHSC liaison. The provider must maintain documentation that the liaison was informed of any observations or other evidence of use of alcohol or drugs by a consumer.

 

1.21 Consumer Orientation

Any consumer referred to a provider by HHSC must receive orientation and materials, such as handouts or manuals, which address at least the following:

 

1.22 HHSC Office of the Ombudsman

Each facility-based provider must post the HHSC Office of the Ombudsman toll-free telephone number, 877-787-8999, specifying that the number is for HHSC applicant and consumer use, or Relay Texas, 7-1-1 or 800-735-2989, for people with a hearing or speech disability.

 

1.23 Client Assistance Program

The Client Assistance Program (CAP) is federally funded and mandated under the Act to provide information, assistance and advocacy for people with disabilities who are seeking or receiving services from programs, including the Independent Living Services Program. CAP services can include:

CAP is implemented by Disability Rights Texas (DRTx), a legal services organization whose mission is to protect the human, service and legal rights of persons with disabilities in Texas.

DRTx advocates are not employees of any state agency. There are no fees for CAP services, which are provided by advocates and attorneys when necessary.

Services are confidential. Service providers must use accessible formats to notify individuals with disabilities who are prospective or current consumers about:

Service providers should notify consumers of CAP upon application, during the development of the independent living plan, and at any time services are reduced, suspended or terminated.

A consumer or the consumer’s representative may file a complaint with DRTx alleging that a requirement of independent living services was violated. The complaint need not be filed with the service provider.

A complaint may be filed by:

More information about the complaint process is available by calling DRTx at 800-252-9108 or videophone at 866-362-2851.

 

1.24 Veterans Services

Each provider must include the following statement created by HHSC, based on Texas Senate Bill 1677, in the consumer orientation process:

Men and women who serve or have ever served in any branch of the United States Armed Forces, including Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, Reserves or National Guard may be eligible for additional services. For more information, visit www.tvc.texas.gov, the Texas Veterans Portal, or call TexVets at 800-252-8387.

 

1.25 Termination from Program

Providers should address behaviors a consumer exhibits prior to termination from a program. If behaviors are harmful to the consumer or others, appropriate actions should be made so safety is maintained for all parties. Every effort should be made to inform the HHSC liaison before termination of a consumer's services. When the liaison cannot be informed before termination, the liaison must be informed within one workday after termination. The provider must maintain documentation that the liaison was informed of termination.

Reasons for termination include:

 

1.26 Noncompliance and Performance Deficiencies

HHSC may temporarily suspend a contract provider from providing services for reasons such as:

The contractor is required to return to compliance before providing further services.

HHSC may take further adverse actions in conjunction with, or instead of, requesting a corrective action plan. In serious noncompliance situations, HHSC may terminate a contract or debar a provider from future HHSC service contracts without allowing the provider to take corrective action.

 

1.27 Require Contractor Policy and Procedures

To protect consumers and consumer interests, the contractor must develop and adhere to the following policies and procedures concerning:

The contractor must develop a written implementation plan within their organization to educate staff and consumers served by the contractor.

 

1.28 Provider's Evaluation of Service Provision

Each provider must have an ongoing self-evaluation system designed to assess the consumer's satisfaction and effectiveness of services provided to HHSC consumers. The system should measure outcomes against pre-established goals. HHSC may ask for proof and the results of the evaluations. Because of the variety of services provided, the method of evaluation is left to the discretion of the provider but must, at a minimum, include the following sections.

 

1.28.1 Goals and Service Objectives

Entity goals are desired results of the program, and what the provider plans to accomplish. The service objectives are the entity's measurable objectives that define the entity's plans to accomplish stated goals.

 

1.28.2 Outcomes and Results

Outcomes refer to the extent to which each service objective is achieved, including the criteria against which actual performance is measured. Measures are stated in general terms and explain how results are to be achieved. Outcomes and results are included in a report format.

 

1.28.3 Consumer Satisfaction

Consumer satisfaction measures input from consumers about benefits received from provider services.

Each provider may develop its own survey instrument and procedure. However, at a minimum, the survey instrument must use a Likert scale and include the following statements:

  Likert Scale
1 Strongly disagree
2 Disagree
3 Neither agree or disagree
4 Agree
5 Strongly agree

 

All consumers, both successful and unsuccessful, must be given the opportunity to respond.

The provider must calculate an average consumer rating on the Likert scale for each of the four required statements.

 

1.28.4 Quarterly and Annual Reports of Evaluation Data

Entities must tally collected data quarterly (September – November, December – February, March – May, June – August) and summarize a final report. When data indicates improvements are necessary to enhance the entity's performance and consumer satisfaction, an action plan must be created and monitored until improvement is made to a successful level measured by goals in the action plan.

