How to Become a Licensed HCSSA Provider

Texas Health and Human Services licenses, certifies and surveys home and community support services agencies for compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. Through these regulatory activities, HHS protects Texas citizens receiving home health, hospice and personal assistance services.

What is HCSSA/Hospice? Click here to learn more.

Becoming Licensed in Texas

HCSSAs must be licensed to operate in Texas. To become licensed, an agency must:

  • Complete the pre-survey, computer-based training.
  • Properly complete the license application.
  • Upload all required documents.
  • Pay the required license fee(s).
  • Be registered with and be in good standing from the State Comptroller of Public Accounts.
  • Be registered with and be in good standing from the Secretary of State of Texas.
  • Be approved by HHS/HCSSA Licensure and Certification Unit.

Types of Applications

Initial

An initial application is an application that has never been issued an HHS license number to operate in Texas. Changes of ownerships are also considered an initial application.

Change of Ownership

A change of ownership happens when the agency changes the tax identification number.

Renewal

A renewal application for a current license holder must be submitted on or before the licensure expiration date. A late fee can apply. Any application submitted after the licensure expiration date will not be accepted.

Changes of Information

If certain information provided on an initial or renewal application changes after HHS issues the license, an agency must report the change to HHS/HCSSA Licensing unit. The agency must report the change using the appropriate Home and Community Support Services Agency License Application, (Form 2021, 2024 and 2025), found in the Texas Uniform Licensing Information Portal (TULIP). To avoid a late fee, a change must be reported within the time frame specified for the type of change.

Licensure Fees

  • Initial licensing fees: $1,750 for each parent agency, branch or change of ownership and $1,000 for each alternate delivery site.
  • Renewal licensing fees: $1,750 for each parent agency, branch and a license renewal fee for each alternate delivery site of $600.
  • A renewal late fee of $875, in addition to the licensing fee, will be assessed if the renewal application for each parent agency and branch is submitted less than 45 days before the licensure expiration date with a renewal late fee of $300, in addition to the license fee for each alternate delivery site if submitted less than 45 days before the licensure expiration date.
  • A late fee of $250 for each license, in addition to the licensing fee, will be assessed if the change-of-ownership application is submitted less than 30 days before the effective date of the change of ownership.
  • All HCSSAs must pay a $30 standard fee when reporting most changes to HHS/HCSSA Licensure Unit.
  • If a HCSSA does not report a change of information in a timely manner to the HHS/HCSSA Licensure Unit, the HCSSA must pay a late fee of $100, if applicable. This late fee is in addition to the $30 fee, if applicable.

Category of Services

Licensed and Certified Home Health

Must accept a person for home health services based on a reasonable expectation that their medical, nursing and social needs can be met adequately in their residence. Certified home health agencies must comply with the requirements of the Social Security Act and the regulations in Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 484.

Licensed Home Health

Must accept a person for home health services based on a reasonable expectation that the their medical, nursing and social needs can be met adequately in their residence.

Licensed and Certified Home Health with Home Dialysis Designation

Must accept a person for home health services based on a reasonable expectation that their medical, nursing and social needs can be met adequately in the client's residence. For a residence to receive a home dialysis designation, it must meet the licensing standards specified in Texas Administrative Code §558.405. Certified Home health agencies must comply with the requirements of the Social Security Act and the regulations in Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 484.

Licensed Home Health with Home Dialysis Designation

Must accept a person for home health services based on a reasonable expectation that their medical, nursing and social needs can be met adequately in their residence. For a residence to receive a home dialysis designation, it must meet the licensing standards specified in 26 TAC §558.405.

Hospice

Services, including those provided by unlicensed personnel under the delegation of a registered nurse or physical therapist, provided to the person in care or their family as part of a coordinated program. These services include palliative care for terminally ill people and support services for them and their families. Hospice services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Certified hospice providers must comply with the requirements of the Social Security Act in Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 418.

Personal Assistance Services

Routine ongoing care or service required by a person in a residence or independent-living environment that enables them to engage in the activities of daily living or to preform functions required for independent living, including respite.

