How To Become a CDS Provider

HHS conducts open enrollments for entities interested in becoming a Financial Management Services Agency (FMSA). FMSAs deliver financial management services (FMS) to people who participate in the Consumer Directed Services (CDS) option and who choose the FMSA as their financial management services provider. Entities must submit a completed contract application packet before receiving an invitation to attend an HHSC enrollment training and pass a knowledge test.

What Does an FMSA Do?

FMSAs are the vendor fiscal/employer agents for people who hire their own employees for certain services, also called CDS employers. FMSAs provide payroll services as well as deposit and report withholding taxes on behalf CDS employers. FMSAs also assume tax liability for proper withholding of federal income taxes and federal unemployment tax in accordance with Section 3504 of the Internal Revenue Code. In addition, they must comply with state laws and regulations of the Texas Workforce Commission regarding payment of state unemployment insurance.

FMSAs do not deliver direct in-home or community-based services, such as attendant services.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Providing a required initial face-to-face orientation for people when they first choose the CDS option.
  • Providing ongoing training, assistance and support for employer-related responsibilities.
  • Verifying qualifications of applicants before services are delivered.
  • Monitoring continued eligibility of service providers.
  • Approving and monitoring budgets for services delivered through the CDS option.
  • Ensuring that all service agreements are fully executed for each of the employer's service providers before issuing the initial payment for services to the service provider.
  • Managing payroll, including calculations of employee withholdings and employer contributions and depositing these funds with appropriate agencies. FMSAs are not allowed to use a payroll agent.
  • Complying with applicable government regulations concerning employee withholdings, garnishments, mandated withholdings and benefits.
  • Preparing and filing required tax forms and reports.
  • Paying allowable expenses incurred by the employer.
  • Providing status reports concerning the individual's budget, expenditures and compliance with CDS option requirements.
  • Responding to the employer or the employer's designated representative as soon as possible but at least within 2 working days after receipt of information requiring a response from the FMSA, unless indicated otherwise.

Required Training

Note: A contract with an entity as an FMSA does not guarantee referrals. All FMSAs are included on a choice list provided to people who have chosen the CDS option. Attendance is required for any person or organization that wants to contract to be an FMSA.

Financial management services is a highly complex and technical service. It requires thorough understanding of and rigid compliance with federal laws and rules of the Internal Revenue Service relating to being a fiscal employer agent on behalf of individuals using certain programs. FMSAs must have a working knowledge of all home and community-based services provided by HHS, as well as knowledge of principles of self-determination and person first language and practices.

Contract Requirements

Before applying for a contract, an applicant also must be able and willing to fulfill the requirements, TAC 40, Part 1, Chapter 49, for contracting with community care services.

FMSAs must pay for services first, then bill the state for reimbursement. Entities should have at least 2 months operating funds when they apply for a contract to become an FMSA.

HHS conducts contract monitoring of FMSAs. View the contract monitoring tools.

Payment Rates

The FMSA must accept the designated fee established by the Health and Human Services Commission as payment in full for FMS delivered. To learn more about rate for CDS services see the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Rate Analysis Department website.

How to Contract to Provide Services

To be eligible to provide services and receive reimbursement for these services, a provider agency must meet certain eligibility criteria. Rules regarding program and contracting requirements can be found in Title 40 of the Texas Administrative Code as follows:

For more information about HHS provider enrollment process and requirements, please click here.

An individual or entity must complete an application to provide Financial Management Services as a FMSA. Once you have met the minimum eligibility criteria, you may review the required application documents at:

The forms may be downloaded for completion. Completed forms and any additional required information should be mailed to:

Regular mail
Texas Health and Human Services
Community Services Contracts Unit
Mail Code W-357
P.O. Box 149030
Austin, TX 78714-9030

Overnight/Express delivery
Texas Health and Human Services
Community Services Contracts Unit
Mail Code W-357
701 West 51st St.
Austin, TX 78751

Should you have any questions regarding the enrollment process for these programs, contact the Community Services Contracts Unit at 512-438-3550. Please be advised that contract applications must be submitted by mail to the address above and may not be submitted electronically or by facsimile.