 

1.29 Monitoring

The contractor agrees to permit on-site monitoring visits and desk reviews, as deemed necessary by HHSC to review all financial or other records and management control systems relevant to the provision of goods and services under this contract.

 

1.29.1 Ongoing Monitoring

HHSC staff members, including the program manager, compliance staff and contract manager, continuously monitor services provided to HHSC consumers. Monitoring may include ongoing dialogue, onsite visits and reviews of case files.

 

1.29.2 Compliance Monitoring

All contractors are subject to periodic programmatic and financial compliance monitoring by HHSC staff members. Risk assessment tools are used at the state and regional level each fiscal year to identify HHSC contractors who will be monitored on site or as a desk review during a 12-month period. As HHSC determines the need, contractors not identified on the risk assessment may also be monitored.

 

1.29.3 Unscheduled Compliance Monitoring

HHSC staff members may conduct a special unscheduled compliance monitoring review upon request, if HHSC management determines such a review is necessary.

 

1.29.4 Monitoring Team

A monitoring team is comprised of representatives from HHSC staff. When a contractor is selected for an announced monitoring review, the lead monitor sends a letter announcing the review, providing information about the scope of the review, and providing instructions on how to prepare for the review.

 

1.29.5 Monitoring Review

The monitoring review typically consists of three parts:

At the entrance conference, the lead monitor:

During the records review, the monitoring team:

The exit conference is held at the conclusion of the review. At the exit conference, the lead monitor verbally provides the contractor with:

 

1.29.6 Report of the Monitoring Results

For routine monitoring reviews, the lead monitor sends the contractor written notice of the results of the monitoring review through either a monitoring review closeout letter or a findings report, if instances of noncompliance were noted.

The findings report:

 

1.29.7 Corrective Action Plan

If HHSC has requested the contractor submit a corrective action plan, the contractor must, by the date requested in the report of findings:

HHSC reviews the corrective action plan and may accept the corrective action plan or recommend changes.

If the contractor does not submit an acceptable corrective action plan or make financial restitution when required, HHSC may take adverse action against the contractor, which can include contract termination.

 

1.29.8 Monitoring Closeout

If there are no findings, or when the monitoring team accepts the corrective action plan, HHSC sends the contractor a letter to close the monitoring review.

 

1.29.9 Contract Noncompliance and Performance Deficiencies

HHSC may temporarily suspend a contractor from providing services for reasons such as:

Depending on the type and severity of the noncompliance, HHSC may require the contractor to take corrective action to return to compliance, before the contractor is allowed to resume providing services.

HHSC may impose adverse actions in conjunction with, or instead of, requesting a corrective action plan. For example, HHSC may recoup overpayments from a contractor as part of a corrective action plan. Some situations may require HHSC to impose more serious adverse action, such as contract termination and debarment, without allowing the contractor to take corrective action.

Chapter 2: Program and Grant Administration Standards for Centers for Independent Living (CILs)

Revision 19-0; Effective March 1, 2019

 

2.1 Overview

The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) requires HHSC to develop and implement standards for Centers for Independent Living (CILs) to ensure compliance with Title VII of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. The Independent Living Base/Operational Grant Standards for Service Providers (ILBOGS) is based on:

A CIL that receives funds from HHSC must meet the standards in applicable state and federal regulations, as well as those described in this chapter and in the following sections of Chapter 1: Basic Standards for Centers for Independent Living (CILs), of the ILBOGS:

A CIL must promote and practice an independent living philosophy including commitment to consumer control of the CIL, and including:

 

2.1.2 Guiding Principles

A CIL is a private nonprofit organization that is consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability and nonresidential, is designed and operated in the local community by people with disabilities, and provides an array of IL services.

A CIL must have written documentation that its board is the CIL's principal governing body, and has a majority of members who have significant disabilities.

 

2.1.3 Access to Community Services

Each CIL shall have written documentation that the CIL promotes increased availability and improved quality of community-based programs that serve individuals with significant disabilities, and removal of any existing barrier (architectural, attitudinal, communication, environmental or other type) that prevents the full integration of these individuals into society.

This documentation must demonstrate that the CIL performed at least one activity in each of the following categories:

 

2.1.4 Coordination with State IL Council (SILC)

Each CIL must submit to the State Independent Living Council (SILC) a copy of its Annual Performance Report for the State Independent Living Services Program (RSA-704 Part II). (See Chapter 4 , Reporting.) The SILC uses this information for reports (for example, to the Texas Legislature) as well as to monitor information contained within the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL).

 

2.2 Board of Directors

The CIL must be chartered by the state of Texas as a nonprofit organization and must have a board of directors.

