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TITLE 1ADMINISTRATION
PART 15TEXAS HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES COMMISSION
CHAPTER 393INFORMAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION AND INFORMAL RECONSIDERATION
RULE §393.1Informal Dispute Resolution for Nursing Facilities and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions (ICF/IID)

(a) The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) provides an informal dispute resolution (IDR) process for nursing facilities and intermediate care facilities for individuals with an intellectual disability or related conditions (ICF/IID) (hereinafter referred to collectively as "facility") through which a facility may dispute deficiencies/violations cited against that facility by the State survey agency or its designee.

(b) HHSC must receive a facility's written request for an IDR no later than the 10th calendar day after the facility's receipt of the statement of deficiencies/violations from the State survey agency or its designee. If the 10th calendar day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date becomes the following business day. The facility must submit its written request for an IDR on the form designated for that purpose by HHSC. HHSC will make that form publicly available, e.g., maintained on the HHSC website.

(c) Within three business days of its receipt of the facility's written request for an IDR, HHSC will notify the facility and the State survey agency's regional office under which the facility operates of its receipt of the request.

(d) Within five calendar days of HHSC's receipt of the facility's request for an IDR, HHSC must receive from the facility two copies of the facility's rebuttal letter and attached supporting documentation. If the 5th calendar day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date becomes the following business day. The rebuttal letter must contain:

  (1) a list of the deficiencies/violations disputed (only those deficiencies/violations listed on the IDR request form and addressed in the rebuttal letter/supporting documentation will be reviewed);

  (2) the reason(s) each deficiency/violation is disputed; and

  (3) the outcome desired by the facility for each disputed deficiency/violation.

(e) The facility submits its supporting documentation or information in the following format:

  (1) Organize the attachments by deficiency/violation and cross-reference to the disputed deficiency/violation in the rebuttal letter.

  (2) Ensure all information is labeled and legible.

  (3) Highlight information relevant to the disputed deficiency/violation, such as a particular portion of a narrative.

  (4) Describe the relevance of the documentation/information to the disputed deficiency/violation.

  (5) Do not de-identify documents that name residents referenced in disputed deficiencies/violations.

  (6) Submit supporting documentation or information by regular mail, hand delivery, or overnight delivery. HHSC will not review supporting documentation submitted by facsimile transmission.

(f) If the facility substantially complies with the procedures set out in subsections (d) and (e) of this section, HHSC will proceed with its review of the facility's IDR request.

(g) It is the facility's responsibility to present sufficient credible information to HHSC to support the outcome requested by the facility.

  (1) Possible outcomes of an IDR for nursing facilities and ICF/IID are:

    (A) a determination that there is insufficient evidence to sustain a deficiency/violation;

    (B) a determination that there is insufficient evidence to sustain a portion or a finding of a deficiency/violation;

    (C) a determination that there is sufficient evidence to sustain a deficiency/violation; or

    (D) a determination that there is insufficient evidence to sustain the deficiency/violation as cited but that there is sufficient evidence to sustain a different citation.

  (2) In addition to the outcomes stated in paragraph (1) of this subsection, possible additional outcomes of an IDR for nursing facilities only include:

    (A) a determination that there is insufficient evidence to sustain the severity and scope assessment but that there is sufficient evidence to sustain a reduced severity and scope assessment (for Immediate Jeopardy or Substandard Quality of Care only); or

    (B) a determination that there is sufficient evidence to sustain the severity and scope assessment as cited.

(h) HHSC will not conduct an IDR based on alleged surveyor misconduct, alleged State survey agency failure to comply with survey protocol, complaints about existing federal or State standards, or attempts to clear previously corrected deficiencies/violations.

(i) Upon receipt of the facility's IDR request, the State survey agency must submit to HHSC by means allowing confirmation of HHSC's receipt, e.g., overnight delivery or electronic mail, the following supporting documentation as specified in the IDR operating procedures:

  (1) resident identifier list;

  (2) report of contact; and

  (3) Automated Survey Processing Environment (ASPEN) event ID number.

(j) Any information related to an IDR request that is received by HHSC from either the facility or the State survey agency will be made available by HHSC to the opposing party. Parties have until the end of the second business day after receipt of such shared IDR information to respond to HHSC about that information. HHSC will share any responses with the opposing party.

(k) HHSC may request additional information from the facility and/or the State survey agency. Both parties will be notified of the request for additional information and have until the end of the second business day after notification to respond to the request. The opposing party will be provided with copies of the response submitted to HHSC.

(l) Ex parte communications by the facility or by the State survey agency with HHSC personnel conducting the IDR are prohibited.

(m) An eligible facility may receive a telephone or face-to-face IDR conference provided that the facility requested an IDR conference on the IDR request form.

(n) Any telephone or face-to-face IDR conference will be scheduled on or before the 22nd calendar day after HHSC received the IDR request. If the facility is unable to participate on the scheduled date, the IDR conference will be cancelled, and the IDR will continue as though no conference had been requested.

(o) The IDR conference is an opportunity for an eligible facility to emphasize important information previously submitted in the facility's rebuttal letter or response(s) to shared information. The facility and the State survey agency may attend any IDR conference, but neither party may present new information.

(p) HHSC will complete the IDR no later than the 30th calendar day after receipt of the facility's written request. If the 30th calendar day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the due date becomes the following business day. The IDR decision shall be in writing, address all the issues raised by the facility, and explain the rationale for the decision.

(q) The time frames designated in the IDR process shall be computed in accordance with §311.014, Texas Government Code.

(r) HHSC may issue and enforce operating procedures concerning the IDR process and the conduct of IDR participants. IDR participants must comply with any such procedures. HHSC may deny an IDR request if the information submitted is incorrect, incomplete, or otherwise not in compliance with applicable HHSC operating procedures.

(s) HHSC will revise an IDR decision as a result of a review, requested by the State survey agency, and subsequent determination that the IDR decision may violate a federal law, regulation, or the CMS State Operations Manual.


Source Note: The provisions of this §393.1 adopted to be effective February 17, 2004, 29 TexReg 1345; amended to be effective January 1, 2015, 39 TexReg 10395

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