SECTION 353.2. Definitions  


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  • The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

    (1) Action--

    (A) An action is defined as:

    (i) the denial or limited authorization of a requested Medicaid service, including the type or level of service;

    (ii) the reduction, suspension, or termination of a previously authorized service;

    (iii) the failure to provide services in a timely manner;

    (iv) the denial in whole or in part of payment for a service; or

    (v) the failure of a managed care organization (MCO) to act within the timeframes set forth by the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and state and federal law.

    (B) "Action" does not include expiration of a time-limited service.

    (2) Acute care--Preventive care, primary care, and other medical or behavioral health care provided by the provider or under the direction of a provider for a condition having a relatively short duration.

    (3) Acute care hospital--A hospital that provides acute care services.

    (4) Agreement or Contract--The formal, written, and legally enforceable contract and amendments thereto between HHSC and an MCO.

    (5) Allowable revenue--All managed care revenue received by the MCO pursuant to the contract during the contract period, including retroactive adjustments made by HHSC. This would include any revenue earned on Medicaid managed care funds such as investment income, earned interest, or third party administrator earnings from services to delegated networks.

    (6) Appeal--The formal process by which a member or his or her representative requests a review of the MCO's action.

    (7) Applicant Provider--A physician or other health care provider applying for expedited credentialing as defined in Texas Government Code §533.0064.

    (8) Behavioral health service--A covered service for the treatment of mental, emotional, or substance use disorders.

    (9) Capitated service--A benefit available to members under the Texas Medicaid program for which an MCO is responsible for payment.

    (10) Capitation rate--A fixed predetermined fee paid by HHSC to the MCO each month, in accordance with the contract, for each enrolled member in exchange for which the MCO arranges for or provides a defined set of covered services to the member, regardless of the amount of covered services used by the enrolled member.

    (11) CFR--Code of Federal Regulations.

    (12) Children's Medicaid Dental Services--The dental services provided through a dental MCO to a client birth through age 20.

    (13) Clean claim--A claim submitted by a physician or provider for health care services rendered to a member, with the data necessary for the MCO or subcontracted claims processor to adjudicate and accurately report the claim. A clean claim must meet all requirements for accurate and complete data as further defined under the terms of the contract executed between the MCO and HHSC.

    (14) Client--Any Medicaid-eligible recipient.

    (15) CMS--The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which is the federal agency responsible for administering Medicare and overseeing state administration of Medicaid.

    (16) Complainant--A member, or a treating provider or other individual designated to act on behalf of the member, who files a complaint.

    (17) Complaint--Any dissatisfaction expressed by a complainant, orally or in writing, to the MCO about any matter related to the MCO other than an action. Subjects for complaints may include:

    (A) the quality of care of services provided;

    (B) aspects of interpersonal relationships such as rudeness of a provider or employee; and

    (C) failure to respect the member's rights.

    (18) Consumer Directed Services (CDS) option--A service delivery option (also known as self-directed model with service budget) in which an individual or legally authorized representative employs and retains service providers and directs the delivery of certain program services.

    (19) Covered services--Unless a service or item is specifically excluded under the terms of the state plan, a federal waiver, a managed care services contract, or an amendment to any of these, the phrase "covered services" means all health care, long term services and supports, or dental services or items that the MCO must arrange to provide and pay for on a member's behalf under the terms of the contract executed between the MCO and HHSC, including:

    (A) all services or items comprising "medical assistance" as defined in §32.003 of the Human Resources Code; and

    (B) all value-added services under such contract.

    (20) Credentialing--The process through which an MCO collects, assesses, and validates qualifications and other relevant information pertaining to a Medicaid enrolled health care provider to determine whether the provider may be contracted to deliver covered services as part of the network of the managed care organization.

    (21) Cultural competency--The ability of individuals and systems to provide services effectively to people of various disabilities, cultures, races, ethnic backgrounds, and religions in a manner that recognizes, values, affirms, and respects the worth of the individuals and protects and preserves their dignity.

    (22) Day--A calendar day, unless specified otherwise.

    (23) Default enrollment--The process established by HHSC to assign a Medicaid managed care enrollee to an MCO when the enrollee has not selected an MCO.

    (24) Dental contractor--A dental MCO that is under contract with HHSC for the delivery of dental services.

