24.1 Overview of Purchasing Policies and Procedures

The policies and procedures in this chapter describe the requirements for purchasing of goods and services for CRS consumers. Information about goods and services that have additional requirements (such as approvals, consultations, or specific documentation) are located within the specific section of the policy manual for that service (for example, assistive technology or in-house providers).

Policy establishes basic statewide operating principles for programs that:

  • define services and service limitations; and
  • support the highest possible compliance with federal and state law through:
    • best-value purchasing;
    • comparable benefits before authorizing and or paying for consumer goods and services;
    • documentation in ReHabWorks and/or the consumer case file;
    • informed consumer choice;
    • professional and ethical obligations (see Chapter 2: CRS Principles, 2.5 Building Ethical Relationships);
    • provider and facility qualifications (see CRS Standards for Providers Manual); and
    • Individualized Written Rehabilitation Plan (see Chapter 8: Individualized Written Rehabilitation Plan (IWRP).
 

24.1.1 Staff Responsibilities

All agency staff members are responsible for ensuring compliance with purchasing processes. The caseload carrying staff member and his or her supervisor are responsible for all service authorizations.

The authorization for a good or service must be documented clearly in a case note in ReHabWorks before initiating a purchase with a service authorization. Authorization and/or exceptions to policy will not be granted for certain goods and services. For more information on restricted goods and services see 24.6 Purchasing Thresholds and Restrictions.

Purchasing Thresholds and Restrictions

All purchasing activities are subject to internal and or external review, audit, and investigation at any time. As public servants responsible for assisting Texans and serving the taxpayers of this state, CRS staff members are expected to maintain the highest level of ethical conduct. Violation of these policies may result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, and, in some cases, referral to state or federal law enforcement agencies.

Internal Program Resource Staff

The CRS program provides additional support to assist staff in the purchase of goods and services for consumers. The following individuals are available to provide specialized oversight, support, and consultation as needed:

  • medical services coordinator;
  • managers and management teams; and
  • central office program specialists.

If subject matter experts have questions that are not addressed in this chapter, manual, or in other policy and procedure manuals, they must consult with the appropriate internal program resource staff members before completing a service authorization for a good or service.

24.1.2 Documentation

ReHabWorks is the electronic case management system that interfaces with the state comptroller to track and authorize payments for all consumer goods and services.

Purchasing documentation is maintained in both ReHabWorks and in the paper case file.

For more information on documentation requirements, see Chapter 2: CRS Principles, 2.8 Quality Program Management in Documentation, and Chapter 8: Individualized Written Rehabilitation Plan (IWRP).

Paper Case File Documentation

All documents related to the purchasing process are legal records and must be maintained in the consumer's paper case file.

Purchasing documents include:

  • bids;
  • invoices;
  • reports;
  • service authorizations; and
  • related correspondence.

Purchasing documentation must be date-stamped on the date that it is received in the CRS program office. Purchasing documentation must be filed in the consumer's paper case file once the purchasing documentation has been processed.

ReHabWorks does not maintain copies of service authorizations (SA) as they are revised. Print, sign, and file a paper copy of the SA in the consumer's paper case file when the SA is generated.

To ensure that the provider's file accurately reflects the purchasing activities in ReHabWorks, a copy of the SA must be sent to the provider when it is generated. If an SA is changed in any manner, a copy of the new signed SA must also be kept in the consumer's paper case file and sent to the provider as notification of the change. A staff member also must send documentation to service providers when the remaining open-balance quantity is reduced or reaches zero.

24.1.3 Legislation, Policy, Procedures, and Resources

Legislation

Purchasing of goods and services for CRS consumers is subject to state and federal laws. These include, but are not limited to:

  • 34 TAC, Part 1, Chapter 20 Texas Procurement and Support Services;
  • Texas Government Code, Annotated, Section 2155.382(d); and
  • Texas Government Code, Chapter 2155.

The CRS program does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status in purchasing consumer goods and services.

Policy and Procedure Manuals

CRS counselors, designated technicians, and other CRS staff members that purchase goods and services for consumers are also subject to the policies and procedures throughout the following manuals:

  • Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services Manual – General Services
  • CRS Standards for Providers Manual
  • Contracting Processes and Procedures Manual
  • Medical Services Required Practices Handbook
  • ReHabWorks User’s Guide