 

2.2.1 Board Responsibilities

The board must:

 

2.2.2 Board Orientation and Training

Each board member must receive training that covers board responsibilities and applicable CIL policies, to be provided within 90 days of his or her board appointment.

 

2.2.3 Board Minutes

Board meeting minutes must include, at a minimum, the following:

 

2.2.4 Insurance or Bonding

The CIL must observe sound business practices in securing bonding and insurance to provide adequate coverage for HHSC-funded projects.

Board members and staff members must be insured or bonded when required:

 

2.3 CIL Organization

2.3.1 Organizational Policies

A CIL must develop and follow policies and procedures that comply with:

The CIL board must ensure that organizational policies and procedures include:

Organizational policies and procedures must be:

Any changes or revisions must have board approval before becoming effective.

 

2.3.2 Organizational Budget

The CIL organizational budget:

The CIL must maintain an organizational budget that:

 

2.4 CIL Grant Information

2.4.1 HHSC Grant Awards

HHSC provides financial assistance that enables CILs to provide services for consumers.

 

2.4.2 CIL Responsibilities

The CIL must:

 

2.4.3 CIL Grant Application

HHSC provides financial assistance based on an approved grant application submitted by a CIL. The HHSC grant application is typically submitted every two years. The grant application consists of a grant work plan, a budget and other requirements. HHSC will communicate the deadline for submission of the application during the contract renewal process.

 

2.4.3.1 Grant Work Plan

The CIL prepares a grant work plan with goals, objectives, activities, and measurable outputs and outcomes and has the responsibility to fulfill the plan. The plan must be consistent with the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) at the time the grant application is prepared. If a new SPIL becomes effective after the grant application is prepared and requires changes to the work plan, the CIL must consult the Grant Award and Contract section to see if a contract amendment is required. (See 2.4.4, Grant Award and Contract.)

 

2.4.3.2 Grant Budget

A budget must be prepared for each year of the grant period. The grant budget reflects anticipated costs associated with the goals, objectives, activities and outcomes outlined in the grant work plan. Costs are budgeted under seven cost categories, which are described later in this section.

 

2.4.4 Grant Award and Contract

After approving the application, HHSC develops a bilateral contract. The basis of the agreement between HHSC and the CIL include:

The contract is effective for one year, with a one-year renewal option. Renewal requires submission of updates to certain sections of the application (for example, the budget, work plan and other information that has changed). Any commitment or expenditure of grant funds must be based on the approved application and signed contract, as well as on amendments and updates to the contract and application.

An amendment to the contract is required when a substantial change to the contract or work plan is made.

Changes to goals or objectives in the work plan require an amendment. Major changes to activities (for example, deleting an activity, adding a new activity or substantially altering an activity) may require an amendment. The CIL should consult with the contract manager when making such changes.

CILs are reimbursed for allowable budgeted expenses incurred and paid in the course of providing services consistent with the terms of the contract.

 

2.4.5 Special Grant Conditions

A CIL may be considered higher risk if HHSC determines that the CIL:

Based on these factors that indicate higher risk, the HHSC grant may include special conditions or restrictions, such as:

 

2.5 Financial Management

All CILs must comply with applicable Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and U.S. Department of Education General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) fiscal and accounting requirements. CILs must adopt those fiscal control and fund accounting procedures, as necessary, to ensure proper disbursement of, and accounting for, CIL funds.

The CIL maintains a sound fiscal management system that:

The CIL's policies and procedures for financial management should include methods for making payments, accounting for program income, approving budget revisions, determining legitimacy of costs and establishing fund availability.

The CIL must follow all state laws regarding prompt payment to its vendors.

 

2.5.1 Accounting System

2.5.1.1 Financial Information

The CIL must maintain an accounting system and records that:

 

2.5.1.2 Fund Accounting

Fund accounting is a system in which separate records are maintained for each funding source. When fund accounting is used, the chart of accounts must be carefully structured and must account for each program separately. For example, HHSC reimburses the CIL for specific line-item costs.

The CIL must define circumstances under which the chart of accounts may be revised and the frequency of board approval.

 

2.5.2 Financial Administration Authority

CILs must designate people who have financial administration authority to:

CIL policy approved by the board must indicate positions and areas of responsibility for financial administration. Positions with financial administration authority may include:

Those given financial administration authority must have sufficient experience in grant expenditures, including:

 

2.5.3 Funds Management

2.5.3.1 Request for Payment

CIL contracts are classified as cost reimbursement contracts, which means that CILs are reimbursed for allowable incurred costs. The CIL may request operating funds for no more than 30 days in advance or to be reimbursed for allowable costs already incurred.