    (25) Dental home--A provider who has contracted with a dental MCO to serve as a dental home to a member and who is responsible for providing routine preventive, diagnostic, urgent, therapeutic, initial, and primary care to patients, maintaining the continuity of patient care, and initiating referral for care. Provider types that can serve as dental homes are federally qualified health centers and individuals who are general dentists or pediatric dentists.

    (26) Dental managed care organization (dental MCO)--A dental indemnity insurance provider or dental health maintenance organization licensed or approved by the Texas Department of Insurance.

    (27) Dental service--The routine preventive, diagnostic, urgent, therapeutic, initial, and primary care provided to a member and included within the scope of HHSC's agreement with a dental contractor. For purposes of this chapter, "dental service" does not include dental devices for craniofacial anomalies; treatment rendered in a hospital, urgent care center, or ambulatory surgical center setting for craniofacial anomalies; or emergency services provided in a hospital, urgent care center, or ambulatory surgical center setting involving dental trauma. These types of services are treated as health care services in this chapter.

    (28) Disability--A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of an individual's major life activities, such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, socializing, or working.

    (29) Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH)--A hospital that serves a higher than average number of Medicaid and other low-income patients and receives additional reimbursement from the State.

    (30) Dual eligible--A Medicaid recipient who is also eligible for Medicare.

    (31) Elective enrollment--Selection of a primary care provider (PCP) and MCO by a client during the enrollment period established by HHSC.

    (32) Emergency behavioral health condition--Any condition, without regard to the nature or cause of the condition, that in the opinion of a prudent layperson possessing an average knowledge of health and medicine:

    (A) requires immediate intervention and/or medical attention without which the client would present an immediate danger to themselves or others; or

    (B) renders the client incapable of controlling, knowing, or understanding the consequences of his or her actions.

    (33) Emergency medical condition--A medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of recent onset and sufficient severity (including severe pain), such that a prudent layperson, who possesses an average knowledge of health and medicine, could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical care to result in:

    (A) placing the patient's health in serious jeopardy;

    (B) serious impairment to bodily functions;

    (C) serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part;

    (D) serious disfigurement; or

    (E) serious jeopardy to the health of a pregnant woman or her unborn child.

    (34) Emergency service--A covered inpatient and outpatient service, furnished by a network provider or out-of-network provider that is qualified to furnish such service, that is needed to evaluate or stabilize an emergency medical condition and/or an emergency behavioral health condition. For health care MCOs, the term "emergency service" includes post-stabilization care services.

    (35) Encounter--A covered service or group of covered services delivered by a provider to a member during a visit between the member and provider. This also includes value-added services.

    (36) Enrollment--The process by which an individual determined to be eligible for Medicaid is enrolled in a Medicaid MCO serving the service area in which the individual resides.

    (37) EPSDT--The federally mandated Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment program defined in 25 TAC Chapter 33 (relating to Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment). The State of Texas has adopted the name Texas Health Steps (THSteps) for its EPSDT program.

    (38) EPSDT-CCP--The Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment-Comprehensive Care Program described in Chapter 363 of this title (relating to Texas Health Steps Comprehensive Care Program).

    (39) Exclusive provider benefit plan (EPBP)--An MCO that complies with 28 TAC §§3.9201 - 3.9212, relating to the Texas Department of Insurance's requirements for EPBPs, and contracts with HHSC to provide Medicaid coverage.

    (40) Expedited Credentialing--The process under Texas Government Code §533.0064 in which an MCO allows an applicant provider to provide Medicaid services to members on a provisional basis pending completion of the credentialing process.

    (41) Experience rebate--The portion of the MCO's net income before taxes that is returned to the State in accordance with the MCO's contract with HHSC.

    (42) Fair hearing--The process adopted and implemented by HHSC in Chapter 357, Subchapter A of this title (relating to Uniform Fair Hearing Rules) in compliance with federal regulations and state rules relating to Medicaid fair hearings.

    (43) Federal Poverty Level (FPL)--The household income guidelines issued annually and published in the Federal Register by the United States Department of Health and Human Services under the authority of 42 U.S.C. §9902(2) and as in effect for the applicable budget period determined in accordance with 42 C.F.R. §435.603(h). HHSC uses the FPL to determine an individual's eligibility for Medicaid.

    (44) Federal waiver--Any waiver permitted under federal law and approved by CMS that allows states to implement Medicaid managed care.