Time Frames for Applications

An application from an agency for an initial, renewal and change of ownership: parent, branch office or alternate delivery site license is processed in accordance with three general time frames:

  • Upon receipt of a thoroughly complete application in TULIP, the HHS/HCSSA Licensing unit has up to 45 days to process the application.
  • If HHS/HCSSA Licensing unit receives an incomplete application, the HHS/HCSSA Licensing unit will notify the HCSSA via TULIP of any deficient items in the application. The applicant must respond with complete and correct information within 30 days from the date of notification or the application will be denied.
  • Upon receipt of the application deficiency response in TULIP, the licensing unit will issue or deny the license within 45 days unless other matters prevent the approval or denial of the application, for example a pending survey or enforcement recommendation.

NOTE: After an initial license is issued, the agency must notify the HHS regional office upon enrolling its first person under their care (If more than one category, the agency must enroll and provide surveys to the highest category) and request an initial health survey using the HHSC Form 2020, Notification of Readiness for Initial Survey. This survey request must be completed within six months of the issuance of the initial license. After an agency is issued a new change-of-ownership license, the agency must notify the HHS regional office within six months of the effective date of their new license. After an initial license is issued for an alternate delivery site with or without an inpatient unit, the hospice agency must notify the HHS regional office upon enrolling its first person under their care and request an initial health survey.

Changes of Information

Click here for instructions on how to submit Changes of Information for a HCSSA.

Forms

Parent, Branch, Alternate Delivery Site and Medicare Branch Applications

Visit the TULIP website to access the applications and instructions page.

  • Form 2021, Home and Community Support Services Agency Application for Parent (initials, renewals, change of ownership and changes of information to the parent agency), fees are non-refundable.
  • Form 2023, Home and Community Support Services Agency Application for Initial Medicare Certified Branch, fees are non-refundable.
  • Form 2024, Home and Community Support Services Agency Request for an Alternate Delivery Site License (initials, renewals, change of ownership and changes of information to the alternate delivery site, to include In-patient unit), fees are non-refundable. An Inpatient Hospice unit must contact the HHS Architectural Unit at 512-438-2311 to request a Life Safety Code survey before approval and an Impatient Hospice unit must notify their HHSC regional office upon enrolling its first person under their care and request an initial health survey.
  • Form 2025, Home and Community Support Services Agency Request for a Branch License, (initials, Renewals, Change of Ownership and Changes of Information to the branch office), fees are non-refundable.

Statutes and Rules

HCSSA providers are responsible for reading and understanding the HCCSA regulations before becoming a licensed provider. Click here to see all Rules and Statutes.

Medicare Certification

Participation in the state and federal Medicaid program and federal Medicare program is voluntary. However, each agency must be certified for the appropriate Medicare program before serving people who are eligible.

As of January 30, 2019, there are no active Medicare Provider Enrollment Moratoria in Texas. An existing home health or hospice provider seeking Medicare certification should refer to the following provider letters, respectively.

The application will not be considered completed until verification of an initial certification survey is received from an AO or conducted by HHSC Survey Operations. Due to CMS workload prioritization directives, no initial certification surveys are being performed by HHSC Survey Operations.

Existing Licensed Providers seeking to add Medicare certification should submit an application through the TULIP system (Form 2021, Home and Community Support Services Agency License Application: Change-Update Category of Service), including the following documents to be uploaded into the application:

  • CMS 1561: Health Insurance Benefit Agreement
  • CMS 417 Request for Hospice certification, as applicable
  • Verification of Office of Civil Rights Submission

New home health and hospice providers seeking licensure and Medicare certification should submit an application through the TULIP system (Form 2021, Home and Community Support Services Agency License Application: Initial). For a list of required documents, see the required documents for Medicare certification below.

Accreditation Agencies

Required Documents for Medicare Certification

These documents are required if the agency is seeking certification or is currently certified through the Medicare program.

Attention: Home health and Hospices agencies that are (1) initially enrolling in Medicare, (2) adding a branch or multiple location, or (3) revalidating their enrollment information, must submit with their CMS 855 application:

  • Verification of the application fee in an amount prescribed by CMS and/or
  • A letter for a request for a hardship exception to the application fee.

The provider must pay the application fee electronically through Pay.gov, with a credit or debit card. The application fee applies to CMS 855 applications that the agency's Regional Home Health Intermediary/Medicare Administrative contractor.

The following links provides additional information and the current application fee process:

Related Links

Questions about enrolling? Call the Licensing and Certification Unit at 512-438-2630.

Visit the Texas Unified Licensure Information Portal (TULIP) website for application forms and instructions.

Go to TULIP