CILs that meet the contract requirements may request advance payments, certifying that the amount requested will not exceed 30 days' operating funds. If advanced funds are not expended during the month of the request, they must be adjusted on the next request.

CILS must complete a Request for Advance or Reimbursement (RAR) at least every 90 days for the base grant contracts.

If the CIL does not meet the requirements of the contract, HHSC may:

 

2.5.3.2 Recoupment of Funds Paid

A contractor must respond promptly in settling claims when HHSC discovers an overpayment. If a contractor discovers an overpayment from HHSC, the contractor should self-report the overpayment to the contract manager immediately and arrange for reimbursement.

 

2.5.3.3 Payments Due

HHSC is obligated to pay only for goods and services that meet the requirements in the Independent Living Base/Operational Grant Standards for Service Providers and on the service authorization.

 

2.5.3.4 Interest Income

The CIL must ensure that no more than $500 earned in interest on advance payments is retained for administrative expenses over the grant year.

 

2.5.3.5 Cash Management

CIL cash management policies must address:

Cash receipts and checks must be deposited promptly and recorded in the accounting system according to CIL policies. In addition:

Petty cash disbursements must be:

Checks for CIL purchases must be processed by completion of an order or request. CIL policy must identify those with authority to approve expenditures and sign checks.

The CIL must maintain proper custody over checks, including voided checks.

 

2.5.3.6 Bank Reconciliation

Bank accounts must be reconciled monthly by someone who does not disburse, receive or record receipt of funds.

Records must include:

All adjusting entries must be approved by management and promptly recorded by appropriate staff members.

 

2.5.3.7 Disbursements

All cash disbursements must be verified and entered into the CIL's accounting system.

 

2.5.4 Other Sources of Funds

In the grant application, the CIL provides information about other sources of funds used to support the CIL program, in addition to HHSC grant funds. These other sources of funds may include:

The CIL must determine the value of donated goods and volunteer services and show them as other sources of funds in the grant application. The value of donated goods must reflect the cost that would be incurred if the CIL were to purchase the items, and may not be reimbursed as either a direct or indirect cost. Donated goods and volunteer services must be allowable, reasonable, and necessary to the program in order to be reported. For guidance on how to value volunteer time, see 2.6.7 , Volunteer Program.

For more information about funding, see:

Program Income

Program income is gross income that is earned by the CIL and that is directly generated by a supported activity of the CIL grant award.

The CIL must ensure that program income is:

The CIL must maintain policies that:

Records must include:

 

2.5.5 Cost Principles and Approval

2.5.5.1 Authorization

All costs must be reasonable, necessary, allowable and allocable to the contract in accordance with 2 CFR 230 (OMB Circular A-122).

If the CIL has questions about a specific cost that is not addressed in 2 CFR 230 (OMB Circular A-122), the CIL should seek technical assistance from the contract manager.

 

2.5.5.2 Cost Allocation Plan

When costs are distributed between multiple programs or cost centers, a CIL must submit a cost allocation plan with the grant application to ensure that all costs are allocated properly. The CIL must pay particular attention to personnel, building costs and equipment. For details about cost allocation plans, see 2 CFR 230 (OMB Circular A-122).

The CIL must:

 

2.6 Personnel

2.6.1 Staff Members with Disabilities

The CIL's organizational and personnel assignment practices, as documented in written board policy, must comply with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, including taking affirmative action to employ and promote qualified individuals with significant disabilities.

A CIL must also document that the majority of its staff members, including members in decision-making positions, are people with disabilities.

 

2.6.2 Staff Qualifications

CIL staff members must include specialists in developing and providing IL services and in developing and supporting a CIL. To the greatest extent possible, personnel should be available who are able to communicate:

 

2.6.3 Staff Training and Development

CILs must establish and maintain a program of staff development for those involved in providing IL services and, if appropriate, in administering the CIL program. Staff development programs should emphasize improving the skills of staff members directly responsible for providing IL services, including knowledge and practice of the IL philosophy. A CIL must provide training to its staff on how to serve unserved and underserved populations, including minority groups and urban and rural populations, as evidenced by in-service training records.

 

2.6.4 Human Resource Policies and Procedures

CILs must comply with federal and state employment laws in their human resource policies.

CIL policies must address:

The CIL must maintain an organization chart outlining the current structure of the CIL organization. The chart must:

The CIL must maintain personnel files that include, at a minimum:

 

2.6.5 Time and Effort Reporting

Time reporting must be based on documented payrolls approved by responsible officials of the organization. Salaries and wages must be supported by personnel activity reports reflecting the distribution of activity of each employee charged to the grant. The reports must:

Policy must address:

 

2.6.6 Fringe Benefits

The following are considered benefits if the costs are absorbed by all organizational activities in proportion to the amount of time or effort devoted to each:

Policy must address:

 

2.6.7 Volunteer Program

When a CIL uses a volunteer to fill a position that fulfills a critical function of the IL program, the CIL must provide:

These requirements do not apply to one-time, spontaneous or informal volunteer activities.