    (45) Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC)--An entity that is certified by CMS to meet the requirements of 42 U.S.C. §1395x(aa)(3) as a Federally Qualified Health Center and is enrolled as a provider in the Texas Medicaid program.

    (46) Former Foster Care Children (FFCC) program--The Medicaid program for young adults who aged out of the conservatorship of Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), administered in accordance with Chapter 366, Subchapter J of this title (relating to Former Foster Care Children's Program).

    (47) Functional necessity--A member's need for services and supports with activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living to be healthy and safe in the most integrated setting possible. This determination is based on the results of a functional assessment.

    (48) Habilitation--Acquisition, maintenance, and enhancement of skills necessary for the individual to accomplish ADLs, IADLs, and health-related tasks based on the individual's person-centered service plan.

    (49) Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC)--The single state agency charged with administration and oversight of the Texas Medicaid program or its designee.

    (50) Health care managed care organization (health care MCO)--An entity that is licensed or approved by the Texas Department of Insurance to operate as a health maintenance organization or to issue an EPBP.

    (51) Health care provider group--A legal entity, such as a partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or professional association, enrolled in Medicaid, under which certified or licensed individual health care providers provide health care items or services.

    (52) Health care services--The acute care, behavioral health care, and health-related services that an enrolled population might reasonably require in order to be maintained in good health, including, at a minimum, emergency services and inpatient and outpatient services.

    (53) Health maintenance organization (HMO)--An organization that holds a certificate of authority from the Texas Department of Insurance to operate as an HMO under Chapter 843 of the Texas Insurance Code, or a certified Approved Non-Profit Health Corporation formed in compliance with Chapter 844 of the Texas Insurance Code.

    (54) Hospital--A licensed public or private institution as defined in the Texas Health and Safety Code at Chapter 241, relating to hospitals, or Chapter 261, relating to municipal hospitals.

    (55) Intermediate care facility for individuals with an intellectual disability or related condition (ICF-IID)--A facility providing care and services to individuals with intellectual disabilities or related conditions as defined in §1905(d) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396(d)).

    (56) Legally authorized representative (LAR)--A person authorized by law to act on behalf of an individual with regard to a matter described in this chapter, and may, depending on the circumstances, include a parent, guardian, or managing conservator of a minor, or the guardian of an adult, or a representative designated pursuant to 42 C.F.R. 435.923.

    (57) Long term service and support (LTSS)--A service provided to a qualified member in his or her home or other community-based setting necessary to allow the member to remain in the most integrated setting possible. LTSS includes services provided under the Texas State Plan as well as services available to persons who qualify for STAR+PLUS Home and Community-Based Program services or Medicaid 1915(c) waiver services. LTSS available through an MCO in STAR+PLUS, STAR Health, and STAR Kids varies by program model.

    (58) Main dental home provider--See definition of "dental home" in this section.

    (59) Main dentist--See definition of "dental home" in this section.

    (60) Managed care--A health care delivery system or dental services delivery system in which the overall care of a patient is coordinated by or through a single provider or organization.

    (61) Managed care organization (MCO)--A dental MCO or a health care MCO.

    (62) Marketing--Any communication from an MCO to a client who is not enrolled with the MCO that can reasonably be interpreted as intended to influence the client's decision to enroll, not to enroll, or to disenroll from a particular MCO.

    (63) Marketing materials--Materials that are produced in any medium by or on behalf of the MCO that can reasonably be interpreted as intending to market to potential members. Materials relating to the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of a medical or dental condition are not marketing materials.

    (64) MDCP--Medically Dependent Children Program. A §1915(c) waiver program that provides community-based services to assist Medicaid beneficiaries under age 21 to live in the community and avoid institutionalization.

    (65) Medicaid--The medical assistance program authorized and funded pursuant to Title XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. §1396 et seq) and administered by HHSC.

    (66) Medicaid for transitioning foster care youth (MTFCY) program--The Medicaid program for young adults who aged out of the conservatorship of Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), administered in accordance with Chapter 366, Subchapter F of this title (relating to Medicaid for Transitioning Foster Care Youth).

    (67) Medical Assistance Only (MAO)--A person who qualifies financially and functionally for Medicaid assistance but does not receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, as defined in Chapters 358, 360, and 361, of this title (relating to Medicaid Eligibility for the Elderly and People with Disabilities, Medicaid Buy-In Program and Medicaid Buy-In for Children Program).