How In-State Applicants Make Criminal History Records Requests

HHS requires a Financial Management Services agency (FMSA) contract applicant to submit criminal history record information unless the applicant has a Home and Community Support Services Agency (HCSSA) license. HHS must receive criminal history record information from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) for each individual who:

  1. has an ownership or control interest. This means a person or legal entity, including a sole proprietorship, partnership, firm, corporation, association, limited partnership, limited liability company, joint stock company, trust, estate or other entity that:
    1. has an ownership interest totaling 5 percent or more in an applicant's legal entity;
    2. has an indirect ownership interest equal to 5 percent or more in an applicant's legal entity;
    3. has a combination of direct and indirect ownership interests equal to 5 percent or more in an applicant's legal entity;
    4. is an officer or director of an applicant that is organized as a corporation;
    5. is a partner of an applicant that is organized as a partnership;
  2. is an agent of an applicant which means any person who has been delegated the authority to obligate or act on behalf of an applicant; or
  3. is a managing employee of an applicant which means a general manager, business manager, administrator, director, or other individual who exercises operational or managerial control over, or who directly or indirectly conducts the day-to-day operation of an applicant's legal entity.

DPS has entered into an exclusive contract with L-1 Enrollment Services to provide statewide electronic fingerprinting for criminal history record requests. Individuals must schedule an appointment at a Fingerprint Applicant Services of Texas (FAST) location to complete their criminal history record request. Once fingerprinting has been completed, FAST will electronically send the request to DPS which will in turn send the results to HHS, as requested by the individual.

Please note there are fees associated with acquiring criminal history records. In addition, DPS will not expedite last minute requests for criminal history record information. All criminal history records requests must be completed within 45 days from the date HHS receives your application.

The easiest way to complete this requirement is to schedule an appointment online with Fingerprint Applicant Services of Texas (FAST). Appointments can also be scheduled by phone at 1-888-467-2080. A list of all FAST locations in Texas and their hours can be found online. The cost of this service is $10 plus a $15 fee for the criminal history.

How to schedule appointment online

  1. Go to
  2. Select "Texas" as the location.
  3. Click on "Online Scheduling."
  4. Select preferred language, click "Begin Registration."
  5. Enter First and Last Name, then click "Go."
  6. Select "All Others" as the reason you are being fingerprinted.
  7. Select "Option A" to submit fingerprints electronically to DPS.
  8. Select "No, I do not have a FAST Fingerprint Pass."
  9. Select "Apply to be a Medicaid Provider" and click "Next Step."
  10. Enter "txireview" (lowercase, one word with no spaces) as the Agency/ORI Number and click "Next Step."
  11. You will be prompted to enter the mailing information of the recipient of the criminal history record. All requests should be sent to HHS, not to the person being fingerprinted. Enter the following in the corresponding fields:
    1. Designated Recipient: HHS ATTN: Paul Straka, Mail Code W-357;
    2. Mailing Address: P.O. Box 149030;
    3. City: Austin;
    4. ZIP Code: 78714; and
    5. Click "Next Step."
    6. Enter your ZIP code or choose which region and click "Next Step."
  12. Find the location that best suits you and select the day you wish to schedule your appointment by clicking on "Click to Schedule." A window of times will display; select your desired time and click go.
  13. Complete the personal information form and select a method of payment. Click "Send Information" to go to the next step.
  14. Review the information you entered and print the final page for your records. An e-mail confirming your appointment will be sent to the e-mail address provided.

When you attend your appointment, you must obtain a receipt for the transaction. A copy of this receipt must be submitted with your application.

How Out-of-state Applicants Submit Criminal History Records

An out-of-state applicant must obtain a criminal history record from DPS using the following instructions:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on "Crime Records" on right side of webpage
  3. Click on "Review of Personal Crime History (PDF)"
  4. Scroll down to "Alternate Option: Fingerprint Cards Submitted by Mail"
  5. Choose to pre-enroll your hard fingerprint card submission either on-line or by telephone.
  6. You will be required to provide the Designated Recipient of your criminal history check. All requests should be sent to HHS, not to the person being fingerprinted. Provide the following information:
    1. Designated Recipient Name: HHS ATTN: Community Services Contracts Mail Code W-357
    2. Do not check "Use My Address" if pre-enrolling on-line
    3. Country: United States
    4. Address Line 1: P.O. Box 149030
    5. City: Austin
    6. Postal Code: 78714-9030
  7. If you are asked to provide an "ORI," please respond "txireview."
  8. Complete Steps 2 and 3. Scroll down to view and print Personal Review Service Code Form.

HHS may require an applicant to provide additional information regarding the certification of criminal history information.

HHS, at its discretion, may reject an application if the applicant or any person with an ownership or controlling interest in the applicant or an agent or managing employee of the applicant has been convicted of any criminal offense listed in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 1, Part 15, Chapter 371, Subchapter G, Division 4, §371.1685. HHS may also reject an application based on an applicant's failure to comply with the requirements.