The value of volunteer services in positions that would otherwise require hired staff members is based on the work performed. CILs that already have employees performing these activities may use their own rate of pay to assess the value of volunteer services. If a CIL does not have employees in a similar position, it may use standard local compensation for such positions.

 

2.7 Procurement

CIL procurement policies must address:

 

2.7.1 Procurement Procedures

CILS must have written procurement procedures that address the requirements of 2 CFR Part 215 (OMB Circular A-110), including:

CILs must, on request, make available to HHSC pre-award review and procurement documents, such as requests for proposals or invitations for bids, independent cost estimates, etc.

 

2.7.2 Asset and Inventory Management Policies

CILs must develop and follow policies and procedures that address asset purchase and inventory records, safeguarding assets, periodic conduct of inventory and disposition of HHSC-funded assets.

 

2.7.3 Disposition of Depreciable Assets

CILs must:

The AHA Estimated Useful Lives of Depreciable Assets may be obtained through:

The requirements in the Uniform Grant Management Standards must be followed if an item of equipment or a controlled asset is not:

If approval for disposition is not required, or approval has already been obtained from HHSC program staff members, sub-recipients must ensure that disposition of any equipment or controlled asset is in accordance with the terms of the contract, such as compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and any applicable federal guidance.

 

2.7.4 Contract Administration

All grant-funded contracts for goods or services must be in writing and include all terms and conditions.

Contracts must contain:

CILs must monitor contracts to ensure that goods and services are provided and paid according to contract terms and conditions.

 

2.8 Budget Categories

2.8.1 Salary and Wages

Employee compensation costs (or compensation for personal services) must be calculated in compliance with 2 CFR 230 (OMB Circular A-122), and meet HHSC requirements.

A CIL must:

A CIL must not bill and receive reimbursement from funding sources for more than 100 percent of an employee's total salary or work time.

 

2.8.2 Fringe Benefits

Fringe benefits are allowances and services that the CIL provides to employees as additional compensation. Employer contributions for employees' health insurance, life insurance and retirement plans are examples of fringe benefits. Also included are items required by law for the benefit of employees, the employer's portion of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA, also known as Social Security), workers' compensation insurance and unemployment insurance.

A CIL must determine its responsibilities and comply with applicable state and federal laws and regulations, including the following:

The percentage of costs for an employee's fringe benefits charged to the contract must not exceed the percentage of time or effort the employee devotes to the contract.

 

2.8.3 Travel

Travel-related expenses are budgeted and allowed on a cost-incurred basis if the costs are reasonable, necessary, allocable and substantiated by adequate documentation. Travel costs are limited to the rates and line items approved in the contract.

Travel expenses are allowable if they are incurred by the CIL's employees while performing official contract business. Travel expenses for consumers are included in the Other Costs category.

Travel-related expenses include:

Reimbursement for meals and lodging is allowed only for approved, overnight travel outside the designated headquarters (city limits). HHSC reimbursement for meals, lodging and mileage may not exceed the comptroller's established Travel Reimbursement Rates. If the CIL has a policy that sets travel reimbursement rates lower than the current state rates, budgeting and contract reimbursement cannot exceed the rate set by the CIL's policy.

If the CIL has a policy that sets travel reimbursement rates higher than the current state rates, the difference between the state's allowable contract reimbursement and the CIL rates may be made up from other funding sources.

According to 2 CFR 230 (OMB Circular A-122), airfare costs in excess of the customary standard commercial airfare (coach or equivalent), or of the lowest commercial discount airfare, are unallowable except in special circumstances, which must be documented.

Out-of-state travel may be budgeted. The purpose and destination must be stated, and if available, supporting documentation must be maintained to justify the expense, including meeting or conference agendas.

If out-of-state travel is not budgeted, prior written approval from the HHSC contract manager is required and a formal budget revision may be required.

Budgeting and reimbursement requests for out-of-state travel must not exceed out-of-state per diem rates in the comptroller's established travel reimbursement rates. Allowability of out-of-state travel costs is determined based on comparing total costs for similar or comparable travel purposes available within the state.

