Does the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) Regulatory Services provide training for people with intellectual disabilities, family members and the public?
Families are welcome to register and attend joint training sessions offered through the training website. Topics center around the top 10 deficient practices in Texas facilities. Educational Services provides joint-training sessions for providers and surveyors. However, anyone who has an interest in resident care is welcome to attend.

The State Long-Term Care Ombudsman program also has information for families. Facilities are responsible for educating family members related to specific resident care needs. [Ref: State: Human Resource Code (HRC) § 22.039(c); Federal: Social Security Act § 1919(g)(1)(B)]

Would Regulatory Services produce and deliver more joint training opportunities for surveyors and providers?
DADS Regulatory Services is required to provide joint training on at least one of the top 10 deficient practices in Texas. Approximately 12 training sessions per month are offered throughout the state. Information can be found on the DADS training website. [Ref: State: HRC § 22.039(c)]

Can Regulatory Services provide technical assistance?
Current legislation mandates improved communications between Regulatory Services and the providers in nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and intermediate care facilities (ICF/IIDs). In response to this mandate, DADS created the position of facility/surveyor liaison. The nurse liaison position is a state-funded position for these programs that can be used on a limited basis, at the discretion of the regional director, in other types of facilities/agencies regulated by DADS.

The nurse liaison position does not include fact-finding or discussing evidence during the survey process. The nurse liaison may be used to enhance communication between providers and survey teams, but may not be used to discuss evidence in potential deficiencies. The nurse liaison may provide the facility with current information on best practice issues from the website. [Ref: State: SB 1839, 77th Legislative Session]

Will Regulatory Services develop a mechanism to encourage and facilitate regular, ongoing dialogue with providers?
When possible, regional Regulatory Services management staff periodically schedule meetings to provide a forum for information sharing, identification of issues, training and team building.

Will Regulatory Services educate providers on the top 10 deficiencies cited and how to improve care so that deficient practices can be eliminated?
Joint training on the top 10 deficient practices is currently being offered across the state. Check the DADS training website.

The DADS Regulatory Services Annual Report includes information about the top 10 deficiencies and complaints by provider type. [Ref: State: HRC § 22.039(c)]

Stakeholders have requested a new list of websites for providers to use when they are searching for information and training materials.
Educational Services provides monthly training sessions around the state for providers and surveyors. Information can be found on the DADS training website.

The development and distribution of a new list of informative websites will be researched, developed and distributed by the Regulatory Services regional automation coordinator. Facilities also may contact their respective provider organizations for more information and a list of training opportunities. [Ref: State: HRC § 22.039(c)]

Will Regulatory Services surveyors once again be involved in teaching/training when surveying?
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), surveyors are permitted to provide reference information regarding best practices to help facilities develop additional sources and networking tools for program enhancement. However, after informing the facility of the deficient practice, the surveyor cannot prescribe how to correct it. CMS guidance is as follows: "Frequently, the explanation will embody the action needed to correct the problem. In situations where there may be several possible causes, it is not the surveyor's responsibility to delve into the facility's policies and procedures to determine the root cause of the deficiency." [Ref: Federal: State Operations Manual, Section 2727]

What is the best method of contacting eligibility workers and the Social Security Administration?
The best method for contacting local Medicaid eligibility staff is calling their office telephone number and leaving a detailed message if unable to talk to them directly. The Social Security Administration (1-800-772-1213) may have a preferred method other than by telephone.