    (68) Medical home--A PCP or specialty care provider who has accepted the responsibility for providing accessible, continuous, comprehensive, and coordinated care to members participating in an MCO contracted with HHSC.

    (69) Medically necessary--

    (A) For Medicaid members birth through age 20, the following Texas Health Steps services:

    (i) screening, vision, dental, and hearing services; and

    (ii) other health care services or dental services that are necessary to correct or ameliorate a defect or physical or mental illness or condition. A determination of whether a service is necessary to correct or ameliorate a defect or physical or mental illness or condition:

    (I) must comply with the requirements of a final court order that applies to the Texas Medicaid program or the Texas Medicaid managed care program as a whole; and

    (II) may include consideration of other relevant factors, such as the criteria described in subparagraphs (B)(ii) - (vii) and (C)(ii) - (vii) of this paragraph.

    (B) For Medicaid members over age 20, non-behavioral health services that are:

    (i) reasonable and necessary to prevent illnesses or medical conditions, or provide early screening, interventions, or treatments for conditions that cause suffering or pain, cause physical deformity or limitations in function, threaten to cause or worsen a disability, cause illness or infirmity of a member, or endanger life;

    (ii) provided at appropriate facilities and at the appropriate levels of care for the treatment of a member's health conditions;

    (iii) consistent with health care practice guidelines and standards that are endorsed by professionally recognized health care organizations or governmental agencies;

    (iv) consistent with the member's medical need;

    (v) no more intrusive or restrictive than necessary to provide a proper balance of safety, effectiveness, and efficiency;

    (vi) not experimental or investigative; and

    (vii) not primarily for the convenience of the member or provider.

    (C) For Medicaid members over age 20, behavioral health services that:

    (i) are reasonable and necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of a mental health or substance use disorder, or to improve, maintain, or prevent deterioration of functioning resulting from such a disorder;

    (ii) are in accordance with professionally accepted clinical guidelines and standards of practice in behavioral health care;

    (iii) are furnished in the most appropriate and least restrictive setting in which services can be safely provided;

    (iv) are the most appropriate level or supply of service that can safely be provided;

    (v) could not be omitted without adversely affecting the member's mental and/or physical health or the quality of care rendered;

    (vi) are not experimental or investigative; and

    (vii) are not primarily for the convenience of the member or provider.

    (70) Member--A person who is eligible for benefits under Title XIX of the Social Security Act and Medicaid, is in a Medicaid eligibility category included in the Medicaid managed care program, and is enrolled in a Medicaid MCO.

    (71) Member education program--A planned program of education:

    (A) concerning access to health care services or dental services through the MCO and about specific health or dental topics;

    (B) that is approved by HHSC; and

    (C) that is provided to members through a variety of mechanisms that must include, at a minimum, written materials and face-to-face or audiovisual communications.

    (72) Member materials--All written materials produced or authorized by the MCO and distributed to members or potential members containing information concerning the managed care program. Member materials include member ID cards, member handbooks, provider directories, and marketing materials.

    (73) Non-capitated service--A benefit available to members under the Texas Medicaid program for which an MCO is not responsible for payment.

    (74) Outside regular business hours--As applied to FQHCs and rural health clinics (RHCs), means before 8 a.m. and after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, weekends, and federal holidays.

    (75) Participating MCO--An MCO that has a contract with HHSC to provide services to members.

    (76) Person-centered care--An approach to care that focuses on members as individuals and supports caregivers working most closely with them. It involves a continual process of listening, testing new approaches, and changing routines and organizational approaches in an effort to individualize and de-institutionalize the care environment.

    (77) Person-centered planning--A documented service planning process that includes people chosen by the individual, is directed by the individual to the maximum extent possible, enables the individual to make choices and decisions, is timely and occurs at times and locations convenient to the individual, reflects cultural considerations of the individual, includes strategies for solving conflict or disagreement within the process, offers choices to the individual regarding the services and supports they receive and from whom, includes a method for the individual to require updates to the plan, and records alternative settings that were considered by the individual.

    (78) Post-stabilization care service--A covered service, related to an emergency medical condition, that is provided after a Medicaid member is stabilized in order to maintain the stabilized condition, or, under the circumstances described in 42 C.F.R. §438.114(b) and (e) and 42 C.F.R. §422.113(c)(iii) to improve or resolve the Medicaid member's condition.