Travel policy for local, in-state and out-of-state travel must address:

Records must include:

 

2.8.4 Equipment

Equipment includes articles of nonexpendable, tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost that:

The CIL must obtain prior HHSC approval to purchase equipment. Equipment purchased through the contract is owned by the CIL but is subject to an equitable claim by the state upon closing or terminating the contract. The CIL is accountable for equipment purchased through the contract. The CIL must bill equipment according to federal regulations found in 45 CFR Part 74 and 2 CFR 230 (OMB Circular A-122).

The CIL must:

A CIL may include equipment rental or lease in the grant budget if:

Note: The authorized rental or lease of items classified as anything other than equipment should be included in the "Other Costs" line item of the contract budget.

 

2.8.5 Supplies

A consumable material or supply is any article that is not classified as equipment or intangible personal property and has a useful life of less than one year. Consumable materials and supplies charged by a CIL as a direct cost must include only the materials and supplies used to carry out the contract.

Material and supply items usually fall into one of the following categories:

The CIL must:

Controlled Assets

Controlled assets are items of real or personal property with an estimated life of greater than one year, but an acquisition cost of less than $5,000. These items are considered high risk and have a high potential for loss; therefore, controlled assets must be maintained in a contractor's inventory system and tagged accordingly based on specified acquisition costs.

CILs should review the Comptroller's State Property Accounting (SPA) User Manual for the most current listing of controlled assets. CILs must add items classified as controlled assets to their inventory list based on the acquisition costs noted in the SPA Manual.

 

2.8.6 Contractual

This budget category may include consumer services that are either subcontracted or else are janitorial, accounting and maintenance services, etc., that are addressed by a contract. CIL contracting policy must be followed in determining which services should be contracted.

 

2.8.7 Other Costs

Other costs are those that are not covered by the preceding cost categories. These typically include items such as building rent, utilities, postage and insurance. In addition, any travel costs paid to or on behalf of consumers are included in this cost category (bus passes, mileage reimbursement, etc.). Each cost must conform to federal and state regulations.

 

2.9 Records Management

CILs must establish records management policies and procedures that ensure compliance with the HHSC contract and applicable OMB and EDGAR recordkeeping requirements. CIL records must fully disclose and document:

 

2.9.1 Recordkeeping

The CIL record-keeping system must contain data concerning the grant program's funds, including information necessary to receive payment.

The CIL must ensure that funds are being spent and used in accordance with the grant award.

 

2.9.2 Required Documentation

Records must include, but are not limited to:

CILs must maintain the security and confidentiality of grant records including the adoption and implementation of policies and procedures that meet the requirements of 34 CFR 364.56 to safeguard the confidentiality of all personal information, including photographs and names.

 

2.9.3 Review of Records

The CIL must:

Chapter 3: Service Delivery

Revision 19-0; Effective March 1, 2019

 

Required and optional services must be addressed in the grant work plan goals, objectives and activities.

 

3.1 Required Services

A CIL must provide the following independent living core services:

 

3.2 Optional Services

A CIL must provide a combination of any two or more of the following IL services:

 

3.3 Services to Individuals with Significant Disabilities

A CIL must document that it serves people with a wide range of significant disabilities, including people who are unserved or underserved, such as people with significant disabilities who:

 

3.4 Outreach for Special Populations

A CIL must conduct aggressive outreach regarding services provided through the center in an effort to reach populations of individuals with significant disabilities that are unserved or underserved, especially minority groups and urban and rural populations.

 

3.5 Consumer Eligibility

An appropriate CIL staff member must sign and date an eligibility statement certifying that the consumer is determined eligible for IL services. This decision must be:

 

3.5.1 Consumer Ineligibility

If an applicant for IL services is determined ineligible for IL services, the CIL must provide the applicant with documentation of the ineligibility determination, which must be dated and signed by an appropriate CIL staff member.

 

3.5.2 Review of Ineligibility Decision

If an applicant for IL services has been found ineligible, the CIL must review the applicant's ineligibility at least once:

The review need not be conducted if the:

 

3.6 Termination of Services

If the CIL intends to terminate services to a consumer with a Consumer Service Record (CSR), the CIL must notify the consumer, provide information on the Client Assistance Program (CAP) and, if appropriate, refer the consumer to other agencies and facilities.

 

3.7 Independent Living Plan or Waiver

A CIL must provide the consumer with the choice of:

If the consumer chooses to develop an ILP, the CIL staff member and the consumer must develop a mutually agreed-upon ILP. The ILP must be signed by the consumer, or his or her representative, and the appropriate staff member.

If the consumer chooses to sign a waiver form, waiving his or her right to participate in plan development, CIL staff must develop the plan of services.

The plan must include:

Services entered on the ILP or waived plan must:

CIL staff must review the consumer plan or waived plan as often as necessary, but at least annually, to determine whether services should be continued, modified or discontinued.

 

3.8 Consumer Service Record

A Consumer Service Record (CSR) must be maintained for each applicant for IL services and each recipient of IL services (other than information and referral). The CSR must contain:

A CSR may be maintained electronically or in printed form. However, the IL plan or waiver must bear signatures of the consumer, or the consumer's representative, and the CIL staff member.

 

3.9 Independent Living Goals

A CIL must ensure that it facilitates development and achievement of suitable IL goals. IL goals relate directly to addressing the consumer's functional needs and what the consumer wants to achieve to access his or her home, family and/or community.

IL goals address significant life achievements that:

A consumer may have more than one goal listed on the Independent Living Plan or waived plan.

Goals may be related to:

 

3.10 Examples of Goals and Outcomes

Goals Outcomes
Communication

Improve the consumer's ability to:

  • understand and acknowledge communication by others through gestures or verbal response (receptive); or
  • produce verbal language, sign language or other nonverbal communication (for example, gestures and facial expressions).
Community-based living

Change the consumer's living situation to enable the consumer to remain in his or her home or apartment or get around better. Examples include:

  • obtaining accessible housing;
  • modifying a home or apartment;
  • attaining self-directed assisted living; and
  • attaining self-directed living with family or friends.
Community and social participation

Help the consumer participate in such community activities as:

  • worship services;
  • recreation activities;
  • community affairs; and
  • government functions.
Education needed for independent living

Achieve non-degreed and non-vocational training goals that are expected to improve the consumer's knowledge or skills in order to expand his or her independence. Examples include:

  • literacy training; and
  • training to do his or her own income taxes.
Information access and technology

Help the consumer obtain or use information necessary for independence and community integration. This may include:

  • using a computer or assistive technology, devices or equipment; and
  • developing information technology skills, such as using computer screen-reading software.
Mobility and transportation

Improve the consumer's access to his or her environment or community by:

  • improving the consumer's ability to move or transport himself or herself;
  • allowing the consumer to be moved or transported by another person; or
  • training the consumer to use public transportation.
Personal resource management

Help the consumer learn such skills as:

  • establishing and maintaining a personal or family budget;
  • managing a checkbook; and
  • obtaining information about resources for income, housing, food, medical or other benefits.
Relocation from a nursing home or other institution Achieve goals related to relocating from a nursing home or other institution to community-based living.
Self-advocacy and self-empowerment

Help the consumer:

  • represent and advocate for himself or herself with public and/or private entities;
  • make key decisions involving himself or herself; or
  • organize and manage his or her own activities to achieve desired objectives.
Self-care

Help the consumer function more independently by:

  • improving or maintaining the consumer's autonomy in activities of daily living such as:
    • personal hygiene;
    • meal preparation;
    • shopping;
    • nutrition;
    • money management; and
    • technology access; and/or
  • decreasing the amount of help and/or supervision the consumer needs to perform daily activities.
Other goals leading to independent living Achieve other goals, including obtaining, maintaining or retaining employment that are not already included in this section, but are necessary for the consumer to become or remain independent.

Chapter 4: Reporting

Revision 19-0; Effective March 1, 2019

 

4.1 Self-Evaluation and Performance Measurement

A CIL must:

Information must be available about the:

 

4.2 CIL Responsibility to Inform HHSC of Changes

The CIL must inform the HHSC contract manager when any of the following conditions occur:

 

4.3 Budget Revision

The service provider prepares a work plan with activities for carrying out the Independent Living Base Grant Program. Work plan activities are required for all service providers. The service provider has the responsibility to fulfill the approved work plan and comply with the Independent Living Base/Operational Grant Standards for Service Providers requirements.

The contract budget shall reflect anticipated costs associated with the activities outlined in the work plan.

Costs are to be budgeted under the following cost categories:

Funds budgeted by cost category cannot be moved to other cost categories without requesting and receiving approval from HHSC through a formal budget revision.

To request a budget revision, the service provider must submit an HHSC Centers for Independent Living Program Contract Budget Revision, reflecting the revised budget request (with the justification included) for review and approval by the contract manager.

 

4.4 Required Reports

A CIL that receives HHSC funding must submit reports as described below. CIL records must support all data reported, including that amounts in fiscal reports match amounts in accounting records.