    (79) Primary care provider (PCP)--A physician or other provider who has agreed with the health care MCO to provide a medical home to members and who is responsible for providing initial and primary care to patients, maintaining the continuity of patient care, and initiating referral for care.

    (80) Provider--A credentialed and licensed individual, facility, agency, institution, organization, or other entity, and its employees and subcontractors, that has a contract with the MCO for the delivery of covered services to the MCO's members.

    (81) Provider education program--Program of education about the Medicaid managed care program and about specific health or dental care issues presented by the MCO to its providers through written materials and training events.

    (82) Provider network or Network--All providers that have contracted with the MCO for the applicable managed care program.

    (83) Quality improvement--A system to continuously examine, monitor, and revise processes and systems that support and improve administrative and clinical functions.

    (84) Rural Health Clinic (RHC)--An entity that meets all of the requirements for designation as a rural health clinic under §1861(aa)(1) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. §1395x(aa)(1)) and is approved for participation in the Texas Medicaid program.

    (85) Service area--The counties included in any HHSC-defined service area as applicable to each MCO.

    (86) Significant traditional provider (STP)--A provider identified by HHSC as having provided a significant level of care to the target population, including a DSH.

    (87) STAR--The State of Texas Access Reform (STAR) managed care program that operates under a federal waiver and primarily provides, arranges for, and coordinates preventive, primary, acute care, and pharmacy services for low-income families, children, and pregnant women.

    (88) STAR Health--The managed care program that operates under the Medicaid state plan and primarily serves:

    (A) children and youth in Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) conservatorship;

    (B) young adults who voluntarily agree to continue in a foster care placement (if the state as conservator elects to place the child in managed care); and

    (C) young adults who are eligible for Medicaid as a result of their former foster care status through the month of their 21st birthday.

    (89) STAR Kids--The program that operates under a federal waiver and primarily provides, arranges, and coordinates preventative, primary, acute care, and long-term services and supports to persons with disabilities under the age of 21 who qualify for Medicaid.

    (90) STAR+PLUS--The managed care program that operates under a federal waiver and primarily provides, arranges, and coordinates preventive, primary, acute care, and long-term services and supports to persons with disabilities and elderly persons age 65 and over who qualify for Medicaid by virtue of their SSI or MAO status.

    (91) STAR+PLUS Home and Community-Based Services Program--The program that provides person-centered care services that are delivered in the home or in a community setting, as authorized through a federal waiver under §1115 of the Social Security Act, to qualified Medicaid-eligible clients who are age 21 or older, as cost-effective alternatives to institutional care in nursing facilities.

    (92) State plan--The agreement between the CMS and HHSC regarding the operation of the Texas Medicaid program, in accordance with the requirements of Title XIX of the Social Security Act.

    (93) Supplemental Security Income (SSI)--The federal cash assistance program of direct financial payments to people who are 65 years of age or older, are blind, or have a disability administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. All persons who are certified as eligible for SSI in Texas are eligible for Medicaid. Local SSA claims representatives make SSI eligibility determinations. The transactions are forwarded to the SSA in Baltimore, which then notifies the states through the State Data Exchange (SDX).

    (94) Texas Health Steps (THSteps)--The name adopted by the State of Texas for the federally mandated Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) services, described at 42 U.S.C. §1396d(r) and 42 CFR §440.40 and §§441.40 - 441.62.

    (95) Value-added service--A service provided by an MCO that is not "medical assistance," as defined by §32.003 of the Texas Human Resources Code.

Source Note: The provisions of this §353.2 adopted to be effective February 28, 1997, 22 TexReg 1799; amended to be effective August 10, 2005, 30 TexReg 4466; amended to be effective September 1, 2006, 31 TexReg 6629; amended to be effective July 1, 2007, 32 TexReg 2135; amended to be effective September 1, 2007, 32 TexReg 5333; amended to be effective March 1, 2012, 37 TexReg 1283; amended to be effective July 8, 2012, 37 TexReg 4851; amended to be effective September 1, 2014, 39 TexReg 5873; amended to be effective November 1, 2016, 41 TexReg 8265; amended to be effective September 1, 2017, 42 TexReg 4273; amended to be effective April 24, 2019, 44 TexReg 1980