 

Program Reports
Name Cycle Due Date Submit To
Form 3161, Demographic Information Monthly By day 8 of the following month Contract Manager
Form 3160, Program Performance Report Quarterly Within 30 calendar days of the end of the quarter, or in the case of the Q4 (annual) Quarterly Performance Report, within 45 days of the end of the quarter Contract Manager
Annual Performance Report for the State Independent Living Services Program, (RSA 704 Report, Part II) Annual By December 31

Contract Manager

SILC

Consumer Satisfaction Survey results Annual 30 days after the end of the grant period Contract Manager

 

Financial Reporting
Name Cycle Due Date Submit To
Budget Workbook (includes):      
  • original budget
Annual With Application/ Renewal Contract Manager
  • Form 3157, Base/Operational Grant Quarterly Financial Report and Analysis
Quarterly Due within 30 days after the close of the quarter Contract Manager
  • Form 3470, Request for Advance or Reimbursement (RAR) Centers for Independent Living Base/Operational Grant
Monthly

Request for Reimbursement: Due within 30 days after the close of the reporting month.

Advances: No more than 30 days prior to the month of the advance request.

Contract Manager
As needed As needed Contract Manager
Single Audit (if applicable) Annual

The earlier of

  • 30 days after receipt of the auditor's report; or
  • nine months after the end of the CIL's fiscal year

HHS OIG

Contract Oversight and Support

Contract Manager

Audited Financial Statements (if not subject to single audit requirement) Annual

The earlier of

  • 30 days after receipt of the auditor's report; or
  • nine months after the end of the CIL's fiscal year
Contract Manager

 

4.5 Program Reports

Consumer Demographic Information

Each month, CILs use Form 3161, Consumer Demographic Information, to list the number of consumers served, the number of services provided and the types of services provided.

Quarterly Program Performance Report

Each quarter, CILs use Form 3160, Quarterly Program Performance Report, to report progress and achievements on goals and objectives contained in the work plan as part of the CIL grant.

Annual Performance Report for the State Independent Living Services Program, (RSA 704 Report, Part II)

All HHSC-funded CILs must submit a copy of the RSA 704 Part II report to HHSC and the State Independent Living Council (SILC). This report should be submitted electronically, preferably as an electronic file that can be edited, or alternatively, scanned and emailed to the HHSC Program Specialist for Policy and Reporting (PSPR).

Consumer Satisfaction Survey Results

The Consumer Satisfaction survey measures consumer satisfaction about benefits received from services. The CIL must provide the results of the consumer satisfaction survey to the HHSC PSPR no later than 30 days after the end of the grant period (typically August 31).

 

4.6 Financial Reports

Financial reports including the original annual budget, quarterly financial report, program income report, and budget revision request are included in the budget workbook, an Excel workbook. Reports are linked in order to support ongoing budget oversight. When a report is due, it should be saved separately, named appropriately and submitted to the contract manager.

The CIL should request approval from the contract manager when the CIL needs to use funds within budget categories differently than is shown in the budget justification worksheets.

 

4.6.1 Request for Advance or Reimbursement (RAR)

HHSC will process an RAR to advance up to 30 days of operating funds if the CIL meets the requirements of the contract and requests to use advances. If the CIL selects reimbursement of actual costs, the payment will reflect the allowable costs for the period billed. An RAR must be submitted by the 10th day of each month and approved by HHSC before payment. The RARs must be submitted at least every 90 days.

 

4.7 Audit Requirements

All CILs are required to obtain annual financial audits conducted by an independent auditor in compliance with Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS), as published by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Single Audit (if applicable)

The CIL must arrange for a financial and compliance audit (single audit) if required by OMB Circular A-133. The resulting single audit report must be approved by the CIL board and, if necessary, a corrective plan must be developed. The CIL must comply with the following requirements:

Audited Financial Statements

If a single audit is not required, the CIL still must obtain an annual financial audit. All CIL financial statements must be audited annually, regardless of grant size.

Audited financial statements must include:

The audited financial statements must be submitted to the designated HHSC contract manager within one of the deadlines below, whichever is earlier:

Forms

ES = form also available in Spanish.

Form Title  
3000 Budget Revision Request  
3155 Base/Operational Grant Budget Revision Request  
3157 Base/Operational Grant Quarterly Financial Report and Analysis  
3160 Quarterly Program Performance Report  
3161 Consumer Demographic Information  
3455 Provider Staff Information  
3470 Request for Advance or Reimbursement (RAR) Centers for Independent Living Base/Operational Grant  

Revisions

19-0, New Handbook

Revision Notice 19-0; Effective March 1, 2019

 

This new handbook outlines the general operations and procedures for the Centers for Independent Living receiving operational funds to provide core services. It includes information previously in Chapters 12 and 13 of the Independent Living Services Standards for Providers.

Contact Us

 

For technical or accessibility issues with this handbook, email: Editorial_Services@hhsc.state.tx.us.

For questions about the Independent Living Base/Operational Grant Standards for Service Providers, email: blindandgeneralindependentliving@hhsc.state.tx.us.